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> First impressions, your comments
Hitherwood
post May 16 2018, 12:12 PM
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I am a UK backer 43xx
Just got my unit today.
No issues with keyboard. Perfect.
Screen is outstanding - tried a 4K clip and it is bright,crisp and very detailed.
Connected a USB 3 stick - recognised (FAT32) and plays video and HD audio.

Speaker volume is excellent

Build quality is outstanding.

Addendum:

Went out and bought Three SIM card today (10Gb for the price of 2Gb) and so 4G is now working very well
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Primitive Person
post May 17 2018, 02:14 AM
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QUOTE(Hitherwood @ May 16 2018, 08:12 PM) *
I am a UK backer 43xx
Just got my unit today.
No issues with keyboard. Perfect.
Screen is outstanding - tried a 4K clip and it is bright,crisp and very detailed.
Connected a USB 3 stick - recognised (FAT32) and plays video and HD audio.

Speaker volume is excellent

Build quality is outstaqndig


UK again here, 13xx. Got it yesterday. Certainly won't argue with any of your comments.

Felt like a quality device right away - really nice packaging, and it's a substantial and solid-feeling beast. Backed up the apps and data from my old phone (which took AGES), but generally got everything working fine.

Bit of a steep learning curve, really - the keyboard and layout makes this RADICALLY different from any Android device I've used before, and I suspect it'll be a while before I get used to it.

But...I'm really glad I took the plunge and backed this device. It's truly lovely and turned a few heads when I showed it to people in the office.

PP
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andrewl
post May 17 2018, 05:54 AM
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I've received mine today and it has definitely exceeded expectations, a really nice item especially at the early backer price. I'm very pleased with it.

The only negative is that it insulted the SD card I put in - told me that it's slow.

A very postive, I've taken it outside in the sunshine and the screen is very usable.
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gidds
post May 17 2018, 01:15 PM
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Got mine this morning.  (UK, order #24xx.)  Mixed feelings so far.

There's a lot to be very excited about — but having watched and read everything I could about it for the last several months, most of those are no longer a surprise!

The screen's excellent.  The keyboard's pretty similar to my 5mx, though not quite up to that standard (the action's little lighter and clickier, and the keys a little wobblier, though still very usable and probably much improved from the first batch).  The fit and finish is great, the overall design seems well thought out, and it fits well in the pocket.  It seems to work well enough as a phone.  (I don't make too many mobile calls.)

My mixed feelings are mainly because it'll be a long time before it really becomes my device, and able to replace the Psion 5mx I still use every day.

I don't want to sign away every single detail of my life to Google, and that seems to severely restrict what the Gemini can do as delivered.  Without entering a Google ID, I can't use most of the limited selection of supplied apps.  (They merely direct me to an install screen that needs me to sign in.  And the built-in Browser app won't even start unless I grant it more permissions than I'm willing to!)  And from what I've read, I expect I'd find Android too limiting in the long run, anyway.

OTOH, it seems as if no Linux distributions are yet properly suited to either a phone or a small-form-factor PC — not with the integration and simplicity I'm used to.  The most promising option sounds like Sailfish OS — but I haven't been able to get hold of an early version, and it probably won't be released until the end of the year.

So I'm in limbo, really.  I don't want to spend serious amounts of time and effort finding and setting up replacements for all the Psion apps I use, converting and transferring documents, learning all the OS details, rewriting custom apps, &c &c for Android, only to have to do the same again when Sailfish is released (and if it's worth switching to).  But I will at least need to do the minimum to copy my contacts over to it (though I'm not sure how, as even the supplied SSH client needs a Google ID!).

What's clear is that I won't be able to do without my 5mx for a long time yet.  Which does rather dull my excitement.

(Also, having some stability issues, as described here.)

In a couple of weeks, and I'll probably have got more familiar with it, worked out some ways around the initial issues, and be using it to do some interesting stuff.  And by next year I'm sure it'll be my main device and much loved.  But right now that's mostly just potential; compared with that, first impressions are unfamiliar, awkward, limited, and bring more questions than answers.  Sorry if that seems negative — I guess my expectations were just too high!

Ask me again in a month or two… biggrin.gif
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vader
post May 17 2018, 05:41 PM
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QUOTE(gidds @ May 18 2018, 07:15 AM) *
I don't want to sign away every single detail of my life to Google, and that seems to severely restrict what the Gemini can do as delivered.


