Jump to content
fxyo1

After a solid month, I give up. I need to vent.

Recommended Posts

As a longtime physical keyboard lover I waited with a lot of anticipation for the Pro1. And waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, January 2020, when the $650 I spent on the phone seemed the most ridiculous, the phone arrived. Nevertheless, I was excited and immediately unboxed. Right away I had such a miserable and frustrating time applying the screen protector. Never had such a pain with other phones but no matter what I did countless bubbles and dust particles made the final product look like total crap. The whole sheet ended up crumpled in a mess in the garbage can.  

This would set the tone of my entire experience with the Fxtec Pro1. I am here now to vent - I really towed the line to friends and family for awhile. I really wanted to LOVE this phone. Now it is broken in two pieces in a trash can and I am back on my old G5. 

The Good aka Not a lot of meat on this bone.

- The keyboard is cool when you finally are in a position to use it

- Good battery life

- AMOLED display looks nice

I wish I could say more. This is all that comes to mind. 

The Bad aka Total UX Death by a thousand clunky cuts. 

- The curved screen edges. Jesus god, this one design 'feature' is probably the main reason I am done with this phone. The accidental touches are CONSTANT. Forget using the phone one handed unless you can palm a basketball. Yes, it is possible to hold the phone without touching the screen but it is not intuitive and 9/10 times your natural hold will be an issue. They also make opening the phone's keyboard even more difficult.

- Accidental touches. In addition to the touches from the curved screen edges I am CONSTANTLY hitting buttons with my cheek during calls. I have never had another phone with this issue. Its like it just randomly decides to activate the touchscreen. Speaker, Mute, whatever my cheek grazes. 

- Big and heavy. The price for the physical keyboard. I knew there would be some bulk from the keyboard but I saw the specs and did not expect it to be that big a problem. Sitting next to any other phone it is pretty dramatic. This compounds with the awkward way you have to hold it thanks to the curved edges; you really notice the heft. 

- Accidentally button presses. The wake button is dead center along the right hand edge of the phone. So the natural place you'd hold the phone one handed, and a number of other instances (like getting leverage to open the keyboard) causes you to frequently hit the button.   

- Software is clunky. Frequently had issues where the keyboard would stop working & had to reset the phone. When the phone is in landscape with the keyboard open, you could only wake the device with the keyboard sometimes. Other times, you had to reach behind for the sleep button, swipe open, resume your task. The stock camera app is grotesque. 

- The UX for opening the keyboard is awful. Mechanically the design seems solid enough but the action itself is like opening a mouse trap. With one hand it is a difficult and perilous maneuver at best. Even with two hands you always have to be "holding on" or the phone is likely to jump away from you. 

The above constantly pokes at you, slowly but surely making you miserable. Today, the phone fell from about 2 ft (box spring+mattress) to the floor. The edge of the screen cracked pretty good and with it, my patience for the phone. I tore it in half and threw it away. No, I don't typically do that to my phones. Yes, it was cathartic. 

I am sorry FXtec, I will still be looking at the Pro2 if it ever exists. But I no longer us the Pro1.

Thanks for letting me vent everyone,

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by andypop481
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 4
  • Haha 2
  • Confused 1
  • Sad 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not dismissing your frustration or criticizing your venting (we're here for you, pal), but for anyone new and curious about the Pro 1, this is NOT my experience with my Pro 1. 😉

I'm impressed.  I'm not sure I could (strength-wise) rip my Pro 1 in two, though I won't make the experiment.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 5
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Hook said:

Not dismissing your frustration or criticizing your venting (we're here for you, pal), but for anyone new and curious about the Pro 1, this is NOT my experience with my Pro 1. 😉

I'm impressed.  I'm not sure I could (strength-wise) rip my Pro 1 in two, though I won't make the experiment.

Hey thanks friend 🙂 I am glad to see some people enjoy it. I still dig the concept and wish the best for fxtec (they did get my money in any case!). But yes, significant problems with execution was my experience. 

I wouldn't! even though it is (IMO) a poor phone, it is still a unique little device. The screen was already dead from the drop (it would flash on for a second then total black) so I felt free to release my frustration krakatoa/wrestler style ha

 

Edited by andypop481

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OP, your issues are real imo, but many will be fixed soon in software.  And others worked around, but takes effort and patience.

