- Fxtec has unveiled the Pro1-X, a keyboard phone that runs Android, Ubuntu, and even LineageOS.
- It’s still using a Snapdragon 835 chip, however.
- You can back the Indiegogo campaign for $499 or £386.
As a rule, you don’t really have a choice for operating systems for your phone. You don’t have access to a desktop-class OS if you run Android, for example, but you also won’t have the apps or simplicity of Android if you use a conventional Linux flavor. Fxtec wants to give you the option, however — it’s upgrading the Pro1 with the crowdfunded Pro1-X, an updated version of its keyboard phone with the choices of running Android, LineageOS, or Ubuntu Touch “out of the box.”
The team-up between Fxtec and XDA Developers promises more flexibility than you might be used to from a phone. Ubuntu lets you run a full-fledged Linux desktop environment when you connect the phone to a monitor, mouse, and keyboard. This is also the first phone to ship with LineageOS, according to Fxtec, giving you a ‘purer’ take on Android with more control over apps and privacy.
The Pro1-X will be familiar if you’ve seen its predecessor, and that may represent a mixed bag for some. The highlight is a slide-out, five-row keyboard to help with long emails and work. You still have to use the aging Snapdragon 835 chip, though, and the 5.99-inch 1080p curved AMOLED screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 3 rather than Victus. You do get 8GB of RAM, 256GB of expandable storage, a 3,200mAh battery, two 12MP rear cameras, and a 8MP front cam for video chats.
You can back the Indiegogo campaign for the Pro1-X now for $499 (£386 in the UK). It’s expected to ship in March 2021 if the project meets its funding goal.
Will this change your stance on Fxtec’s design? Not necessarily. Like the original Pro1, the X will likely appeal most to hardware keyboard loyalists. You can get similarly priced phones that are faster and take better photos. Support for LineageOS and Ubuntu may broaden the audience for the phone, though, whether you want more control over Android (but don’t want to install LineageOS yourself) or like the thought of a phone that doubles as a PC.