31, Mar, 2020
This 5G Phone Runs Linux and Doubles as a Tiny Laptop with a Physical Keyboard
The world of Linux phones is about to get a new member, as Planet Computers is working on a new device that’s currently up for crowdfunding on Indiegogo.
The so-called Astro Slide looks retro but feels modern. Despite the PDA-like appearance, the device is essentially a 5G smartphone that can double as a laptop thanks to a small physical keyboard.
In terms of hardware, the Astro Slide comes with the essential feature package to let you stay productive on the go. It’s powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 1000 octa-core SoC and obviously comes with a 5G chip specifically optimized for what the parent company says improved signal with reduced power consumption.
Of course, this is something that remains to be seen, but if these claims are accurate, then the same chip could make its way to many more smartphones in the coming months, especially as the expansion of 5G networks is advancing at full speed.
Additionally, the smartphone come with 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage, which can be further expanded with a microSD card. The best thing is that the Astro Slide runs Android out of the box, but for those seeking even more productivity, the parent company will include a multi-boot option with support for Linux. No word on which distro the device will use is available just yet.
As for how much it’s going to cost, the Astro Slide will start at $799 to $999, according to the Indiegogo page, but you can very well secure one at just $546 if you join the crowdfunding campaign.
“Astro Slide is the first 5G smartphone with a keyboard and is the fastest 5G device announced to date. Astro's revolutionary RockUp slider hinge transforms the powerful 6.53" touchscreen smartphone into a mini laptop, featuring Planet’s signature tactile backlit keyboard,” Planet Computers explains.
“Astro Slide Is great for emails, messaging, editing documents, making calls and taking snaps. Astro's dual 5G and Wi-Fi 6 communications offer fastest upload and download speeds for true productivity on the go. Astro Slide runs Android 10 OS with a multi-boot option for supporting Linux.”
The funding goal has already been reached, and now the first units are projected to reach the first customers in March 2021.