Author Topic: Help me choose between the Pro1 and the Astro please !  (Read 5705 times)

Cedd

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Help me choose between the Pro1 and the Astro please !
« on: September 25, 2022, 10:58:04 am »
Hi everyone, I need help to help me choose my smartphone.

Currently I hesitate between Pro1 and the Astro.

In the benefits of the Pro1, I saw that it has a bootloader officially released and compatibility Lineage OS and Ubuntu Touch, this is super !  :D

And for Astro ? Can you run a program linux ? The forum of the Astro dedicated to Linux is sadly empty. Linux is important to me because I have to do to turn Sublime Text so optimal  8)

Then I saw on indiegogo.com you can acquire the first production unit of the Astro-pre-order for 573€, but also the second production unit for 699€. But what is the difference ? I have no information on it.

Thank you for clarifying  :'(

gymbo

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Re: Help me choose between the Pro1 and the Astro please !
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2022, 12:07:08 pm »
The Astro SHOULD be able to run some version of Linux too, eventually.

And there are now real differences between the different "versions" of Astro on Indiegogo, so if you are able to get the cheaper one, then go for it (if you decide to get the Astro).

And if you are interested in the best keyboard, I would really recommend the Astro: I have both the Gemini and the Cosmo (and will hopefully get the Astro as well, but will probably have to wait a while, as I want/"ordered" the Norwegian/Danish version), and before that, I had the E7 (and the previous Communicators from Nokia). And when I for some reason turn on the E7, the keyboard now feels very "cramped" compered to Gemini/Cosmo. And the keyboard on the E7 seems to be similar to the one on FxTec Pro1 X (and their previous phone as well).

Hope this helps somewhat, but be aware that you are posting this question on a forum, that for the time being, is mostly related to Planet computer devices, so most reply's you get here are likely to be positive to them... 8)

Cedd

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Re: Help me choose between the Pro1 and the Astro please !
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2022, 02:54:13 am »
You convinced me on the keyboard, thank you, but you didn't answer any of my questions.

What worries me a little is that on the lineage OS and ubuntu touch sites, the Pro1 is referenced, there is even an instruction guide on the 2 sites. On the other hand, the Astro does not exist.

Cedd

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Re: Help me choose between the Pro1 and the Astro please !
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2022, 08:35:41 am »
I just cracked... I hope it will be possible to tweak it. Just running Sublime text natively would satisfy me.

Daniel W

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Re: Help me choose between the Pro1 and the Astro please !
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2022, 05:35:22 pm »
If discounted pre-order Astros are still available, grab one of those. Besides tweaks to fix issues, if any, discovered in the first pre-order production run, there should be no real differences between the pre-order Astros and the second production run, except that they cost more and are made later.

When Planet crowdfunds a new device, they've always offered a steep discount at first, to get people to start funding the project. Then, the closer they get to some sort of serial production, the lower the discount gets. Eventually the devices becomes available in their web store, at the regular price for that device. Basically, they offer lower prices to people willing to wait longer.

Legally speaking, as crowdfunding is investing in a project, rather than purchasing a product, crowdfunders also accepts some risk of getting nothing, should the project, for any reason, fail. That risk tends to be bigger in the beginning, when there are more unknowns. While Planet has always had major delays, they have, thus far, always delivered in the end.

Regarding the LineageOS and Ubuntu Touch OS sites, as far as I know, the F(x)Tec phones were specifically designed, in collaboration with XDA Developers, "to run LineageOS out of the box, and you can also get a version running Ubuntu Touch OS".

The Planet phones are primarily made to run Android, with Linux in mind, as a community effort, once the devices has shipped. While the Astro is finally shipping now, it's a slow trickle, hampered by various lockdowns, so many backers, including me and, probably, the Linux community, hasn't received their own Astros yet. That's why the entire Astro forum only has 35 topics in total at the moment. The Linux effort should start to pick up speed once more backers gets their devices and, by all means, don't be shy to be the first to post in the Astro Linux subforum, if you have general questions about what might and might not work in a foreseeable future.

As it is an enthusiast aftermarket effort, with some support from Planet, Linux on Astro will probably take a while to mature. If your main desire is to run particular Linux programs, you might have success with Android apps such as UserLAnd, Debian noroot or Andronix, to run a Linux environment on top of Android. You can find them on Google Play.

[Edited to fix some paragraph breaks]
« Last Edit: October 01, 2022, 05:39:52 pm by Daniel W »

Cedd

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Re: Help me choose between the Pro1 and the Astro please !
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2022, 09:38:02 pm »
thank you very much Daniel for your detailed answer.  I'm having trouble understanding indiegogo.  There were only three devices left available for the 30% promotional offer, but after ordering my "perk?"  I saw this counter decrease and then go up again to 3.
 My contribution id has the number 10xxx but that does not tell me at all about the progress of the expedition.
 moreover, I have until October 8 to cancel my order, after which I lose the indiegogo guarantee... This is not very encouraging.
 for linux emulators, thank you for sharing but it seems to me that you have to load a desktop (xfce?) to launch sublime text and I fear that it will be heavy on a mediatek 800. I will try later.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2022, 07:18:31 pm by Cedd »

Daniel W

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Re: Help me choose between the Pro1 and the Astro please !
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2022, 04:31:12 pm »
The number of available units in limited offers has historically been elastic. My qualified guess is that once a project owner publishes a limited offer, Indiegogo won't let them lower the numbers offered, only add to them, if they want. As steeper discounts on more units equals less money, it might pay to be a bit conservative. Also, showing lower numbers might bolster a sense of urgency among potential backers... Not accusing, just saying...

