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 835Snapdragon 662
CPU4 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
GPUAdreno 540Adreno 610
DSPHexagon 682Hexagon 683
ISPSpectra 180 (Up to 16MP dual or 32MP single cameras)Spectra 340T (up to 16MP dual or 48MP single cameras)
Wireless4G LTE Cat 16 down (1 Gbps) & Cat 13 up (150 Mbps)
VoLTE
WiFi 5
Bluetooth 5.0
GPS
4G LTE Cat 13 (390 Mbs down/ 150 MBps up)
WiFi Calling continuity between LTE and WiFI
VolTE
WiFi 6
Bluetooth 5.1
NFC
GPS
ChargingQuick Charge 4Quick Charge 3
Release Date20172020

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)

Display5.99 inch, 2160 x 1080 pixel
AMOLED (curved edges)
Gorilla Glass 3
ProcessorQualcomm 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)
4 x Kryo 260 Gold (Cortex-A73) CPU cores
4 x Kryo 260 Silver (Cortex-A53) CPU cores
Adreno 610 graphics

RAM6GB or 8GB LPDDR4X
Storage128GB or 256GB UFS 2.1
microSD card reader (up to 2TB)
Keyboard66-key
5-rows
backlit
QWERTY and QWERTZ options
Battery3,200 mAh
ChargingQualcomm Quick Charge 3.0
SensorsAccelerator
Gyroscope
Proximity
Magnetometer
Ambient Light
Hall Sensor
Fingerprint reader (side mounted)
ButtonsPower
Volume
WirelessGlobal 4G LTE
WiFi 5
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC
PortsUSB Type-C (w/HDMI video out support)
3.5mm headphone
Dual Nano SIM (second SIM slot shared with microSD card reader)
Cameras48MP Sony IMX586 + 5MP (rear) + 5MP (rear)
8MP fixed-focus (front)
OS support
  • Android
  • LineageOS
  • Ubuntu Touch
Dimensions154mm x 73.6mm x 13.98mm
Price$599 and up (crowdfunding)
$829 and up (retail)

Latest F(x)tec Pro1-X news

via @linmobblog

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2 Comments

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  1. I’m one of the dummies that ordered the Pro 1x versions, not knowing any better than the ne’ er do wells at FX-Tec did not procure all the parts before the released the phone(really bad), so I’m not sure if I’ll ever get it as I’m in bad health! 😝 Some people have No wisdom at all! 😝

  2. Please be aware that the sentence:
    “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” isn’t true.
    Fxtec did buy the processors but the supplier just doesn’t deliver it. It is even possible that they just sold them to someone paying more.