Author Topic: Cosmo as a daily driver - experiences/review  (Read 3195 times)

Dickon Hood

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Cosmo as a daily driver - experiences/review
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2020, 09:31:39 am »
Given Planet's track record on timing promises, even in normal conditions, I wouldn't expect to see the firmware updates particularly soon.  Now, it's software, and people can write that from home (I've been home-working doing just that for >15 years now, and thoroughly love it), but it takes some getting used to, and if you haven't got a sensible setup -- desk, office chair with gas pump, two or three monitors, docking station if you've only got a laptop, etc. -- you simply won't be as productive as you would in an office with all of those things.  Given we've all been told to work from home where possible, it's likely Planet's teams are doing just that, possibly sub-optimally.

Wolfgang

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« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2020, 11:09:46 am »
Thanks for your elaborate and useful information!

Pikku-iikka

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Cosmo as a daily driver - experiences/review
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2020, 09:04:12 am »
Now after two weeks with the Cosmo, I have to say it has really fulfilled my needs and even exceeded some. I've been typing a lot, all without any hassle. I did type with my former "daily driver's" too, the Note 8 with S-Pen and Swift keyboard was a step forward, but Cosmo has nearly released me from sitting in front of my workstation's or laptop's screen when doing writing. BTW, thank you for someone somewhere here hinting about the JotterPad app - it is great in most aspects, and goes well with Cosmo. I like the keyboard shortcuts and the overall simpliness. (I dislike the static folder for texts.)

Only downside when typing with Cosmo is the little "noise" that comes from the keyboard. Actually I like it... it is only annoying when I want to write while in bed beside my wife. Which happens often, best ideas come many times when you let your mind wander at nights. Then again, typing under the blanket is a joy with a backlighted Cosmo.

My Cosmo has V20 system, I did the upgrade as soon as it was available, and have not had the troubles that are mentioned everywhere. Maybe this has something to do the fact that I had disabled all but one Google service, namely the Play Store. And been using Nova Launcher from the beginning. I have no reason to 'downgrade back' to V21, I'll wait for next official upgrade.

There are some issues even with me, of course. After upgrade was the fingerprint one, they work now. The life of the LED's is another, quite confusing sometimes. Once I even played something with the cover closed and LED's not blinking. Can't re-produce that.

Biggest issue is trying to make a call from the cover display, if two SIM's are in and device set to choose every time which SIM to use. Nothing happens when I hit the desired name. I have to make the call from the main screen, then close the cover again. Luckily the call does not end there... Even this is not a big issue for me. I make very few calls from the other SIM, so I can set the Cosmo to use the desired card every time, and change the setting as needed.

No other issues, so it really works nicely as a daily driver for me. The design is clever and build quality gets 8 out of 10 from me. Little squeeks from the hinges and a poorly attached lens cover. Bulky for some, but the size/weight factor is only a plus for me and my big hands. Actually, I added little bit to the bulkiness by hand-making a leather case that stays on when opening the Cosmo. Easier to handle and to safer to leave in pocket or on a table.

I suspect the device is quite fragile to mishandling, dust, water or other liquids. So, handling with extra care is a must.
Pikku-iikka (alias Little Ike - 194 cm / 130 kg)
Planet Cosmo Communicator
Samsung Note 8, Jolla Phone (Sailfish), Nokia N9 (Meego)
Raspberry Pi 4 & Pi 3B+ (Raspbian) & HP minitower (win10) calculating scientifical data

Daniel W

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« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2020, 05:35:47 am »
Quote from: Pikku-iikka
My Cosmo has V20 system, I did the upgrade as soon as it was available, and have not had the troubles that are mentioned everywhere. Maybe this has something to do the fact that I had disabled all but one Google service
I've had mine for eleven weeks today (it came on Thursday, January 23). As the V15 and V16 firmwares weren't really usable for me, I waited to V19, on Wednesday, February 5, before I made it my daily driver.

