Author Topic: Astroslide  (Read 2237 times)

Zarhan

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Astroslide
« on: March 30, 2020, 03:19:21 am »
I got spam from Indiegogo about Planet's next project:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/astro-sl...er/x/19732232#/

Considering that Cosmo is "just out" I don't think I'll be shelling money just yet...

maki.jouni

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Astroslide
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2020, 03:25:15 am »
aftere "few" delays when astro is out, I think it would nice to have new toy again. I'm in...

This time just have to place contribution and leave it there. And hop that postman have something for me at some point.... Now that I have decent mobile device with keyboard there is no rush at all for me...
« Last Edit: March 30, 2020, 03:25:43 am by maki.jouni »
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Noppe

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Astroslide
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2020, 03:25:52 am »
So who's going to tell them about the name?

Vistaus

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Astroslide
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2020, 05:45:02 am »
Looks cool, a nice competitor to the Fxtec Pro 1. Cool name as well. But not my cup of tea as I love the laptop-y form factor of the Cosmo, so I'll keep using my Cosmo

Edit: yes, I know you can prop up the Astro's screen as well, but you have to slide it all the way open first and the screen is always exposed even when closed.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2020, 12:31:47 pm by Vistaus »

ArchiMark

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Astroslide
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2020, 08:45:22 am »
I am in.....couldn't resist....

Something to look forward to next year sometime....

Only 5 early bird's left after I backed now.

 

Mark
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vldmr

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Astroslide
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2020, 09:53:06 am »
So when it was actually announced? They are already past their goal with 174%.

At the moment igg shows 574 backers, 9 early birds left, I tried to get in an hour ago, it showed 50 early birds left, I got contribution number 620 something, card was declined, tried second time in 10 minutes, 25 early birds left, got #670 something.

Crazy!

Edit: Just checked the first update on IGG, which states Astro Slide reaches Indiegogo funding goal in 4 hours! posted on Mar 30, 2020 • 5:29AM. So it was announced about 8 hours from now. Really crazy!
« Last Edit: March 30, 2020, 10:02:18 am by vldmr »

maki.jouni

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Astroslide
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2020, 03:14:02 pm »
Quote from: vldmr
So when it was actually announced?
In Finland I got email notification 9:59 "Introducing the Astro Slide" and 10:12 I got 2nd email "indiegogo contribution#xx receipt....."
 
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PNuT

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Astroslide
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2020, 10:38:24 pm »
584  

Rahab D

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Astroslide
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2020, 03:28:29 am »
What a surprise!
I feel really fooled.
Gemini stopped for months without updates (and android 8 has problems); Cosmo still to be refined.
I had collaborated like others to define Cosmo from Gemini's specifications and I had sweated to allow the upgrade ...
But not everyone can spend hundreds of euros every year to run after a company that never seems to end what starts!
Where did the "descendants" from the mythical Psion go? That was a durable device ...
Why - in the presence of Gemini's hinge problems and with a completely innovative project - then did you choose to improve Gemini as much as possible, skipping Cosmo's release and aiming to definitely renew the range with Astro?
For months, I wrote to Planet saying that they had sent me a broken power supply and they didn't even reply. And, like others, I still await a Cosmo accessory.
Now there is also covid-19 and times are getting tough. My city (Venezia) is condemned to economic death, since even if the local emergency passes, the world emergency will remain longer. There will be no more money for toys. Astro looks nice, but Planet asked for my trust to show me that it could satisfy me better than the beginnings with Gemini; and this trust is betraying it by asking me to trust again that Psion's heir - destined to last - will finally be Astro. And then Universe will arrive, available putatively in September 2021 (6 month after, as usual  ) and PC will ask me to believe blindly that that will be the absolute device to keep in your pocket at least 4 years ...
All of this is irresponsible.
And it risks breaking the legs of a device probably more usable than Cosmo (beyond the different internal components).
It would be serious for PCs to offer Cosmo owners to withdraw their devices with a small loss to buy at a small Astro price. Then I know ... it will be said that the company is small ... But a small company must be more responsible than its niche customers of a generalist giant. If you don't understand this, Planet Computers is already doomed.

vldmr

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Astroslide
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2020, 10:36:28 am »
I tend to agree with Rahab D. PC being small company that is obviously so thin on resources to reliably maintain its current offering. Now these limited resources will be spread even thinner due to designing the next product. Which means both current and next will suffer.

