Author Topic: First impressions  (Read 2765 times)

Zarhan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 363
    • View Profile
First impressions
« on: December 13, 2022, 01:30:17 pm »
Ok, got my Astro today...first impressions:

It's *thick*. The case I got earlier (https://www.amazon.de/-/en/Horizontal-Premium-Genuine-Leather-Holster/dp/B08ZXH4LDG/ref=psdc_364918031_t2_B084M83CDQ?th=1) that fits just fine for Cosmo just barely closes with Astro, so it's *very* tight.
 => Minor annoyance: If the slider comes out even a millimeter when putting the device to case/pocket, the display comes on (locked of course). Of course it turns off after a while, but still...

Keyboard reassignment tool works, https://planetcom.co.uk/keyboard_ed_alpha.apk - I was able to swap the Ä/Ö for Finnish just fine, and I also mapped ALT+QWERTYUIOP  to 1234567890. This way, if I slide the device *almost* open but without rocking up, I'm able to type in numbers (only missing a convenient place to put backspace to... ).

I didn't get deejoy-dota problems or having the device coming with Chinese country settings. It started directly by asking my language & kb layout.

Disabled OneSearch.

Build quality has signs of slight shoddiness. On the left side, near Esc key, there's a tiny strip of plastic that is loose (just surrounding the keyboard). Might be that a *very* small drop of glue would fix this.

The Rockup mechanism/keyboard hinge is *metal* so not concerned about that breaking as such, but of course it might bend out of shape if I drop it. Anyway: METAL, not even reinforced plastic.

Installed OpenCamera, the camera quality with 48 MP looks quite good. Face detection works even in ridiculously dark light. Haven't of course done any involved quality measurements in case there's some quirks (as Shuntcap discovered with Cosmo).

Noticed that the navigation buttons (triangle, circle, square) in landscape mode appear in reverse order compared to Cosmo. This broke my muscle memory. I'm using Nova Launcher but that doesn't seem to be the cause. I'm not sure what is the "Correct" order but I prefer the triangle ("back") to be on top instead of bottom.

Sometimes, when I close the Rock-up, I get bunch of 'pppppppppppp's written to the google search bar. The sliding mechanism presses down on that key.

Need to put a SIM card in later this week and actually try some calls.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2022, 01:48:47 pm by Zarhan »

Zarhan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 363
    • View Profile
Re: First impressions
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2022, 01:43:22 pm »
The navigation buttons issue is demonstrated below:

Astro portrait:
 


Astro landscape:
 


The buttons are reversed compared to Cosmo.

Cosmo landscape:
 
« Last Edit: December 13, 2022, 01:46:24 pm by Zarhan »

vader

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 296
    • View Profile
Re: First impressions
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2022, 02:08:27 am »
I'm in the same boat. Got mine on Monday (12th December). It is a big boy. When the phone is in keyboard mode, it is really tight and stable - impressively so. As a phone, it is large. It feels bigger than the cosmo. The performance is good, not astounding, but good. The camera is a surprise - I thought it would be terrible after seeing a few reviews. It is actually capable of some reasonable photos. The biggest trick is to turn off HDR mode. Overall, if I had received this a year ago, I would be over the moon in happy street. At the end of 2022, it is still good enough, but not really a patch on my work phone (with 8+ Gen 1 chipset).

As a small laptop, running termux and other laptoppy things, the astro is beyond awesome. As a phone, I am still making up my mind however it hasn't run up any red flags yet. Definitely a pass mark when put under the microscope. I do like the feel of the phone, especially the redesigned bottom half. I think it would have felt odd if the larger battery weren't added and the case flattened out.

Zarhan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 363
    • View Profile
Re: First impressions
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2022, 04:08:15 am »
As a small laptop, running termux and other laptoppy things, the astro is beyond awesome.

Additional annoyance that I noticed: The curved screen corners eat away pixels at screen corners when using Termux/Connectbot or anything really.

So if I have
zarhan@myserver:~$

prompt at bottom left of the screen (as it usually is after the first few statements), it eats away the first couple of characters.

More annoying when running things where the stuff  there actually *matters*, like an IRC client.

In normal phone usage, when holding phone in portrait mode, the curved corner eats part of the battery symbol. I turned on battery percentage display as a workaround.

I wonder if there's some way to tell Astro to *not* consider that as part of the screen (like how e.g. notch avoidance works).

Zarhan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 363
    • View Profile
Re: First impressions
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2022, 06:02:53 am »
I wonder if there's some way to tell Astro to *not* consider that as part of the screen (like how e.g. notch avoidance works).

Sort of solution: In developer settings you can specify the notch. "Waterfall" removes part of the screen...unfortunately, it's wrong part. "Corner" is ok-ish, but too large.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2022, 06:09:12 am by Zarhan »

Zarhan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 363
    • View Profile
Re: First impressions
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2022, 06:33:38 am »
Ok - one first real issue that's more than an annoyance.

If someone calls me and I miss it, there's no indication. LED does not light up.