I'm also on V20 without any real issues. I had to re-scan my fingerprints and reboot once, and maybe my Cosmo get a bit warmer when fast-charging now, but unless in a hurry I like to slow-charge anyway. The Cosmo still reboots once in a while, and the hardware driver for the camera still produces enlarged 6MP images, still without offering a real 6MP mode. I'm getting spurious notifications from Planet Voice Assistant (which I could disable, but I like to keep things stock for now) when opening the device, but they vanish after a few seconds, so I don't really notice them any more. Even on V20, my CoDi (on FW 13) keeps crashing daily.

For reference, I'm on completely stock Cosmo Android, with nothing disabled. Weirdly enough, my Cosmo is still certified and would gladly agree to installing Netflix (no, I didn't actually install it, but it was available, had I desired to) and I doubt my Swedish e-id would work, lest the device was certified (that broke on my Gemini, when upgrading to Android 8). My theory, as to why I didn't get persistent issues with V20, was that I have not really messed with anything, but according to your post, that might not be it either, so maybe there's just an element of luck, a bit like with when the CoDi updates decides to work?

Quote from: Pikku-iikka
I did type with my former "daily driver's" too, the Note 8 with S-Pen and Swift keyboard was a step forward
I also had a Note 8. I used to depend on the 1C Big Keyboard, but if you ask me, typing on a pane of glass is a pain in the...

Quote from: Pikku-iikka
BTW, thank you for someone somewhere here hinting about the JotterPad app
My text editor of choice, both on the Note and now on the Cosmo is Jota+ from Aquamarine Networks. It's perhaps geared a bit more towards programmers (as it can support things like syntax highlighting for some languages) rather than writers. I like it, mostly because I can set it to auto-save my file whenever it loses focus, and thus it won't lose any text when Android decides to terminated it. It's also configurable in ways that suits me.

Quote from: Pikku-iikka
The life of the LED's is another, quite confusing sometimes. Once I even played something with the cover closed and LED's not blinking. Can't re-produce that.
Yeah, for a couple of days, I had a most pleasurable bug, causing the rocker switch LED's to stay off all the time. It even survived restarting the CoDi several times, but when the Cosmo decided to reboot, they began working again.

Quote from: Pikku-iikka
I suspect the device is quite fragile
Yep, I'm a tad bummed that, is spite of treating my Cosmo really carefully, the plastic on the middle hinge has cracked right through. In all honesty, I can't see anything I could have done to cause that, so yeah, some parts of the design seems not only fragile, but even prone to spontaneous failure. I have reported it to Planet, though, in the midst of a pandemic, we agreed on not trying to fix it any time soon. Also, aesthetics aside, it doesn't seem to cause me any noticeable issues. My hinges doesn't squeak even a little, and my Gemini never had more than two hinges, so I'm not too worried.

Pikku-iikka

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« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2020, 06:19:26 am »
Quote from: Daniel W
maybe my Cosmo get a bit warmer when fast-charging now, but unless in a hurry I like to slow-charge anyway. The Cosmo still reboots once in a while, and the hardware driver for the camera still produces enlarged 6MP images, still without offering a real 6MP mode. I'm getting spurious notifications from Planet Voice Assistant (which I could disable, but I like to keep things stock for now) when opening the device, but they vanish after a few seconds, so I don't really notice them any more. Even on V20, my CoDi (on FW 13) keeps crashing daily.
Hmmm, I've charged only from the left USB port, which I remember being the fast charge capable. Is the Planet's stock charger a fast charger or an usual one? Should one avoid charging constantly from the left port when using the stock charger? Or, in general, is fast charging more harmful than standard in some way? If so, I have to dig a hole for the right side USB port too to my self made case.

There was a unique situation once, when Cosmo started to make a quiet whizzling-buzzing noise while charging, luckily I was sitting very near and heard it right away. Noise went away only after a reboot.

