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The Astro Slide! (sliding keyboard phone competition from planetcom)


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MediaTek doesn't release any open source code. So custom roms like Lineage etc. are very difficult to make. So you are stuck with stock. And further, given that it's all closed source Chinese code, I'

>MediaTek fucking DROPPED No possibility to boot Maemo-Leste, no buy.

The astroslide has an interesting mechanism indeed. However I think it will be very prone to the same problem I had with one Droid4. If a play build up between the two rails, every time you try to ope

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I'm not impressed impressed at all. I've not yet found out how the slider is supposed to work and the animations seen on YouTube are physically impossible. And even if it worked like that it would be extremely fragile.

Before I actually see such a phone in real hands, this is just a futuristic concept. I could see this coming out in two years or more and with many design changes made beforehand to make it practical. And in this time I expect a Pro2 coming out or at least being at the final step of development.

Edit: Thanks netman. I can't believe what my eyes see there. And even if it wouldn't fit mx expectations, the desing of the mechanism is interesting and indeed futuristic.

Apart from that I prefer to type with my thumbs, but that's just personal preference.

Edited by SchattengestaIt
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11 minutes ago, SchattengestaIt said:

I'm not impressed impressed at all. I've not yet found out how the slider is supposed to work and the animations seen on YouTube are physically impossible. And even if it worked like that it would be extremely fragile.

If you scroll waay down on their indiegogo page for it there's some more detail about the mechanism. Can't say it totally inspires confidence in me but it does seem possible. Edit: not as easy to find as i thought, the first video before the pic that says "DAY | NIGHT".

Edited by netman
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I definitely like what I see there. Planet surely can be considered a both dedicated and experienced hardware designer at this point, and the sliding mechanism looks both innovative and potentially solid to me. I suspect it will become less ergonomic than the Pro¹'s, though, because the screen part has to be pushed across the device's whole width of 76.6 mm before it drops behind the keyboard and tilts up, and the actors using it in the video (I like the bloke's hairdo!) try but cannot hide the fact that they need quite an effort there and still don't look perfectly comfortable at it. 

Well, and then the device is even larger and heftier than the Pro¹; perhaps not by much, but I'd rather have a smaller handset than an even bigger one...

The keyboard, of course, looks really nice, and @netman it will surely be perfectly usable with thumbs. But it seems it hasn't quite as many keys as the Pro¹, which might make it less convenient for some applications, especially in non-English locales.

The proposed final price (€819 it says on Indiegogo) seems ok-ish, given that it has 5G and a current high-end CPU and a keyboard. The shipping estimate is set to March 2021 on Indiegogo. It will definitely be interesting to directly compare it to the Pro¹ when both are there!

Edited by Rob. S.
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1 minute ago, Rob. S. said:

The keyboard, of course, looks really nice, and @netman it will surely be perfectly usable with thumbs. But it seems it hasn't quite as many keys as the Pro¹, which might make it less convenient for some applications, especially in non-English locales.

I've tried the Cosmo with thumbs briefly (with a Pro1 side by side) and at least for my opinion it pales in comparison to Pro1 at that, it's however usable with thumbs if you need to but the keyboard is pretty wide and the keys like to topple over rather than getting pressed if you don't hit them dead center. Also did not like that there are no nubs on the F and J key. If I understand it the Astro will have the same (or virtually the same) keyboard. On the flip side typing with all 10 fingers on Pro1 isn't what I'd call ideal so if that's what you want from a device... I even did a typing speed test on the Cosmo, got 35 WPM if i recall correctly (that's with barely any practice), using fingertips of course. I also recall having trouble finding symbols and the layout being confusing, that's a matter of getting used to though.

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25 minutes ago, Rob. S. said:

The keyboard, of course, looks really nice, and @netman it will surely be perfectly usable with thumbs. But it seems it hasn't quite as many keys as the Pro¹, which might make it less convenient for some applications, especially in non-English locales.

Even the portrait keyboards are aware that you must leave some side bezels to allow reaching in thumb typing, without accidental presses of the keys at the edges. And on the other hand, we would really need to curl ours thumb to press the lower left Ctrl without shifting the grip. I'm not convinced.
It could be a prototype-issue, but the whole sliding-lowering-tilting mechanism looks terrible complex and fragile. But sure they might be able to improve substantially on that before a final product. see shortly after the 1 minute mark here for the mechanism

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Assuming LCD display since it does not specify AMOLED. That's likely to be a show stopper for me. Though I'm glad they are coming to their senses by designing a proper slider that looks usable as a phone. 

