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


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I looked at this device as well but decided to go with the pro1 x for the following reasons:

- size: the communicator and astroglide look more like a netbook than a phone

- cpu: media tek cpu reviews don't sound as good as qualcomm

- linux: with the new cpu and the new 5g capability, it makes me wonder about linux driver support

- schedule: they're planning on shipping in june or something which makes me suspect it might be more like 2022

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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'

I also think that the Pro1's opening mechanism is much more robust. However, let's be nice among keyboard-lovers and recognise that the AstroSlide will have the much better keyboard -- probably m

On the other hand, I'm happy someone finally made a keyboard slider for someone with big hands and thumbs like me.  I hated my work issued BBs-- I could never type on them, I also remember rejecting t

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On 2/7/2021 at 9:34 AM, Slion said:

TEX Shinobi, respect. I should get one of those at some point. Though my older Thinkpad keyboards are still going strong. How is it like? I would not know what kind of switches I should get either.

 

IMG_20210207_093008_compress32.jpg

And for an AZERTY Shinobi ? 😉

20210210_232129.thumb.jpg.7b86b6a6748c4b153d5232308c976893.jpg

 

I also got (and mostly used up to now) its little brother, the Yoda2 but back then no AZERTY option (at least it's ISO).

20210210_231933.thumb.jpg.f6678b86f1e9168563dcc3bbb209e652.jpg

 

(For the switches I went transparent on both.)

Edited by flx
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  • 5 months later...

Have you guys looked at the Astroglide that’s being funded on IndieGoGo to see how it compares the the Pro-1x? I’ve backed both so I’ll be really happy with either (still on an iPhone 6 and it’s amazing I haven’t burned everything around me down) but it’d be nice to get a professional opinion as opposed to my “laidback consumer” approach.

Linky-link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/astro-slide-5g-transformer/x/27173864#/

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1 hour ago, kilraanon said:

Have you guys looked at the Astroglide that’s being funded on IndieGoGo to see how it compares the the Pro-1x? I’ve backed both so I’ll be really happy with either (still on an iPhone 6 and it’s amazing I haven’t burned everything around me down) but it’d be nice to get a professional opinion as opposed to my “laidback consumer” approach.

Linky-link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/astro-slide-5g-transformer/x/27173864#/

yep there is a whole topic on this:

 

 

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Well I'm pretty thrilled that there are likely to be 2 sliding keyboard phones available at some point.  My Moto Z3 is getting a bit long in the tooth.   I'd prefer a Pro1, but I'll take whichever one is released first.

Appreciate the side-by-side keyboard pix from lawliett.

UPDATE:  Rob's link about the downgrade mentions that they removed band 13.  Guess they don't want Verizon customers.  So much for the Astro Slide.

Edited by MrPib
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7 hours ago, Doktor Oswaldo said:

Just to say, the pro1 does not tip over either.

If you haven't ordered anything yet, I would actually recommend to wait.
Don't get me wrong, I love my pro1. Just this morning I thought about how I become really slow on the touchscreen and really fast on the keyboard.
But the communication isn't the best at the moment at fxtec, no idea about astro.

Since both phones should start shipping in the next couple of weeks, I would simply wait until devices are actually sent out and decide then.

 

I understand and appreciate your recommendation.  However, I did happen to discover last night that BOTH companies appear to still be taking Late Pledges on the IndieGoGo campaigns for the 2 phones, with discounts that are not insignificant given the cost of the phones.  I believe the Pro1X is getting a 20% discount, and the Astro Slide 5G is still being offered with an even larger discount than that.  Those discounts put the cost of both much closer to the cost of the BlackBerry Key2 I'm using now, and which one of these 2 phones will replace.  I can't ignore those discounts.  Why pay Full Retail MSRP if you don't have to? 😉

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On 2/18/2022 at 5:04 PM, Jack T. Chance said:

I understand and appreciate your recommendation.  However, I did happen to discover last night that BOTH companies appear to still be taking Late Pledges on the IndieGoGo campaigns for the 2 phones, with discounts that are not insignificant given the cost of the phones.  I believe the Pro1X is getting a 20% discount, and the Astro Slide 5G is still being offered with an even larger discount than that.  Those discounts put the cost of both much closer to the cost of the BlackBerry Key2 I'm using now, and which one of these 2 phones will replace.  I can't ignore those discounts.  Why pay Full Retail MSRP if you don't have to? 😉

I see, but I have been here since a long time, and I don't think the discount ends soon. After all, it should have ended months ago.
(Just talking about the pro1, no idea about the astro). But you are of course right, it is a bit of a risk, you could use the discount if you wait.
But just do not forget it is a crowdfunding platform. So it isn't guaranteed that you receive anything. I do not believe that anyone will loose the money, but it is still important to know the risk.

