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Selling my Pro1

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Phone keyboard layouts always have been different from a PC keyboard layout... Their usage always has to be learned... And, as @Zamasu correctly mentioned, even an identical layout would imply a completely different usage if only for the use of your thumbs...

I especially fail to see, by the way, how a tiny BlackBerry keyboard layout could be better than a full five-row layout like the Pro1's – except if all someone would ever want to type were letters. No numbers, no symbols... Besides, I used to have a PRIV and I really liked the mechanical construction of the keyboard, while my most significant problem with it was that some of my most important text input use cases just don't work properly with a handset screen in portrait mode. And I can hardly imagine something more awkward than having to type on a portrait-orientation keyboard while holding the phone in landscape orientation!

Still – in the end it all is a matter of taste and personal preference, I guess. And I'll only know how I will get along with the Pro1 keyboard when I get it...

Edited by Rob. S.
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3 hours ago, Rob. S. said:

Phone keyboard layouts always have been different from a PC keyboard layout... Their usage always has to be learned... And, as @Zamasu correctly mentioned, even an identical layout would imply a completely different usage if only for the use of your thumbs...

Just because they have always been different doesn't mean they should be. Why does there need to be a learning curve? If the keyboard does something magic that is worth the effort to learn, that's one thing, but moving things around is a totally useless innovation. In the past, phone makers had the valid excuse that there simply wasn't enough room for the standard layout with all the keys -- or it could even be argued that the target audience, mainstream users, didn't need all the symbols. Now we have a full keyboard which even has duplicate keys and yet things aren't in the right place. With the F(x)tec, every time I need a ? I have to remember that it's not where the ? is on every other keyboard I use, but on a letter key.

3 hours ago, Rob. S. said:

I especially fail to see, by the way, how a tiny BlackBerry keyboard layout could be better than a full five-row layout like the Pro1's – except if all someone would ever want to type were letters. No numbers, no symbols...

For the general use case, the BlackBerry keyboard certainly isn't better, but it's not trying to be a fully-fledged keyboard that can be used for ssh/vim/whatever. It's designed to provide a good experience for texting/emails, and in that regard it does a great job. I'm certain I would hate it if the symbols were there but in the wrong place. Instead, they are provided through a completely different mechanism (I'm talking specifically about the Passport, btw - I don't know about the other, smaller keyboards on other BlackBerries).

 

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My first Keyboard phone was the Nokia N900 (The Beast) followed by a Jolla1 with the TOHKBD). The N900 kicked off my love for proper QWERTY keyboards on phones and the Jolla kicked off my love for Sailfish, hence the reason I scoured the web for a TOHKBD.
I looked at Blackberry, but I find their keyboards are awful. TBH, I think they were in the best position to produce a slider, but they just wouldn't do it. A BB Leap or Z10/30 with a slider QWERTY would have been magic. Might even have saved them selling their souls to Google. 😕

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29 minutes ago, okayphoneme said:

Why does there need to be a learning curve?

Because you can't just apply your normal muscle memory, only way to not have a learning curve is by using something like the Cosmo Communicator's form factor. Besides that, optimizations for less space and thumb orientation etc.

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20 hours ago, Locane said:

beware that the screen edges activate while you type on the number row

To me this sounds like a potential design flaw placing the screen too close to the keyboard. Does it happen only with thumb but not with the other fingers? Does it depend on finger thickness?

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1 hour ago, okayphoneme said:

Just because they have always been different doesn't mean they should be. Why does there need to be a learning curve? If the keyboard does something magic that is worth the effort to learn, that's one thing, but moving things around is a totally useless innovation. In the past, phone makers had the valid excuse that there simply wasn't enough room for the standard layout with all the keys -- or it could even be argued that the target audience, mainstream users, didn't need all the symbols. Now we have a full keyboard which even has duplicate keys and yet things aren't in the right place. With the F(x)tec, every time I need a ? I have to remember that it's not where the ? is on every other keyboard I use, but on a letter key.

Ok, I admit your reasoning is sensible. Neither can I see what concrete improvements might have been intended (or even accomplished) by the specific deviations from the standard key layout. I guess it could have made sense to somehow try to optimize the keyboard layout for thumb usage, but I can't really see that at the bottom of the resulting layout, either... 

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1 hour ago, jlavi said:

To me this sounds like a potential design flaw placing the screen too close to the keyboard. Does it happen only with thumb but not with the other fingers? Does it depend on finger thickness?

Except, not everyone is having this problem.  I've even tried typing random numbers very fast with my thumbs and it doesn't happen.  I have big hands, by the way, with large thumbs.

