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MWC19 | The F(x)tec Pro 1 brings slide-out keyboards back to smartphones

All images via F(x)tec
All images via F(x)tec
The F(x)tec Pro 1 is a modern take on the slide-out keyboard that was once so common on Android phones. While the physical keyboard is quite unique, the phone is running on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835, a two-year-old SoC. The F(x)tec Pro 1 is expected to launch in July for US $650, but pre-orders are open now.

A decade ago, smartphones with keyboards were ubiquitous. Now, physical keyboards are only found in niche devices like the Blackberry Key2. However, there’s still a crowd clambering for keyboards, and the Pro 1 from smartphone startup F(x)tec may be what they’re looking for.

The Pro 1 is reminiscent of classic QWERTY sliders like the Motorola Droid (released in 2009); the keyboard is housed behind the screen and pops out on a sliding mechanism. The sliding mechanism also props the screen up to a 155-degree angle when the backlit keyboard is out.

While the keyboard is unique for a modern smartphone, the other specifications are fairly run-of-the-mill. The F(x)tec Pro 1 runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, which is two years old at this point. There’s 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB onboard, as well as microSD card support (up to 2 TB). The display is a 5.99-inch 2160 x 1080 AMOLED screen. There’s a dual-camera setup on the back (12 MP & 5 MP), an 8 MP selfie camera, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and a USB Type-C port. The Pro 1 has other 2019 niceties like NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, and 802.11ac WiFi. Powering everything is a 3200 mAh battery. The phone will ship with Android 9 Pie and a custom launcher to better adapt Android’s landscape orientation to the keyboard.

The F(x)tec Pro 1 is a new take on an old idea, but it won’t come cheap. The phone is expected to launch in July for US $650, which is a fair bit to pay for an older chipset. Still, if the idea of a slide-out physical keyboard is appealing to you, you can pre-order the phone over at F(x)tec’s website.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 02 > The F(x)tec Pro 1 brings slide-out keyboards back to smartphones
Sam Medley, 2019-02-27 (Update: 2019-02-28)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.