But ripping it in half?  You coulda sold it.  In fact you can probably still sell it, although now you wont get nearly as much as when it just had broken screen.

Edited by Craig
  • Thanks 2
  • Haha 1
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What you described is what I felt with the Gemini from planet computer. I was seleval time very close to make it fly.

Anyway thanks a lot for sharing your experience, all voices count. I'm a bit sorry for you about the value you lost.

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry that the phone didn't work out for you. Certainly there are different ideas about what hardware looks and functions best. But I must admit the software is currently a weak spot.

 

I'm going to respond to the software issues. Please keep in mind that I am not employed by FxTec, I'm just a developer who was given a device to get LineageOS running on it. Further, I'm not really a "keyboard phone" type, this is my first keyboard phone (but my wife used to love her Relay 4G, which is why I was the Cyanogen dev for that device for a while). I have gotten to know Chen and a few other devs over the past few months and have learned quite a bit about the history of the device hardware and software.

 

There really isn't any excuse for releasing a device with such unpolished software. But I can tell you that one of the big reasons it's so unpolished is that FxTec basically does zero software development.  The OEM, IdeaLTE, is responsible for building the stock software and incorporating changes requested by FxTec. Being a small Chinese OEM, there are several barriers to communication and they are not exactly the most responsive to work with. This is one reason why Chen is pushing alternative software so much.

 

I'm currently in the process of getting LineageOS running well on the device. It shouldn't be long before it's better than stock. At that point, I can look into adding some features to compensate for some of the hardware deficiencies. Like, for example, adding an option to ignore touches on the outer few screen pixels.

 

So if you ever decide to give it another go, or anyone else reading this has similar concerns, just be patient. Software will be able to cover some of these issues. But it's not likely to show up in stock.

 

  • Thanks 14

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, andypop481 said:

- The curved screen edges. Jesus god, this one design 'feature' is probably the main reason I am done with this phone. The accidental touches are CONSTANT. Forget using the phone one handed unless you can palm a basketball. Yes, it is possible to hold the phone without touching the screen but it is not intuitive and 9/10 times your natural hold will be an issue. They also make opening the phone's keyboard even more difficult.

- Accidental touches. In addition to the touches from the curved screen edges I am CONSTANTLY hitting buttons with my cheek during calls. I have never had another phone with this issue. Its like it just randomly decides to activate the touchscreen. Speaker, Mute, whatever my cheek grazes. 

 

So I "agree" with both of these just want to point out its not the curved screen, its the touch recognition parameters my Priv never had these issues.

I am constantly activating the camera via the physical button, really not even sure how, bugs the hell out of me.

The screen activating while on a call is also never an issue I have had with any other phone but happens every call with the Pro1. Also likely a software issue where they aren't interpreting data from the sensor correctly.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OP, I feel your pain. I already dropped the device from my hands (damn slippery metal) onto cement and now the back is marred up. 

This is one device where a case would reduce not only the slipperiness, but stop the stupid curved screen touches. 

Doubly so, the app EdgeNull is a GOD SEND for stopping the accidental touches. I set the pixel width to 58 for both landscape and portrait. This is a perfect mix that blocks touches and above all still allows you to hit burger menu icons for various apps. 

 

Also, for some reason my Wifi connection to my home router is utter shit. It just disconnects so randomly. No idea why. 

@tdm doing God's work. 

Edited by D1ggs
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, andypop481 said:

- Big and heavy. The price for the physical keyboard. I knew there would be some bulk from the keyboard but I saw the specs and did not expect it to be that big a problem. Sitting next to any other phone it is pretty dramatic. This compounds with the awkward way you have to hold it thanks to the curved edges; you really notice the heft.

I thought my N900 with Mugen battery was a bit heavy and measured it: 206.7 grams, and my N950 weighs 164.5 grams. Google search said Pro1 weighs 244.6 grams. It is heavy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, jlavi said:

I thought my N900 with Mugen battery was a bit heavy and measured it: 206.7 grams, and my N950 weighs 164.5 grams. Google search said Pro1 weighs 244.6 grams. It is heavy.

As often with compares, one can choose things to get a result....