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12 minutes ago, Hook said:

Except, not everyone is having this problem.  I've even tried typing random numbers very fast with my thumbs and it doesn't happen.  I have big hands, by the way, with large thumbs.

+1 it's never happened to me accidently and I feel like i have fat sausage fingers usually

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1 hour ago, jlavi said:

To me this sounds like a potential design flaw placing the screen too close to the keyboard

 

To me it's a design flaw, with an easy fix.  If they didn't use a curved screen, it'd be a non issue.

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For what its worth, I was the lucky person to win this phone. Locane has shipped the phone and with any luck it will arrive on Friday 😍

 

I am currently on a droid 4 under a verizon pay-as-you-go plan, and will be attempting to migrate my sim to the phone using a galaxy s5 as a mule. If there is interest in the community I can film the process

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1 hour ago, fxtec5 said:

For what its worth, I was the lucky person to win this phone. Locane has shipped the phone and with any luck it will arrive on Friday 😍

 

I am currently on a droid 4 under a verizon pay-as-you-go plan, and will be attempting to migrate my sim to the phone using a galaxy s5 as a mule. If there is interest in the community I can film the process

Congratulations, I hope you enjoy using the phone.

When you say "migrate," to be clear there is no chance of using a D4 SIM in a Pro1 and expecting it to work.  The D4 is not a VoLTE phone (and, sadly, never will be) so the previously provisioned SIM can't be used in the Pro1 with, or without, a mule.  You'll need a fresh SIM card (which shouldn't be a big deal to obtain, but I would work on that now so you will be able to use the phone when it arrives). 

Also, remember that when you get the fresh SIM up and running in the S5, you'll need to be certain that VoLTE calling is up and running.  This can be confusing and it's probably best to set the Preferred Network Type to LTE (as in LTE ONLY) to be 100% certain that the S5 is actually able to place VoLTE calls prior to moving the SIM over to the Pro1.

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Adding to what @Polaris wrote, from the Network Compatibility thread:

Quote

Verizon (US): Cannot activate device directly, SIM swap from a VoLTE-provisioned mule, then *#*#4636#*#* and flip all the switches and reboot WORKS. (2,1 reports)

You have to dial that code in the Pro1 to enable VoLTE for Verizon.

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On 12/21/2019 at 9:17 PM, david said:

Can you explain the shifted issue to me?  I've heard it mentioned many times and every time I go to look at the photos of the keyboard, I don't get it.  Every time, I end up seeing that the Q and P are the same distance from left and right sides as each other.  Is it that the QWERTZ keyboard has the Q one key closer to the left edge?  This would mean people have to maybe reach up with their left thumb more than up to the left to get to the Q.  Which, in theory, should be less thumb movement to get to the Q on the QWERTY than the QWERTZ.  The middle keys would not be affected by this at all, because they would have been in the middle regardless.  So there shouldn't be any extra reaching to get to them.  It is just a wide keyboard, thus you have to reach to get to the middle keys.

The QWERTZ keyboard has the Q key 2 full keys closer to the left side than the P is to the right side.  So, if anything, it seems to me that the QWERTZ keyboard (for english language users) is shifted to the left.

If the shifting means something different than how close the farthest left and right letters are to the edge, then I'd really like to understand what is meant by it.

You might want to have a look at this section comparing the two. https://eskerahn.dk/?p=3556#ShiftedOrNot

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On 12/22/2019 at 12:39 AM, Erik said:

As someone who never had a keyboard smartphone before the Pro1, I would say it very much matters what you are used to. The QWERTY layout on the Pro1 might be shifted a bit, but it’s nothing different to simply getting a new keyboard for your PC. There always will be a learning curve. I find the Pro1’s keyboard much more functional than the compared devices above, particularly for the spacing on the Pro1 keyboard.

Give it a week, and you’ll see how much faster and accurate you are, especially in the technical tasks such as using terminal. I will not accept disputes on this subject at all, having moved from an iPhone.

P.S I’ll allow myself to confirm there have been a few cases of instant regret after selling their Pro1. Not all were mentioned here. To some people it’s too much of a change going from basically every other phone to the Pro1, and that’s fine. We are doing something no one else risks doing, it’s always easier to follow the model of what sells.

I have had a lot of different keyboards for a lot of different pc's over decades but there were ONE thing they ALL agreed on: Where the letters and the digits go.

