The F(x)tec Pro1-X is a smartphone with a slide-out keyboard and support for running Android, LineageOS, or Ubuntu Touch operating systems. The phone went up for pre-order through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign in late 2020 and it was scheduled to begin shipping in March.
But now the ship date has been pushed back to August. Why? Because the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor that F(x)Tec had planned to use has reached end of live and wasn’t available for purchase.
So the company has switched to a newer Snapdragon 662 processor and pushed back the ship date to accommodate the change.
The Snapdragon 835 processor was a flagship chip when it was launched in 2017, while the Snapdragon 662 is a mid-range chip released in 2020. The good news is that means it will be supported for a longer time.
F(x)Tec says using the new chip will allow the company to ship Android versions of the phone with Android 11 out of the box, and the company will be able to offer software and security updates through at least 2023. The chip is also energy-efficient, which could lead to longer battery life. And it’s an upgrade from the Snapdragon 835 in a few regards, with support for WiFi 6, WPA3 security, and Bluetooth 5.1, among other things. And the phone will now ship with a higher-quality 48MP Sony IMX586 camera.
Another key reason for the new chip? Not only is it available, but it’s also more affordable for small phone makers like F(x)Tec than higher-performance chips like the Snapdragon 765 or Snapdragon 865. It would also take more effort to retrofit the company’s phones to support these chips, since they’re 5G processors that would require new antennas.
The less good news is that while the new chip is actually pretty similar to the Snapdragon 835 in a few key areas, F(x)tec does “expect a slightly reduced level of performance.” The company also needs to redesign the phone’s motherboard, and LineageOS and Ubuntu Touch developers will need to do some work to ensure their operating systems are compatible with the new chipset, which is why the ship date has been pushed back several months.
Here’s a comparison of the Snapdragon 835 and Snapdragon 662:
|Snapdragon 835||Snapdragon 662|
|CPU||4 x Kryo 280 Gold (Cortex-A73) cores @ 2.45 GHz|
4 x Kryo 280 Silver (Cortex-A53) cores @ 1.9 GHz
|4 x Kryo 260 Gold (Cortex-A73) cores @ 2 GHz|
4 x Kryo 260 Silver (Cortex-A53) cores @ 1.8 GHz
|GPU||Adreno 540||Adreno 610|
|DSP||Hexagon 682||Hexagon 683|
|ISP||Spectra 180 (Up to 16MP dual or 32MP single cameras)||Spectra 340T (up to 16MP dual or 48MP single cameras)|
|Wireless||4G LTE Cat 16 down (1 Gbps) & Cat 13 up (150 Mbps)|
|4G LTE Cat 13 (390 Mbs down/ 150 MBps up)|
WiFi Calling continuity between LTE and WiFI
|Charging||Quick Charge 4||Quick Charge 3|
While there are good reasons for the changes and some upsides to using a different chip, some backers of the crowdfunding campaign seem less than pleased at the move and are talking about canceling their orders.
Fx(tec) Pro-1 Specs (Updated)
|Display||5.99 inch, 2160 x 1080 pixel|
AMOLED (curved edges)
Gorilla Glass 3
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (old)|
4 x Kryo 280 Gold (Cortex-A73) CPU cores
4 x Kryo 280 Silver (Cortex-A53) CPU cores
Adreno 540 graphics
Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 (new)
|RAM||6GB or 8GB LPDDR4X|
|Storage||128GB or 256GB UFS 2.1|
microSD card reader (up to 2TB)
QWERTY and QWERTZ options
|Charging||Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0|
Fingerprint reader (side mounted)
|Wireless||Global 4G LTE|
|Ports||USB Type-C (w/HDMI video out support)|
Dual Nano SIM (second SIM slot shared with microSD card reader)
|Cameras||48MP Sony IMX586 + 5MP (rear) + 5MP (rear)|
8MP fixed-focus (front)
|Dimensions||154mm x 73.6mm x 13.98mm|
|Price||$599 and up (crowdfunding)|
$829 and up (retail)
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