UK mobile start-up F( x) tec today revealed the approaching accessibility of its inaugural handset, the F( x) tec Pro 1. This handset is a modern take on the old Nokia E7 slider phone, focused on power users, in addition to those for whom virtual keyboards aren’t sufficient

In the beginning glimpse, it looks like a regular (if not rather large) mobile phone. Aesthetics, nevertheless, are tricking. Hidden within its chassis is a complete QWERTY keyboard, which moves out with a push of one’s thumb. This with dignity snaps into location with a slick spring-loaded system, permitting you to bang out e-mails and files with relative ease.

F( x) tec will deliver pre-orders of the F( x) tec Pro 1 in the middle of September, with basic accessibility on October 1,2019 Punters can purchase it from F( x) tec’s site, also through Amazon and picked high-street sellers, like Selfridges and Harods. In the United States, it’ll choose $699 In the UK and Eurozone, F( x) tec will offer the gadget for ₤649 and EUR649 respectively.

However is it worth your hard-earned loan? We’re scheduling our judgement up until we get a gadget to completely check, however impressions are favorable, especially to this classic BlackBerry lover. TNW met F( x) tec at Berlin’s IFA tech conference, where we got a quick hands-on with the wacky productivity-oriented blower.

Yeah, it’s wacky. However it’s likewise unbelievably slick and durable. While it will not be everybody’s cup of tea, it’ll definitely make a great deal of email-crunching power users delighted.

Under the hood

The special and a little complex style of the F( x) tex Pro 1 hasn’t come at the cost of real internals, which follow what you ‘d anticipate with a mid-to-high end phone. Here are the highlights:

  • 5.99- inch (2160 ×1080) FHD+ display screen
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 platform
  • 128 GB ROM (extendible to 2TB)
  • 12 MP +5 MP rear-facing video camera (Sony IMX363)
  • 8MP front-facing video camera
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • NFC
  • USB-C with HDMI assistance
  • 3.5 mm earphone jack
  • 3,200 mAh battery
  • Qualcomm QC 3.0
  • Double nano SIMs
  • Finger print reader

The F( x) tec Pro 1 runs Android 9.0 pie. That’s very little of a surprise, provided Android 10 only simply (simply!) came out, and is still slowly going out. As a great surprise, F( x) tec has actually chosen to launch the handset with a totally opened bootloader, providing users the choice to change the ROM with among their own picking.

However is the keyboard any excellent?

The keyboard on the F( x) tec Pro 1 is an intriguing monster. It’s likewise one that I’m unsure I ‘d have the ability to relatively evaluate up until I get my hands on a loan system for a prolonged duration, which would offer me a chance to develop the muscle memory needed to utilize it proficiently. For that reason, read this area with a healthy pinch of salt.

Unlike the World Computer Systems Gemini, Unihertz Titan, or BlackBerry Key2, the keyboard on this phone has a clearly flat profile. There isn’t much range in between the top of a keycap and the real chassis of the keyboard itself, which decreases keypress travel. In spite of that, my experience revealed it was fairly comfy to type on– although I confess I just composed a couple of brief passages of text.

The real keypress system is strong. Presses signed up regularly on the very first time, permitting me to develop a constant cadence when composing with little requirement for self-correction.

I can’t envision touch-typing with the F( x) tec Pro 1, even with the requisite muscle memory. The secrets are simply too little and narrow, requiring you to focus when utilizing it. In spite of that, secrets are still simple to discover and strike, and I do not remember mistakenly striking any other characters by mishap.

One problem is that the keyboard is rather broad. This is a repercussion of the choice to accommodate a big screen with a traditional element ratio. That regardless of, I truly needed to extend to reach the middle area of the keyboard with my thumbs. While didn’t feel especially natural, I still believe it’s something I might ultimately get utilized to with practice.

When the keyboard pops out, the phone’s display screen locks into location at a repaired angle. This was comfy for reading and seeing videos. It’s likewise perhaps a more suitable option to holding a phone throughout of a Netflix binge, or bring a different kickstand anywhere you go.

Where the F( x) tec Pro 1’s physical keyboard truly shines is when it concerns multitasking. Although it’s long been possible to utilize Android apps in a split-screen procedure, this tends to break down when the virtual keyboard enters play. With this handset, I had the ability to see a YouTube video while dealing with a Google file.

One function cribbed from the keyboard on the BlackBerry Key2 is the capability to designate faster ways to specific secrets. Like the most recent BlackBerry design, you can push one button, and set it to open a particular app.

You can likewise establish chorded keyboard faster ways, where you push numerous secrets and carry out an action. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a modification to take a look at this in any level of information, it’s good to understand that F( x) tec has actually considered the keyboard beyond it being an easy input gadget.

What about the remainder of the phone?

Once again, I wish to highlight here that this isn’t an evaluation. I just got to utilize the F( x) tec Pro 1 for a reasonably brief area of time.

However in general, my impressions were excellent. As you ‘d get out of a phone with its specifications, utilizing this gadget was wonderfully fluid. Apps opened dramatically with little noticeable lag, and although not the very best speakers on a phone I have actually ever utilized, the ones on the F( x) tec Pro 1 were definitely sufficient for listening to podcasts and interviews.

It’s likewise incredibly durable. The slide system is based upon a magnesium alloy that felt strong, and made me positive that it would not experience the type of issues that affected the Palm Pre The chassis is strengthened with aluminium, which is likewise a great touch.

Eventually, this is a gadget that’ll accommodate power users. Those who desire a physical keyboard. Those who wish to tailor their gadget to their heart’s material. If that seems like you, you’ll be happy to understand that TNW will take a better take a look at the F( x) tec Pro 1 in the coming weeks. For a much deeper dive into this interesting handset, watch out for our protection.

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Released September 5, 2019– 23: 49 UTC.