You forget two important things in judging the weight compared to the old ones. The (display) size and the materials. You are comparing with devices with screen that are a third, and less than half of the Pro1. Did the two have metal backs (I do not recall)

If I compare it to a Sony XZ2 Premium I could claim that it is not heavy at all(!), 7% larger display plus a keyboard, and just 10g heavier... Sure the Sony has a 10% larger battery and an IP rating. But my point is that it is hard to do a fair compare, as there are no devices really like it to compare it with. So the result of the compare depends very much of the device chosen.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, kontakt said:

Yep, F(x)tec needs to do something but some of these are workaround-able if you want to stick with the phone. Edge Null  (creates deadzones on the curves) is I think tthe most important one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dude,

I understand completely! I've had some moments the second week, I'm pretty sure if my screen cracked during my darkest hour I also would have broken it in at least half. You are not alone.

That being said, I am so thankful for a physical keyboard, I would probably still buy a new one.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, kontakt said:

In addition to that, DragonBox has a nice "Hints and fixes" page for Pro1.

I am using Edge Null with "Detect Edge Swipes" activated. I would add Google Camera to the list also (either BSG or PocoPhone F1 port).

@fxyo1 If you want to sell the broken unit I would like to have it for spare parts.

 
Edited by FlyingAntero
  • Thanks 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, D1ggs said:

Doubly so, the app EdgeNull is a GOD SEND for stopping the accidental touches. I set the pixel width to 58 for both landscape and portrait. This is a perfect mix that blocks touches and above all still allows you to hit burger menu icons for various apps.

This is a massive improvement, thanks for the hint!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, fxyo1 said:

- The curved screen edges. Jesus god, this one design 'feature' is probably the main reason I am done with this phone. The accidental touches are CONSTANT. Forget using the phone one handed unless you can palm a basketball. Yes, it is possible to hold the phone without touching the screen but it is not intuitive and 9/10 times your natural hold will be an issue. They also make opening the phone's keyboard even more difficult.

- Accidental touches. In addition to the touches from the curved screen edges I am CONSTANTLY hitting buttons with my cheek during calls. I have never had another phone with this issue. Its like it just randomly decides to activate the touchscreen. Speaker, Mute, whatever my cheek grazes. 

- Big and heavy. The price for the physical keyboard. I knew there would be some bulk from the keyboard but I saw the specs and did not expect it to be that big a problem. Sitting next to any other phone it is pretty dramatic. This compounds with the awkward way you have to hold it thanks to the curved edges; you really notice the heft. 

- Accidentally button presses. The wake button is dead center along the right hand edge of the phone. So the natural place you'd hold the phone one handed, and a number of other instances (like getting leverage to open the keyboard) causes you to frequently hit the button.   

- The UX for opening the keyboard is awful. Mechanically the design seems solid enough but the action itself is like opening a mouse trap. With one hand it is a difficult and perilous maneuver at best. Even with two hands you always have to be "holding on" or the phone is likely to jump away from you.

These are all valid complaints yet most of them are not an issue for me anymore after getting used to them. I have not much problems handling the phone carefully to not press the side buttons and screen edges, am used to huge phones already, and I simply like the hinge mechanism as is. The issue with cheeks pressing the screen during calls is supposed to be prevented by the proximity sensor turning off the screen in calls, and at least for me it seems to try but I have to admit it has happened to me once or twice, but it did so for phones before that too, maybe it can be tweaked in software but I don't know if it's even possible.

14 hours ago, fxyo1 said:

- Software is clunky. Frequently had issues where the keyboard would stop working & had to reset the phone. When the phone is in landscape with the keyboard open, you could only wake the device with the keyboard sometimes. Other times, you had to reach behind for the sleep button, swipe open, resume your task. The stock camera app is grotesque.

These issues will most likely be fixed relatively soon with a firmware update... Of course until then they are still here. And the option to have Lineage or Sailfish right from the start really offsets a lot this to me personally also.

And like @Hook I also don't intend to be dismissive, these are all issues that exist and it's good to have complaints out there so people can make up their own mind about whether they'd like the phone or not. Just felt the need to explain it is not the same as my experience. I guess I am more forgiving towards phones and especially when they have a keyboard 😄...

PS: If you are interested to sell the broken Pro1 I may be interested to buy it, feel free to PM about this.

