Today, F(x)tec has re-launched their Pro1 smartphone, but renamed as Pro1-X and running LineageOS out of the box combined with compatibility with Ubuntu Touch OS.

The phone has been developed in partnership with XDA, hence the name. The hardware remains the same which includes the dated Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset; however, this phone isn't about raw power, it is a productivity tool with a strong focus on privacy.

It will then combine the chipset with 8GB of RAM a 5.99-inch FHD+ AMOLED display, an 8MP front-facing camera, and a 12MP camera at the rear.

Price and Availability

The phone is being launched on the Indigogo platform today with shipping expected in March 2021. Early buyers can pick it up for $499 but this will jump up quickly to $649. That’s a lot of money to pay for the hardware spec, but this niche product will no doubt be popular with privacy concerned users.

It is also the only phone on the market with a physical keyboard, the Nokia E90 Communicator is still one of my favourite phones, so I can see the appeal.

LineageOS

LineageOS offers users a pure Android experience, the added controls and privacy permissions within Lineage allows users to control exactly what data and information are shared with the apps and services that they use, including those preloaded in Android. Lineage OS also receives monthly OS software and security updates to ensure users are getting the best experience.

Nirave Gondhia, Chief Content Officer at XDA, said: “XDA users are renowned for their ability to go beyond the traditional smartphone experience. With privacy and security more paramount than ever before, Lineage OS is known for providing additional controls in a user-friendly way, and we’re excited to bring this unique smartphone experience to more users.“

Ubuntu Touch

Ubuntu Touch offers users the full power of a Linux PC in their pocket, and with the physical keyboard, they can achieve optimum productivity in the palm of their hands. Plug the Ubuntu Touch-powered F(x)tec Pro1-X into a monitor and they’ll get the full Ubuntu Desktop experience. The phone’s screen becomes a trackpad and paired with the full keyboard for text input, the Pro1-X lets you experience true convergence with nothing more than your phone and a single cable.

As well as Lineage OS and Ubuntu Touch, users can also choose Android as their operating system giving them the familiar Android experience they’re used to.

“After the fantastic feedback we received from users of the Pro1, we’re excited to partner with XDA to offer our customers choice of an alternative OS out of the box; a pure smartphone experience with Lineage or a truly open linux OS with Ubuntu Touch. Both of our communities share the importance of greater control and more functionality in our smartphones.” Said Adrian from F(x)tec, “We’re really proud of what the Pro1-X represents in terms of freedom to choose something different combined with the practicality of a keyboard experience.”

Keyboard

The keyboard on the F(x)tec Pro1-X is a full 64-key physical keyboard which slides down from behind the phone itself features all the same keys you’d find on a full desktop or laptop keyboard including CTRL, ALT, DEL keys (and more). This means users get full control over their productivity all in the palm of their hands.

In addition to the full 64-key physical keyboard, the F(x)tec Pro1-X is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with 8GB RAM. It’ll have a 5.99-inch FHD+ AMOLED display, an 8MP front-facing camera, and a 12MP camera at the rear.

Full Specification

DESIGNDimensions: 154 x 73.6 x 13.98 mm
DISPLAY5.99-inch 2160 x 1080 (FHD+) AMOLED flex screen with curved edges Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3
KEYBOARD  Physical Keyboard layout: 5-row, 66-key, staggered, backlit, landscape QWERTY keyboard. Also available in QWERTZ layout On-screen keyboard when the slider is closed.
MEMORYRAM: 8GB LPDDR4X Storage: 256GB UFS2.1, expandable via microSD card up to 2TB
CAMERAFront Camera: 8MP, Rear Cameras: 12MP
PROCESSORQualcomm Snapdragon 835 MSM8998
NETWORKGlobal LTE (FDD+TDD), WCDMA / UMTS, CDMA / EVDO, GSM / EDGE CellularBands;
CONNECTIVITYWiFi, Bluetooth 5.0 + LE, NFC, USB Type-C, 3.5mm headphone jack.
BATTERY3200 maH, Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3.0
SIMDual Nano SIM with microSD support hybrid SIM #2),