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> Big announcement on 5th November
Gadgetman!
post Nov 5 2018, 03:17 AM
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I wouldn't mind a faster CPU and more storage, but...

Backlight keyboard, external 2" LCD and all that malarkey is just fluff.

I just want a machine that first in my pocket, has a good keyobard and can handle my desktop files.

As for the name...

I'm not certain what that the theme is supposed to be here?

The Gemini was the second series of manned programs. But Saturn wasn't a Program. It was the rocket.
The rocket used in the Gemini program was the Titan II, sometimes also called the Gemini-Titan.
And if they picked Gemini as the name of their first because it was the second program, and 'Psion was first', then they really should stick to the Gemini name until they at least have a platform change.



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gidds
post Nov 5 2018, 05:29 AM
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QUOTE(Gadgetman! @ Nov 5 2018, 12:17 PM) *
if they picked Gemini as the name of their first because it was the second program

I've never heard that.  I assumed it was on the theme of ‘twins’ (like the constellation): the combination of screen and keyboard, two halves, is sufficiently unusual these days that it was worth putting right there in the name.

That's why I'm surprised that the new device doesn't include ‘Gemini’ somewhere in its name, as it looks basically like a Gemini 2: upgraded innards and new external features, but basically the same device made newer and better.

…which is exactly what I want!

Has anyone seen any downsides of the new device (except, obviously, for the cost and uncertainty over timescales)?  It's almost 1mm thicker, though presumably that's only in the centre where it's less noticeable.  It has the same battery, so maybe it won't drive the upgraded processor and external screen for quite so long?  Possible teething problems with Android 9 and the new hardware?

But if you were looking to get a Gemini, once the Cosmo is available, will there be any reason not to get a that instead?
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Varti
post Nov 5 2018, 05:47 AM
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QUOTE(gidds @ Nov 5 2018, 02:29 PM) *
Has anyone seen any downsides of the new device (except, obviously, for the cost and uncertainty over timescales)?  It's almost 1mm thicker, though presumably that's only in the centre where it's less noticeable.  It has the same battery, so maybe it won't drive the upgraded processor and external screen for quite so long?  Possible teething problems with Android 9 and the new hardware?

But if you were looking to get a Gemini, once the Cosmo is available, will there be any reason not to get a that instead?

Good point. The only downside I can think of is its price, at the moment the Cosmo is more expensive. Also, the Gemini might be sold at a discounted price next year, when the Cosmo will start to be shipped. Anyway I believe the Cosmo is meant as a replacement of the Gemini, so once it will be available for sale, the Gemini will be probably already discontinued.

Varti
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andrewl
post Nov 5 2018, 06:00 AM
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QUOTE(gidds @ Nov 5 2018, 05:29 AM) *
But if you were looking to get a Gemini, once the Cosmo is available, will there be any reason not to get a that instead?


Three Geminis have been backed on IndieGogo in the last week. I wonder if Planet will offer them an transfer to Cosmo. I would be vexed myself as they are about the same price.

Time to pull the Gemini campaign from IGG.

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RSS
post Nov 5 2018, 06:06 AM
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It's a huge missed opportunity to have a bigger touchscreen on the back (when closed), so then you can use it like an actual smartphone, and when you need to use the keyboard, you could open the clamshell. This would have sold it to me personally.

That's my biggest issue with the Gemini (and this new Cosmo), it's just awkward to open it up for quick usage. It's especially awkward for any vertical usage, as the keyboard loses functionality and there is no ergonomics.

A smartphone is a quicker device for checking anything and the keyboard doesn't get in your way, which is probably why nobody is producing phones with keyboards these days. Even the last phones with them had slider keyboards that were hidden very well.

Having essentially dual screens could have made these two devices appeal to so many more consumers, it would have justified the very hefty price that the Cosmo goes for (even with a damn 31% off sale).
When you're not using the keyboard, it's a hindrance. It's what makes the Gemini PDA a really niche item. Giving the user a way to ignore it when not in use would have been great, it's another reason why everyone uses detachable bluetooth keyboards.

Also sore to see a lack of any pointing devices. A ThinkPad style trackpoint would have been a good addition, especially for the Linux users who aren't glued to a shell and terminal emulator unlike me.

I hope the third revision (if it comes around!) does my suggestions. A bit disappointed with the Cosmo Communicator, as nobody with a Gemini (the main audience) has a reason outside of backlighting to purchase it; however, it's a great step in the right direction, since these are the only people making smartphones with full proper keyboards!
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depscribe
post Nov 5 2018, 06:25 AM
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QUOTE(andrewl @ Nov 5 2018, 06:00 AM) *
QUOTE(gidds @ Nov 5 2018, 05:29 AM) *
But if you were looking to get a Gemini, once the Cosmo is available, will there be any reason not to get a that instead?


