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After almost a year with my Pro1, all I am left with is utter disappointment and a reluctance to use this "phone". Yes, I am actually thinking about going back to my Moto Z Play.

The hardware is alright, and the keyboard is fine. However, the software is lacking, non-existent or buggy at best. F(x)tec has done nothing to address any of the known software issues. Instead, they released a "new" piece of hardware, the Po1-X. If anyone from F(x)tec is reading this: Get your sh*t together and fix the software before anything else!

 

Living abroad and communicating in three different languages, I find myself using an on-screen keyboard more often than the hardware keyboard. Ideally, F(x)tec would have included a keyboard app to only show suggestions, emojis and special characters when using the Pro1 in landscape mode with the hardware keyboard extended. Sticky keys and modifier keys are missing as well. I am aware of Swiftkey and other apps to ease the pain. However, I expect(ed) F(x)tec to fix this the proper way.


Everything audio is completely screwed up. The notification volume, for example, is too loud already on the lowest possible setting. I hear notifications across the hallway with two solid doors and solid walls between the phone and me. This is easy to fix for F(x)tec, but it is still an issue after one year.
The in-call audio is worse. Firstly, the audio volume ranges from "loud" to "extremely loud". It can be literally painful to make a call with the Pro1. Secondly, the audio from the modem seems to have very low gain. The audio signal has to be amplified a lot to achieve a decent volume through the speakers. This amplifies noise from the audio circuit and interference from other circuits. Interestingly, this is only problematic when the audio is routed through the "earpiece". Switching to speaker mode eliminates noise and interference. Apparently, this could be fixed in software, if F(x)tec ever decided to do so.


The proximity sensor, or how its data is interpreted by the phone, is screwed up as well. During a call, the Pro1 will often switch on the display, and my ear or cheek  would operate the touch screen. Similarly to the proximity sensor, the fingerprint sensor is either overzealous or not responsive at all.

Last but not least, my Pro1 runs (very) hot when applications like Signal use video. Again, using the Pro1 as a communication device is nothing but a (literally) painful experience.

 

Several people in the forum actually made a huge effort bringing LineageOS or other Android flavours to the Pro1. I am very thankful for all the (unpaid) work some people put into this device. But this is not how I expected things to be. F(x)tec is not doing anything to improve their software and our user experience. They don't even seem to support the community in fixing their blatant mistakes.

The Pro1 is an expensive device. Understandably so, due to the low production volume. The one thing F(x)tec could have done to stand out, besides the actual hardware keyboard, would have been their software support. Dear F(x)tec, you disappointed in so many ways, it is boggling the mind.

😡😭

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It could be that they're simply not able to improve the software that much. As far as I know, the mainboard manufacturer is the one providing the stock Android for the device, and Fxtec might be mostly limited to what they can make them do, which doesn't seem to be all too much. Which might just have been why they've contacted the XDA developers community with the plan to get an official LineageOS and an official Ubuntu Touch OS for the phone. 

My first few weeks with the Pro1 under LineageOS 17.1 (it was a used device with LineageOS already installed) are nothing like your experience. A lot of your problems just aren't there for me. The one annoying problem for me is the in-call audio, which indeed – but only sometimes, when the caller has a specifically loud line – can be too loud even at the lowest setting, and there's no cure for this. Except, of course, using a headset... Which is why I've finally bought a small one-ear Bluetooth headset I try to have in reach...

And from what I read AICP might be an even better option, including the ability to add Magisk and pass SafetyNet for those security-aware apps that demand it including Google Pay.

Looks like one should install one of the two ROMs as soon as one gets the device, and not even bother with the stock ROM. Even though it seems some people are reasonably happy with stock...

 

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2 hours ago, Rob. S. said:

Looks like one should install one of the two ROMs as soon as one gets the device, and not even bother with the stock ROM. Even though it seems some people are reasonably happy with stock...

I would be relatively happy with stock OS if
- it would has relatively new security updates
- soft-restarting issue would not come up

About latter, I used to experience with soft reboots of Android on top of Linux kernel when I have restarted the phone, and later even when I have connected the phone to charger. I mean it was restarting, then restarting again and again till a point when it finally started.

