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jornada720
post Jan 24 2020, 01:04 PM
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I have been trying to find reviews of the Cosmo since it began shipping and there don't appear to be any in English that are more than just "hands on" clips or reviews.

I saw one post on here but that was it.

What do Cosmo backers think of their device? It's odd that there are so few reviews of it compared to when the Gemini first came out.

In the end, I just didn't like the phone call quality on the Gemini so I don't use it much any more. And the dumb plastic hinge design meant that I kept having to get replacement devices.

Is the Cosmo improved in these areas? Please let those of us who might consider buying a Cosmo know what you think of it.
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MonkeyControl
post Jan 25 2020, 12:38 AM
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QUOTE(jornada720 @ Jan 25 2020, 10:04 AM) *
What do Cosmo backers think of their device?

Love it.

QUOTE(jornada720 @ Jan 25 2020, 10:04 AM) *
I just didn't like the phone call quality on the Gemini

The Cosmo is the only one of four phones, (E5, Jolla, cheap Alcatel standby, Cosmo), that I've had in my coloursteel clad Faraday cage of a home 3.6km past the middle of nowhere that actually works , and it works well. I've dragged it through some pretty poor signal strength areas of the North Island of NZ, (We're currently in a paddock, somewhere), in the month that I've had it and I've been repeatedly impressed with its old school Nokia levels of signal coverage. Getting your ear in the right place for the speaker is a knack, but once you've mastered that you're away.

QUOTE(jornada720 @ Jan 25 2020, 10:04 AM) *
And the dumb plastic hinge design meant that I kept having to get replacement devices.

I can't speak for the Little Gem, I never had one, it wasn't quite right for me, but the Cosmo feels very solid to me. Earlier today mine had its first spill from two metres onto old hard concrete as I exited my MotorHome at a fuel station, (the wrong trousers), and the only reminder is a small scuff on the corner it bounced on and a sight kiss on the camera bezel where it came to rest. No harm done. The trousers have been replaced.
Time will tell on the longevity of the Cosmo, (or anything), but knowing that it has come from a company with a designer with experience going all the way back to the Psion devices, coupled to the way it feels in my hands, (even after a 2m bounce from the concrete), I'm confident I will be enjoying my Cosmo for years, or until the PC03 comes along:).

QUOTE(jornada720 @ Jan 25 2020, 10:04 AM) *
I have been trying to find reviews of the Cosmo since it began shipping

I can't understand this either, wouldn't any mobile phone tech journalist be thrilled to get something different to review for the first time in a decade, (okay second time).
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Dickon Hood
post Jan 25 2020, 03:31 AM
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I, too, love it.

The design has fixed all the problems I had with the Gemini: the keyboard is excellent (the backlight makes it usable in the dark, which the Gemini wasn't), the camera is considerably better (not difficult), the hinge is much improved (much more solid to type on; the Gemini bounced a fair bit when pressing keys and much harder to bite yourself with), and the CoDi is useful for seeing who's calling you. NFC is great, too: mobile phone payments just work, although you have to open the lid.

I've only ever had phones with keyboard (Nokia 9210, 9500, E90, Samsung Galaxy S Relay) -- never owned a touchscreen-only device -- so I can't really say how much of a difference this is over one of those, but the UI copes quite well.

Bad bits: battery life is astonishing; I sometimes manage an entire day. The CoDi is broadly useless for anything other than seeing who's calling you: I find it far, far to slow to respond, and the notifications icons disappear quite quickly. Call quality is fine. USB-C is OK; I haven't used it for anything other than charging, but both ports seem to work for that. The Gemini handled rotation much, much better than the Cosmo does. Even with rotation control apps, the Cosmo can feel a bit clunky, and there are some things which just don't work: Google Calendar really needs portrait, but forcing it means you can't add a title to new events, as the title field loses input focus when it rotates about.

All in all, I expect to use this thing until it dies. It's excellent, as I hoped it would be. The delays in manufacturing and shipping are unfortunate, but I wasn't in the slightest bit surprised by them. I backed early -- number 601 -- as I'd got a Gemini and could see the problems with it, and the Cosmo appeared to fix them. It's done that rather well. I will confess to being somewhat uncertain with the Retro Computers debacle and Janko Mrsic-Flogel's involvement in that and PC, but when the Gemini shipped I felt the risk was probably fine. In sum: buy one.
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bolderz
post Jan 25 2020, 06:14 AM
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PC Pro in the UK has a 3-page review of the Cosmo as its Product of the Month in the Jan 2020 issue 303, about two issues back from the latest issue.
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jornada720
post Jan 27 2020, 04:08 PM
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QUOTE(bolderz @ Jan 25 2020, 10:14 AM) *
PC Pro in the UK has a 3-page review of the Cosmo as its Product of the Month in the Jan 2020 issue 303, about two issues back from the latest issue.