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On 2/18/2022 at 5:04 PM, Jack T. Chance said:

I believe the Pro1X is getting a 20% discount

[...]

 Why pay Full Retail MSRP if you don't have to? 😉

Im not sure where you are writing from, so the prices may not be the same for you. That being said, for me, the Pro1x (256/8 GB) is listed on the website at €741 and on Indiegogo at $719.

When "investing" or backing on indiegogo, there was a shipping cost added (I think $40, if Im not mistaken), in total $759. This equals a total cost of about €667 when getting the device from Indiegogo, and, since the shipping is included from the website, the effective price difference is 667/741, which equals about 10%. Not sure where they pulled the 20% figure from, but as you can see, its not very accurate.

No way I would, given the choice, take the 10% off (about €74) and in exchange, lose litterally all of my customer rights. The choice, ofcourse, is yours, but my sincere tip would be: "for the love of god, order from the website", as this will let you cancel and refund your order, should you change your mind, and it will give you the rights to a refund should fxtec turn out to be unable to supply the device in the end. A little extra peace of mind. Alternatively, if you want to save money, take your chances and wait until atleast the devices start shipping from the indiegogo campaign before backing there.

 

*Note that these are pure currency conversion numbers that do not take into consideration any exchange fees imposed by your bank or card issuer.

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4 hours ago, toast said:

order from the website

Totally agree with you. The benefits of IGG is the early perks - though they also comes at the higher risk.
I will say that the risk at this late state is low though, but you still got better consumer rights with the classic web-shop order.

IF you are interested in a spare battery and display-part, the $849 perk is a fairly interesting one though, compared to the $719 perk for the device alone.
So IF you are going to order it on IGG, consider that option too... (They do not offer spare parts of the web-shop, at the least not currently AFAIK)

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28 minutes ago, EskeRahn said:

Totally agree with you. The benefits of IGG is the early perks - though they also comes at the higher risk.
I will say that the risk at this late state is low though, but you still got better consumer rights with the classic web-shop order.

IF you are interested in a spare battery and display-part, the $849 perk is a fairly interesting one though, compared to the $719 perk for the device alone.
So IF you are going to order it on IGG, consider that option too... (They do not offer spare parts of the web-shop, at the least not currently AFAIK)

And I can assure you, that it isn't a bad thing to have a spare screen an battery around.
The phone is heavy and big, so it takes some time to get used to it and if you are like me, you will drop it.

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9 hours ago, toast said:

Im not sure where you are writing from, so the prices may not be the same for you. That being said, for me, the Pro1x (256/8 GB) is listed on the website at €741 and on Indiegogo at $719.

When "investing" or backing on indiegogo, there was a shipping cost added (I think $40, if Im not mistaken), in total $759. This equals a total cost of about €667 when getting the device from Indiegogo, and, since the shipping is included from the website, the effective price difference is 667/741, which equals about 10%. Not sure where they pulled the 20% figure from, but as you can see, its not very accurate.

No way I would, given the choice, take the 10% off (about €74) and in exchange, lose litterally all of my customer rights. The choice, ofcourse, is yours, but my sincere tip would be: "for the love of god, order from the website", as this will let you cancel and refund your order, should you change your mind, and it will give you the rights to a refund should fxtec turn out to be unable to supply the device in the end. A little extra peace of mind. Alternatively, if you want to save money, take your chances and wait until atleast the devices start shipping from the indiegogo campaign before backing there.

 

*Note that these are pure currency conversion numbers that do not take into consideration any exchange fees imposed by your bank or card issuer.