For an SMS, it turns green and I see that someone has sent me a message, but for missed calls, nothing is appearing. "Blink" option is set in notifications.

Cosmo also blinks yellow if there's a missed call or SMS.

I tried a couple of LED softwares (including LEDison), but those do not seem to help here. Any ideas?

Zarhan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 363
    • View Profile
Re: First impressions
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2022, 10:37:09 am »
Solution for the missing "missed call" notification.

Install missed notification reminder: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.app.missednotificationsreminder

Have it attach to notifications from phone application.

Configure the reminder to be silent, but have it "blink lights" in the notification settings.

Result is that after one minute of receiving a call, the LED turns on.

Convoluted solutions FTW.

Daniel W

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 372
    • View Profile
Re: First impressions
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2022, 03:06:55 pm »
Hi Zarhan, I hope you don't mind me adding my first impressions here. Tell me if you do, and I'll be gone. I'm thinking that if we can gather first impressions in one thread, they'll be easier to navigate in the future. I have touched on some things you already mentioned, as I think it can be interesting to look for patterns, if any, in certain phenomena.

My unit booted to simplified Chinese, but I saw no deejoy-dota. I set it to English (I am Swedish, but find it easier to discuss things in English on the internet), leaving the Chinese installed, but when I then used the Planet Keyboard app to pick a Swedish hardware layout, the Chinese vanished. Either the Planet app removes all but the selected UI language or just simplified Chinese, say, if they know it might remain after testing?

At first, my battery drain was a bit high. To me, this seems common after major Android updates, as if it needs time to settle down, so I didn't worry. I saw some lingering Chinese though, so on day two, I took the advice of others here, and started over from a factory reset. Now, I don't need to wonder if a "proper" setup had helped, when something, inevitably, acts up. It seems to draw less power now. Maybe some test stuff was left behind? Anyway, I'd recommend a factory reset to anyone whose Astro booted into simplified Chinese, even if you intend to use that language on your unit.

I have Ö in my muscle memory, so I haven't swapped it with Ä, even though it's (a bit) more common, also in Swedish. The ALT + QWERTY thing sounds clever. Would the remapping app allow, say, ALT-Enter for backspace?

If we're talking about the same strip(s) of plastic, I think you should try to carefully glue it down (but "fatty" plastics often needs special glues). There are two tiny protrusions on the back of the screen that seems designed to slide along them on opening and closing. Mine are intact, and my screen still tends to type p on closing, but I can't imagine it helps, if pieces of the guiding system are loose or missing.

After making sure HDR was off and, by first clicking on the orange icon in the lower left of the viewfinder and then on the cogwheel that appears over to the right, setting the photo resolution to 12MP, which neatly aligns with 2x2 binning of the 48MP sensor, I am initially okay with the camera quality. I may not find the time to test it myself, so I'd like to hear if others can get better quality, in full auto, out of something else than the stock photo app. I may get Open Camera or such anyway, to get more settings, but as most of my photos are point and shoot, I'm interested in full auto in particular.

I notice that the OLED screen briefly flashes to full brightness when it turns on or off. It can be a bit jarring, but I don't really care. If the brightness is set very low, even with auto brightness off, the screen can suddenly go all black. Using the keyboard shortcut to raise the brightness some, brings it back to life, but that seems like something the first update should deal with. Other than that, I really like the screen. Yes, it's oversaturated, but as the screen by necessity is small, I think the color contrast helps bringing out details, and I find bright colors to be pretty, so I like it.

Edit 2022-Dec-26:
The amount of background noise from the electronics, when using headphones though, is a new record for me. It even beats my C64 fron 1983, I think. I have recorded some of it, so it may soon show up somewhere here on OESF. and uploaded to the ear phone noise thread.

On Zarhan's Astro, the display apparently comes on if the slider comes out even a millimeter (when putting the device into a case/pocket). FWIW, my Astro does not behave like that. I need to push my display about five millimeters before it wakes up, which I suppose is the intended behaviour. When I had just started my Astro for the first time it would wake up at the slightest nudge. In my case, that was because Settings -> Display -> (Advanced) -> "Lift to wake" was on. That might make sense for a device that mostly sits on a desk, but for me it became annoying, so I turned it off.

Edit 2022-Dec-27: Moved the SIM card. Now, my Astro, on which I'm typing this, is my main phone.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2022, 08:26:56 pm by Daniel W »

gidds

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 324
    • View Profile
Re: First impressions
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2023, 03:28:53 pm »
Additional annoyance that I noticed: The curved screen corners eat away pixels at screen corners when using Termux/Connectbot or anything really.

In Termux, one workaround is to increase the vertical margin.

Edit the file ‘.termux/termux.properties’, and add a line like:
Code: [Select]
terminal-margin-horizontal=12
(I found 12 pixels a reasonable compromise between being able to see most of the bottom-left char, and not wasting too much space down the LHS. Of course, you an experiment to see what you prefer.)

Then either restart Termux, or run ‘termux-reload-settings` to see the effect.
   Andy/
Psion 3a → Psion 5 → Psion 5mx → Gemini → Astro