Looks like it's not on their website for some strange reason.
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jornada720
post Jan 27 2020, 04:27 PM
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I appreciate the replies to this thread.

Would someone who has owned both a Cosmo and a Gemini please chime in?

Also, I would like to see if the hinge cover is not made out of plastic on the Cosmo.

As you can see in the attached image, the Gemini's hinge consists of a metal pin sheathed in a plastic tube. It's very poorly designed and breaks with a lot of usage.
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ArchiMark
post Jan 27 2020, 06:15 PM
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I have Gemini for about a year and Cosmo for about a month.

Both are great devices. Have not had any issues with either device.

My Gemini looks like new.

I tend to handle all my phones and mobile computing devices very carefully.

Keep Gemini in the leather sleeve case when not in use.

Awaiting my Cosmo leather case to do the same.

Mark
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spook
post Yesterday, 01:48 AM
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I've owned a Gemini and now the Cosmo. The Cosmo is probably my favourite device ever owned (previously the Gemini and before that probably my SP3 - or my Psion in the day - but that was a LONG time ago!). For me it has addressed the few frustrations I had of the Gemini. Namely the hinge (this one is a lot sturdier) and the backlight. I also like the CoDi. I didn't think I would find it useful, but now I find myself using it a lot to check notifications (so I have to open the device a lot less). Oh and the keyboard seems slightly better.

All in all I think I have an unhealthy obsession with it. I may have to see someone wink.gif

Regarding the hinge. It still is a metal pin in a plastic tube, but there are more hinge points (4 VS 2 by the look) . My Gemini hinge started cracking after about 18 months. I read somewheretthat PC worked hard to improve the hinge on the Cosmo so hopefully it is more durable.
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Dickon Hood
post Yesterday, 05:23 AM
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I'm no longer really using my Gemini -- not entirely sure what to do with it. It's a lovely bit of kit.

Unfortunately, the keyboard partially died on first device I had, so Planet (after some going around) sent me a new one. I'm hoping the same doesn't happen on the Cosmo.

The Cosmo hinge does seem better engineered than the Gemini's, so hopefully it won't disintegrate. I suspect that being as gentle as possible when opening and closing it will help.
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jornada720
post Yesterday, 08:55 AM
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QUOTE(ArchiMark @ Jan 27 2020, 10:15 PM) *
I have Gemini for about a year and Cosmo for about a month.

Both are great devices. Have not had any issues with either device.

My Gemini looks like new.

I tend to handle all my phones and mobile computing devices very carefully.

Keep Gemini in the leather sleeve case when not in use.

Awaiting my Cosmo leather case to do the same.

Mark


My work environment involves me constantly walking around and jotting down information. I would waste an enormous amount of time putting my phone in a sleeve, unfortunately.

And the idea that you would absolutely need to use a sleeve for a phone is an indication that it's poorly designed.

I have to think that PC deliberately used plastic for the hinge to keep down costs. But they could have made the sheath for the hinge pin be thicker. Planet chose not to do that.

It's unfortunate that they decided to keep using plastic hinges on the Cosmo.

The best designed handheld PC hinge is that of the Sharp Zaurus SL-Cxx series. They were able to rotate the screen around 360 degrees and could be adjusted to any open/close angle. It's a shame that PC went with a variation of the Psion design.

The HP Jornada devices also have better hinges than the Psions or the Planet designs.

It's a shame that Planet did not try to license or imitate the Sharp or HP designs. The hinge is the most critically important failure point on a keyboard device.
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NormMonkey
post Yesterday, 10:36 AM
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> And the idea that you would absolutely need to use a sleeve for a phone is an indication that it's poorly designed.

Before my Cosmo, I had a Samsung S8+.

Even though I kept it in a case whenever I was not using it, I eventually did crack the screen. I had it in a bicycle handlebar grippy thing and it came loose and fell after a bump in the road.

I wouldn't call my Samsung poorly designed. Before that incident it was in great shape with no scratches. I took good care of it, but everyone can have a bad day and make a poor decision like I did, or just have an accident.

I know many people who keep their phones in cases. I wouldn't say any of those phones are poorly designed. Some people are harder on their devices than others and some people just want to keep their device in great shape for a long time.

"Poorly designed" is too broad a phrase to have much meaning. These devices aren't designed to military specifications for field-deployed devices.

