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My impressions after two months


Would you trade a lower-quality screen for a smaller phone  

18 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you trade a lower-quality screen for a smaller phone

    • Yep, it's too big
      7
    • No, it's too big but I'll live with it for a good screen
      2
    • No, the size is just fine
      9


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I thought I'd share more of my thoughts since this post last April.  I considered just posting in this thread but didn't really want to necro it after close to a year and my feelings on the phone aren't that much in common.

So in no particular order:

+ It's so much faster and smoother than my Droid 4.  For those of you who left the stone age long before me I'm sure this is no big deal, but I'm still happy with instant UI responses and fast internet.  Before I was lucky to get a 1 or 2 mbit, especially as 3G was continually reprovisioned to 4G.  Now it's tested as over 100!  Who needs 5G? 😉

+ It's solidly build.  I know others have had issues with build quality, but I haven't noticed any issues with mine

+ A decent camera.  Again, I know there are people who are unhappy with it compared to high-end models, but it's more than enough for me these days

+ Opening it isn't a big issue, but it's more of a chore than my pther phones which pretty much opened with a simple push

+ I can use it one-handed 95% of the time, which is far better than the MotoZ but probably normal for phones with a taller aspect ratio

~ It's not a bulky phone to me (I've never cared too much about my phone being ultra slim).  The skin I'm using definitely adds bulk, but it's a small price to pay for the protection

~ I've mostly gotten used to the curved screen.  It still gets in the way on occasion (especially single-handed), and I'd prefer a flat screen, but it's mostly not a problem.  I think I maxed out the dead edge settings in LOS, but I can't check because I can't find that setting any more.  Which reminds me...

- Why the hell did they feel the need to add so much hierarchy to the settings in new versions of Android?  So many submenus for things to hide in (search only goes so far), and far more presses to get to what used to be a quick scroll.

- There are still some software issues that I haven't been able to solve, like the screen being partially unresponsive in messaging apps when I'm typing with the physical keyboard (I can't press the on-screen send button, even after I close the keyboard, but I can press the menu buttons and when I return to the app it works again)

- (another software issue) I still had occasional issues with Wifi-Bluetooth interop (wifi continually disconnects and reconnects).  After some reading I'm wondering if it's not some weirdness involving my hidden SSID and captive portal, but it hasn't happened recently (hooray)

Now here are my two biggest gripes:

- I just can't get used to the shifted QWERTY keyboard.  Even after two months I'm still mistyping regularly.  If Fxtec offer the unshifted Pro1X keyboard I'll definitely buy it and fit it. 

- The phone is just too damn big.  It may not be big by modern flagship standards, but those phones don't have keyboards (and anyway those phones are too damn big to me as well 😛 ).  I mean, it's so big that I can't reach all the keys with my thumbs keeping my hands in the same place so I have to move my hands left and right like I'm playing a piano, which feels clumsy and increases the risk of dropping it (especially with both hands in the middle of the phone).  Combine this with the shifted layout and the keyboard is nowhere near as effective as my previous keyboard phones (the Xperia Pro was a pain because it only had 4 rows but at least I could reach the keys and knew what I was pressing). 

I know that this can be subjective but IMHO this is a tremendous flaw if you consider the fact that the keyboard is pretty much the reason for this phone to exist (at much higher cost for lower spec compared to other phones, and minimal availability).  Now don't get me wrong, I'm not going to stop using my Pro1, or even my Pro1X when it finally arrives, but it makes me endure my onscreen keyboard more often before I can't take its awfulness and flick open the keyboard.  And rather than being an awesome experience where I can bang out exactly what I want to type, I end up have to delete typos, then delete the wrong thing because I hit delete instead of backspace, etc.  I'll live with it, but it could have been a lot better.

