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Got my Pro 1 X (thoughts below)


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I drove across town this morning and set up camp at a coffee shop (coincidentally, my least favorite coffee in town) nearest my old apartment so when FedEx marked my phone as delivered I could swing by the old apartment and steal the package off the porch. Yes, I did update my address with indiegogo weeks in advance of my move but the phone still got sent to the old address anyway. I eventually did get the email & was able to complete my mission. I took the package across town to my favorite coffee shop (nearer where I currently live) and opened it there.

The phone looks great! I had a bit of trouble figuring out which way the keyboard pops out, but I feel like I would get used to it if I did it a lot. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm going to use this phone. After powering it on, skipping through most of Android setup, and updating the pre-installed apps, I powered it back off and put it back in the box. The Pro 1 X was a cool idea, but the promise of booting 3rd party operating systems on it hasn't been fulfilled. Yes, there is an Ubuntu Touch build that I could install, but the build is so new (and not intended for public use) that there's not an entry for it on UBports' website. While there _is_ an entry for the Pro 1, the phones are significantly different to the point that the porting effort doesn't seem shareable.

Which brings me to Android versions. Currently, there is a "Stock Android" build available, which is what the phone ships with (I chose "ubuntu" as the OS I wanted my phone to ship with btw). It comes pre-installed with all the google apps, which I do not want to use. Despite fxtec's public messaging indicating that the bootloader comes unlocked so that users can install Ubuntu or Lineage, the Ubuntu image isn't ready, and there _is no_ Lineage image. There _is no_ any Android image that isn't the one pre-loaded on the phone. The [xda developers ROMs page](https://forum.xda-developers.com/f/f-x-tec-pro1-x-roms-kernels-recoveries-other.11839/) is completely barren.

Given that there's at least [some effort to mainline support in the pro 1](https://gitlab.com/postmarketOS/pmaports/-/merge_requests/2984) already, I feel like I would have been happier if fxtec just said "hey, we can't build the pro1x the way we wanted, so we'll be giving backers the pro1 instead." Maybe they couldn't scrounge up the parts even to build more Pro 1s, but they could have at least given us the option. Either that or fxtec could be more helpful to the developers working to port other OSs to this phone (by contributing code or money).

Additionally, I've waited for longer than a year for this phone already, I would have been fine waiting until lineage and/or ubuntu were ready to drive on this device. There was even messaging a few months ago that fxtec would start shipping phones only to backers who chose Android, and that if we chose one of the other options we could opt-in to receiving an Android version. Somehow I guess they went back on that decision and shipped me an Android version anyway.

All this to say: This is not the phone I backed the campaign for, it doesn't have the software I asked for, and I had to drive across town and steal it off my previous apartment's porch. I'm sure people who are fine running Android will like it, but mine is going to sit in a box at least until the software around it matures. Who knows when that will be.

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19 minutes ago, asonix said:

I feel like I would have been happier if fxtec just said "hey, we can't build the pro1x the way we wanted, so we'll be giving backers the pro1 instead."

Problem is, the Pro¹X they wanted to build actually was a Pro¹ — just with more flash storage (optionally), a blue casing and some of the already existing alternative ROMs preloaded, possibly after helping to make them more stable in case of Sailfish and Ubuntu Touch. 

But then they didn't get the SoCs anymore, even though, as I understand, the SoCs were paid for and promised. And as that SoC was already out of production at that point, they couldn't get it anywhere else, either. So they made a complete redesign for a current SoC. Which, unfortunately, loses compatibility with existing ROMs. 

But now that there are actual phones out in the wild, I'm optimistic that the ROMs will follow. That said, judging from how it went with the Pro¹, I suppose LineageOS will be the most probable to actually become stable soon. (I'd be a lot more confident about that, though, if there already was a Pro¹X entry on the LineageOS github, which doesn't seem to be the case yet.)

Edited by Rob. S.
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13 minutes ago, asonix said:

I feel like I would have been happier if fxtec just said "hey, we can't build the pro1x the way we wanted, so we'll be giving backers the pro1 instead." Maybe they couldn't scrounge up the parts even to build more Pro 1s, but they could have at least given us the option.

Unfortunately, they had no option but to build a new phone (basically mainboard then related things) from scratch or manufacture no phone at all.