  • Thanks 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still can't really fathom that the cornerstone of this phone (the keyboard) is in such a bad state software and hardware wise. I have read some of the comments about that in the LineageOS post and I just can't wrap my head around any of that. I don't understand why they didn't just use a USB connector, use the kernel's default HID driver and be done with it.

 

Instead they apparently did some really weird stuff that makes switching between languages basically impossible without some major adjustments that are currently being done by @tdm.

As for the weight part and the 'clunkyness': That is something I love in the Pro1. I hate all these new phones that are basically flat as a piece of paper and weigh the same. I need some physical feedback from something I hold and this is finally a phone that provides that again. I can't understand how people use all these lightweight iPhone clones and not constantly let them slip through their fingers or forget them somewhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, EskeRahn said:

The "Edge Null" is a workaround that comes with cost and risk, see also this

I'm fine with the Edge, used a Galaxy S7 Edge for years though. I think stray touch input is a problem these days with most every no bezel flagship Edge or not. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Slion said:

I'm fine with the Edge, used a Galaxy S7 Edge for years though. I think stray touch input is a problem these days with most every no bezel flagship Edge or not. 

Well I have learned to use it without the edge being an issue also, but we have to admit that due to the need of pushing at one side and&or pulling up at the other, the Pro1 has a higher likelihood of accidental edge-interaction than ordinary slabs with edge-screens.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My biggest disappointment is the keyboard itself. Typing on it is just so damn hard. It feels like one or those dreams where you want to run but just can't.. It's that frustrating to me. I was so looking forward to having a phone with a keyboard again but in practice I hardly use it. And I hate onscreen keyboards so go figure.

Sigh... I remember the old days like it was yesterday. My HTC Wizard back in 2005 was my closest buddy back then. I just totally loved the simple keyboard slider and how fast I could type on it. But the Pro1 keys are so hard to press. It's really a struggle to go from one letter to the next. Instead I want to be able to fly over the keys as if it's nothing. That's simply impossible with the Pro1.

Now I can live with the clunkiness but the weight and the fact it's so slippery already caused the phone to slide out of my hands and straight onto the floor. There are no signs of damage so I was really lucky. Since then I'm way more careful. But now since I hardly use the keyboard the weight is starting to feel like a downside.

Like the OP I really really wanted to love this phone. I very much appreciate all the efforts of Chen and his team. They all went to hell and back for us to make this device possible. But now I very much wish they'd made different design choices. I think the hinge system is over designed. It is quite hard to open and that creates a mental barrier everytime I think I would prefer a physical keyboard. Then I also think about how stiff those keys are and these two factors simply have kept it closed for most of the time. In fact I now only open the keyboard to use it as a glorified stand when watching YouTube. That's not the kind of use I was anticipating at all.

So yes, I typed this entire text using SwiftKey instead of the physical keyboard. Now I'm really thinking to sell the phone. Unfortunately my old phone died just after the Pro1 arrived. Its life was already hanging by a thread and I got really lucky with timing. So that means I'm in the market soon for yet another new device and then I'm afraid I will never use the Pro1 again. And it saddens me to say it. That old phone was a Moto Z Play by the way and I very much had wanted the keyboard mod for it. (And I will never buy a Motorola again seeing as how they simply dumped Chen and his team in the end but that's another story).

I sincerely hope Fxtec will come up with a Pro2 and that they will get rid of all the Pro1's downsides. For me that means keys with less resistance, a fully flat screen with a proper edge to push against to open it, the fingerprint sensor moved up and above the volume buttons to prevent accidental unlocking (or even better but probably too far-fetched for a start-up: behind the screen), and pure black amoled instead of the weird grays it displays now (this is my 4th amoled phone and it's the first with these symptoms). And instead of a complicated hinge I would really like to suggest a simple sliding mechanism so that with a simple push against a proper screen edge it slightly clicks and then slides open with minimal effort. And then when fully opened it is optionally possible to hinge the screen but I don't mind a design without.

All the best for the development team! Thanks so much for all your efforts. It's really much appreciated.

 

Edited by roland
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2
  • Sad 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, roland said:

My biggest disappointment is the keyboard itself. Typing on it is just so damn hard. It feels like one or those dreams where you want to run but just can't.. It's that frustrating to me. I was so looking forward to having a phone with a keyboard again but in practice I hardly use it. And I hate onscreen keyboards so go figure.