Sure F-keys and other more special ones can vary, especially on laptops, but that is a totally different story than the basic letters.  IMHO

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4 hours ago, EskeRahn said:

You might want to have a look at this section comparing the two. https://eskerahn.dk/?p=3556#ShiftedOrNot

I glanced over it.  I see that due to an odd number of letter keys in the middle row, that causes some questions of where the keys should be placed.  I think I'm probably a bad test case, because my current phone isn't modeled after a PC keyboard either.  I'll just have to use it to see if my thumb muscle memory needs adjusting or not.  My thumb muscle memory is different than my 10 finger typing muscle memory anyway, due to my current keyboard being different than a PC layout.

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23 minutes ago, david said:

I glanced over it.  I see that due to an odd number of letter keys in the middle row, that causes some questions of where the keys should be placed.  I think I'm probably a bad test case, because my current phone isn't modeled after a PC keyboard either.  I'll just have to use it to see if my thumb muscle memory needs adjusting or not.  My thumb muscle memory is different than my 10 finger typing muscle memory anyway, due to my current keyboard being different than a PC layout.

Don't get me wrong here. Had there been the qwerty only, I would still have been thrilled, as the Pro1 is much better than anything else offered for my usage. But IMHO it would have been even better without the shift.

I guess it matters if your mind stores the positions as absolute or relative. If relative, it is preferable that the keys are where they usually are relative to each other. If your mind store the positions as absolutes. The print could be in arbitrary order, as you mind would have to rebuild a whole new map anyway due to size.

The point is that for a standard layout, your mind already know the relative positions, for a shifted you need to work with different sets. And I did not manage to do that without issues switching between phone/pc in half a year (so I can deduce that my mind stores them relative). But the qwertZ (with the FinQwerty mods) fitted me like a glove from day one!

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6 minutes ago, EskeRahn said:

Don't get me wrong here. Had there been the qwerty only, I would still have been thrilled, as the Pro1 is much better than anything else offered for my usage. But IMHO it would have been even better without the shift.

Agreed.

I pulled out my G2 (HTC Desire Z) and typed on it (with it off) and I wasn't hitting the right keys sometimes.  My foggy memory says that I probably had to adjust when I went from that to my Relay 4G in 2012.  Had the G2 for a couple years first, I think.  My only concern with adjusting muscle memory is, as we get older, such things get harder.  

6 minutes ago, EskeRahn said:

I guess it matters if your mind stores the positions as absolute or relative. If relative, it is preferable that the keys are where they usually are relative to each other. If your mind store the positions as absolutes. The print could be in arbitrary order, as you mind would have to rebuild a whole new map anyway due to size.

There is also the matter of relative to the edges or relative to numbers or relative to the middle.  Lots of variables.

6 minutes ago, EskeRahn said:

The point is that for a standard layout, your mind already know the relative positions, for a shifted you need to work with different sets. And I did not manage to do that without issues switching between phone/pc in half a year (so I can deduce that my mind stores them relative). But the qwertZ (with the FinQwerty mods) fitted like a glove from day one!

Or is it just that your mind stores them the way your previous phone had them (was it a physical keyboard phone though?)?  I type reasonably fast on a PC keyboard and I think I type reasonably fast with my thumbs on the Relay 4G, but they are not laid out the same way (especially with the symbol locations...although maybe I end up cheating (looking at the keyboard) on some of the lesser used symbol keys).

At least we can all agree that almost any reasonable physical layout is MUCH better than any virtual layout.  😂  And I'm thankful they have spaces between the keys, QAZ and PLM are angled, and the keys are rounded on top.  Oh, and the Enter key is bigger than normal keys (although I would have liked it if it was wider and taller (reverse L shaped) even more, I'd guess).  Backspace is a *very* commonly used key, so that could have been better thought out, but again, if it is this vs virtual, I'm overjoyed with this. 😄

I would have been *very* disappointed if they produced something like this, as well:

Image result for iphone physical keyboard case

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I will hopefully get mine today (praying to the parcel gods here).
But I don't think I would ever sell it in any case. The worst that could happen is that I just us to view movies while cooking at home.

Don't get me wrong, I would sell another phone if I am unhappy. But I complain since years about the lack of hwkb-phones!
This one gets my support even if I should not like it. It is a high price to pay and I know that it is a really luxurious position to be able to pay this price, but unfortunately it is the way the world works. There will only be other phones like that if they get enough support.

I don't want to say anything against anybody selling the phone. Maybe you must, maybe it is not as important for you as for me. But often we complain about stuff but don't vote with our money to change it once we get a chance to do it!