16 minutes ago, asonix said:

Either that or fxtec could be more helpful to the developers working to port other OSs to this phone (by contributing code or money).

I don't know what they did but I think alternative OSes will come up, especially if F(x)tec may continue to supply Pro1-X for a while.
As of Pro1, it took for a while for these OS supports come up but finally they became available, Pro1-X is still young in this relation.

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A bit more ranting.

fxtec should not have this on their website when it isn't true. Yes, the bootloader is unlocked, no you can't install lineage on it. No, you shouldn't install the current ubports build on it.

image.thumb.png.d76083d1ed1e428baea4af7f751ee13d.png

fxtec also should have renamed this phone. "pro1x" implies it's related to the "pro1". It's not.

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Good points by Asonix. As for LineageOS, on the list of active LOS installs, the Pro1 sits in 953rd place with 446 installs. ROM-porting isn't trivial, and I can't see anyone capable to do this spending time on a ROM for the successor to a model that has 446 installs -- the most active model has 441,000 installs). If the shipment ever reaches me, I'll follow Asonix and put the device away until LOS 19 rolls around ... I hope this doesn't turn into long-term storage.

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7 hours ago, asonix said:

Additionally, I've waited for longer than a year for this phone already, I would have been fine waiting until lineage and/or ubuntu were ready to drive on this device.

And you still have that option.  I also want something other than "full Google" on my device, but I do understand the decision to go ahead and ship rather than shelve their own completed hardware and wait for the software to catch up.

I do agree with you that they should update the website so that it isn't promising unavailable software.  The headline video on the website in fact is chock-a-block with praise about how great the LineageOS experience will be.  Someday!  🙃

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As other have already said, The pro1X was INTENDED to be a Pro1 with very minor adjustments, and additional roms available in collaboration with XDA.
And yes it would have caused less confusion if they after they were swindled had also decided to call it e.g. Pro2.

And I agree that the text ought to be changed, e.g.

With the Pro1 X you have the flexibility with the unlocked bootloader enabling you to load
other popular OS’s such as Lineage and Ubuntu Touch.

to

With the Pro1 X you have the flexibility with the unlocked bootloader enabling you to load
other popular OS’s such as Lineage and Ubuntu Touch when they are released.

As it is currently misleading. There are other texts too.

I guess a little too much copy and paste from the Pro1 page, not adjusted after the swindle.
Though the hardware is very much the same there are differences beyond the chipset like a newer fingerprint-reader, cameras and a simpler camera button.

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2 hours ago, EskeRahn said:

As other have already said, The pro1X was INTENDED to be a Pro1 with very minor adjustments, and additional roms available in collaboration with XDA.
And yes it would have caused less confusion if they after they were swindled had also decided to call it e.g. Pro2.

Alright, this is a bit off-topic, and may probably be interpreted as an attack on fxtec by some, but it is not. Im just cruious; I have seen you (and others) mentioning that fxtec got "swindled" every now and then. Do we know for sure that this is what happened? Or could it be that fxtec signed a badly worded contract, much like the updates coming out from fxtec about the Pro 1 X at the moment?
Again, not an attack on fxtec, simply a thought that crossed my mind.

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7 hours ago, ducksoup said:

And you still have that option.

If I had the option to wait until Ubuntu became stable on the phone before they shipped it to me, and I did choose Ubuntu as my operating system, then why did I receive an android version yesterday? I was under the impression that getting a device now with Android instead of my chosen OS was an opt-in situation, not an opt-out situation.

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I'm not arguing against your position that you didn't get what you paid for.  You do have a valid complaint, and as someone who wants to see solid non-Android options on the Pro1-X, I do hope the situation gets resolved.  I just think that if the hardware is ready, but the alternative software is not, then it's better to get the hardware in the hands of the users, rather than shelve it all and make everybody wait.

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Here's the update where they decided to send everyone the android version:

Quote

Software Update:

  • We can no longer provide a guaranteed date by which Lineage OS and Ubuntu Touch OS will be available.
  • Both OS’s are community driven, so it is difficult to determine exactly how long it will take to get them to a stable state because it relies heavily on developers’ time and availability. 
  • As an alternative, we will now ship all Pro1-Xs with Android OS (shipping commences this week).  
  • Those that choose Lineage OS or Ubuntu Touch OS will be notified via email once the OS’s are fully functioning and usable.
  • We will also provide complete documentation and a step-by-step guide on how to manually flash your Pro1-X with Lineage OS or Ubuntu Touch OS. 

