The touch screen technology has been dominant for some time, but it is not quite the way the manufacturer F (x) tec thinks. The company launched in MWC 2019 its Pro 1, a smartphone with sliding QWERTY keyboard.
The visual part of the handset reminds a little of the Nokia N900, a cell phone that refers well to the time of transition from physical keyboards to the universe almost entirely composed of touch screens. Going back to the current time, the Pro 1 is a device that is certainly not more modern at the moment, but that has interesting specification.
It was equipped with Snapdragon 835 octa-core chip – predecessor Snapdragon 845, 6GB RAM, 128GB internal storage – expandable to up to 2TB with microSD – and battery with 3,200 mAh. Its Super AMOLED display is 5.99 inches and Full HD. The rear panel received a pair of cameras, one being 12MP and the other 5MP, while the front is 8MP. It also has the ability to shoot in 4k.
The F (x) tec Pro 1 also features fast data loading and transmission via USB-C. Already your security is enhanced with fingerprint sensor. Finally, it comes from the factory with Android Pie 9.0 and support for Google Assistant.
While working as well as any other smartphone with similar settings, the F (x) tec Pro 1 may present some discomfort. This may be related to the practice of using the sliding QWERTY keyboard. The display in landscape mode may not be very interesting in the case of some applications, such as Instagram that works best in portrait orientation.
Modern cellphones with physical keyboards have not completely disappeared, because some manufacturer always looks for a way to revive them. This is the case of the Blackberry pioneer, with KeyOne and Key2. But the option, apparently, has not yet achieved the same success as the touch screen technology.
Also in 2018 Liangchen Chen, one of the founders of F (x) tec, was involved in the process of developing an independent sliding physical keyboard snap for Moto Z. However, the project was eventually canceled due to lack of money and large investors.
Anyway, the world is full of alternatives, precisely because not everyone likes the same thing. So maybe F (x) tec Pro 1 will find its niche in the mobile market. It is being offered in pre-order for $ 649, with deliveries only to Europe, the United States, Japan and China.