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Forgotten Market, The Compact Phone


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I have been looking for a phone for some time now, but it seems that the phone market is not geared towards people with my preferences. Clearly i am not the only one since the Fx pro1 was created. It has a lot of what i want, including improved privacy and control in the OS, and a keyboard. One of my favorite phones i owned was the Microsoft Kin Two which had a great slide out keyboard. 

But it still is missing something that i really want, which is a compact phone option. At 154x73.6 with 6" display, the pro1 has a big foot print (by my standards). Id really prefer something with a 5" screen around 135x65 +/- a few (currently have sony xperia xz2 compact).

I'm curious how many others who are in the phone market for the pro1 because they feel left out also would prefer a compact phone option? 

Especially since since with a physical keyboard you don't have to worry about the keyboard using up screen space. 

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I'm like you yes. I think the pro1 is excellent, it has the portrait full keyboard I desperately wanted, and it is the only one. But a bit too big. To me the best size was the Droid4, I could easily reach the center of the keyboard with my thumbs.

Nothing is perfect, and regarding my wishes, the pro1 is by far the best option.

 

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I'm one of those who want a big phone with a big screen as I want to run linux chroot on it. Having a big screen is vital for using desktop applications as the text will be rather small since it's not made for mobile phones.

However, I have a suggestion that would appease both big phone and small phone users. Use a split keyboard design.  That way no matter how big the phone is the keyboard keys will be in easy reach with our thumbs.

Edited by lawliett
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11 minutes ago, Muth said:

Nothing is perfect, and regarding my wishes, the pro1 is by far the best option.

Spot on where I stand.
And if no keyboard I too would prefer a device where can be fully used in one hand while keeping a secure grip.
In my book if the device is so huge that it requires two hands, we could just as well have it with a real keyboard also.

The problem with a one hand operable devise with a real keyboard is that the keyboard would become cramped... We can not have both big standard keys, and a one hand operable device.

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5 minutes ago, lawliett said:

However, I have a suggestion that would appease both big phone and small phone users. Use a split screen keyboard design.  That way no matter how big the phone is the keyboard keys will be in easy reach with our thumbs.

The optimal would be if a touch-based OS had some UI that distinguished between a large display-area and a smaller interaction-area where 99% of normal usage could be done. Where each of us could easily choose the size of the interaction-area as it fits the need of the day. And no I'm not talking just shrinking everything to a corner like e..g Samsung offers with Android.

The most important thing is variety as different people got different needs and wishes, and it is almost impossible to imagine all meet in a single design..

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12 hours ago, EskeRahn said:

The optimal would be if a touch-based OS had some UI that distinguished between a large display-area and a smaller interaction-area where 99% of normal usage could be done.

What you want to say, it is not a good Idea to move everything to top left just because iOS did it? Blasphemy! Apple clearly knows how you want to use your phone! Just trust them...

Na honestly even with a better UI I would also prefer a 5.3-5.5" device. The pro1 is great but it is not easy to hold in the beginning. I also don't think it would make the keyboard cramped at all, but even easier to reach all the buttons and faster to type. I agree that the sweet spot for that is of course slightly different for everybody, but I think 6" is more on the upper side of the scale. I would guess I have above average sized hands and would be more comfortable with a slightly smaller phone (it does work pretty good though, once I got used to it).

(Okay it REALLY is "funny" how (most) desktop OS have everything on the bottom even though it does not matter there, but it seems to be impossible to achieve on a smartphone? Remember the time where androids had a HW-Menu button? why is there no software menu button now?)

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  • 4 weeks later...

I told Chen about this nearly two years ago when the pro1 was still in development. Still think the device is too big but that ship sailed a long time ago. Given you have the added bulk of the keyboard the screen should be a little smaller. Maybe 5.5 - 5.8 inches.

As it sits right now, the pro1 is one of the thickest, heaviest, and bulkiest phones on the market. Using a 6 inch screen doesn't help that agenda

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2 hours ago, npatel1050 said:

As it sits right now, the pro1 is one of the thickest, heaviest, and bulkiest phones on the market. Using a 6 inch screen doesn't help that agenda

I agree that the Pro1 is bulky compared to other modern phones.

But to be fair one must also say that the big size helps in all kinds of business use-cases (which are a main selling point of the phone): When coding, emailing or word processing, the huge screen allows to display a lot of content at acceptable font sizes, which certainly increases productivity. Also, as @lawliett already mentioned, running desktop Linux apps in a chroot is much more pleasant with a big display.

As much as I loved my N900, I certainly do not miss its tiny screen. 🙂

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I have owned Unihertz Jelly Pro and Atom (non-L/ XL). I was very happy with those. Unihertz is not eveyone's cup of tea. The Titan in specific was bulky to say the least. Nonetheless it already has some die hard fans. This pocket version could be a winner. But alas, still no information on screen and camera. 