To me, this sounds like "Lineage OS and Ubuntu Touch are nowhere near ready, we can't guarantee a timeline even within a year." While it's true that Lineage OS and Ubuntu Touch are community projects, there's nothing stopping fxtec from paying people to work on them. fxtec promised support for these OSs, so relying entirely on unpaid labor from someone else doesn't cut it IMO.

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41 minutes ago, asonix said:

While it's true that Lineage OS and Ubuntu Touch are community projects, there's nothing stopping fxtec from paying people to work on them. fxtec promised support for these OSs, so relying entirely on unpaid labor from someone else doesn't cut it IMO.

Sure there is.  Money.  As @EskeRahn pointed out, what is said on the Indegogo pages should be changed. But all of this goes back to what keeps being referred to, appropriately, as "the swindle."  The Pro1x was created to be a limited edition Pro1 with a blue case and an option for more memory. Lineage was already available and UT was close. They had secured and paid for the SD835 SOCs they were going to need.  Then, they were informed that the supplier, who had been paid, was not going to give them the chips and, as an older chip, they couldn't find another supplier. 

So now, along with all the other problems, these alternative OSs couldn't really make much progress until pre-production models of the new Pro1x could be supplied. My guess is that happened in June. We are lucky because those "volunteers" actually are enthusiastic about developing for the phone.  They will get it done.  But FxTec took a much bigger financial hit on the Pro1x than should have been.  Why is everyone getting a Pro1x with Android rather than the units being held until Lineage and UT are available for factory flashing.  My guess, storage fees and maintaining costly contracts for factory time.  All this is speculation.  I'm not an insider.  But it seems reasonable that FxTec will count it a win if they broke even on the Pro1x.  Honestly, I think most people would have walked away when they got swindled.

I'm not saying anyone doesn't have a right to be unhappy with how things turned out.  The small audience for this phone are not big stock, Googled, Android fans. But you did, at least, get proper hardware, and the rest will come together, if nowhere nearly as smoothly as if this really were a Pro1.

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12 minutes ago, Hook said:

We are lucky because those "volunteers" actually are enthusiastic about developing for the phone.  They will get it done.

They should be payed by fxtec to do this, since it was fxtec that promised support for these OSs. It would be different if the marketing for this phone didn't claim support for particular third party operating systems, but since fxtec explicitly stated that these are supported configurations, then fxtec should be on the hook for providing them.

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Posted (edited)

I personally do not care if fxtec "broke even" or not on the pro1x if they are relying on unaffiliated volunteers working in their free time to deliver on fxtec's promises.

Edited by asonix
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7 minutes ago, asonix said:

I personally do not care if fxtec "broke even" or not on the pro1x if they are relying on unaffiliated volunteers working in their free time to deliver on fxtec's promises.

Now let us get things straight....

  • Those that pre-ordered from FxTec could cancel until the unit was actually sent. (and in some countries even have the rights to regret and send it back within some timeframe typically a fortnight) If they cho(o)se not, it was/is their own choice!!!
  • Those of us that took the risk of crowdfunding taking a Perk on IGG for one should (as @Hook pointed out above) actually fell lucky that they just did not fold, and told us our money were lost, but are sending something pretty close to what we hoped for hardware wise. Remember that the alternative is not getting our money back, but getting nothing. Those that dislike what they get can at the least sell it now, and reduce their loss..
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I don't understand why you don't think fxtec should be paying for the development of software they promised for the phone they created. Whether or not I personally sell the unit I have is not relevant to that.

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I think the point was that, given the delay (which wouldn't have been free even without the SoC/etc. changes, and I'm sure it wasn't through choice), if money had been invested in developing the software then there's a significant risk they'd of ended up with somewhat incomplete software for somewhat incomplete hardware - ie. nothing deliverable to anyone. They've decided to prioritise the hardware.
 

At least people are getting something for their money, even if at the moment it might not be exactly what we were expecting/lacking in some regards.