Not exactly smile.gif I don't sign in to google, and use either fdroid (open source apps) or yalp (access google play store without a google account). Without google play services (ie. logging in) a few apps are somewhat hobbled, but most things just work. To install fdroid, enable all sources (Settings->Security->Unknown sources), then go to:

https://f-droid.org

And install the fdroid store. Open fdroid and install yalp and you have play store (without a google account). I installed Firefox-Klar (great privacy browser) and TextMaker (instead of MS word) and a host of games/apps etc. I am waiting for sailfish 3 (or X) for the gemini with keyboard support et. al - however it is not available yet. Still, android is almost usable now, and google doesn't get a shoe in. Search in your browser with DuckDuckGo.

My app bar now has:

Firefox, File manager, VLC, Mupen64plus, TextMaker, Fdroid, Yalp and Termux

Good luck.
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andrewl
post May 18 2018, 12:47 AM
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I agree about the Android, though it was always going to be the OS with the full support for the hardware - so I can tolerate it until something better is available.

High hopes for Sailfish 3.
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rogalian
post May 18 2018, 01:21 AM
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First impressions: UGH I NEED TO GET RID OF THIS GOOGLE JUNK

I'll come back when I've rooted and cleaned it up. Sticking with Android for now until Linux has matured a bit.

Hardware is very nice.
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Primitive Person
post May 18 2018, 05:17 AM
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Something that's dawned on me since I started using it is that this device could *really* do with is a stylus, which of course the Psion 5 had built-in. My just-retired Galaxy Note 3 did too.

Even though you're touching the screen a lot less than you would with a slab-style smartphone, after a while the fingermarks were really offending me! I've just gone out and bought a pen with a rubber "fake fingertip" on the end so I don't have to use my fingers. I'll just need to make sure I don't lose it on a regular basis.

PP
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Sunyavadin
post May 18 2018, 06:12 AM
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So far it's pretty decent with a few niggles I've yet to resolve. Hopefully others on this forum have workarounds for these issues.



Won't connect via 4G, only 3G on Virgin in the UK, using a 4G SIM. (It also perpetually says "NO SERVICE", even when I'm in a call and clearly have service)

Need to stick my thumb holding the clamshell open in order for people to hear me on the phone, presumably due to the mic being on the inside.

Cannot turn off haptic feedback at all even after disabling all vibrations for key presses, something which if I cannot finally kill it off will be a deal-breaker, since vibrations on every single key press very quickly cause my fingers to get twitches and prevent me from typing well. This is always the first thing I turn off on any android device but it's not seeming to apply to the gemini's physical keyboard.

Any time I attempt to connect it to my PC, I get the old "Device driver software was not successfully installed" message. Meaning one of my primary uses for the device, taking my work with me on the go, is out of the question until a solution turns up. On my old Note, I'd just switch it to USB Mass Storage mode and there'd never be an issue, but that's not an option on newer Android devices due to the continual degradation of functionality in every Android version. About to see if this also prevents me from installing Linux. I'll edit this post with my results.
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Primitive Person
post May 18 2018, 06:33 AM
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QUOTE(Sunyavadin @ May 18 2018, 03:12 PM) *
So far it's pretty decent with a few niggles I've yet to resolve. Hopefully others on this forum have workarounds for these issues.



Won't connect via 4G, only 3G on Virgin in the UK, using a 4G SIM. (It also perpetually says "NO SERVICE", even when I'm in a call and clearly have service)

Need to stick my thumb holding the clamshell open in order for people to hear me on the phone, presumably due to the mic being on the inside.

Cannot turn off haptic feedback at all even after disabling all vibrations for key presses, something which if I cannot finally kill it off will be a deal-breaker, since vibrations on every single key press very quickly cause my fingers to get twitches and prevent me from typing well. This is always the first thing I turn off on any android device but it's not seeming to apply to the gemini's physical keyboard.

Any time I attempt to connect it to my PC, I get the old "Device driver software was not successfully installed" message. Meaning one of my primary uses for the device, taking my work with me on the go, is out of the question until a solution turns up. On my old Note, I'd just switch it to USB Mass Storage mode and there'd never be an issue, but that's not an option on newer Android devices due to the continual degradation of functionality in every Android version. About to see if this also prevents me from installing Linux. I'll edit this post with my results.


Took me a while to twig that the NO SERVICE message refers to the second SIM slot. Mine reads "3 - NO SERVICE", reflecting the fact that one SIM slot is occupied and the other is empty.

It's not a dealbreaker for me, but I'd seriously appreciate being able to turn haptic feedback off on the physical keyboard. I use the device in permanent Do Not Disturb mode as I get all the required vibration notifications from my watch.

PP
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Sunyavadin
post May 18 2018, 06:39 AM
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Update on my MTP woes - apparently it recognises it fine in the device manager and lets me access my files so long as I connect my Gemini to a USB 2 port. Usb 3 is a no-no.
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Sunyavadin
post May 18 2018, 06:44 AM
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QUOTE(Primitive Person @ May 18 2018, 03:33 PM) *
It's not a dealbreaker for me, but I'd seriously appreciate being able to turn haptic feedback off on the physical keyboard. I use the device in permanent Do Not Disturb mode as I get all the required vibration notifications from my watch.


Scrolling down a menu in Android feels like I'm using a Dremel, not a PDA...

*edit* fixed it by disabling the virtual keyboard options entirely. No more vibration.
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Primitive Person
post May 18 2018, 07:10 AM
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QUOTE(Sunyavadin @ May 18 2018, 03:44 PM) *
QUOTE(Primitive Person @ May 18 2018, 03:33 PM) *
It's not a dealbreaker for me, but I'd seriously appreciate being able to turn haptic feedback off on the physical keyboard. I use the device in permanent Do Not Disturb mode as I get all the required vibration notifications from my watch.


Scrolling down a menu in Android feels like I'm using a Dremel, not a PDA...

*edit* fixed it by disabling the virtual keyboard options entirely. No more vibration.


Can you tell me how to do that?

PP
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Sunyavadin
post May 18 2018, 07:30 AM
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Settings -> Languages and Input -> Virtual Keyboard
Disabled everything, just left the Gemini physical keyboard enabled.
This was after trying disabling vibration for all the other ones in there, but that did nothing.


Meanwhile I'm still trying to find out what happened to the old apps menu Android used to have which allowed you to drag apps from it to the home screen for ease of launching. Having to edit the planet bar to add and remove apps as and when I need them is getting.....finicky... *Found it, seems it got moved to the barely noticeable arrow that's hidden under the planet icon most of the time* Further question to this - whatever happened to having multiple home screens and how do I make the gigantic waste of space search bar nobody has ever used in the history of the world ever go away? Deleting all the google apps seems to have done nothing to that one annoyance.
Also, is the photo app ALWAYS going to demand I update it (Not happening since I deleted play store) every time I try and look at an image?

Also does anyone know a way of scaling your wallpaper so that it doesn't just zoom in on one tiny fraction of it in the centre? I've tried everything I can think of but no matter the resolution I scale the overall canvas size to, it always focuses on the same zoomed in piece of the image at the same zoom level.

I swear, Google have shifted gears with this version of Android from "User-Unfriendly" into the territory of "Actively User-Hostile"

I legitimately cannot wait for LineageOS to be properly usable, and am seriously considering just going back to my Note until then.
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vader
post May 18 2018, 05:19 PM
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QUOTE(Sunyavadin @ May 19 2018, 01:30 AM) *
Settings -> Languages and Input -> Virtual Keyboard
Disabled everything, just left the Gemini physical keyboard enabled.
This was after trying disabling vibration for all the other ones in there, but that did nothing.


Meanwhile I'm still trying to find out what happened to the old apps menu Android used to have which allowed you to drag apps from it to the home screen for ease of launching. Having to edit the planet bar to add and remove apps as and when I need them is getting.....finicky... *Found it, seems it got moved to the barely noticeable arrow that's hidden under the planet icon most of the time* Further question to this - whatever happened to having multiple home screens and how do I make the gigantic waste of space search bar nobody has ever used in the history of the world ever go away? Deleting all the google apps seems to have done nothing to that one annoyance.
Also, is the photo app ALWAYS going to demand I update it (Not happening since I deleted play store) every time I try and look at an image?

Also does anyone know a way of scaling your wallpaper so that it doesn't just zoom in on one tiny fraction of it in the centre? I've tried everything I can think of but no matter the resolution I scale the overall canvas size to, it always focuses on the same zoomed in piece of the image at the same zoom level.

I swear, Google have shifted gears with this version of Android from "User-Unfriendly" into the territory of "Actively User-Hostile"

I legitimately cannot wait for LineageOS to be properly usable, and am seriously considering just going back to my Note until then.


Multiple home screens are a bit borked. Go to your apps, long hold one and instead of dropping it on your current home screen, move to the edge and a new one will be created. Drop the app in the new homescreen. To delete a homescreen remove all shortcuts from it.

Simply create extra homepages and leave the google search on one you don't go to.
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