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1 hour ago, DieBruine said:

But alas, still no information on screen and camera. 

Being a bit evil, following the link the second image seems to tell us that we would better ALSO have a real camera...  👼😈

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That must be a tiny hand holding the phone in the first image because if I put my hand around my Pro1 with the same hold, the Pro1 doesn't look any bigger in relation to my hand.  😉 Which is why I love the size of the Pro1 and have never been able to use portrait keyboards.

But I'm really glad to see so many keyboard phones being attempted.

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6 hours ago, EskeRahn said:

Being a bit evil, following the link the second image seems to tell us that we would better ALSO have a real camera...  👼😈

Well, honestly, the crappiness ... ahem ... loveable peculiarities of the Pro1's camera got me back to carrying my DSLR along more often, too ... 🤔

Edited by claude0001
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2 hours ago, Hook said:

That must be a tiny hand holding the phone in the first image because if I put my hand around my Pro1 with the same hold, the Pro1 doesn't look any bigger in relation to my hand.  😉 Which is why I love the size of the Pro1 and have never been able to use portrait keyboards

Just on a side note, I have rather small hands and I still like the size of the Pro1... The screen can't be big enough for putting it to good use, and it didn't really take long for me to become comfortable with typing with my thumbs.

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51 minutes ago, claude0001 said:

Well, honestly, the crappiness ... ahem ... loveable peculiarities of the Pro1's camera got me back to carrying my DSLR along more often, too ... 🤔

I am satisfied with its camera but only with a GCam port...

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3 minutes ago, VaZso said:

I am satisfied with its camera but only with a GCam port...

Yes, I believe you. Let's not go over this again. 🙂

GCam is not compatible with a Google-free LineageOS, and certainly even less with SailfishOS and UbuntuTouch. It is simply not an option for many people, plus, it does not support the shutter button which was supposed to be one of the outstanding features of the Pro1.

The camera should make good pictures reliably, irrespective of the backend software used. But, sadly, it doesn't.

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2 hours ago, claude0001 said:

GCam is not compatible with a Google-free LineageOS, and certainly even less with SailfishOS and UbuntuTouch. It is simply not an option for many people, plus, it does not support the shutter button which was supposed to be one of the outstanding features of the Pro1.

Right. That is a software written by Google and it is dependent on their own services.

However, I would not blame F(x)tec for not being able to invest a plenty of money to make the sensor more usable if the pure sensor (made by Sony) does not provide data good enough for regular use by its own.

It may happen there are better options than the sensor which they chose, but who may think a Sony sensor which is basically known as a good sensor is not as good without further fine-tunings which the manufacturer does not provide or may request money for improved functionality (I don't know what is the case).

So do not think F(x)tec did something inappropriate with the sensor (other than maybe in design phase) - if it does not make good photos using general backend, then that is what basically the sensor can do on its own.

...but Sony sensor was basically sounded good... 

Also, if F(x)tec would have done an own perfect solution to make good photos, that would not make automatically possible to do similarly good photos under SailfishOS or UBTouch, unfortunately, as the solution may have been closed source and also would need effort to adapt to other OSes if it is not.

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19 minutes ago, EskeRahn said:

We have the camera discussions in several other threads, not much point in repeating it here, just because I made a joke from a picture....

e.g. this is active:

Sorry.

Anyway, when I read @Hook's reply, I thought to make a photo of me holding my Pro1 showing the other one holding this compact phone in a same way looking the very same position.

So I confirm he should have a really small hand...

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On 4/8/2021 at 11:26 AM, Muth said:

Did you noticed the coming unihertz titan pocket campaign ?

https://launch.unihertz.com/pages/titan-pocket

While I would prefer a landscape keyboard and "pro1 mini" , I enjoyed the BB Q10 I had between the Droid4 and the pro1. Let's see the spec and price...

 

i might want to pick up one of those . they also bringing back phone styling because every phone now a days looks the same . this thing realy looks different and i like it for it 
the big brother the titan was/IS a very big phone on the bulky side . but this smaller version 
sign me up !

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  • 1 month later...
7 minutes ago, DieBruine said:

Just received an email that the Titan Pocket campaign will be launched on the 18th of May.

Titan Pocket – Unihertz

It is amazing that though no slider it is still over 20% thicker than the Pro1. But definitely an interesting alternative for the BB users that prefer a portrait keyboard.

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On 5/11/2021 at 6:04 AM, EskeRahn said:

It is amazing that though no slider it is still over 20% thicker than the Pro1. But definitely an interesting alternative for the BB users that prefer a portrait keyboard.

They seem to be more targeting the rugged phone crowd.

And it's still missing a slider even though it is a portrait form factor. Not a fan of losing screen estate just for the keyboard. Majority of phone apps are designed to work in portrait widescreen aspect.

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