At the start of a project, Planet has offered a few hundred steeply discounted devices. Once mostly gone, they've kept adding some units, again and again, until, at some point, they've let the cheapest tier to run out, at something odd like 2905 units, but kept adding units to less discounted offers for longer. For now, they seem to keep the 30% off €573 offer just above zero units (two, right now), maybe to stop anyone from backing a lot of them at that price or perhaps to tease that the offer is ending soon. Either way, the same thing can be available at multiple prices.

I think Indiegogo writes "Get this perk" and "Refund contribution", not "Buy this item" or "Cancel order" for legal reasons (they do write "Sold out" though). As I wrote earlier, crowdfunding isn't buying, it's contributing to a project that, hopefully, will give you the "perk", in return. Would a project fail, we, as backers, might not get any money back, as opposed to someone buying a full price device in a web store.

After contributing, you may change your mind for a few days. After that, I presume, Indiegogo hands the money to Planet Computers, who certainly intends to get you an Astro, but wouldn't automatically break any law if they failed to deliver anything. While that may sound scary, and there are many failed crowdfunding projects, Planet has, thus far, delivered, if slowly, in the end.

While likely harmless, I recommend against making your particular contribution id public. Too specific information on anything of value, could encourage a would-be cyber-crook to try to abuse it somehow. Around here, something like 10xxx is precise enough. The number itself is akin to an order number.

Planet has said they try to deliver phones roughly in id order, but within a production run, they need to make batches with the same keyboard layout, because reconfiguring the laser etching machine is slow. They also do quality checks and shipments to distribution centers in batches. They often prioritizes the more common layouts, which is why some US Astros in the 4-5000 id range was ready for shipping in August, while my sub-2000 Astro, with a Swedish keyboard, as far as I know, hasn't left the warehouse in Hong Kong yet.

As a backer, you will get email updates a few times a month. Previous updates, 73 thus far, are available here:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/astro-slide-5g-transformer#/updates/all

I have no idea how long it will take them to get to the 10000 id range. That'll depend on everything from the mind of president Xi to the weather. Hopefully you will wait a lot less than me. Today is exactly thirty months since I contributed (though actual deliveries began earlier this year and, at first, almost exclusively went to Planets biggest market, Japan).

Cedd

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Re: Help me choose between the Pro1 and the Astro please !
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2022, 05:02:09 pm »
Thank you very much, you have been much clearer than Indiegogo and Planet Computer combined.
You are a very good contributor, I hope you will be rewarded soon.

Regarding rooting, i currently have an Honor Note 10 and if I had known that the charger was locked like this, I would never have bought it.  I read on a forum that astro was released.  I hope this is the case and that we will have the pleasure of loading custom roms under android, linux and ubuntu touch.

Daniel W

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Re: Help me choose between the Pro1 and the Astro please !
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2022, 04:43:12 pm »
The Astro is released. There are some people on this forum who has received their units already. Manufacturing and actual deliveries are happening, in fits and starts, in between unpredictable Chinese zero covid case policy lockdowns, and other logistics and supply chain issues, that messes with every aspect of the process.

You will, at some point, be able to run Linux on an Astro. I don't know much about rooting phones, but as opposed to other manufacturers, who may go to great lengths to prevent that, Planet has actively supported rooting both the Gemini and the Cosmo, by allowing the bootloader to be unlocked and by releasing rooted firmwares. Even though no firmwares at all has been released for the Astro yet, people are still tinkering with rooting it anyway. For example:
https://www.oesf.org/forum/index.php?topic=36812.0

While, I think, most of the Linux work is done by volunteers, Planet is generally speaking supportive of their efforts, and they have released an "official" Linux media for the Cosmo.
https://store.planetcom.co.uk/products/linux-media-installation-card-for-cosmo-communicator

I must stress that while I have used (desktop) Linux, I'm very much a rookie in that field, so I might be wrong on details. I can't be of any help when it comes to installing or using Linux (on any system). Even though you don't have a Gemini or Cosmo, you might want to look into their Linux subforums here, to get an idea of what people are doing with devices that has been out for a while.

Cedd

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Re: Help me choose between the Pro1 and the Astro please !
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2022, 07:26:40 pm »
Thank you, it's a good idea, I'm going to see in the cosmo sub-section.

I don't know how you manage to stay so calm, I can't stay still so much that I can't wait to get it lol.

