back to article Backers of Planet Computers' Astro Slide 5G phone furious after shock specs downgrade

Supporters of Planet Computers' Astro Slide 5G phone are fuming after the niche UK mobile firm announced a downgrade in the crowdfunded device's processor and battery. The final spec published earlier this week shows the phone shipping with a MediaTek Dimensity 800 platform, rather than the more powerful Dimensity 1000 …

  1. IGotOut Silver badge

    They need to clarify...

    ...I'm not sure how Trumps meddling with PRC affects imports from ROC?

    Or wasn't the hormone laden pig deal in place at time, so they were getting leant on?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They need to clarify...

      Tit for Tat. Which is a phrase that rather beautifully sums up Trump's relation with Chinese manufacturing, now I look at it.

      1. jotheberlock

        Re: They need to clarify...

        The ROC is also known as 'Taiwan' and shouldnt be subject to any sanctions from Trump, is the point. It's a whole other country (whatever China might sometimes claim).

        1. overunder Silver badge

          Re: They need to clarify...

          It is when they source 99% of the parts from China. I'm not sure if there is a single tech. company in Taiwan that isn't fabless.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: They need to clarify...

            "I'm not sure if there is a single tech. company in Taiwan that isn't fabless."

            Umm, The T in TSMC stands for Taiwan...

            UMC also has fabs.

            1. overunder Silver badge

              Re: They need to clarify...

              Correct, I'm wrong, but does naming a handful change the reality that most don't and regardless of that, where is the final product coming from? Will you name those too, which will just be a handful as well?

              The entire country of Taiwan is context here, and to say they aren't deeply involved with China would be an oversight just like saying the country of _______ isn't deeply involved with China. The amount of port control alone that China has grown is staggering, and BTW where talking about tariffs right... China has become a monster.

              1. doublelayer Silver badge

                Re: They need to clarify...

                But the question is why a U.S. tariff and mainland Chinese retaliation should change the negotiations between a Taiwanese company and a British one. If China put a tariff on Mediatek to punish Taiwan for having companies which got restricted by the U.S., it wouldn't really make much sense because a lot of Chinese phone manufacturers use Mediatek SOCs heavily. Also, I think we'd have heard of the tariff. But even if they did that, the restriction would likely be on Chinese purchase of the chips. Or, if Mediatek agreed to make things harder for American manufacturers so China wouldn't do that, there'd be problems between Mediatek and American clients. Planet is British. Why would either Mediatek or China want to do anything to the British to retaliate against American tariffs? If they did want to, they'd be able to make it happen, but it doesn't make sense given the current state of relations between Taiwan and the UK.

                1. overunder Silver badge

                  Re: They need to clarify...

                  Right, so either a British company or Taiwanese company is lying, or the US tariff is causing production changes in China which causes side effects. Planet claims the latter, which is production changes.

                  Again the context is the question of whether or not Taiwan is or is not heavily dependent on China. We're now debating a mysterious trade problem that nobody seems to have an answer too but clearly suggests that the USA, UK and Taiwan are all heavily tied together by one central theme... China. You can make it dance and put make up on it, but Taiwan isn't independent from China in trade what so ever, just like the USA, UK, $COUNTRY.

                  Whatever to all that, I'm done. Now, there still is Planet. It does seems a little odd that so many specs were lowered and not just 1 or 2. So, possibly Planet is lying and just doesn't want to spend the money. To me it appears they're using 1 truth to excuse a few other not so truths.

          2. katrinab Silver badge
            Paris Hilton

            Re: They need to clarify...

            > "I'm not sure if there is a single tech. company in Taiwan that isn't fabless."

            I've heard rumours that a company called "Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company".

            Does anyone know where they are based, or what sort of product they manufacture?

        2. Cederic Silver badge

          Re: They need to clarify...

          While true, an embargo on a major supplier of electronics increases demand from other suppliers. It may well be that the Taiwanese suppliers prioritised other, larger customers (and/or were providing a level of spare stock that's no longer available).

    2. DS999

      The reason is obvious

      Without access to TSMC's fabs for HiSilicon, or the ability to buy from Qualcomm, Chinese smartphone OEMs needed to look elsewhere for high end SoCs so Mediatek prioritized orders from companies who were willing to pay more / commit to larger orders.

