With the exception of the occasional BlackBerry, physical QWERTY keyboards are pretty much a dead concept on smartphones, but the F(x)tec Pro1 is bringing them back. This Android phone was announced back in February, but only now, finally, does it have a release date and price.
Priced at $699 / £649 (around AU$1,030), the Pro1 is available to pre-order from fxtec.com now, and doing so should see you receive the phone sometime in mid-September, ahead of a general release in October.
The F(x)tec Pro1 features a large landscape keyboard that slides out from the phone and tilts to a 155-degree angle, which is apparently optimal for viewing.
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QWERTY keyboard aside, the Pro1 sounds like a fairly ordinary upper mid-range handset. It has a 5.99-inch 1080 x 2160 curved AMOLED screen, 6GB of RAM, and a Snapdragon 835 chipset, which is what you’ll find in the likes of the US Samsung Galaxy S8 and the OnePlus 5 – so it was once a flagship chip, but is now several years old.
The F(x)tec Pro1 also has 128GB of storage, a microSD card slot, a dual-lens rear camera (with 12MP and 5MP lenses), an 8MP selfie snapper, a 3,200mAh battery, stereo speakers and it runs Android 9 Pie. It also opts for a full top bezel rather than a notch or a punch-hole.
So on paper the specs don’t overly impress at the price, but then you are getting that keyboard, and if you want a QWERTY on an Android phone then your options are severely limited.
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James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.