Author Topic: How robust is a Gemini?  (Read 443 times)

apink

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How robust is a Gemini?
« on: August 08, 2021, 09:39:07 pm »
I am just stumbling across the gemini and like what I see.  I am interested in knowing how long it will last under daily use.  In particular, I have had clam shells in the past and the hinges and/or  screen ribbons often fail.  Is it common for a gemini used daily to last for several years without this kind of failure? 
--current use--
linux chroot on top of lineage  on cell phone

--past handhelds--
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Varti

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Re: How robust is a Gemini?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2021, 05:18:24 am »
Hi apink and welcome back!

I have moved your post in a new thread for better visibility. I have bought my Gemini a couple of years ago, and I never had any problem with the hinge or the screen, even if I have accidentally dropped my device on the floor a couple of times. I only had once to bend the hinge cover since it was getting loose. Since the PCB is located behind the screen, there's only a small cable in the hinge connecting the battery with the screen and PCB, so there's no ribbon cable being bent every time the screen is closed. I have read though about some people having issues with the hinge, i.e. cracks in the plastic holders, I have not observed them on my unit:
https://www.oesf.org/forum/index.php?topic=35825.0

Varti
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apink

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Re: How robust is a Gemini?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2021, 04:21:58 pm »
Thank you Varti.  That is good to know.  Thank you also for moving this to get more visibility.

I gues that a second way to ask my question would be poll-like.  If you use your gemini on a fairly regular basis (daily or almost daily), how long have you been using it with only minor adjustments and/or how long before its functionality broke down and forced you to get another device?
--current use--
linux chroot on top of lineage  on cell phone

--past handhelds--
pandora
ben nanonote
zaurus sl-c1000

jakfish

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Re: How robust is a Gemini?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2021, 05:02:51 pm »
I bought my Gemini very early on and used it as my daily driver until I got the Cosmo. My only complaint about the Gem was its slight screen bounce while typing, which I fixed by duct-taping a piece of trimmed coat hanger on the machine' back as it lay in the hinge's slot. I still don't understand the physics of its success, but it works for years and the tape is hidden.

I use the Gem now as a pure Linux machine, and anecdotally, the Gem is much more robust than my Cosmo, whose hardware has fallen apart, piece by piece.

Jake

Daniel W

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Re: How robust is a Gemini?
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2021, 07:56:11 am »
I have a similar experience as jakfish. While my x25 Gemini is a somewhat crude first generation product, the typing experience isn't the best (not sure if later batches are any different), and the lack of a proper rear camera meant I kept carrying my old phone around too, my Gemini worked well during the nearly two years I used it frequently.

Since then, it has, still in good order, been in storage, as I am now using a Cosmo, which came from the factory with tiny hairline cracks around a few of the magnets, and parts of the middle hinge has spontaneously fallen off, though neither has affected its usability. While I can't say for sure that the Cosmo is less durable than the Gemini, I can, at least, say that the Cosmo does not appear to be any more robust than the Gemini.

Both are clamshell devices and, as such, a bit more delicate than monoblock phones. As the small quantities means the Planet phones must be fairly cheaply made, by a third party, there are some quality issues with both, so whether you get a good one or not, seems to depend a bit more on luck than it would, were you to go with a major brand.

As the latest (last?) Gemini firmware available is from May 2019, I would, due to the lack of Android security updates, currently only recommend the Gemini for Linux use.

apink

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Re: How robust is a Gemini?
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2021, 11:45:55 pm »
Thank you jakfish and Daniel.  Your information is helpful.
--current use--
linux chroot on top of lineage  on cell phone

--past handhelds--
pandora
ben nanonote
zaurus sl-c1000