  2. Chris G Silver badge

    Aside from the actual issues with kit, the company name of Planet Computers combined with Dr Janko Mrsic-Flogel the boss's name sounds like something out of the old Astounding Tales Sci-fi anthologies from the fifties.

    1. Steve K Silver badge

      Do you mean a bit Retro?

      Do you mean a bit Retro?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      something out of the old Astounding Tales

      I think I remember the exact story ... Mrsic-Flogel has a transdimensional shrink-ray and used it to turn the radio-linked colossal computers that (in the story) provided planetary government into a pocket sized device that could be commanded by voice activation. But once everyone had their own "pocket government", any slightly difficult social interaction rapidly exploded into a microwar, and ordinary disputes and disagreements between people turned into giant radio mediated hate storms and lynch mobs.

      Utterly ridiculous, of course, but that 's 50's SF for you.

      :-)

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: something out of the old Astounding Tales

        Sounds more like a Culture drone to me.

        RIP Mr Banks...

      2. Wibble
        Mushroom

        Re: something out of the old Astounding Tales

        So those devices catching fire weren't faulty batteries, they were in fact a micro-war going on within the chips themselves.

        Taking machine learning a tad far!

    3. Trygve Henriksen

      Or a Radio adventure?

      http://www.doctorfloyd.com/

      One of my favorites.

  3. werdsmith Silver badge

    Peak Planet

    I have a Gemini, running Sailfish, still getting updates from Jolla and in regular use. For me, this 2018 device was peak Planet.

    No support for Sailfish on Cosmo and now this slidey thing with its astonishing price for the integration of a cheapo Android phone with a slidey keyboard.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Peak Planet

      Lucky for you that your Gemini is still working properly. Six months ago mine developed a fault that meant it kept switching the screen off and is so essentially unusable. :-(

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Peak Planet

        One component breaking - be it in the phone part or the keyboard - is one reason why having a slim discrete keyboard that works with a range of phones from various vendors is probably the better option. The end result won't be quite as streamlined, but the advantages of a detachable keyboard may make up for this.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Peak Planet

          Had it not been for the keyboard integration, I wouldn't have bothered.

          I already have a phone, but a lose keyboard is nothing like the same ergonomics.

          1. RM Myers Silver badge
            Headmaster

            a lose keyboard is nothing like the same ergonomics

            Yes, it is much easier to lose a loose keyboard, which definitely will lead to a loss of ergonomics.

        2. rcxb Silver badge

          Re: Peak Planet

          a slim discrete keyboard that works with a range of phones from various vendors is probably the better option.

          It might be... if the keyboard attached to your phone securely (there are a few models of phone cases with slider keyboard built-in), and it had some unobtrusive way to draw power from the phone instead of having to hassle with charging two sets of batteries. But manufacturers haven't shown any interest in doing that, either.

          If you're just got a bluetooth keyboard, you either won't keep it charged or always take it with you, and so it will be useless when you need it.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Peak Planet

            > and it had some unobtrusive way to draw power from the phone instead of having to hassle with charging two sets of batteries.

            True. Options are:

            - keyboard has both a USB port and a low profile USB C plug. (This method was used by Apple on their battery cases, using Lightening instead of USB C)

            - similar to above, but keyboard is supplied with Magsafe-style USB plug for phone.

            - keyboard draws power wirelessly from phone. This ability of a phone to transmit power is present in the latest Samsung and Apple flagships. It's thought it is done to charge earbuds (Samsung) or for an iPhone to act as an Apple Watch charger. Wireless keyboards use little power compared to phones, so even a small battery will keep them going for days - it'd just add ten minutes to the time it takes to fully charge your phone.

            - extinct or proprietary solutions such as those used by Apple (pogo pins on iPads for stylus and keyboard), Essential phone or Moto Mod system.

            There are some minor downsides to the above approaches, but the alternative is making a combined keyboard and phone so reliable that the chance of *either* component failing within a few years is acceptably low. Not to mention, it might be desirable to upgrade your phone but bring your keyboard with you.

      2. Trygve Henriksen

        Re: Peak Planet

        Grab a USB-C to HDMI adapter and use your TV...

    2. Crypto Monad

      Re: Peak Planet

      I'm glad you're happy with yours running Sailfish, but I run Android on my Gemini (for various reasons), and it hasn't had an update since 2018.