Raking more money at igg does not mean that PC will automatically get enough of adequate resources.

After weighting my confidence in PC I decided to pull my contribution to Astro.

ArchiMark

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Astroslide
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2020, 10:53:47 am »
Please note that you should not think that supporting an Indiegogo campaign is the same as purchasing a product at a retail store or online store.

You are making a contribution to support development of a product. Rather than the company giving you shares of company in return, they typically offer a 'perk'. Think of the perk similar to a thank you gift for making your contribution.

Once the company delivers their perk, they have satisfied their obligation to the contributors.

Again, this is very different than you purchasing their product after it is released to the general marketplace either at Planet Computers directly or through other retail channels. Many of the comments I read about product delivery, service, and support sound as if you purchased device through normal retail means. But as a contributor you did not do so and Indiegogo is very clear about this.

Adjust your expectations accordingly or wait to purchase later at retail price, which is generally higher price, but less risk.

See this page regarding risks and expectations of supporting a campaign:

https://support.indiegogo.com/hc/en-us/arti...is-Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding on Indiegogo empowers people to unite around the ideas that matter to them, and together make those ideas come to life. Whether you're searching for the latest in tech, supporting your favorite independent filmmaker, or helping an important cause, you can find something that inspires you on Indiegogo. Crowdfunding generates exciting opportunities for backers and entrepreneurs alike, but there are some basic facts that all backers should know.

It is important to understand that backing a campaign and claiming a perk are not the same as buying an item online. Instead, supporting a crowdfunding idea on a platform like Indiegogo means you are helping a work-in-progress project, idea or cause. We want to let our community dream big, so we don't have criteria for what kind of project can become an Indiegogo campaign, other than what's outlined in our Terms of Use. That said, we know that deciding to support a project can seem daunting, so here are a few links to help you get started:

How to Evaluate a Campaign
Does Indiegogo Guarantee Perks?
What does Indiegogo do to protect us?
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maki.jouni

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Astroslide
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2020, 10:58:37 am »
Quote from: ArchiMark
Many of the comments I read about product delivery, service, and support sound as if you....
I kind of find myself from that, but only because I want that Planet Computrs would succeed and grow big and we could get wider range of device and ongoing support to all devices
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maki.jouni

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Astroslide
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2020, 11:05:26 am »
Quote from: maki.jouni
I kind of find myself from that
And I mainly mean me critisaising transparency of comments/updates of PlanetComputers and how handling global supply chains and sub contractors and managing project. But If all of that would be fine, they probably wouldn't be on IndiGoGo, but selling straight their products, maybe in future, hope so.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2020, 11:07:33 am by maki.jouni »
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tpp

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Astroslide
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2020, 12:35:30 pm »
I love the design, and everything about Astro, despite the MTK processor. I'd love to back it immediately after I received the e-mail. But I also feel disappointed and betrayed by Planet Computers who simply abandoned Gemini PDA which cost me $600 back in the day. The software situation is unacceptable. Fool me once - shame on you, fool me twice - shame on me. And unless I am the single person disappointed with Planet Computers complete lack of support for Gemini PDA, I bet they'll loose more in sales than it would cost them to provide Android security patches every couple months.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2020, 12:46:17 pm by tpp »

Daniel W

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Astroslide
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2020, 11:42:44 am »
Quote from: Rahab D
What a surprise!
I must admit I kind of saw this one coming. In a video interview from about the time of the Cosmo release in Japan, I seem to recall Dr. Janko hinting they were already thinking about 5G. No details were given, but when MediaTek, shortly after, revealed their Dimensity 1000 5G SoC, I was pretty sure Planet would use that chip. I didn't know it would be a slider, but as the Gemini was "a PDA", with phone support, and the Cosmo "a Communicator", i.e. a mini laptop-ish thing, it felt reasonable their third attempt would be "a smartphone", hopefully able to attract a slightly bigger market share.