My Cosmo has not rebooted itself or crashed in any situation. Even the CoDi hasn't crashed totally, but has freezed in some rare situations - then, pressing the right-side button of the fingerprint adapter has gotten it back to life. One such situation was, when I tried to activate flash when taking a selfie. Display freezed but the camera made a shot with flash - once. Could not shoot another photo. Picture was terrible and totally over exposed.

Otherwise, the main camera takes reasonably OK photos (not to compare with the Note 8, huh). If I want to do some real photography, I do it with my Olympus OM-D E-M10, which does not even loose much to Cosmo in portability...

Quote from: Daniel W
For reference, I'm on completely stock Cosmo Android, with nothing disabled. Weirdly enough, my Cosmo is still certified and would gladly agree to installing Netflix (no, I didn't actually install it, but it was available, had I desired to) and I doubt my Swedish e-id would work, lest the device was certified (that broke on my Gemini, when upgrading to Android 8). My theory, as to why I didn't get persistent issues with V20, was that I have not really messed with anything, but according to your post, that might not be it either, so maybe there's just an element of luck, a bit like with when the CoDi updates decides to work?
Seems to be like that... Although, after opening the Cosmo for the first time and playing around a few minutes, I installed the Nova Launcher (paid version). Been using it in all Android phones I've used in last years. Can't know if that has anything to do with the stability. Netflix is working fine, and my device is certified too.

Quote from: Daniel W
the plastic on the middle hinge has cracked right through. In all honesty, I can't see anything I could have done to cause that, so yeah, some parts of the design seems not only fragile, but even prone to spontaneous failure. I have reported it to Planet, though, in the midst of a pandemic, we agreed on not trying to fix it any time soon. Also, aesthetics aside, it doesn't seem to cause me any noticeable issues. My hinges doesn't squeak even a little, and my Gemini never had more than two hinges, so I'm not too worried.
When listening very carefully, the 'squeek' sound comes somewhere near the middle hinge. Actually, that sound was not present with very first openings and closures, but came in after a little use. We'll see what will happen in the future.
Pikku-iikka (alias Little Ike - 194 cm / 130 kg)
Planet Cosmo Communicator
Samsung Note 8, Jolla Phone (Sailfish), Nokia N9 (Meego)
Raspberry Pi 4 & Pi 3B+ (Raspbian) & HP minitower (win10) calculating scientifical data

Daniel W

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« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2020, 07:36:34 pm »
Quote from: Pikku-iikka
Hmmm, I've charged only from the left USB port, which I remember being the fast charge capable. Is the Planet's stock charger a fast charger or an usual one?
The Planet stock charger supports (the oldest, crudest and, thus, cheapest version of) a MediaTek specific fast charging protocol called Pump Express. If you look at the charger itself, it says it can output 5, 7, 9 or 12V, though I've only seen my Gemini and Cosmo use 5 or 9. As any USB charger, it always starts at 5V and only raises the voltage if being explicitly told so by the device. If the charger and the device doesn't speak the same fast-charging protocol, the charger just won't understand the device, and stay at 5V. This is why I can safely plug, say, my 130W (up to) 20V USB-C Dell laptop charger into the Cosmo. It even works.

Quote from: Pikku-iikka
Should one avoid charging constantly from the left port when using the stock charger? Or, in general, is fast charging more harmful than standard in some way?
It is my understanding (which may be wrong) that higher-current charging does put a bit more wear on Li-ion cells, though well-tuned and sophisticated charge controllers, combined with modern fast charging protocols, that can regulating the voltage in very fine (like 0.02V) steps already in the charger, should keep the extra wear to a reasonable minimum.

But PumpExpress+ "1.0" just pushes 9V into the Cosmo. Planet Computers themselves may not be experts in optimized charging and "the factory" may not care all that much about device longevity, so in this particular case, I would suggest "slow-charging" your Cosmo when not in a hurry. I cannot prove that would prolong your the battery life, but it's kind of harder to screw up slower charging. Since only the left USB port on the Cosmo supports PumpExpress, using the Cosmo charger in the right port is one way to slow-charge. Another is to use (in either port) a USB charger that doesn't speak PumpExpress, such as your Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 Note8 charger, or any garden variety ~2A@5V charger.