Basically it looks like I could settle for an Astro Slider if the Pro1 did not exist. 

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3 minutes ago, Slion said:

Assuming LCD display since it does not specify AMOLED. That's likely to be a show stopper for me. Though I'm glad they are coming to their senses by designing a proper slider that looks usable as a phone. 

Basically it looks like I could settle for an Astro Slider if the Pro1 did not exist. 

I agree hat it clearly looks like it will be a solution hitting a larger audience than their current Cosmo.
I still think they would be better of giving their Cosmo a simple double hinge, so the screen could flip over (Like e.g. the Lenovo Yoga). I can not see how this new complex mechanism will bring them anything a double hinge wouldn't.

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2 minutes ago, EskeRahn said:

I agree hat it clearly looks like it will be a solution hitting a larger audience than their current Cosmo.
I still think they would be better of giving their Cosmo a simple double hinge, so the screen could flip over (Like e.g. the Lenovo Yoga). I can not see how this new complex mechanism will bring them anything a double hinge wouldn't.

If you got the yoga style hinge you'd have to stick the phone in your pocket with the keyboard to the outside to use it fully like a normal slabphone...

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4 minutes ago, netman said:

If you got the yoga style hinge you'd have to stick the phone in your pocket with the keyboard to the outside to use it fully like a normal slabphone...

Yes, and that would require a bit extra on the design of the keyboard not to be problematic.
On the thinkpad yoga's they have taken that a step up by having a grid lifting between the keys and physically locking the keys(!) when opened to tablet...

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4 hours ago, Wasmachineman_NL said:

>MediaTek

fucking DROPPED

No possibility to boot Maemo-Leste, no buy.

Astro Slide 5G can run full Linux like other Planet Computer devices. It has dual boot functionality. However, I would still choose "Pro2" because of the form factor. But If "Pro²" will never happen then I can consider Astro Slide 5G.

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Doesn't compete for me. It's their usual concept of palmtop computer: a very compact notebook that also happens to be a phone.
• it's huge and heavy
• you are supposed to put it down somewhere if you want to use the keyboard

Mechanism looks interesting but unless they came up with some magical spring-loading, pushing it all the way back will be a burden. The advantage will be that there are no hinges that get flexed every time you open it.

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Thinking about it a little bit further, it just reminds me once more of the sad fact that the classic netbook has become extinct, and this device, just as some earlier Planet products, could have become an excellent netbook, while as a handheld it looks like it may my less than optimal. They would just have to make it in 10". With similar specs, and preferably x64-based, I might buy right away. 

 

 

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I would buy a phone from them if Pro1 would not exists and in the future, I would like to have a Pro2 instead of Astro slide.

I like the idea of having vertical slider phones available but I find Pro1's solution to be much better.

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6 hours ago, VaZso said:

I would buy a phone from them if Pro1

Seen some of the poor reviews from the comments on The Register? Then again there are people here too saying Pro1 is not cutting it for them.

The Cosmo is especially being trashed there. One guy is still waiting for his. A few are saying they should fix it before bringing a new device.

Edited by Slion
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14 hours ago, OliverTypes said:

Doesn't compete for me. It's their usual concept of palmtop computer: a very compact notebook that also happens to be a phone.
• it's huge and heavy
• you are supposed to put it down somewhere if you want to use the keyboard

Mechanism looks interesting but unless they came up with some magical spring-loading, pushing it all the way back will be a burden. The advantage will be that there are no hinges that get flexed every time you open it.

What about the cable... Will that be freely exposed on the underside when opened?

It can not be seen here on the rendering so maybe it curls up under the keyboard somehow?

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The video proves that this mechanism will require a lot of muscle memory. And I'm not entirely sure how they're planing on connecting the screen in a durable way to the rest of the chassis. For me this is a no go, it all looks quite flimsy, plus the aforementioned weird way of pushing the screen out, up, back down and back over the chassis doesn't inspire faith.

This device is way too big for me. I'm already struggling with the Pro1 at certain moments, this will not do. It's a complete different target audience for sure...

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