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  1. GoJoe2's Avatar
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    Besides it's genious software the Pre1-3 and Veer stood out because of their physical keyboard. Having used many physical hardware phones and still having typed on many more (at least for testing purposes) I must say, that out of all of them, I think the Pre³ keyboard is the best.
    But if you were looking for a replacement keyboard wise (not looking at software for a moment) you had a really hard time. Besides some Feature texting-phones, there were only the Blackberrys left you could opt for.

    Now tide seems to change as two new keyboard devices finally are getting close to shipment day. So this woudl make (counting the Blackberry KeyOne in) three possible options to choose from.

    So, I wanted to hear your opinion on that matter.

    1. Option - Blackberry KoeyOne
    Most of you should know the Blackberry KeyOne, so I won't say much about it. I know Alan is using it and I guess some more, so there is experience on board for that beast.

    2. Option - Gemini PDA
    After going through a quite successful Indiegogo campaign last year the Psion inspired clamshell smartphone with a full qwerty keyboard (and Android) is being shipped to backers in the next few weeks and then making its way to the general audience.

    Here is a link to the first hands-on of an actual journalist just released today:

    3. Option - Moto Z Keyboard Mod
    Well not an actual physical smartphone on its own - its pretty much the closest you can get (besides Option 1 and 2) nowadays. It uses the Moto Z's unique ability to add hardware on its back. By this it won't suffer the disadvantages of the attachable bluetooth keyboards available for some android smartphone or iphones. So I would count it as a bundle a full hardware keyboard smartphone.
    It will be shipped in the next few weeks to backers, as well, and then go on sale. Unfortunately, there are no independent tests or reviews yet.
    Keyboard Mod for Moto Z: Bringing a landscape keyboard of the past to a modern smartphone | ZDNet

    So what do you think? Is webOS/palm/Pre only about software or do you miss the hardware keyboard as well (I know form factor is another topic in this direction).

    Would you buy one of these options? And for what reasons?

    Thanks a lot

    Best Jörg
  2. #2  
    I'm going to assume that like all Blackberries, you can't root it and install something else, so that's out for me.

    I was getting excited about the Gemini, but kind of agree with the piece you linked to. I think the keyboard will be fine - it's bigger than the Pre! But this is in fact more of a PDA than phone. I think the question was raised before: How do you hold it to your ear? There is only a front facing camera and it seems to have the same res as the Pre3. I guess in an ideal world, there would be the cheap wifi PDA version and if you went 4G, there would be a rear facing (better) camera and maybe an LCD for number display (i.e. more like a phone). Of course all these fancy options would cost more. The current price seems to be that of a high end mobile.

    I assumed the moto add on would be another compromise and possibly a flimsy one. Also, as a 'stick on' it's never going to be as well integrated as a purpose designed device. But from the photos, it actually looks really good. Obviously, I've got no problem with a 'thicker' phone and chuckle at those who spend loads on a shiny thin thing to wrap it in a case (or even an extended battery case). But how thick is the moto with this thing on? Looks pretty chunky, but then I guess the KB is removable... Does it need to be removed to use the camera? It does have a tilt, but how stable is it on a surface? Also, LG G5 - which lasted all of one generation! What will moto's commitment be and how many accessories will need to be sold for it to be worth the manufacturer's efforts?

    I think a moto is supposedly a good value phone, so I guess one with a KB add on will still be less that the Gemini. Assuming LuneOS could be installed on both and without a close comparison of the specs, I'd guess the Gemini will be the cooler device, but the moto will be cheaper and more like a phone (though possibly will also look more like a brick).

    Both of these appear to be interesting options, though both have compromises. If the Gemini was a moto-type slider rather than Clamshell, that might be the phone we are looking for. I wonder how far the nostalgia factor will shift these units, when most are now happily tapping on slabs.
    Last edited by Preemptive; 01/06/2018 at 10:50 PM.
  3. #3  
    The speaker for the Gemini is on the lid, so you can close it and hold it to your ear (at least, that is what I remember from one of the updates on Indiegogo, and what one of the photos in that review shows).
    Did you know:

    webOS ran on a Treo 800 during initial development.
    Preemptive likes this.
  4. GoJoe2's Avatar
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    Yep, you can use the Gemini as a phone. But the decision to implement LEDs for caller identifaction is somewhat supoptimal.

    I don't know why they didn't choose the solution of the Yotaphone (an E-Ink display on the back). That would not only have made sense but was already done by the first few generations of the Nokia Communicator Series up to the E90. So I guess the designers intentionally chose against that kind of idea.