      Failure to support existing users with updates is why I wouldn't touch PlanetCom again.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Peak Planet

        I don't think Planet can afford to keep honing updates themselves.

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Peak Planet

          They don't have to release new Android versions, but if the 2018 figure means security updates, that doesn't take so much effort. They can use a lot of the same code that gets made available because it doesn't do anything to their keyboard or custom hardware. After all, custom ROMs seem to be able to do that without much difficulty, and they usually don't get paid to do so. A manufacturer which doesn't do that gets sent down my list of trustable ones. One who advertises to tech-literate people and still doesn't do it gets themselves a nice hypocrisy debit as well.

  4. Mike 137 Silver badge

    A perennial crowd funding problem

    This is almost inevitable occasionally. In order to attract the necessary bids to allow investment in very costly pre-production setup, specifications have to be lavishly promoted before a solid commitment can safely be made to component suppliers. Then somewhere in the supply chain there's a glitch. It's just one of the hazards of crowd funded high technology products.

    1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      Re: A perennial crowd funding problem

      Which is why I always wait until the product is available through actual commercial channels before parting with my money. Sure the "this is what we intend to build" may sound nice, but it may have nothing to do with what actually hits the shelves. Sure the early backers might get one cheaper than full retail, but then the folks that wait for it to get to full retail stand a far better chance of getting what they thought they were buying. Last but not least, the early backers are the beta testers that get to deal with all the bugs to get ironed out, while the retail buyers can (hopefully) expect a device that's fit for purpose out of the box. If the thing in the box is defective by design at retail, those early adopters must be livid with the abysmal quality they were given.

      But then what do I know, my geek-peen has never extended into the early adopter crowd. I was always too much of a penny-pincher to pay for a pig in a poke. =-j

      1. Sleep deprived

        Re: A perennial crowd funding problem

        My admittedly limited experience with crowdfunding so far has given me the impression that as backers, we're acting as venture capitalists, but without the oversight.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: A perennial crowd funding problem

          "My admittedly limited experience with crowdfunding so far has given me the impression that as backers, we're acting as venture capitalists, but without the oversight."

          You don't have any insight either. A VC will look at management's backgrounds and may have an outside consultant do an initial read on whether what's being promised is physically possible. With a crowd funded project, you only have the materials they present to make your decision. Chances are that the people involved don't have extensive experience to dig up and evaluate as to whether they can pull it off.

    2. HildyJ Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: A perennial crowd funding problem

      This reminds me of the flying car article of earlier today. With crowd funded products that have yet to be produced, you're just putting your money down on photoshopped dreams. To me, it's not worth the early pre-order discount.

      1. Confuciousmobil

        Re: A perennial crowd funding problem

        I’ve learned the hard way, you would have thought I would have learned after the first time, but no, I’ve wasted money a few times. Never again.

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: A perennial crowd funding problem

          I've been fairly lucky so far. The only project that I backed that was cancelled was the Jolla Tablet, but Jolla refunded without a fuss. I've had one Bluetooth keyboard that stopped working on one side after a shorty time, and got no support for. This out of around 10 projects I've supported. Of course, there have been a couple of "that seemed like a good idea at the time" experiences, but I can't blame the manufacturers for that!

    3. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: A perennial crowd funding problem

      "It's just one of the hazards of crowd funded high technology products."

      You bet me to the comment. It's also not until you make a few that you start finding the bugs. That's happened to me plenty of times. The first prototype is awesome, but putting the product into production, with production tolerances, is a brick wall.

  5. circusmole

    Sounds familiar.

    Dr Janko Mrsic-Flogel - is this the same person involved with the ZX Vega+ fiasco? No surprises here then.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: The Cake is a lie !

      He actually got on board with Vega+ after the trouble blew up and failed to fix it. It was unfixable.

      Since then he has successfully delivered Gemini and Cosmo via Indiegogo.

    2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Sounds familiar.

      The Internet Anagram Server tells me that Janko Mrsic-Flogel is an anagram of "Jerk calming fools".

      Personally I'd never trust anything on Indiegogo.

  6. Throgmorton Horatio III
    Joke

    Another story from Douglas Adams?

    There's something very Hitchikers Guide about all this, from the bosses name through marketing vs reality gap to the involvement of mega-governments not noticing the fallout their battles are having on ordinary people. The only thing missing is someone to clean the phone itself. ;-)

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Another story from Douglas Adams?