I got upset at first, thinking they, for the love of decency, ought to get the Cosmo (and Gemini) actually DONE before lusting for new hardware. Thinking again, I realized their hands might be rather forced. Crowdfunding for fairly simple things, can get money, have perks made, shipped and (yes, I'm simplifying) mostly be done. Smartphones are not simple. They need to be maintained and repaired for some time, so Planet Computers needs to keep paying for a staff, an office and a repair shop. Ideally, their web shop sales would cover those costs, and give them some profit. As they're currently struggling hard to, at all, get their perks shipped in working order, their costs are reasonably through the roof, and I'm a bit surprised they haven't folded.

To stay in business, I think they pretty much had to launch another campaign, and hope it won't be quite as messy as the other ones. That may divert some resources away from fixing firmware bugs in the Cosmo and Gemini, but other than shutting down, I don't think they had that much of a choice. Also, the people designing the hardware, probably aren't same as those making and fixing the firmware. The Cosmo hardware is done and we are far away from needing the first beta firmware for the Astro, so I'm not so sure those projects will compete that much over resources. I do think the current state of the Cosmo is taking resources away from the Gemini though.

So, what do I expect? Mostly another premium-ish priced mid-market phone with a Planet keyboard, which I think is the best we can hope for, from a tiny vendor, in a market heavily stacked against smaller firms. They're not going to sell a million Astros. They're not getting access to Snapdragon chips or Samsung cameras any time soon. It is kind of interesting that the Cosmo has a Samsung camera *sensor* which, in a Samsung camera module with Samsung software, would likely be quite good, but without premium stuff on all levels, the end product isn't going to be stellar, in spite of its name. Though, with four A77, four A55 cores and the other parts, the Dimensity 1000, to me, looks like a decent part.

Am I going for it? Yes, I have backed it, but, much like Maki Jouni already said, I'm not in any hurry this time. The non-backlit keyboard and the barely-barcode-capable camera of the Gemini turned out so painful that the Cosmo couldn't come soon enough, and while not all that great, the Cosmo is my daily driver now. Unless it physically breaks, I expect to reasonably happily keep using it, until something better comes along. Yes, it crashes more than I'd like, the CoDi is wonky and the camera isn't up to spec, but I can live with those things. Even now, it's a lot more stable than my first smartphone, a 2003 Motorola A920, ever got (Swedish users may understand why I used to call it my "Tregelsten" - my brick from Three) and I expect the Cosmo to improve somewhat with time. In the best of worlds, I may have contributed a tad to give Planet some room to also improve the Gemini a bit. Even if mine just sits in a cupboard right now, I'm keeping it, if nothing else, as a spare phone, should my Cosmo fail.

One thing they might have learned, is that these things takes time. They thought the Gemini would be done in... was it nine months? And the Cosmo in... seven? This time, they're at least giving themselves eleven months. Had that not been the case, I would not have backed this project. If they could now ALSO learn to communicate on a strict schedule, things could be less nerve wrecking this time. I wouldn't mind if Planet got more open about how how much is done by their subcontractors. There's no shame in that. That way, their explanations, when subcontractors runs into issues, would sound less like excuses.

I hope they'll be done by June/July 2021, and I predict it will be really hard to make that novel RockUp slider reliable, based off of what East Aeon can do. On the other hand, clever hinges has been a theme since the days of the Psion Series 3, so if anyone can dot it, I'd bet on Martin Riddiford.