Quote from: Pikku-iikka
There was a unique situation once, when Cosmo started to make a quiet whizzling-buzzing noise while charging, luckily I was sitting very near and heard it right away. Noise went away only after a reboot.
Don't worry. I've had that happen twice. While it may have sounded a bit like a frying battery, I clearly noticed, the second time, that the sound actually came from the speakers. They should, of course, be off when not in use, but if some bug turns them on when no audio is fed to the amplifier, it could pick up any random electrical noise such as digital clock signals or noise from a battery voltage regulator.

Quote from: Pikku-iikka
Even the CoDi hasn't crashed totally...
While mine HAS "crashed completely" a few times (just staying off, or getting stuck showing half a menu), it tends to lock up and just keep showing the Planet logo, when it should show the clock. I usually just turn it off and on again with the soft button in the Android notification shade, but maybe I should try playing around more with the physical buttons next time.
Edit:Nope, when my CoDi gets stuck on the Planet logo, no amount of button pressing seems to help, only turning the CoDi off and back on again (after which it forgets its brightness setting...) from the Android notification shade.

Edit2:Since my Cosmo apparently happens to work quite well on V20 with stock everything, I decided to try disabling the Planet Voice Assistant (that kept generating unobtrusive, yet slightly annoying notifications). It could, of course, be a coincidence, but I just put my Cosmo on the charger, 44 hours after the last charge, still with 20% left. I do keep it in flight mode at night and I haven't been using heavily (about 135 min screen-on time since last charge) but still, if this wasn't a fluke, with bit of tweaking, such as disabling stuff I won't use anyway, and a few more firmware versions, with further optimizations, two days per full charge, or staying between, say, 30 and 80% with daily charging, as with my Gemini, might be feasible.

Edit3:I suppose it's commonly known that (slow) charging from the right side USB port doesn't work if the CoDi is disabled. If it is enabled, but turned off, I've noticed it can take half a minute or so, after plugging the cable in, before it starts charging. If it's enabled and on at the moment, it seems to just take a few seconds (or maybe I've just been lucky). Anyway, do know, that quite a bit of delay before charging kicks in, can be normal when using the right side port, at least on current firmwares.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2020, 11:41:00 am by Daniel W »

aard

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« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2020, 06:00:38 am »
Quote from: Daniel W
Yep, I'm a tad bummed that, is spite of treating my Cosmo really carefully, the plastic on the middle hinge has cracked right through. In all honesty, I can't see anything I could have done to cause that, so yeah, some parts of the design seems not only fragile, but even prone to spontaneous failure. I have reported it to Planet, though, in the midst of a pandemic, we agreed on not trying to fix it any time soon. Also, aesthetics aside, it doesn't seem to cause me any noticeable issues. My hinges doesn't squeak even a little, and my Gemini never had more than two hinges, so I'm not too worried.


I did a full teardown of a cosmo yesterday after swapping out a keyboard - after I had it half open anyway I thought can't hurt to get into the display part to see how much is (at least theoretically) servicable there. Do you have pictures of the breakage? The way the hinges are designed I don't see much mechanical stress on there. The holes for mounting the middle hinge to the bottom section are slightly larger than they need to be for the screws, but while it may be enough to cause creaking I don't think it should have impact on mechanical stress.

The hinge is two parts (three if you count the rod), one part metal, screwing into the base, and one part plastic, laminated to the display assembly, so not realistically swappable without the display. So unfortunately the one part which can break there is a bitch to replace - I assume in service they'd just swap out the top half, meaning you get essentially a new unit. If they don't consider it a warranty repair that'd also have a $500 price attached.

