UK mobile startup F(x)tec today announced the upcoming availability of its inaugural handset, the F(x)tec Pro 1.

This handset is a contemporary take on the old Nokia E7 slider phone, aimed at power users, as well as those for whom virtual keyboards aren’t good enough

At first glance, it resembles an ordinary (if not somewhat hefty) smartphone. Looks, however, are deceiving. Concealed within its chassis is a full QWERTY keyboard, which slides out with a push of one’s thumb. This gracefully snaps into place with a slick spring-loaded mechanism, allowing you to bang out emails and documents with relative ease.

F(x)tec will ship pre-orders of the F(x)tec Pro 1 in the middle of September, with general availability on October 1. Punters can buy it from F(x)tec’s website, as well through Amazon and selected high-street retailers, like Selfridges and Harrods. In the US, it’ll go for $699. In the UK and Eurozone, F(x)tec will sell the device for £649 and €649 respectively.

But is it worth your hard-earned money? We’re reserving our judgement until we get a device to thoroughly test, but first impressions are positive, particularly to this nostalgic BlackBerry enthusiast. TNW met with F(x)tec at Berlin’s IFA tech conference, where we got a brief hands-on with the quirky productivity-oriented blower.

Yeah, it’s quirky. But it’s also ridiculously slick and well-built. While it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, it’ll certainly make a lot of email-crunching power users happy.

Under the hood

The unique and slightly complicated design of the F(x)tex Pro 1 hasn’t come at the expense of actual internals, which are consistent with what you’d expect with a mid-to-high end phone. Here are the highlights:

The F(x)tec Pro 1 runs Android 9.0 pie. That’s not much of a surprise, given Android 10 only just (just!) came out, and is still gradually running out. As a nice surprise, F(x)tec has decided to release the handset with a completely unlocked bootloader, giving users the option to replace the ROM with one of their own choosing. More

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Matthew Hughes
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Matthew Hughes https://thenextweb.com