The physical keyboard is not dead. In the current hegemony of smartphones and “all touch” interfaces, the British from Planet Computer still believe in physical controls by announcing the Astro Slide. As the name suggests, it has a slide system that reveals a “real” keyboard. Those who were eyeing the Blackberry KEY2 or regret their HTC Desire Z must already salivate.
Far from resuscitating the OS and processor of PDA times – who spoke of Palm OS? – Planet Computer uses Android 10 and the new Taiwanese MediaTek SoC, the Dimensity 1000. An octocore chip (4 small Cortex A55 and 4 large Cortex A77) with a 5G modem and Wi-Fi 6 which is here supported by 6 GB of RAM.
Physical keyboard and mechanism require, the device is a bit imposing since it measures 6.53 inches (15.24 cm) diagonally and displays 300 grams on the scale. Its 128 GB of storage will be expandable via a Micro SD card which we do not know if it shares the place of one of the two slots for NanoSIM (but there is still an eSIM).
Scheduled to be launched at 819 euros, this QWERTY keyboard smartphone is displayed at 491 euros during the fundraising campaign. As with all crowdfunding, precaution is required before you get started, even if Planet Computer – which is not its first attempt with physical keyboards in smartphones – has always successfully completed its campaigns and delivered its products.
Sources: IndieGogo via Engadget