      The phone sanitisers are currently boarding the B(rexit)-Ark, but won't be here for some time because the Ark is stuck at Alpha-Centauri with incorrect paperwork.

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: Another story from Douglas Adams?

        People laughed, but we could have done with a few sanitizers, no? Just like in HHGTTG.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Another story from Douglas Adams?

          Not too much scope for phone anitizers these days. Everyone has their own phone and if you can find a phone box these days it's probably listed and serving as a village book exchange. Maybe the phone sanitzers could switch to books.

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: Another story from Douglas Adams?

            Everyone has their own phone and pretty much all of them are holding them when they have a poo...

            I reckon there's more cause than ever for phone sanitisers...

            1. Toni the terrible Bronze badge

              Re: Another story from Douglas Adams?

              Sigh, why would anyone make a phone call while having a poo; the soundeffects alone... of course browsing with Google or using Social Media tends to fit.

          2. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Another story from Douglas Adams?

            "Maybe the phone sanitzers could switch to books."

            They've switched to sanitizing aircraft wreckage brought up from the ocean floor. I have no idea why.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MediaTek

    Say no more, their support post sale is nil anyway. And it's been like that since Win 95 days

  8. werdsmith Silver badge

    Furious?

    Looked a their comments now and seems that the backers are mostly quite sanguine about this.

    1. TheProf Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Furious?

      Well where's the attention-grabbing in a headline that tells the story as it is?

      "Backers of Planet Computers' Astro Slide 5G phone sanguine after disappointing specs downgrade"

      'I blame circumstances beyond the control of the manufacturers' yawned one potential purchaser.

      1. RuffianXion

        Re: Furious?

        Perhaps they should have left the 's' off 'Backers'.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Furious?

      When the news first dropped a few days ago, there were refund requests being added to the comments every minute or so. It was quite something!

      1. Joe W Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Furious?

        ... which they are apparently honouring, or so I read the article.

        Good move! But since this their financing model they should handle all of this so that people will come back later.

        Pity things didn't work out as planned, but no plan survives the first contact with your enemy inteact and all that, and maybe it was circumstances beyond their control. It's a mess.

        (but then I did not back them, so I can lean back and comment and feel smug, which I am sorry for)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Furious?

          There were definitely some furious reactions, and a LOT of "Sorry, I'm out" reactions.

          I've only seen one user (who had set up a petition) apparently getting a refund within 10 minutes (and then took down the petition), although I've heard there was one other comment about a refund too. 2 refunds is possibly what is meant by "started issuing refunds"...

          A refund in the UK might not be too bad -- 500€ worth of £ spent a year ago might get a lot more £ back today for 500€! (disclaimer: I haven't checked, markets might go up as well as down)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Furious?

            I've checked. From the campaign collection date (30 March 2020) to today it would only gain around £4.

  9. nintendoeats

    My friend backed this

    And he says:

    "Honestly if the processor is the reason people are getting the phone they're getting the wrong device...The article also does not mention that we're also getting double the ram and, higher resolution screen and cameras, and a few other minor things. So a cheaper processor means we get more other stuff."

    I, on the other hand, have backed the f(x)tec Pro1-X, so if/when our devices arrive we can have some kind of niche phone based combat (though really, they are different devices for different purposes).

    The removal of Wi-Fi 6 is unfortunate, since that seems like a feature that people will wish they had in 3 years.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My friend backed this

      Hmm, 6GB to 8GB is welcome (but not double).

      Gorilla glass addition is definitely welcome.

      I think the pixels on the screen is the same, but the screen itself is smaller (so PPI has increased but not really an increased resolution). The overall size of the phone has increased so the smaller screen is not a benefit in any way.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: My friend backed this

      I disagree entirely, though I didn't back this phone. The reason is that this was supposed to eventually also have Linux on it. A processor can be quite important if it's running a desktop OS and potentially intensive software on it. Unfortunately, Android can also be CPU-hungry, especially if they don't have Lineage OS or a similarly trimmed version.

      Meanwhile, 6 GB of memory is, in my experience, fine for a lot of phone tasks since it doesn't need to multitask as much as other machines. Opinions will vary, but many have devices with 3-4 GB and rarely use that much. Also, backers knew they would have 6 and presumably were fine with that since they chose to back at that level. Other improvements, such as a better camera, are meaningless to me; if it has a camera, it's probably fine for the few times I will use it in its lifetime.