I used to work for a company that bought an espresso maker for our office. It was a consumer model available on Amazon. It stopped working properly after about a year and a half. I wouldn't call it poorly designed. It was a consumer model and I would expect it to be used two or three times a day, not the ten or twenty times a day that it saw in our office.

If your work environment involves you constantly using your phone, your Cosmo might be in the same boat as that espresso maker.

Let's be reasonable about what we expect from a mechanically complex device (compared to a standard brick phone, at least) from a crowd-funded campaign and not hold it to the same standards we would a device from a tech giant like Samsung or Nokia.

Let's also be open-minded about correlating case use to design parameters. The sleeve cases for Geminis and Cosmos require the user to remove the phone from the sleeve before opening it, so it doesn't make sense to correlate case usage to hinge-related issues.



When I set my expectations for the Cosmo, I consider that it's a clamshell device with moving parts.

I see the exposed flex cable behind the hinge. I don't expect it to be water resistant. I wouldn't expect it to survive a fall from a few feet. I haven't had my Cosmo for long but I've read reports on this forum from users whose Cosmos have survived drops from a few feet. To me that's a good sign. It exceeds my expectations.

This is the second generation for this form factor from PlanetC. I imagine they've made some improvements. Certainly the keyboard is brilliant. I expect improvement compared to a Gemini but I'm not expecting it to be in the same league as a Nokia, HTC or Samsung.

Let's be reasonable about what we expect.
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ArchiMark
post Yesterday, 10:56 AM
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+1 for NormMonkey comments...

For my work mobile phone I use an iPhone XR Max. I have it in a silicone case that covers back and sides.

While I'm very careful with all my computing devices and phones, I have had phone slip out of my hand while getting in my car. Phone landed on asphalt pavement. Glad I had the case on phone, as there was zero damage after dropping it from about 3.5 feet above pavement.

Most people I know keep their phones in some sort of case for fall protection reasons.

And even if you don't use a case on Cosmo, you need to open it up if you want to use keyboard. So, there's the hinge opening issue due to clamshell design, as with using a laptop.

My experience with Gemini (about a year...) and Cosmo (about a month...) is that if you handle them with reasonable care, they should do fine.

Just my 2 cents, as we say....

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jornada720
post Yesterday, 11:24 AM
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QUOTE(ArchiMark @ Jan 28 2020, 02:56 PM) *
+1 for NormMonkey comments...

For my work mobile phone I use an iPhone XR Max. I have it in a silicone case that covers back and sides.

While I'm very careful with all my computing devices and phones, I have had phone slip out of my hand while getting in my car. Phone landed on asphalt pavement. Glad I had the case on phone, as there was zero damage after dropping it from about 3.5 feet above pavement.

Most people I know keep their phones in some sort of case for fall protection reasons.

And even if you don't use a case on Cosmo, you need to open it up if you want to use keyboard. So, there's the hinge opening issue due to clamshell design, as with using a laptop.

My experience with Gemini (about a year...) and Cosmo (about a month...) is that if you handle them with reasonable care, they should do fine.

Just my 2 cents, as we say....


You guys are really not rebutting my arguments. Using a case is irrelevant.

The reality is that Planet realized their hinge design on the Gemini was in need of improvement. They changed it to try and make it more reliable. This is a fact.

I have had a Zaurus and an HP Jornada 720 for over 15 years. Neither one has ever developed hinge problems. I used them daily just in the same way that I used a Gemini. The Gemini broke after a few months. I never dropped them on a hard surface. I had an HP 200LX that lasted 20 years before it developed a hinge crack.

Planet cut some corners on the Gemini hinge. That's just how it is. If yours isn't broken, that just means you don't open and close it as much as I do. Congrats.
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TomJ
post Yesterday, 12:29 PM
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QUOTE(jornada720 @ Jan 27 2020, 04:08 PM) *
QUOTE(bolderz @ Jan 25 2020, 10:14 AM) *
PC Pro in the UK has a 3-page review of the Cosmo as its Product of the Month in the Jan 2020 issue 303, about two issues back from the latest issue.


Looks like it's not on their website for some strange reason.


It can, however, be found here.
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jornada720
post Yesterday, 05:29 PM
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QUOTE(TomJ @ Jan 28 2020, 04:29 PM) *
QUOTE(jornada720 @ Jan 27 2020, 04:08 PM) *
QUOTE(bolderz @ Jan 25 2020, 10:14 AM) *
PC Pro in the UK has a 3-page review of the Cosmo as its Product of the Month in the Jan 2020 issue 303, about two issues back from the latest issue.


Looks like it's not on their website for some strange reason.


It can, however, be found here.


Excellent. Thanks for that!
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