I know that this is not a new criticism, but what I'll add to the discussion is this: the justification for the size is that it was the smallest high-quality screen that was available, otherwise the only other option was to produce a custom screen (which was nowhere near financially viable).  Me personally, as lovely as this high-res AMOLED screen looks, I would take something far crappier in the name of a better keyboard experience.  Again, this could just be me.  I'm genuinely curious how you all feel so I made a poll 😀

Edit: Just to be clear, despite the issues above ☝️ I'm still glad I got this phone, and don't plan on giving it up (nor the Pro1X when it arrives) for a regular one any time soon. 

Edited by Noob
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52 minutes ago, Noob said:

I mean, it's so big that I can't reach all the keys with my thumbs keeping my hands in the same place so I have to move my hands left and right like I'm playing a piano, which feels clumsy and increases the risk of dropping it (especially with both hands in the middle of the phone).

I'm 100% with you.

I remember I uttered that same criticism months ago (though I cannot find the thread anymore): The size of the keyboard feels wrong for me. It is too big for thumb-typing while holding the phone in hand, and too small for 10-finger-typing when putting it on a desk. I, too, could thumb-type much faster on my old N900. For sending the quick text message, I actually rarely use the hardware keyboard.

That being said, I also never looked back. The big high-res screen is nice (though not very well suited to watching movies due to the green-tint problem), and there are so many "serious" applications that imho simply do not work with an on-screen keyboard: programming, shell-scripting, remote desktop, etc.. Those are the reasons I got my Pro1 for, not for casual texting.

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I'm probably in the minority, but one of the reasons I never had a keyboard phone before is when I tried the first Droids, the keyboard was just too damn small.  The pro1 is perfect for me.  My thumbs easily reach any key without my ever changing my grip.  And having a screen that size and that resolution really makes split screen practical.  This phone has really made keyboarding for me possible.  I am so grateful.  I snap out the keyboard even to type "OK" 😄

However, I suspect there are a lot of you folks, so I hope FxTec manages to survive to make a smaller model.  I think they would do well with it.  I have my Pro1 and will be getting a Pro1x.  I'll keep them going as long as I can and hope that there is a refresh later down the road after a smaller model.

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I am in an odd in-between position.

I have no issues with the size of the keyboard. (I use std qwertZ, not the shifted qwertY)

But on one hand the screen is too big to use one handed as touch only, while keeping a secure grip. My thumb is incapable of covering the full display.

On the other hand I'm so old that a smaller screen, in a font size I can read effortsless, would leave even less data on screen....

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I'm definitely for a smaller format. That they had that much space for the keyboard, and still put the number row unreachably close to the screen was disappointing.

I like curved sceens about as much as I do novel respiratory diseases and bedbugs. Combined. I finally got a 3D printed case to kind of work (double stick tape is involved), before that between the size and inadvertant screen contact it was all but unusable while maintaining a safe grip. I'd have to seize it with the edges of my forefingers and pinkies, which caused vicious cramping in under a minute.

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14 hours ago, ermghoti said:

I'm definitely for a smaller format. That they had that much space for the keyboard, and still put the number row unreachably close to the screen was disappointing.

I like curved sceens about as much as I do novel respiratory diseases and bedbugs. Combined. I finally got a 3D printed case to kind of work (double stick tape is involved), before that between the size and inadvertant screen contact it was all but unusable while maintaining a safe grip. I'd have to seize it with the edges of my forefingers and pinkies, which caused vicious cramping in under a minute.

Though a full case is definitely an interesting option, it will make the space above the top key row less, so the two are not independent. Also note that a regular screen without curvature, would cause the same, unless it was smaller, with a curved housing. And that effect (less the protection of the display) can easily be achieved with software leaving a passive black margin on the current screen.

Personally I got no problems with the top key-row. But for people with large(r) thumbs and/or long nails and/or a full case, I can see the problem. So that would suggest that it would have been better if all keys had been moved a bit down. Though that would make the lower left and rigth corner-keys harder to reach. And some would have issues curling the thumbs to reach those, without shifting their grip.

So I see no easy solutions that would have solved all... This device (like all others) is a compromise between conflicting demands/wiches.

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