    I only can hope that they change their minds in the future as I guess that this is a definite criteria not to buy the Gemini as a phone but solely as a PDA (which is pretty anachronistic these days)

    -- Sent from my Palm Pre3 using Forums
  5. #6  
    No, not too bad... even if "our" form factor (vertical slider kind of kb) allows for an easier usage , imo
  6. #7  
    I have zero interest in landscape keyboards. It was hard enough to reach all the keys on smaller ones like the Samsung Epic.
  7. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by Grabber5.0 View Post
    I have zero interest in landscape keyboards. It was hard enough to reach all the keys on smaller ones like the Samsung Epic.
    Landscape size keyboards are definitely a little slower. I have a Passport and an old Touch Pro 2 and it's definitely a lot more thumb movement to get across those keyboards.

    -- Sent from my Palm Pre3 using Forums
    IIIxe | z22 | Pre 3 | Bold 9900 | Q10 | Passport SE
  8. #9  
    Yeah. My first smartphone was a PPC-6700. A big brick with a landscape slider. I moved from that to the Treo 800w, and found the vertical keyboard much better, but I hated having such a small square screen. It was tolerable, but not ideal. I got the Pre as soon as I was upgrade eligible, which I believe was September, and fell in love with the portrait slider format. The BB KEYone has a better screen ratio than the Treo did, but I don't love the phone. I have been bouncing between that, a Nexus 5, and a Nexus 5X. I would like to keep my FrankenPre2 in the rotation, but I really hate having to take the modem out to put in a Sprint Pre to reactivate it.
  9. GoJoe2's Avatar
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    Yes landscape keyboards are slower to type on. I used a range of different devises but I got best typing speed on the Pre3 and BB Bold 9900, but the Pre3 is because of its distinctive key seperation easier to type on without error. In most other keyboards the singular keys are without any space between eachother making it difficult to distinguish them sometimes tactile wise.

    Using my Passport currently I find it an ok solution but probably not the best. Let's see what future brings along. I just hope no one is scared off of building an Pre(3) like keyboard because of Qualcomms known tendancy to abuse patents. (As someone mentioned somewhere else Nokia and Blackberry didn't fight over keyboard patents, so this threat might be not so important - but on the other hand, Blackberry sued the makes of an iphone Keyboard for patent infringements). Well, we will see.

    A friend of mine has a Moto Z. Maybe I just invest the 60 or 80 bucks to pick up the keyboard mod and test it on his smartphone.
  10. GoJoe2's Avatar
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    My Passport died yesterday during a stormy and very rainy hike. I wasn't able to revive it, yet. So, I pulled out my beloved Pre3, fired it up and it was working like a charm, until I used the update function in Preware for some apps. After going dark (I probably didn't wait long enough for my Pre3 to figure things out) I did the holding down power button and 3 x mute switch, to restart. Unfortunately, it won't boot up anymore. I only get the hp logo - but not the glowing one, just "hp" without any sign of life. Connected to my PC, it does not show up in webOS QuickInstall, nor anywhere else.

    So, I was thinking to jump ship and looked into the current PKB options. Interestingly, nothing changed much compared to my post last year, except, that all three mentioned options got updated:

    1. Blackberry launched the Key2 and Key2 LE
    Both seem to be decent phones. Keyboard, supposedly, got better. Unfortunately, it won't support wireless charging and the capacitive on screen keys make migration to Android 9 (Pie) cumbersome. And Android Pie is really what I'm looking for, as it brings webOS style gestures to Android.

    2. The creators of the Gemini PDA are following up with the Cosmo Communicator. Though it really got much better with an external display, backlit keyboard and many other updates, it still is more a PDA and probably hard to use as a main smartphone device.

    3. Finally, the makers of the Moto addon are now doing their own thing and want to release a landscape slider smartphone in Q1 2019. But not much info is available, yet.

    After carefully weighting all options, I'm gonna wait and use a spare Priv I bought for my wife two years ago. (I kind of hope for a Key3 to iron out the last disadvantages of the Key2, so I can finally make the bittersweet jump to Android.)

    My other webOS devices remain in the drawer or sealed. Besides Exchange working flawlessly, many other things are not working that well anymore, but who am I telling this
    gazaud likes this.
  11. #12  
    Sell your Pre3 to me! Would love to see if I can get it working. If not a spare to take apart would be fun too...
    Check out my webOS archival and development projects: | Like my apps? Why not buy me a coffee?
  12. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by GoJoe2 View Post
    2. The creators of the Gemini PDA are following up with the Cosmo Communicator. Though it really got much better with an external display, backlit keyboard and many other updates, it still is more a PDA and probably hard to use as a main smartphone device.
    I really like this! Fairly chunky, but it's is basically a PDA. A 'more phone' iteration of the Gemini. Not sure I can justify the spend though...