Daniel W

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« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2020, 04:03:57 pm »
Quote from: aard
Do you have pictures of the breakage?
This is the picture I sent Planet when reporting the issue. I can take and post more, perhaps from other angles, should that be of any value.
 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]
If I prod the crack carefully, with something like a toothpick, I can easily move the plastic on one side of the crack a tad without the other coming along, which, to me suggests the material has split right through. To the best of my knowledge, it was just suddenly there on Friday, March 27, before which I had not noticed any sign of strain in the material. I am not aware of the device being dropped, knocked or squeezed in any way prior to that date (it has fallen off of my bedside table at a later date, seemingly with no ill effects). When out and about, I keep the Cosmo in a Gemini slipcase, in my shirt chest pocket (to the point where shirts with too small chest pockets for the purpose, has been donated to a charity), so it has certainly never been sat on. As far as I can tell, the crack hasn't changed noticeably in the two months after I discovered it.

Apart from referring to the Covid complications Planet, said they'd be happy to repair it as soon as physically possible, but they could of course not estimate when that might be. I suggested back to them that, as long as the cracked hinge doesn't get significantly worse, we don't even try to schedule any repair. I just felt I had to report the issue s soon as I discovered it, in case I'd need to refer back to it, at some later date.

Beyond being a slight aesthetic blemish, it doesn't seem to affect my Cosmo in any real way, but as it seemingly just mysteriously appeared, I'd be interested in any clue that might shed a light on how it might have happened.

PNuT

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« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2020, 09:42:28 pm »
One of the outer covers on mine has mysteriously cracked and I have no idea how, it also doesn't seem to effect it in any way....  [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

ianisthewalrus

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« Reply #24 on: June 01, 2020, 01:25:29 pm »
i am begining to really develop a distaste for how unsturdy the device is. my codi lcd just broke from being in my pocket on a walk.... the glass is fine, somehow the panel underneath is just toast.... anyone has a good experience getting this kind of thing fixed? so far i have only heard negative things about planets support.

Daniel W

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« Reply #25 on: June 16, 2020, 10:00:36 am »
I know this isn't the "my hinge is falling apart" thread, though as this happens while I'm (carefully) using my Cosmo as my "daily driver" (in fact, my only EDC electronic device, beyond SIM cards and such), I think it fits this topic, so here's an 82-days-layer update:
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Over that past few weeks, I've seen a faint line appear in the plastic (much like the thin white-ish lines in the image above), and one day, a fragment had come loose. As of today, it fell out. While I was hard pressed to come up with any reasonable explanation as to why the hinge cracked in the first place, once the crack had happened, the load on the plastic should reasonably be absolutely zero, so why further cracking happened, leading to that piece falling out, leaves me next to completely clueless. It's as if the plastic is slowly decomposing by itself. As long as it doesn't affect the functionality of the device, I won't bother much. The resale value might suffer, but I don't plan on selling the Cosmo anyway.

Zarhan

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« Reply #26 on: June 16, 2020, 10:15:39 am »
Quote from: Daniel W
It's as if the plastic is slowly decomposing by itself.

Eco-friendly plastic

Have you been keeping the Cosmo primarily in opened configuration, possibly exposed to sunlight? Ultraviolet-induced brittleness might really be the only thing that comes to mind for me...although I Have to say it should start showing in the order of *years*, not months.

Daniel W

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« Reply #27 on: June 16, 2020, 01:34:21 pm »
Quote from: Zarhan
Quote from: Daniel W
It's as if the plastic is slowly decomposing by itself.

Eco-friendly plastic

Have you been keeping the Cosmo primarily in opened configuration, possibly exposed to sunlight? Ultraviolet-induced brittleness might really be the only thing that comes to mind for me...although I Have to say it should start showing in the order of *years*, not months.
Yeah, maybe Planet-friendly plastic even...