Three Geminis have been backed on IndieGogo in the last week. I wonder if Planet will offer them an transfer to Cosmo. I would be vexed myself as they are about the same price.

Time to pull the Gemini campaign from IGG.

The Register says the Gemini isn't being discontinued: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/11/05/pl...o_communicator/

Though truth be known I'd come a lot closer to being interested if it shipped with Sailfish 3 as its main OS and the option to flash something else if you go insane or something.
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Daniel W
post Nov 5 2018, 07:34 AM
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QUOTE(jornada720 @ Nov 5 2018, 11:31 AM) *
Why put a camera on it but no flash?

In the presentation video @ 2m23s:"To take a selfie or for a quick snap, you can operate the camera, zoom and flash without opening the clamshell."

Also, on the pictures of the device back, there's a small circle on each side of the camera lens, the left of which seems big enough to be a LED flash. The other one could be, say, a proximity sensor to turn the external screen off when the Cosmo is held at the ear.

Still though, I must admit that cramming 24MP into a cell phone camera sensor in 2019 seems a bit much for getting decent noise and low light performance out of it. From a technology versus usability point of view, around 10-14MP would seem optimal. I suppose they went with it to try and compensate the lack of proper zoom. With 24MP they could either down-sample to, say, 6MP and even out any Bayer filter artifacts (and some noise), or crop it down to 6MP (which still is plenty) for a "2x" zoom-ish effect.
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depscribe
post Nov 5 2018, 07:38 AM
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QUOTE(Daniel W @ Nov 5 2018, 07:34 AM) *
QUOTE(jornada720 @ Nov 5 2018, 11:31 AM) *
Why put a camera on it but no flash?

In the presentation video @ 2m23s:"To take a selfie or fo a quick snap, you can operate th camera, zoom and flash without opening the clamshell."

Also, on the pictures of the device back, there's a small circle on each side of the camera lens, the left of which seems big enough to be a LED flash. The other one could be, say, a proximity sensor to turn the external screen off when the Cosmo is held at the ear.

Still though, I must admit that cramming 24MP into a cell phone camera sensor in 2019 seems a bit much for getting decent noise and low light performance out of it. From a technology versus usability point of view, around 10-14MP would seem optimal. I suppose they went with it to try and compensate the lack of proper zoom. With 24MP could could either downsample to, say, 6MP and even out any Bayer filter artefacts (and some noise), or crop it down to 6MP (which still is plenty) for a "2x" zoom-ish effect.

Yeppers. On my XperiaX, for instance, I shoot (when I have reason to pretend my telephone is a camera) at 8mp on a purported 24mp chip, and the results, particularly in low-ish light, are much improved over the higher resolution.
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pdtpoet
post Nov 5 2018, 09:52 AM
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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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vader
post Nov 5 2018, 05:55 PM
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QUOTE(RSS @ Nov 6 2018, 12:06 AM) *
I hope the third revision (if it comes around!) does my suggestions. A bit disappointed with the Cosmo Communicator, as nobody with a Gemini (the main audience) has a reason outside of backlighting to purchase it; however, it's a great step in the right direction, since these are the only people making smartphones with full proper keyboards!

Some people with geminis have upgraded..... smile.gif

All the good things are still there (keyboard, screen, battery), plus faster processor/GPU, more RAM, more ROM, second display, much better camera, backlit keyboard. I did hum and har for a good hour or two, then put my money down. By then, sailfish 3.0 will be out and have a few updates under the belt.
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RSS
post Nov 5 2018, 10:59 PM
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QUOTE(vader @ Nov 6 2018, 01:55 PM) *
QUOTE(RSS @ Nov 6 2018, 12:06 AM) *
I hope the third revision (if it comes around!) does my suggestions. A bit disappointed with the Cosmo Communicator, as nobody with a Gemini (the main audience) has a reason outside of backlighting to purchase it; however, it's a great step in the right direction, since these are the only people making smartphones with full proper keyboards!

Some people with geminis have upgraded..... smile.gif

All the good things are still there (keyboard, screen, battery), plus faster processor/GPU, more RAM, more ROM, second display, much better camera, backlit keyboard. I did hum and har for a good hour or two, then put my money down. By then, sailfish 3.0 will be out and have a few updates under the belt.

Most of these things are not beneficial towards what the Gemini's attraction (and life force) is: the keyboard. I certainly can't see why anyone needs the performance upgrades, another MediaTek chipset is painful. It seems like it's "more because why not", which just increases the costs.
The price IMO is just too high to justify a better camera and backlighting. If the Cosmo's standard price was around $400 USD, I could see it being very compelling, but that's literally half the current full price.