      I would be unhappy with this change in specifications if I had backed it.

    3. Brad Ackerman
      Flame

      Re: My friend backed this

      The removal of Wi-Fi 6 is unfortunate, since that seems like a feature that people will wish they had in 3 years.

      People will definitely be using Wi-Fi 6 in three years, but it will be on a different device regardless. No version upgrades at alll; and only rare security patches, the latest of which will be a year or more in the past at that time.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My friend backed this

      The removal of Bluetooth LE Audio is enough to practically brick this device for anyone using wireless headphones. Non-LE audio will hammer your battery in a matter of hours. LE Audio will barely make a dent.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It looks almost exactly like the Motorola DEXT (aka CLIQ) that I used to have a decade ago. Not exactly innovative.

    https://www.gsmarena.com/motorola_dext_mb220-2934.php

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Not innovative in any way, nor claimed to be, but the PSion style keyboard is a differentiator.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        > Not exactly innovative.

        Who cares?

  11. AIBailey

    Wasn't Janko Mrsic-Flogel also involved with the Vega Plus? Another crowd-funded bait-and-switch project?

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Already done this, CircusMole earlier in the thread.

  12. DrXym Silver badge

    Should it be a surprise?

    With an name like Astro Slide no wonder they got shafted.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Should it be a surprise?

      BA DUMP BA!

    2. Mike 16 Silver badge

      Re: Should it be a surprise?

      ---

      With an name like Astro Slide

      ---

      Hence the call for Phone Sanitizers.

      Perhaps a dog-whistle to the "Intimate Conferencing" crowd.

  13. Fred Goldstein

    He's lying about Band 71/13. They are not harmonically related (i.e., one frequency a multiple of the other). Band 13 is in the 700 MHz range; Band 71 is in the 600 MHz range. Verizon is the largest carrier in the US and their LTE coverage network is based on Band 13, the only nationwide license in the US. Other bands are used to add capacity in urban areas. I'm in an urban area and the only Verizon LTE signal I get, just barely, is on Band 13. In some places, though, I still get their 800 MHz CDMA signal, which has amazing penetrating power. I use an aging Blackberry now and would have considered this phone if it were Verizon-compatible.

    1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      My MediaTek T-Mobile Velvet 5G has bands 13 and 71. I don't understand the harmonics issue either. It's solved on the transmitter side, right? If your IF receiver oscillator is 650 MHz to get 50 MHz from a 700 MHz signal, you wouldn't transmit anything at 600 MHz. Both already exist, so too late for that. Harmonics issues on phones is between digital circuits and the tuner.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        I don't think phone radio receivers are superhets.

        All SDR.

        1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

          A-to-D sample rate aliasing creates the first or second IF.

    2. AK565

      Agreed. Lack of Band 13 in any phone automatically makes it a no go for me.

  14. ecofeco Silver badge
    Coat

    Astro... Slide?

    For a moment there I read something else.

  15. hoola Silver badge

    Crowdfunding, Again

    What is find strange is:

    a, The number of people who are prepared to give money to a funky website with no guarantee of getting any form of product in return.

    b, There have been numerous, quite public failings of Crowdfunding where all the money has been lost.

    c, People keep setting up Crowdfunded schemes.

    a, People are gullible and maybe it is a case of once burnt never again but there are a lot of people

    b, The people signing up either don't read, take any notice or believe that it won't happen to them.

    c, It is far too easy to setup a Crowdfunded venture and there is no regulation or oversight. If is open to all sorts of crackpot ventures that provide money for the people setting it up.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Crowdfunding, Again

      We hear about all the failures and money lost, they are big news. But nobody wants to talk about the majority that succeed.

      I've backed quite a few, all successfully, and I've also stepped back from a few that didn't smell quite right and glad I did on a couple of occasions.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Crowdfunding, Again

      "c, It is far too easy to setup a Crowdfunded venture and there is no regulation or oversight. If is open to all sorts of crackpot ventures that provide money for the people setting it up.

      5 0"

      It makes for endless debunking videos on YouTube. I see many of these campaigns as a good way to show that schools not teaching science properly ill-prepares the students for real life. Stuff like extracting water from the air. Yes, it can be done, but it's very inefficient and a little bit of knowledge will tell you it's never going to be a good idea. People will still fall for a self-refilling water bottle to go on their bike for only £99ea. £150 if you buy 2.