Edit : Wah ! Indeed, i went to see (https://support.planetcom.co.uk/index.php/Linux_for_Cosmo) and it's very encouraging, I have no more doubts for the future, happy to have chosen astro.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2022, 07:40:59 pm by Cedd »

nima01

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Re: Help me choose between the Pro1 and the Astro please !
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2022, 03:59:44 pm »
I am a backer of the Astro Slide project at Indiegogo, and have been since May 2020, so I am a pretty early backer, with a contribution ID in the 900s.

I would be extremely reluctant in recommending backing or ordering the Astro Slide phone at this point, as communication from Planet Computers has been grossly misleading for a very long time, and from the very beginning they have been resetting the count of remaining "early bird" or "special offer" devices available every time they reached zero.


For at least half a year they have claimed that devices were now manufactured, tested and would ship to backers over the next few days, and have subsequently "locked" the contribution on Indiegogo..

However I have still not received any tracking number, and neither has any one else (apart from 2 or 3 questionable posters in their comment section).

Given this and the nature of this device, and given the notable absence of any "nerdy" reviews and independant unboxing reports, I am less and less convinced that more than a few prototype devices have actually been shipped to any real backers or customers. I now doubt that any significant  amount will ever be delivered...

Sorry for the putdown, but thats my hounest impression now.

Cedd

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Re: Help me choose between the Pro1 and the Astro please !
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2022, 08:20:04 pm »
Oulah, it's scary comma I hope the situation will get better soon.
In view of the work carried out so far bay planet computer, i find it hard to imagine that the project will fall through.

Hope the future does not prove you right.

gymbo

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Re: Help me choose between the Pro1 and the Astro please !
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2022, 11:25:52 am »
I am a backer of the Astro Slide project at Indiegogo, and have been since May 2020, so I am a pretty early backer, with a contribution ID in the 900s.
I backed in APRIL 2020, and MY backer-number is above 2000, so don't really think your information here is accurate...


I would be extremely reluctant in recommending backing or ordering the Astro Slide phone at this point, as communication from Planet Computers has been grossly misleading for a very long time, and from the very beginning they have been resetting the count of remaining "early bird" or "special offer" devices available every time they reached zero.

Some of the perks with HIGHER reduction in price, HAS been "taken down". Why they keep adding a few of the NOW "cheapest" perks, I don't know, but are you suggesting that they are not ALLOWED to do so?!?


For at least half a year they have claimed that devices were now manufactured, tested and would ship to backers over the next few days, and have subsequently "locked" the contribution on Indiegogo..

However I have still not received any tracking number, and neither has any one else (apart from 2 or 3 questionable posters in their comment section).

Given this and the nature of this device, and given the notable absence of any "nerdy" reviews and independant unboxing reports, I am less and less convinced that more than a few prototype devices have actually been shipped to any real backers or customers. I now doubt that any significant  amount will ever be delivered...

Sorry for the putdown, but thats my hounest impression now.

There are a few users on this forum as well (and at least one of them has been a forum member for a loooong time), who has gotten their Astro's, so your assumption is quite simply wrong!

And to be clear: I am not really happy with the communication from Planet, but that is sadly their "norm": It was more or less the same for both the Gemini and the Cosmo as well. And I would also obviously prefer to have my Astro in hand already, but still choose to believe that they will come trough, as they eventually did with both the Gemini and the Cosmo.

nima01

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Re: Help me choose between the Pro1 and the Astro please !
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2022, 05:38:49 am »
Hi gymbo,
I just checked up, and actually, you are correct. In fact i did not place my contribution in May 2020, but already March 30 2020. From my recipient email:

Subject:
"Indiegogo contribution #99x receipt for Astro Slide 5G Transformer"

Part of email body:
"Contribution ID
99x
Contribution Date
March 30, 2020"

Btw: US keyboard EU charger.

I cannot know if my device (locked since June 2022) has really been produced or not, but if it has, then the only plausale explanation I see, is the Planet Computers has failed to pay the factory.

In any case, I am as keen as anyone to get my hands on it, and get hacking, but at the same time I would feel bad about not warning other potential buyers/contribtors about what I see as an unacceptable bussiness practice. -Even if it would slightly increase the likelihood of me ever receiving my device.

As.for.perpetually resetting the number of remaining campaign special offers, I admit that it may be legal in some jurisdictions, although not in mine (the EU). But that aside, I find it less than hounest.

If you doubt my contribution to the project is real, I will be more than happy if we can find some bulletproof but secure way for me to prove this in this forum.

gymbo

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Re: Help me choose between the Pro1 and the Astro please !
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2022, 06:42:14 am »
As.for.perpetually resetting the number of remaining campaign special offers, I admit that it may be legal in some jurisdictions, although not in mine (the EU). But that aside, I find it less than hounest.

You SERIOUSLY think it is ILLEGAL to add more discounted perks as time passes?!? Then I don't really see any point discussing further with you, as you obviously have a very strange view of how the world works...