Yeah, $800 USD is madness, they should focus towards the low to mid range instead.
I would honestly be perfectly fine with a cheap $150 USD smartphone that has a keyboard, because using a keyboard (taking notes or using SSH) doesn't require such overkill flagship specs that go to waste running YouTube or a browser.
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andrewl
post Nov 6 2018, 04:32 AM
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QUOTE(RSS @ Nov 5 2018, 10:59 PM) *
another MediaTek chipset is painful. It seems like it's "more because why not", which just increases the costs.


If the new SoC from Mediatek is more friendly to Linux then it will be worthwhile. I suspect that the situation won't change though.

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Murple2
post Nov 6 2018, 07:07 AM
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QUOTE(andrewl @ Nov 6 2018, 12:32 PM) *
QUOTE(RSS @ Nov 5 2018, 10:59 PM) *
another MediaTek chipset is painful. It seems like it's "more because why not", which just increases the costs.


If the new SoC from Mediatek is more friendly to Linux then it will be worthwhile. I suspect that the situation won't change though.

In theory it will be, just because it is newer and will need to satisfy Google's project treble requirements and have a minimum 4.4 kernel (which we have been promised for the gemini but i'm still not holding my breath). One possible positive to sticking with mediatek is PC will have some leverage when it comes to getting updates for our x25/27 chipsets. Perhaps mediatek will be more inclined to keep PC sweet?
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ehasbrouck
post Nov 6 2018, 12:37 PM
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I wrote the following to Planetcom in response to this announcement:

QUOTE
Thanks for the announcement. But before you start working on a *new* device, *please* finish what you started and deliver the functionality you promised for the Gemini PDA.

Indiegogo backers of the Gemini were promised a device that would support calling and mobile data functions in either Android or Linux.

As of now, these functions are not available at all under Linux, and are available in Android *only* if Gemini users also install a bundle of proprietary Google-ware in addition to Android.

We expected and paid for a device with full functionality in either of two open-source operating systems, Android or Linux. As of now, we have neither.

Please, please, fulfill your promises to those who trusted you and gave you money for the Gemini PDA, before you start work on a new device.

There is no legal, licensing, or functional reason to make it a condition of using Android that Gemini users also install Google-ware. This Google software is not part of Android, and Gemini buyers were given no indication that we would only be able to use Android on our Gemini if we also agreed to install Google software on Google's terms.

Google is explicit that the proprietary Google software you have chosen to bundle with Android for Gemini is *not* part of Android, that Android is open source, and that device designers are free to distribute devices with alternate versions of Android including versions without Google-ware, without violating the terms of their licenses to distribute Google software to those users who want it.

You can, if you want, support and distribute devices with a version of Android (such as Lineage OS) that isn't bundled with Google-ware.

I understand that you may want to pre-install Android bundled with Google-ware as the *default* on the Gemini. But Android (free and open source, without Google-ware) should be an easily installable option for the Gemini, supported by you, for those who want it.

You have reneged on your commitments to date, but it's not too late to fulfill them by releasing and committing to continued support of an Android distribution for the Gemini not bundled with Google-ware.


I got the following fairly encouraging response about both continued support of the Gemini and Lineage OS on the Gemini::

QUOTE
I understand you might be a little concerned about the Gemini after our newly announced Cosmo product. To us, the two devices are separate products and they will both receive our support in future. The Gemini is far from reaching the end of its production cycle, and it will continue receiving our attention for years after that. As the architecture on both of the devices is very similar, supporting both of them simultaneously will not necessarily require special efforts from our side.

We are having some progress with Lineage but it's too early to promise anything. All I can tell you is that we're exploring multiple options to satisfy the needs of our users.


Other past or prospective Gemini buyers should let Planetcom know, politely, if you also consider it important for them to follow through on their commitments to open-source Android on the Gemini.
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Tom D
post Nov 6 2018, 01:14 PM
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QUOTE(Gadgetman! @ Nov 5 2018, 05:17 AM) *
I wouldn't mind a faster CPU and more storage, but... Backlight keyboard, external 2" LCD and all that malarkey is just fluff.


Fluff to you. For me they make a big difference. I use the Gemini in a dim environment every evening. It is a real bummer to tilt the screen back without the device closing - a tricky proposition - just to type a few words. The extra storage and CPU is nice, but not as big for me...but heck, why not! 6 MB RAM is nice also. The external LCD makes it more likely for me to use it as a phone. I tried using my Pebble with the phone but the bluetooth connection kept dropping after a few minutes of inactivity with the Gemini. The decent external camera seals the deal for using it as a single device. I was embarrassed to post a photo with the external camera add-on. Right now I keep a phone with the Gemini. This might convince me to get rid of the phone.

So, while the changes might not hit your sweet spot, they really do for me. Plus I assume I can ask Scotty to beam me up with it.
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