Linux kernel, so the phone did not restart, but android on top of it basically to prevent malfunction of Android, but it became the malfunction itself.

So I had to reset the phone and it was good for more than half a year, then it started again... first I have experienced reboots after restarting the phone, then also on connecting it to charger...

Next time I will install another OS, it is enough of stock OS for me.

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2 hours ago, Rob. S. said:

It could be that they're simply not able to improve the software that much...

That may be, but as a customer, I couldn't care less. Sorry for those harsh words, they are not directed at you. It has been a year now, and I hate my Pro1. The only reason I still use it is that "moving" to another phone is a time consuming and cumbersome process. I felt betrayed by Motorola, when they screwed up their mods and dropped the whole thing. I feel even more betrayed by F(x)tec, because I expected them to be closer to the community and care more about us customers. F(x)tec makes me feel naive and stupid for having trusted them.

I am glad to hear that you are having a positive experience with your Pro1. For me, the most essential thing a phone should be good at, namely communication, is just horrible 😢

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2 hours ago, daniel.schaaaf said:

That may be, but as a customer, I couldn't care less. Sorry for those harsh words, they are not directed at you. It has been a year now, and I hate my Pro1. The only reason I still use it is that "moving" to another phone is a time consuming and cumbersome process. I felt betrayed by Motorola, when they screwed up their mods and dropped the whole thing. I feel even more betrayed by F(x)tec, because I expected them to be closer to the community and care more about us customers. F(x)tec makes me feel naive and stupid for having trusted them.

I am glad to hear that you are having a positive experience with your Pro1. For me, the most essential thing a phone should be good at, namely communication, is just horrible 😢

Oh, no need to be sorry. I'm feeling with you. I went the Motorola way, too – after having had my share of fun with BlackBerry, when they stopped issuing security updates for the PRIV I had bought only a couple of weeks before. That was when the keyboard mod seemed to be just around the corner, so I bought a Moto Z... Which was a catastrophe, with an undersized battery that I had to have replaced twice during the time I had that phone, and then got a Moto Z3 Play which was ok. But didn't have a keyboard. And the Moto Z had been my first smartphone without a keyboard, so I continued to feel amputated.

My reply to you was, in a way, to perhaps make you want to try Lineage or AICP in case you wouldn't have done that before. Of course, changing the ROM is like moving to another phone, which is something I hate, too... But in case you wouldn't have done that yet, it might still worth a try before giving up on it...

Also, something which I have to remind myself frequently – anger, as much justified as it may be, is only a potentially good thing if it can be turned into action, and only the kind of action that makes the situation better. This situation unfortunately can't be made better. We only have what we have, and it's not even relevant whether there's someone to blame, we can't change the way things are. We can only live with it – and try to take care of out blood pressure... 😉 

Edited by Rob. S.
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I used to root and install custom roms on my previous phones all the time. Ever since using Google pixel phones, I've stopped modifying my software. Simply put, the stock firmware just works. No glitches, no maintenance, no reboots, bugs, battery drains, etc. More than anything I can't find the time to mess around with my phone anymore, maybe a part of getting older.

Modifying your phone is always fun, but for a phone that I depend on daily, it will probably stay stock. I'll be honest, I haven't missed lineage or felt the need to go back to it for years now. And it used to be my go to rom since the CyanogenMod days.

Stock Android has matured a lot and if properly developed/supported it should be able to do anything you could reasonably expect. So I agree, stock firmware needs to be at a minimum, reliable and well tested. Lineage can't be the answer for everything.

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I would have tried to use stock, too, if I had bought a phone that would have come with stock. But as it was, it came with Lineage, and I'm glad it did...

At least in case of the Pro1 X, I guess Lineage is going to be the new stock, anyway. No need to modify your phone, you'll get it preinstalled. And no matter how much better the Pro1 X stock Android might turn out compared to the Pro1, Lineage will probably be better, and it will probably support the specifics of the phone better, because that's where the developers are said to be working now. I guess they just wouldn't have the same options with stock, and no matter whether we like it or not, or what we think how things "need" to be in a perfect world or what we could "expect", this is no perfect world – and I suspect this is the only phone of its kind we'll be able to get for a very long time, and we just have to take it as it comes and maybe put a bit of effort into it ourselves, too, to make it suit our needs as much as possible. Or give it up, if it just isn't what we would have wanted.