  16. Pat Att

    "Anyone wanna buy this bridge?"

    I may be behind the times here, but who on earth is willing to throw £500 at an unproven company for a product that doesn't yet exist, with no guarantee of refunds if it all goes wrong? Previous form on many similar products does not give a warm feeling.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Anyone wanna buy this bridge?"

      Pat Att,

      Tell me more about that bridge ???

      I have money burning a hole in my pocket !!! :)

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: "Anyone wanna buy this bridge?"

        The bridge incident that is referred to here turned out to be a very intelligent and astute puchase for Mr McCulloch and Lake Havasu City. He knew what he was doing and it is his detractors that turned out to be the idiots.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: "Anyone wanna buy this bridge?"

      To some extent, it comes from a desire for a product that nobody else makes and trust in a company that has successfully accomplished a product release before. In this case, for example, I would have had little doubt that Planet could make the product because they've already made two products which still exist. Not that I'd have necessarily liked the product if they'd made it, or that it would be identical in every detail, but I wouldn't fear losing my money in a scam. With a different company though, that would be a stronger worry.

      You might as well ask though why anyone would invest in a risky venture. If you have money, why put it into a business which might fail, or invest it in a stock or bond which won't help much if the company goes bankrupt. In each case, someone is willing to risk that their investment may decrease in value for the chance that they'll get something better than their investment after waiting, whether that be a larger amount of money or a product they want.

  17. Electronics'R'Us
    Holmes

    This seems plausible

    "We tried two or three avenues to actually get the processor, and all the feedback from all the different avenues we took was, 'look, we cannot support smaller manufacturers on this. We can license you the 800."

    This is not particularly unusual in electronics (particularly for devices targeted at the consumer market). I was designing a rugged XDA (designed for truck drivers) and I wanted to add GPS.

    The space inside anything like this is constrained so solution size was important. We found a silicon vendor with a device that would have been perfect, but they wanted a minimum commitment to 10,000 per month. We did not expect to sell more than a thousand over the product lifetime. (I did find another solution that was marginally larger).

    One particular manufacturer of a wide range of electronics used to do batch runs of a few million, but unless you were buying several hundred K of those parts, you would be at the end of the line (provided any were still available).They have since improved (a bit) but about 30% of what I can find on their website has never existed except in verification form (so not available).

    MOQ can be a killer for small outfits.

  18. Avatar of They

    I am keeping my order.

    I don't care for the lack of a Verizon frequency thingy (I am UK and no plans at all to go to the US.)

    A smaller chip, would I really bother with high end anything as I gave up chasing the best a few years ago when I grew up. Who actually needs a high end chip that runs AAA class games on a phone, the controls are still awful. I certainly don't need a high end chip with freecell, soduku and polytopia. Neither do you need a high end spec when running Android apps like getting an Uber or booking hotels / trains, spotify or facebook.

    WIFI 6, not sure my googling and shopping on amazon needs ultra fast wifi to be honest.

    The battery is a bit sad, that is an issue but compared to the other benefits is it a deal killer?

    It is still better and cheaper than most of the offerings from Samsung and Apple. And I don't have to put up with all their crud that gets forced onto me. My mothers Samsung S20 (or whatever shiny shiny latest Samsung peddles) has 485 apps on it by default, according to the "optimising apps" state when updating security. (she only uses 6 of them)

    And I get a keyboard, which is good because I hate typing on glass.

  19. Tempest
    Unhappy

    Many More Disappointments Await 5G Fashion Leaders Above LTE Band 30

    To my mind, classifying LTE Bands 7, 30, 38 and 41 is deceptive, since all these fall within the frequency assignments above 2, 307 MHz.

    For a year now we have had a 5G demonstration base station on the South bank of the River SaiGon. A group of radio amateurs / enthusiasts dragged their SDR receivers and a spectrum analyser across the rivers and made many measurements. We then returned to the North bank (downtown) and from the 4th floor Breeze Sky Bar at Hotel Majestic Saigon, directly opposite the demo site, a distance of about 0.5 mile across the fairly calm waters and tested signal reception using the identical equipment enhanced by a couple of Yagi antennae.

    We could barely detect a carrier let alone a voice communication. Our results suggest that prospective purchasers of 5G handsets better understand exactly what they are buying.

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