If you don't like what you've got (repeating @EskeRahn): 
- if you ordered then there's the possibility of consumer rights to protect you (fit for purpose / not as described / remote selling regulations / etc.)
- If you backed you've at least got something, which is a lot better than absolutely nothing, that has the potential to cut your losses.

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41 minutes ago, asonix said:

I don't understand why you don't think fxtec should be paying for the development of software they promised for the phone they created. Whether or not I personally sell the unit I have is not relevant to that.

Are you asking why they do not pay for being swindled?

What we paid for for was supposed to be hardware usable with the software for the Pro1. Perhaps with minor improvements.
As hook already explained they were swindled and did not get the chips they paid for, and could not get them anywhere else. So was thus unable to deliver anything compatible with that software. So you then see it as their responsibility to develop software for a different chipset?

I repeat my self: Pre-orders could get refunds if they wanted. Crowdfunded IGG Perks were lucky we got anything at all !!!

SURE I too would have preferred what was originally planned. But I'm amazed that they had the stamina and perseverance to fight on giving us something fairly close, rather than nothing at all, for the money left.

Without knowing I, as Hook also mentioned. think they will be lucky if they break even on the Pro1X. It is not that that they skimmed a huge profit from a million devices here, we are talking really small numbers, I think they will be happy if they sell 10000 Pro1X. And not even counting the extra costs caused by the Corona mess, delaying everything, where staff still has to be paid.

Remember that this was all supposed to be a simple affair of producing some extra Pro1, in the existing production line, with a case in a different colour, and optionally with larger memory chip, and send them out in a few months. The whole thing took roughly 18 months extra, and a shit load of extra costs.... This has not been cheap...

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1 hour ago, asonix said:

They should be payed by fxtec to do this, since it was fxtec that promised support for these OSs. It would be different if the marketing for this phone didn't claim support for particular third party operating systems, but since fxtec explicitly stated that these are supported configurations, then fxtec should be on the hook for providing them.

It's actually XDA that paid the developers. Hence the headline of "XDA made a phone".

The deal was XDA would do marketing and paying developers for LOS and ubuntu touch and f(x)tec would take care of the phone. They were screwed in the process.

I don't know how much money there is with this but I'm glad I got the thing! Even if I will end up using a generic LOS build instead of one specific for the hardware

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@asonix I generally agree with your criticism and have pointed that out myself already in Pro1 times: F(x)tec enjoyed all the noise about the Pro1 being a "Linux  phone", a "successor to the N900", etc. However, all they really provided was a factory-unlocked bootloader and a plain, commercial Android OS.

Now, to be fair, they finally did hire a programmer specifically to contribute to the porting efforts regarding LineageOS, UbuntuTouch, and Mainline kernel.org earlier this year (was in one of the updates). So things are changing for the better ...  

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3 minutes ago, claude0001 said:

Now, to be fair, they finally did hire a programmer specifically to contribute to the porting efforts regarding LineageOS, UbuntuTouch, and Mainline kernel.org earlier this year (was in one of the updates). So things are changing for the better ...  

That is fantastic news that I must have missed. Thank you for pointing that out. Really, that is all I was asking for. That fxtec didn't expect other unaffiliated developers to work for free to fulfil a company's promises.

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Posted (edited)

I went back and found in the update from September 20, 2021:

Quote

We are pleased to announce that we have recently expanded our team! Angelo is the newest addition to team F(x)tec, and will work as our in-house engineer for Linux and mainline support, as well as adaptations and functionality of alternative OS’s for your devices. 

 

Edited by asonix
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Should I take the lack of response to mean that everyone talking about fxtec being "swindled" and "screwed" by suppliers and XDA alike, are just guessing, based on the same information that all of us have (namely the updates on IGG)? Or is there anymore to this that I missed? It could well be, seeing as I do not use Discord, for example. I also do not use Twitter, or Telegram for that matter. I am just trying to get a fair idea of what this company is about.

Edited by toast
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1 minute ago, brunoais said:

Only suppliers. XDA didn't do anything wrong here.

Ah, ok then, my bad, I think I just interpreted your previous post wrong then.
So where can I read more about what exactly happened? Or is the information in the IGG updates all there is to it?

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