I must say that I'm happy to find mine much better than I feared it would have been after having followed this forum for 1½ years. And I'm excited to see how the Pro1 X will turn out when it's there. I'm quite confident that they will have learnt from the bugs their first device had – even if we need LineageOS to make the best out of it.

 

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Yeah... I'm always tempted to install Lineage, but I made the mistake to stay on stock for a while and now I have everything set-up just how I like it and it took a lot of work...

52 games that took some acrobatics to get on there, a lot of ADB UI customisation, many other apps and settings... it's going to be a pain to start from scratch.

My main issues with stock are:

  1. Awful microphone quality when you're on loudspeaker
  2. Bug where phone gets stuck on silent until I restart
  3. Partly the dodgy screen sensor for calls, but I got the reflex to lock the screen after answering a call

This being said, for me, there literally isn't any other phone on the market I would buy.

Edited by Rud
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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Rob. S. said:

Also, something which I have to remind myself frequently – anger, as much justified as it may be, is only a potentially good thing if it can be turned into action, and only the kind of action that makes the situation better. This situation unfortunately can't be made better. We only have what we have, and it's not even relevant whether there's someone to blame, we can't change the way things are. We can only live with it – and try to take care of out blood pressure... 😉 

I get your point. Unfortunately, hopelessness has the opposite effect on me. I can't just live with it, and my blood pressure only increases ... until, in this case, I switch to another phone.

The thing that bothers me most is that I feel that we communicate all of the Pro1's issues. Sure, we only do so here in the forum. But ... is it too much to ask for anyone from F(x)tec or any of their contractors to take a peek at the forum every now and then ... and help us? They get bug reports delivered on a silver plate. Yet, they do nothing. Ooooh, time to think about that blood pressure of mine ...

(Btw., I switched to LineageOS some months ago. Things are better there, but the issues I reported here apply to LineageOS too)

Edited by daniel.schaaaf
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Ok, if you're already on LineageOS, that makes it worse. Then the "action" your anger eventually needs to turn into will indeed probably be to move to another phone...

My impression is that Fxtec has knowledge about most of the problems; there's even an unofficial github repo for issue reports which they should be aware of. And as with every other of the many issues we had with the company so far (including my waiting for a phone since October 2019 and their bad communication practices), I still think it's not because of malevolence or even just neglect that they didn't do something about it yet. After all that happened including COVID-19 and how small their quantities of sold phones have been over such a long time it's a small wonder that they even continue to exist. The world's economy being what it is, we don't even have the right to still assume their existence at this point – let alone that they're able to invest significant paid work into the existing phone.

That said, the new phone is something different now in that much of the development work has to be done again anyway, and with what I said above, I think hopes are justified that at least the most annoying issues of the existing phone will be fixed in the new one. And when it comes out, I guess an old phone will still get a good price on the second hand market.

 

Edited by Rob. S.
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19 hours ago, daniel.schaaaf said:

That may be, but as a customer, I couldn't care less. Sorry for those harsh words, they are not directed at you. It has been a year now, and I hate my Pro1. The only reason I still use it is that "moving" to another phone is a time consuming and cumbersome process. I felt betrayed by Motorola, when they screwed up their mods and dropped the whole thing. I feel even more betrayed by F(x)tec, because I expected them to be closer to the community and care more about us customers. F(x)tec makes me feel naive and stupid for having trusted them.

I can completely understand your point of view. You bought an expensive phone and expect it to just work out-of-the-box. Essentially, you compare the Pro1 to other top-range phones by major manufacturers. You have every right to do so. Unfortunately, it seems pretty clear to me that FxTec is (and always will be) unable provide a phone that is polished to the level "normal" customers (no offense!) will expect, given its price tag.