    The F(x) thing is also interesting, but way too soon to tell. Also the recent history of new entrant handset companies is not encouraging. Nextbit, Essential...
  13. GoJoe2's Avatar
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    Thanks for the offer, but I, finally, got it running again.
    It took some time and draining the battery in this ***** coma like state seems to have helped.

    But what is most interesting, is that all non-factory installed apps are gone?! Nevertheless userdata is still all there: pictures, exchange accounts, memos, contacts etc. Even bookmarked websites in launcher are present, but not a single app, I installed.

    And what's even 'odder', some patches seem to have survived and some not. For instance the battery display in the top bar is again the standard symbol, not anymore the percentage. But other patches are still present, for instance the New Device Menu by Garrett or the virtual keyboard patch.

    Only problem, webosQuickinstall won't recognize my Pre3 anymore.

    Well, looks like I would need to invest some time, to get it running again

    Sorry for the off-topic.

    If the Pre3 would not have by far the best PKB ever built, it wouldn't be as hard to miss.
  14. #15  
    Sounds like its time for a visit to the Doctor ;-)
    Check out my webOS archival and development projects: | Like my apps? Why not buy me a coffee?
  15. GoJoe2's Avatar
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    Update in 2020 (just for fun)

    I got my Pre3 fully working again (yes visit to the doctor helped a lot) - but ditched it because of occasional random reboots and browser experience becoming worse and worse each month.

    Personally, I switched to one (actually currently) two Blackberry Priv, and all things considered it's the best package. All apps are running. I got webOS style gestures working and I have a vertical slider with pkb (tried Key2 - disliked it). That's as good as it gets these days.

    Regarding PKB devices currently around:

    1. Blackberry/TCL announced end of partnership, thus no Key 3. The gap is somewhat filled by the Unihertz Titan, a straight away Blackberry Passport clone with a gigantic battery and rugged style elements.

    2. After the Cosmo Communicator (a reverence to old Nokia Communicators like the E90) has been released (with some minor/major hickups) now comes (freshly announced) the Astro Slide. Planet Computers steers away from the clamshell design to a horizontal slider much like the Motorola Droid series and Nokia E7 (the last pkb device of Nokia oriented at productivity users, before it went all Microsoft and eventually bit the dust). (The fact that sailfish OS was announced to be working for the Cosmo could be linked through a lengthy trail (Maemo->Meego->Sailfish) back to Nokia.)

    3. And finally the FxTex Pro1 got releases and is now 'widely' avaible.

    So, except the Astro Slide, no real news in 2020 so far. Let's see if someone, eventually, will show some love to vertical sliders again, in 2021 - or so at least, I hope.
  16. GoJoe2's Avatar
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    Update 2021 (still just for fun)

    Not much has changes since 2021.

    1. Unihertz followed up on the Titan with the Titan Pocket (a smaller Blackberry Q10/Classic) inspired phone. (
    It's currently starting shipment - so they are quite fast, as it was announced earlier in May.

    2. The Astro Slide from PlanetComputers is still in development but shipment should be coming in fall 2021.

    3. F(x)Tec presented an update for their Pro1 the Pro1X. Mainly just a CPU improvement and more OS options (including Ubuntu). Still in development. Shipment should be coming in fall 2021 as well. (

    And there is one big unknown: a startup called Onward Mobility announced a new Blackberry device last year, but since then hasn't released any new information. So we will have to wait and see what to make of it.

    And one maybe kind of hobby thing: Some guy plans to upgrade old Blackberry Passport with new memory chips making it possible to put a new OS on the phone, namely Android 9. I might get one just for fun, as I loved my Passport which I used as a daily driver for about 4 years after app support for my Pre3 got really bad in 2015/2016.

    I wonder if something similar could be done with the Pre3, though it would need a new SoC as well.
  17. ggendel's Avatar
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    So you can replace the Blackberry boot loader with by replacing the secure memory chip with an insecure one? If it works with the passport I wonder if it will work with the Priv etc.? As for WebOS, without 3g+ communications boards, I think updating would be impractical as the telecommunications companies have or will be shutting down 2g.
    Palm III->Palm IV->Palm V->M130->Tungsten->Treo 270->Treo 600->Treo 700->Palm Pre Plus->FrankenPre 2->Pre 3 & TouchPad
  18. GoJoe2's Avatar
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    Theoretically, I think it should be possible for the Priv as well, as long as you can get driver support for the rest of the built-in components. But my Priv is so slow by now, I guess using 5-6 years old hardware just doesn't cut it in terms of real-life applicability.

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