Well, I do keep it open, on my nightstand, as I use it as a manual sleep tracker (I have a macro to record the time when I wake up during the night), but while the days are getting longer here in Sweden, I have no sunlight in my bedroom during the night, and during the day, my Cosmo is usually closed, either sitting on my work desk or in my shirt pocket. As plain window glass isn't all that transparent to UV, and neither my desk nor shirt pocket receives much sunlight anyway, I doubt it has much effect here. I've had a plastic pipe, exposed to a sunny window for decades, grow brittle and break, but even if Planet PlasticTM would somehow be super-sensitive to UV, then why specifically the middle hinge? From what I've gathered, it should be made of the same plastic as other parts of the case, and I sure hope that won't just spontaneously start falling apart...

vldmr

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« Reply #28 on: June 16, 2020, 09:05:51 pm »
Quote from: Daniel W
Well, I do keep it open, on my nightstand, as I use it as a manual sleep tracker

Well, your story led me to examining my hinge very closely, and I did not find any hint for cracking. In a (pseudo)scientific approach with n=1 we have to conclude that it is not good to keep the Cosmo opened for prolonged periods - like during nights for something like 8 hours. Although I do keep mine opened during work hours which add up to the same 8 hours. So we have to dismiss scientific (pseudo)thinking with the score of n=1:1. Maybe other user will care to add to this statistics to shed more light on the subject.

gymbo

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« Reply #29 on: June 16, 2020, 10:09:03 pm »
Quote from: Daniel W
Quote from: Zarhan
Quote from: Daniel W
It's as if the plastic is slowly decomposing by itself.

Eco-friendly plastic

Have you been keeping the Cosmo primarily in opened configuration, possibly exposed to sunlight? Ultraviolet-induced brittleness might really be the only thing that comes to mind for me...although I Have to say it should start showing in the order of *years*, not months.
Yeah, maybe Planet-friendly plastic even...

Well, I do keep it open, on my nightstand, as I use it as a manual sleep tracker (I have a macro to record the time when I wake up during the night), but while the days are getting longer here in Sweden, I have no sunlight in my bedroom during the night, and during the day, my Cosmo is usually closed, either sitting on my work desk or in my shirt pocket. As plain window glass isn't all that transparent to UV, and neither my desk nor shirt pocket receives much sunlight anyway, I doubt it has much effect here. I've had a plastic pipe, exposed to a sunny window for decades, grow brittle and break, but even if Planet PlasticTM would somehow be super-sensitive to UV, then why specifically the middle hinge? From what I've gathered, it should be made of the same plastic as other parts of the case, and I sure hope that won't just spontaneously start falling apart...
It's the AI capabilities of the Cosmo shining through again: It ACTIVELY seeks out UV rays and sends them directly to the middle hinge!   (Why I don't know...)
I have said it before, the CODI is MUCH more advanced than advertised, and has achieved full AI capabilities, which again appears as a lot of "bugs" and other troubles...

But to be a little serious: Could the "spring-effect" of the hinge cover put a strain on the hinge? So that it actually IS NOT advised to keep it in open mode for prolonged time? Would be surprised if it was exerting enough force that it really should be an issue, but maybe if the whole phone is a little curved as well, it might be enough to BE an issue...? If the phone somehow has been bent in some situation, that alone might have caused a crack in the hinge, but then it should have cracked vertically... Seems kind of strange anyhow, and this was more or less "wild guesses", and was just as much an exercise in trying to explain it to myself as anything else, and can't really say I succeeded in even that... But I am a bit concerned by the build quality of the Planet devices; my Gemini now has a hinge cover that is only "attached" when the phone is closed, and I have a crack in a hinge and the "cover" for the keyboard LED has broken off. But I am waiting for the next firmware before I will go trough the hassle of moving things over to the Cosmo to use that in stead. (And the Cosmo will "live" in the leather pouch, I don't know how many times my Gemini has crashed to the ground, so it might actually be OK build quality, but a few to many "drops"...)