I think FxTec could have prevented that kind of disappointment by stating more openly that the Pro1 is (at least primarily) intended as a device for tech enthusiasts. Because that's what it is in my view: it is meant to be unlocked, it is meant to be rooted, it is meant to run on community-driven custom roms to truly shine. The practical absence of support for the default Android 9 OS, combined with the way FxTec always emphasised alternative OS's (Lineage, Sailfish, UbuntuTouch) for the Pro1 (and now the Pro1-X) tells me this is what they always had in mind.

People like me, who love to tinker with their phones, see the Pro1 very differently: I proudly run a rooted, Gapps-free LineageOS 16 with a Linux-Chroot on the phone. I was not driven there by the flaws of the stock Android 9 software: I never intended to use that in the first place! I always wanted to use the Pro1 like a full-featured computer, and I was ready to invest time and effort into setting it up that way. And -- while of course hoping for the best -- I always expected there would be a few bugs or rough edges I would just need to accept. Hence, no disappointment here.

That said, I have not encountered any real problems using my Pro1 as an everyday communication device. Maybe my expectations are just too low. 🙂 

   

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On 3/11/2021 at 7:09 PM, Rob. S. said:

And from what I read AICP might be an even better option, including the ability to add Magisk and pass SafetyNet for those security-aware apps that demand it including Google Pay.

I just dropped in to say you can pass safetynet on LineageOS too with Magisk, using one of its modules Magisk Hide Props Config.

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1 hour ago, Kaali said:

I just dropped in to say you can pass safetynet on LineageOS too with Magisk, using one of its modules Magisk Hide Props Config.

Excellent, thank you!

Perhaps then I might even be able to add it to my device without changing the running system... Must have a deeper look into it some day.

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9 minutes ago, Rob. S. said:

Excellent, thank you!

Perhaps then I might even be able to add it to my device without changing the running system... Must have a deeper look into it some day.

I updated my system with magisk by simply booting to recovery and then sideload update the magisk.zip. No need to touch anything on the system and it just works. Magisk manager is a must have app with it to gain easy access to the modules.

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7 hours ago, claude0001 said:

intended as a device for tech enthusiasts.

I can not agree with you there. I would agree that tech enthusiast can got more out of the device, by switching the OS from stock.
But that is not quite the same as it not being useful on Stock. I have been using my retail unit with stock since November 2019. Sure I tried out the other roms on other units, but I'm yet to use them for other than tests.
It is driving me nuts, that voice calls only really work in a satisfactory way with a headset, but as I would guess I usually have a few minutes voice calls a week (no matter the device), for me it is a nuisance more than a deal breaker (I much prefer texts, mails, or meetings in real life). My main purposes with the Pro1 are Texts, Mails, occasional web browsing, and quick simple pictures. And these purposes it fulfil to almost 10/10. But SURE there are a number of (known) bugs - but except those in the hardware drivers that I assume are unchanged, I expect that the swap of cpu could have the effect of us with the old model will never get any more updates. I HOPE we will, but I have decided to greet it as an unexpected treat if it happens, rather than stressing myself worrying on when we will get it.

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I remember all the Facebook ads, showing the Pro1 being used in a business setting, outside at a cafe, with business apps open, etc. This was not marketed for tech enthusiasts. They promised, multiple times, to provide Android 10, and it hasn't happened. I think with the Pro1-X, they are now pivoting to a more tech enthusiast stance. But the original phone was meant to be able to be used with stock, and while the OS is relatively stable, the little issues here and there just make for a somewhat lackluster experience overall. I have half a mind to get rid of it and go back to my Pixel 2 XL, but as mentioned, it's a bit of a hassle. When the Pixel 6 comes out I'll probably switch then.

Edited by lzb
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8 hours ago, EskeRahn said:

I can not agree with you there.

You have every right not to do so. However I fail to see clearly where your comment actually disagrees with what I wrote. 🙂

Essentially, you write that, while the default OS (which received next to no support from FxTec) works so-so, the community OS's (which FxTec actively supports) do a better job already now. And -- if I understood you right -- you expect official Android updates to stop completely with the switch to the next-generation device, leaving community roms as the only way to run up-to-date software on the Pro1 (I, too, expect this to happen).

