The F(x)tec Pro1-X is a smartphone with mid-range specifications that stands out in its own way in a market that may have become over-saturated thanks to some unique features. That’s because it’s the only modern smartphone on sale with a side-sliding keyboard that allows you to type with your thumb on the physical keys. And it supports multiple operating systems, including Android 11, Ubuntu Touch, and Android-based LineageOS.
The Pro1-X was first introduced in 2020 when it was available for pre-order through a crowdfunding campaign, and after a series of delays and spec changes, the first batch of phones finally shipped after a two-year delay.
While F(x)tec initially planned to use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor in the phone, the company opted to switch to the Snapdragon 662 chip after Qualcomm discontinued the 835. That change, coupled with a global supply chain shortage, led to considerable delays. But mass production of the F(x)tec Pro1-X finally began this month, with the first batch of devices being sent to backers of a crowdfunding campaign and the second batch scheduled to ship in August 2022.
The phone has a 5.99-inch, 2160 x 1080 pixel AMOLED display with a curved glass edge design covered with Corning Gorilla 3 glass. Other features include 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, a 3200 mAh battery, microSD support for up to 2TB capacity, a 12MP + 5MP rear camera and 8MP front camera, a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a USB power transfer and HDMI video output supported by a USB Type-C port.
Wireless connectivity includes support for Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, and global 4G LTE networks (5G is not supported).
The slide-out keyboard has 64 backlit keys arranged in 5 rows, and when the keyboard is extended, the screen is angled over on rails, making the F(x)tec Pro1-X look a bit like a tiny laptop when typing. The physical keys allow users to enter text, control games, or interact with applications without the on-screen keyboard covering part of the display.
If you didn’t participate in the crowdfunding campaign for the F(x)tec Pro1-X, you can still pre-order the 8GB/256GB model from Indiegogo for $849, but that’s a lot more than the crowdfunding price, which ranges from $499 to $719, depending on when you order.
The phone is also available from the F(x)tec online store for $829 for the 6GB/128GB model and $899 for the 8GB/256GB version.
While the Pro1-X has had a bumpy road to market, it’s not the first phone from F(x)tec. The company launched the original Pro1 phone with a slide-out keyboard in early 2019 and began shipping that model later that same year.