I'm in the United States.  On the website, the Pro1 X is $899 with 256GB/8GB, but on IndieGoGo, it's 20% off of that number:

http://i.imgur.com/N2pdJeO.png

As for the Astro Slide 5G, on the website, it's $988, but on IndieGoGo, it's 30% off:

http://i.imgur.com/PEy7DRU.png

Also, Planet Computers has got F(x)tec beaten when it comes to offering accessories for the phone.  The Pro1 X has screen protectors of some sort available, but the Astro Slide 5G actually has a protective CASE available...

http://i.imgur.com/BLaNO9B.png

...as well as an Active Stylus!

http://i.imgur.com/NcmKM3q.png

So, at least in this regard, F(x)tec ends up looking like they're slacking off! 😜

In regards to the risks of IndieGoGo vs. normal ordering, I will only speak for how it is here in the United States of America, and nowhere else in the world.  But here in the US, MOST credit card companies offer their customers Buyer Protection, and they have for years.  If and when a person that pre-ordered through IndieGoGo, paying with a major credit card, does not receive their phone, and gets nowhere with their refund request, the credit card company will tell them they have the right to dispute the charge, and that they should.  The Card Issuer will then reach out to the Seller for a reply from them before deciding what to do, but after about 33 years in retail, I can tell you that the Credit Card Issuer will side with the customer 99% of the time and give them their money back, even if the Seller submits legally-binding sales contracts signed by the customer that state that there are No Refunds!

So MY advice when you want something that's offered on either KickStarter or IndieGoGo is to ALWAYS pay with a major credit card that offers good Buyer Protection Policies, just in case. 😉👍

P.S. Why can't I get my images to actually show-up embedded in my post?  What are you guys doing that I'm not?!?!?🤔

Edited by Jack T. Chance
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My thoughts on this (more or less unchanged since that other thread on the AstroSlide): The two devices are complementary.

For me the AstroSlide is -- unfortunately -- too large. Imho, today's smartphones cannot practically be larger than the span of a person's thumb.

The Pro1/X is really the largest device I could operate single-handedly in what is today's de-facto standard mode: portrait-touchscreen-only. The AstroSlide is significantly bigger, so I expect I would not be able to use it comfortably as a regular smartphone when holding it in one hand. This may seem like a small thing at first, but can become quite a nuisance in practical life if you intend to use your phone not only as a UMPC but also in the way 99.9% of modern apps assume.

I do like the basic idea behind the AstroSlide: be a UMPC that is really able to emulate a phablet with keyboard closed. Unfortunately I do not believe it works in practice because of the size dictated by the (nice!) keyboard. 

The Pro1(X) focuses on working well as a standard (touchscreen) smart phone and adds the hw keyboard as a bonus. The Astro is the opposite. It seeks to be a good UMPC primarily, with the added capability to disguise as a phone. For me the former is the right choice: whenever I expect the need to perform extensive typing on-the-go, I carry along my UltraBook anyway, which -- with all love due -- is superior to the Astro in every respect ... except in being a phone.

That said: everyone who likes it, please buy and support the AstroSlide! The true problem we face is not competition by some other niche keyboard phone manufacturer, but the prevalent perception of smartphones as dumb(ed-down) consumer appliances rather than the full computer systems they really are.

Edited by claude0001
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15 hours ago, Jack T. Chance said:

In regards to the risks of IndieGoGo vs. normal ordering, I will only speak for how it is here in the United States of America, and nowhere else in the world.  But here in the US, MOST credit card companies offer their customers Buyer Protection, and they have for years.  If and when a person that pre-ordered through IndieGoGo, paying with a major credit card, does not receive their phone, and gets nowhere with their refund request, the credit card company will tell them they have the right to dispute the charge, and that they should.  The Card Issuer will then reach out to the Seller for a reply from them before deciding what to do, but after about 33 years in retail, I can tell you that the Credit Card Issuer will side with the customer 99% of the time and give them their money back, even if the Seller submits legally-binding sales contracts signed by the customer that state that there are No Refunds!

I am fairly certain, that this is not technically correct. A charge back will protect you against fraudulent charges yes.
But even if fxtec fails to deliver anything, that does not mean, that this is a fraudulent charge. You are not preordering anything, you are crowdfunding.

Furthermore, you are maybe not filling a charge back against fxtec but against IGG. I don't know how they handle it, but kickstarter does check chargebacks:

https://www.kickstarter.com/disputes


Well this things change all the time, you can find quite different stuff on who handles the disputes and who has to pay what.
Most likely a dispute will be successful because FxTec just gives you back the money and even pays the 10% or so IGG takes.
But this is not guaranteed and a really tricky area.

I am fairly certain, that if fxtec deceases and you are filling a charge back against IGG that they will fight it and then your win would not be certain at all.

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