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7 hours ago, david said:

Or is it just that your mind stores them the way your previous phone had them

Nope. That is not it, The previous was a click on for the Galaxy S8-, before that a BB Priv (both with the keyboard in the wrong direction). Before that the exact example you showed an image of for the Iphone 6-, earlier the Xperia (Neo) Pro, and before that the N97Mini, both with much fewer columns.

Actually when I had used The Pro1 qwertY intensively, I made the reverse typing errors when going back to a PC. But oddly left hand only. Most likely because I tend to type with the left hand resting on the keyboard, and the right resting on the elbow (never speculated on that before 🥴)
But the qwertZ is so close to a standard layout (with finqwerty driver) that the swap is unproblematic.

(To make things worse I on a PC swap between a US layout and a Danish one, as the Danish stinks for coding (brackets, braces, carats), on the other hand it is required to get to national characters ÆØÅ frequently in use in Danish. An unfortunately a lot of standard symbols are not in the same positions in US and Danish. So I would need to work with four sets of muscle memory...)

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I can confirm that the shifted layout is somewhat strange.
But now that I have the phone I understand the move. It balances the number of keys you usually need with your right and left thumb.
I am glad they did not shift they qwertz. Since there Umlauts are very common it would not have made any sense.

However I see myself to get used to the shifted qwerty. I just wish they had shifted the numbers too!

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9 hours ago, Doktor Oswaldo said:

I can confirm that the shifted layout is somewhat strange.
But now that I have the phone I understand the move. It balances the number of keys you usually need with your right and left thumb.
I am glad they did not shift they qwertz. Since there Umlauts are very common it would not have made any sense.

However I see myself to get used to the shifted qwerty. I just wish they had shifted the numbers too!

Well, productivity is king! I'm sure the shifted layout was chosen for that very reason.

Once F(x)tec gets out of crunch time, they have already said they'll look at other keyboard layouts, such as scandic. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of clamoring for it would motivate the production of a non-shifted version. Creating a new keyboard is a lot less of a time and effort investment than a whole new device.

Perhaps in the long run the current layout offerings of shifted-QWERTY and standard-QWERTZ will be expanded to include scandic, unshifted-QWERTY, and who knows what else? A new keyboard die can't be that expensive (can it?) and creating a keymap for it is all software work that could be banged out in a few hours.

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On 12/21/2019 at 8:51 PM, damion said:

Oh wow, my Cosmo arrived weeks ago* and I've barely used it.  For me it's far more useful to be able to type quietly lying on my back on the couch, than at a table with a laptop style keyboard.  The Cosmo weighs a heck of a lot.

I tested the pro1 at an event at the f(x)tec office, and immediately noticed the shifted keyboard issue.  I figured I would just get used to it.

I had no idea the qwertz keyboard wasn't shifted, I wonder what the option would be for some Tipp-Ex and a software keyboard remapper to make this qwerty.

- Damion

*apparently there are threads on Cosmo forums with people whining just like the Pro1 forums here, about supply chain!  I paid over 1 year before receiving mine, it turns out someone I know works there and may have expedited mine.

A number of people have confirmed that my suspicions about the Cosmo (which caused me to not order it) were entirely correct; it's barely a phone. It's basically an ultra-mobile PC running Android with a phone feature built into it. It's more of a phone than the Gemini, but a lot less so than the Pro1.

I've asked myself if I would like to own a Cosmo.....I keep coming up with the answer "yes, but I don't think I'd use it much." I do most of my mobile typing laying in bed, and my current devices Droid 4 and BB Loo....er, PRIV, are infinitely better suited to that. I have a laptop, but it requires sitting up to use it because of its keyboard, and I feel like the Cosmo would cramp my style the same way.

I suspect I probably WILL own a Cosmo someday, but I suspect it will be an old curiosity by then, not a new and expensive device. I have only so much money I can throw at things which don't have daily usefulness right now, and the Pro1 has the vote on that. I'm a tad scared my wife will make me buy one for her when she sees mine.....she seems happy with her slab though. She never got the keyboard bug. :)

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45 minutes ago, silversolver said:

She never got the keyboard bug. 🙂

That means you can get a backup clack without worrying about it going missing, the clackiverse will be in the palm of your hands!

5f0394445f0e595e5a0a06149ccde94d.gif

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9 minutes ago, sequestris said:

Nothing beats this keyboard.

sidekick.jpg

I will say that my Sidekicks (Sidekick 3 and Sidekick 2008, neither Android, unlike the above example) were the best keyboards on phones I've ever used.  

Sidekick 3:

060619_tmsidekick_hmed_1p_.grid-6x2.jpg

Sidekick 2008:

Related image

 

Edited by david

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