Isn't that at least quite close to the definition of an "enthusiast device"?

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8 hours ago, lzb said:

I remember all the Facebook ads, showing the Pro1 being used in a business setting, outside at a cafe, with business apps open, etc. This was not marketed for tech enthusiasts. They promised, multiple times, to provide Android 10, and it hasn't happened. I think with the Pro1-X, they are now pivoting to a more tech enthusiast stance.

Yes, that is exactly what I mean.

The way how FxTec pushed alternative OS development since the development phase (remember all the early videos showing Sailfish and Ubuntu running on pre-production units) tells me they at least suspected that keeping their official Android software polished and up-to-date would get difficult.

Still, they kept up the image of a "standard" high-end consumer device that just-works (tm) out-of the box and receives its OTAs for a few years, without users having to care about these things. Like an iPhone or so.

With the Pro1-X, they now honestly (and officially) admit how much they rely on community-developed OS's, mainlining the kernel, and so on. Had they done this earlier, experiences like that of the OP could have been prevented (or at least damped).

Edited by claude0001
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13 minutes ago, claude0001 said:

... the community OS's (which FxTec actively supports) do a better job already now.

Without knowing how much or little F(x)tec actually supports the community, I personally do not see any active support. In the LineageOS thread, bugs were reported by users and the maintainer of the LineageOS port found out themselves what is broken and how to fix it. The number of serious bugs present in LineageOS suggest that there is no active support of the community by F(x)tec at all. The LineageOS port, aka the community, struggles with the same bugs as the official Pro1 Android.

I did pay a lot of money for a device that I knew had a bumpy road ahead. But seeing that F(x)tec doesn't support their customers in any way is not what I expected and paid for. Seeing a new device coming to town and potentially drawing all the attention away from the old Pro1 makes me think back to the times with Motorola and their failed mods.

We paid a flagship price for a device that is painful to use as a phone. The hardware keyboard is crippled by its lack of a keyboard support app so much that I often don't even bother to use the hardware keyboard. This is close to fraud.

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25 minutes ago, claude0001 said:

Isn't that at least quite close to the definition of an "enthusiast device"?

Not in my book.  My point is that for simple use it works close to perfect, but I do agree that there are issues, so for complex usage people are likely to be better off with e.g. LineageOS.

The only real issue that is likely to hit the broad audience is the voice-call quality issue. IF they fixed that I would say that it worked fine for all but the demanding users.

I would claim that the majority of those that do few voice-calls (like me) or do it mostly with headset anyway, would be just fine with stock.

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2 minutes ago, daniel.schaaaf said:

Without knowing how much or little F(x)tec actually supports the community, I personally do not see any active support.

They provided pre-production devices to community devs, specifically to allow them to port their OS's. They do the same with the Pro1-X now.

In their latest announcement (see this thread) they write that they actually do Ubuntu development in-house.

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6 minutes ago, daniel.schaaaf said:

The hardware keyboard is crippled by its lack of a keyboard support app so much that I often don't even bother to use the hardware keyboard.

You lost me there. What app are you missing? One to freely customize the keyboard or? There are offers of alternative layouts like FinQWERTY but that is limited to predefined layouts. So a limitted number of languages supported.

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6 minutes ago, EskeRahn said:

The only real issue that is likely to hit the broad audience is the voice-call quality issue. IF they fixed that I would say that it worked fine for all but the demanding users.

I must say that I never had issues with voice calls. And do not even own a head set so I use only the built-in audio, either holding the phone to my ear or in hands-free speaker mode.

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2 minutes ago, claude0001 said:

I must say that I never had issues with voice calls. And do not even own a head set so I use only the built-in audio, either holding the phone to my ear or in hands-free speaker mode.

Interesting, are you on stock? I have seen others with the same complaints as me. It could be that it is a matter of usage pattern.

If I use it in hands-free mode, and talk loud an clear as I would in a meeting it works fine. BUT if I talk in a normal voice I often get complaints from the other end that they can not clearly hear what I'm saying.

Also in hand held calls the proximity sensor teases me. (the sensor has to be quite close to be considered in 'near', would have nice if it was say 5cm)

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