Maybe it depends on the hand size / type or anything related but I like its keyboard. So it seems unfortunately it is not suitable for you. 😞

1 hour ago, roland said:

I sincerely hope Fxtec will come up with a Pro2 and that they will get rid of all the Pro1's downsides. For me that means keys with less resistance, a fully flat screen with a proper edge to push against to open it, the fingerprint sensor moved up and above the volume buttons to prevent accidental unlocking (or even better but probably too far-fetched for a start-up: behind the screen), and pure black amoled instead of the weird grays it displays now (this is my 4th amoled phone and it's the first with these symptoms). And instead of a complicated hinge I would really like to suggest a simple sliding mechanism so that with a simple push against a proper screen edge it slightly clicks and then slides open with minimal effort. And then when fully opened it is optionally possible to hinge the screen but I don't mind a design without.

 

I don't feel pressing keys are hard anyway.
Now I have compared it against three of my N900s. Two of them have a really similar strength of keypresses - maybe only a very little bit easier to press than my Pro1 but I am unsure if there is really a difference so I may say there is almost no difference. The third N900 has much easier keypresses anyway.

I don't really like the curved screen either but I can live with it... fingerprint sensor is much better since I use a case for it but i agree it may be placed towards the top of the phone.

I don't know what grey you are speaking about related to the display. I think its colours are basically good but it goes wrong below 40-45%. Maybe you refer to it as problem with grey... I hope they will find a solution for that.

Anyway, I like this sliding design. I agree it is not the easiest thing to open it at first but it can be learnt and it only opens if I want it to be opened.
When I used my N900, it could open up partly while it was in my pocket. It will never happen with my Pro1 and I am happy with it this way.

Edited by VaZso
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mostly holding on for the screen brightness issue to be resolved because that's what's really not acceptable to me. The rest I can understand as it is their very first device, and at least the software is malleable. 

Edit: but yeah I find myself using the virtual keyboard and getting used to how quick it is with autocorrect... Really strange but at least I'm getting the practice in for when I eventually have to transition fully to it...

Edited by Adrienspawn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@roland Sad to hear you do not like it, have you tried some of the various tips for opening in this thread.

If you find it really difficult to open a somewhat odd idea consist of simply adding a tiny bit of high friction tape at the back edge of the display, so you can super easily lift the back, rather than pushing the front. like mentioned here (here)

If you can find some unidirectional or grooved friction tape, it would be even better, but I have been unable to find that...

IMG_20200224_225028~01.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, roland said:

My biggest disappointment is the keyboard itself.

I too am bummed about the keyboard, and for a device of which the main attraction is the keyboard, it's a serious bummer.  I have stated before that I have been using physical landscape keyboard phones ever since they became available (pre-smart phones, early to mid 2000s I believe) and have never had trouble aclimating to a single one like I have with the Pro1.  Serious disappointment!

1 hour ago, Adrienspawn said:

...but yeah I find myself using the virtual keyboard and getting used to how quick it is with autocorrect... Really strange but at least I'm getting the practice in for when I eventually have to transition fully to it...

I too find myself using the virtual keyboard more than I ever have with any other phone (again, I always have used physical landscape keyboard phones).  This really shouldn't be the case, as this phone was put into production because of its keyboard.

A couple of notes about the keyboard... I find it hard to type on, but not as in physically hard to press the buttons.  I don't have any problems with that, just the layout.  In this regard, I have come up with a peculiar solution that seems to help me blind type rather quickly and accurately.  Thus, if the notification LED issue can be resolved, I'll probably keep it.  What I did was to remap all the letter/character keys in the middle three rows, and to the left of the vertical diagonal TGB, to the letter on their right.  This shifted all the letters left of TGB one space to the left.  However, because there are three extra keys it also means that I have two TGB columns (next to each other).  This allows me to thumb touch type (meaning not looking at my fingers or the keyboard) reasonably quickly, and with much greater accuracy than the shifted keyboard.  I also remapped the [ key to / (and \ with shift).  For me, and I admit this is a radical idea which isn't for everyone, it allows the best of both worlds between the QWERTY and the QWERTZ layouts.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms