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> The Cosmo is the Gemini we wanted - and Planet heard us
pdtpoet
post Nov 5 2018, 09:36 AM
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Gemini users rejoice!

Although there will be much griping about the Cosmo not being the ideal device, we Gemini users must admit that our feedback was collected and heard to a significant degree.

I live in New York, and use the Gemini primarily as a productivity device - taking over from my beloved retired Psion 5mx. I finally achieved the typing speed on the Gemini I used to have on the Psion and it was a delightful experience! With the Gemini in Airplane mode the device could last a week! When I wanted to a document to enter any other computer ecosystem, I just activated the 4G modem and sent the material. My one complaint was the lack of a lit keyboard for darkened conference rooms...as I am a hunt-and-peck typist.

Planet Computers had a survey and the number one desired mod was a backlit keyboard. And a second screen. The Cosmo has both and fingerprint detection!

So they did listen. And I am order #329 for the Cosmo.

If we wish to continue to enjoy devices like the Gemini, we need to continue to support Planet. Hopefully, the Cosmo will be acceptable to a wider audience than we early adopters, and Planet will continue to support the devices for many years.
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Daniel W
post Nov 5 2018, 11:35 AM
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Indeed. And it has a serious rear camera, LED flash (if the video is correct) and NFC (which I want anyway, and I also hope the compass will work this time).

Yes, there will be griping, in part, I think, because some people won't understand just how GREAT the difference is between huge and small brands.

A brand making a few thousand devices will pay a LOT more per component than one making tens of millions, and even then, top tech is expensive. The big brands charges well over $1000 for their top models. Imagine what they'd cost, even with less profit, if they had to buy their components at the same prices as Planet Computers.

As for the aesthetics, designing a smartphone that's more or less also a pocket laptop, will require more compromises than a slab phone, especially if it has to be built by a small-scale manufacturer from mostly off-the-shelf components. Yes, the Cosmo has a busier design and costs more, because many of us users asked for more features.

#652
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gidds
post Nov 5 2018, 02:40 PM
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QUOTE(Daniel W @ Nov 5 2018, 08:35 PM) *
A brand making a few thousand devices will pay a LOT more per component than one making tens of millions

Indeed — and all the one-off expenses involved in design, tooling, software, &c become much more significant when split across far fewer units.

But even you compare it with top-selling mass-market devices, the Cosmo's initial price is around half that of top-end iPhones and Galaxies!

Perhaps a fairer comparison is with the Psion 5mx — which cost almost exactly the same as the initial Cosmo price.  That's over 50% more, in real terms.

Even the full-price Cosmo will be significantly cheaper than either Psions or current high-end phones.

In those terms, the Cosmo's pricing, like that of the Gemini before it, isn't bad at all!
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Kisuke-CZE
post Nov 5 2018, 11:49 PM
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As I am enthusiastic about Planet Computers work. I am also skeptical about Cosmo communicator.

I think it is too soon for next-gen device. And apparently cannot Cosmo address some some design flaws which will be discovered by long-term using of Gemini.

Sure, external display is very nice touch (solves problem with incoming SMS and phone call). But it also means Android had to be heavily modified for this device => Much less probability of upgrading OS to newer version, because it is lot of work of poeple (and they cannot work for free). Also you can't use something community-made (like LineageOS) for same reason.

Fingerprint reader also great. Makes using secured device less irritating.

Camera and backlight keyboard are sure nice touches, but not so much of killer features (at least for me).

If I count it up, I think they should wait. Gemini is good enough to replace my cellphone (fully) and my laptop (in ~95%). But time is revealing some design flaws.
For example - less than month ago I had to send my Gemini to service. I used it as daily driver and one of hinges below screen did not make it and started cracking. When problem came up, I noticed that hinges are just small metal sticks pressed into plastic frame around keyboard. Well, that solution can't bear long term using and many openings everyday for sure.
Would be nice if new device address those issues first, and then adding some more features. Of course there could be much more design flaws which will be revealed by long-term using. But Cosmo looks more like exactly same as Gemini.

I would like something more different. Opening design like TyTN II (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTC_TyTN_II) would solve some of problems (BTW, I have this device still working, which proves it's opening mechanism is well designed...) and it does not need secondary display...

BTW, that Cosmo top plate design is... Really weird.
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andrewl
post Nov 6 2018, 04:25 AM
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Gemini was never a phone replacement for me, I have a specific use for it and I use another phone for communications.

With the exception of keyboard backlight, the improvements that Cosmo brings are all concerned with improving the device as a primary phone, hence the name communicator.
So there is actually very little for me from Cosmo. I probably would have bitten if the screen was enlarged to fill the entire lid.

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gidds
post Nov 6 2018, 09:14 AM
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QUOTE(Kisuke-CZE @ Nov 6 2018, 07:49 AM) *
one of hinges below screen did not make it and started cracking. […]
Would be nice if new device address those issues first

Looks like they are addressing some of those issues, too.  In a YouTube video from yesterday afternoon, Janko said that the Cosmo's hinge will be made thicker and the device much more stable.

He also confirmed that the camera will have a flash.

(But he pointed out that although they have a prototype, there's still a lot of work to be done, so the specs aren't totally nailed down yet.  Which seems fair to me.)

QUOTE(andrewl @ Nov 6 2018, 12:25 PM) *
the improvements that Cosmo brings are all concerned with improving the device as a primary phone

Yes, Janko was very explicit about this.

The Gemini is a PDA that can be used as a phone (I know, coz I do!), but because it doesn't entirely replace everything people use phones for, many people are using it alongside one.

The Cosmo is intended to add in all the missing functionality, so it can be the only device people carry: you can see who's calling, enter the last 4 digits of your credit card, see notifications without opening it, take high-quality photos, use it for Google Payments and Oyster and similar, and so on — in addition to all the great things you can currently do with a Gemini.
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Pdajah
post Nov 9 2018, 11:32 PM
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I'm not sure one would the Cosmo in a case. I use my Gemin without a case and the metal covering is very robust.
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zsalab2
post Nov 10 2018, 01:39 AM
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QUOTE(gidds @ Nov 5 2018, 02:40 PM) *
But even you compare it with top-selling mass-market devices, the Cosmo's initial price is around half that of top-end iPhones and Galaxies!


When you take into consideration of the build quality, software reliability, guarantee, voice call and media quality, camera quality, then the Gemini is not really cheap compared to an iPhone or a Galaxy as these really excel in these categories.
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Daniel W
post Nov 13 2018, 07:10 AM
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QUOTE(zsalab2 @ Nov 10 2018, 10:39 AM) *
When you take into consideration of the build quality, software reliability, guarantee, voice call and media quality, camera quality, then the Gemini is not really cheap compared to an iPhone or a Galaxy as these really excel in these categories.
Apart from the abysmal rear camera, which nobody has to buy (I see mine mostly as a barcode reader), I haven't had any of those issues with my Gemini, while I've had all of them with various big brand devices. That's not to say other Geminis aren't having issues. I'd say the main issue, to nobody's surprise, is quality control, which can really only work on enough budget for an entire division doing nothing but testing, and, as we know, not even that is enough at times. We've heard of iPhones ripping their screen controllers off of their main boards when flexed a tad and... Note 7... cough... beep-beep-beep...

While big brands may be likely to have fewer quality issues, I must say Planet Computers has, thus far, owned theirs quite well. When my space bar acted up, they sent free spare parts and instructions. I'm presuming Apple would have told me I'm pressing it wrong, and charged me $199 to have it sent away for a week, while my nearest Samsung Service Center is 200km away and is always closed when I'm not at work.

Oh, well, back on topic, I expect the Cosmo to be a better Gemini. I find the crowdfunding price fair for consumers and the retail price fair for business users. I probably won't throw my Note 8 away, but it may become my spare, tucked away in flight mode.
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