Planet Gemini


  • Vivaldi Team

    Planet Gemini, PDA, https://www.planetcom.co.uk/

    This is a device I am quite excited about. The Planet Gemini takes the concept of the Psion 5 and brings it to the modern world. The device is a mobile phone, running Android and Linux, but also a PDA. It has a really good keyboard. Recently I had the pleasure to meet the team and test out the device. It is very promising and I have pre-ordered a couple of units.

    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gemini-pda-android-linux-keyboard-mobile-device-phone/x/17349743#/



  • It certainly looks interesting, but it could be argued it isn't really a mobile device. One of the defining features of a mobile device is, that it can be operated one handed. To me this is much more a PDA than a smartphone. I like physical keyboards, and typing with 10 fingers is certainly preferable over using your thumbs. I would have to try this to tell if it isn't too small for regular typing though. In their vimeo presentational video, most users type with their thumbs.

    I wish them success, but this is a risky move. Maybe they can find a niche market, widespread adaption and a revolution in the market I don't see stemming from this.


  • Vivaldi Team

    @luetage It may well be a niche, but it is a device I have been waiting for for a long time now. It is a different kind of device. Not really for one hand operation, although you can use it through voice to make calls and the like.

    I have tried the keyboard. I had the Psion 5 and the keyboard size and layout is very similar. They are working on details on the keyboard, but I was able to use it to type with 4 fingers for sure and more. Much better than thumbs only.


  • Vivaldi Team

    It was also nice to be able to switch between OS and being able to run Linux apps under Android. The HDMI connection was nice as well. It seems like a well thought out device for sure.



  • Looks interesting! I wonder how touchscreen-friendly distros like Ubuntu with the Gnome DE or Elementary OS with the Pantheon DE do with a touchscreen. Now that would be interesting to play with!



  • @d0j0p Might be a bit off-topic here, but to me this is the preferable future: Have your smartphone with you, and when you get home you just put it in a station which connects it with peripherals (widescreen monitor, mouse, keyboard, speakers, you name it) and you just use it as a desktop. Phones are so fast that it's already possible. At least that's how I would like to operate. Maybe in a few years we will see a good solution for this.


  • Moderator

    This looks like the sort of thing my wife has been pining for as well. No way we could afford one without the help of a major phone carrier, but hey...



  • @luetage That's what I see in the future as well. Microsoft has been trying that with their continuum feature, where you plug your Windows Phone at your computer, your phone screen moves to your monitor, and you continue your workflow all there. Windows Phone is dead now. I hope we'll be doing this with Linux instead of Windows.

    This might even be helped with touchscreen-friendly interfaces, like Gnome, Pantheon, and to some extent Budgie, where you can easily go from your phone to your touchscreen-laptop, and use a full keyboard. Eventually, our interfaces will converge into something consistent, yet just right for whatever kind of device you're using.



  • @jon I'm also a former Psion user, and was one of the early backers of this device. Supply chain issues have pushed the ship date from mid-November to mid-January, and I'm eager to get my hands on it!


  • Vivaldi Team

    Yes it clearly is an ambitious project with a rather small team. Being a little late on something like this I would think is is not a great deal. I just want them to get it right.

    I got a thorough demo of the device. Even got to play Pac Man, which was nice. :)

    I also got to play around with Linux on the device and I think it can be quite useful for techies that just need to connect to servers, whether that is through Linux or just some terminal software on the Android side. I got to play with both.

    They are still tweaking details on the HW side, such as the keyboard, and the software is progressing as well. I am excited. :)



  • Another video of the Planet Gemini: https://youtu.be/RSNFgEyWBGo


  • Vivaldi Team

    It is beautiful. It has a 6" screen, so the size of the device is kind of like one of these larger mobile phones, which means it still fits well in the pocket. I look forward to it replacing my current device for sure.


  • Vivaldi Translator

    I fell in love with this gadget :)



  • I'm also a backer and looking forward to it. I loved my Psion 5 back in the day. (Sold it to buy a WinCE thing, long since gone.) And I still have a Zaurus C1000, which was fun for its time but without video out (easily at least) and built-in wifi, it wasn't exactly future proof. I'm hoping the Gemini will be the exception to disposable gadgets.


  • Vivaldi Translator

    @jon But how will you æææ and ååå?

    Similar products are the Minotaur One and the Dragonbox Pyra, more traditionally, the NEO900, and if you will, the jollaphone with TOHKBD.


  • Vivaldi Team

    @kingu Yes, I believe you can have it in your local language. That includes Norwegian. You specify the language you want. For me this is important as I switch between multiple languages on any device. Ideally I would have liked to get some kind of Norwegian / Icelandic hybrid, but that may be asking for too much.

    When I tried the device out, it really struck me how similar the keyboard is to the Psion 5 keyboard, which was the best keyboard on any portable device, IMHO.


  • Vivaldi Translator

    @luetage I for one have been looking for a device like this for a long time, ever since my Psion Revo died. I would have loved the Revo form-factor (this is a bit bigger), but when I saw this featured in The Register, I went directly to Indiegogo and backed the project (I think I am backer number 6 or something...).

    I often bring a laptop, but in many cases it is too large, and a mobile phone is not good for writing on since they all stopped featuring keyboards (my first Android phone was the SE Xperia X10 Mini Pro, which had a keyboard, and I have missed it since). I am really looking forward to this.

    I do have a high-end smartphone (Samsung Note8, becuase it is basically the only high-end phone with a stylus), so I'm not sure where this will be positioned, but I guess mostly as a laptop-replacement when travelling.


  • Vivaldi Translator

    @kingu Yes, it will feature different keyboard layouts (that was one of the first questions I asked). I guess you will have to use the Fn key to get the special characters (at least the German layout they published had that; look for the Oct 24, 2017 update on Indiegogo, seems difficult to deep-link to it).



  • @nafmo I still miss my 5mx, especially the keyboard and Agenda, and completely agree about laptop replacement when travelling. I used Nokias for a while (with fold out or slide out thumb keyboards) I am very excited about this project and backed it as soon as I read about it, too...

    ...although I can't wait for it to materialize in my hands, it's worth the wait to get it right!



  • Seventeen years ago, the company I worked for was bought by Psion. Not long after that, I was handed a netBook by the QA manager and was told to use it for a week and then submit feedback. (Tough job! :smiley:) When I saw that Martin Riddiford was involved in the Planet Gemini project, I had no qualms about backing the project.

    Side note: I first used Opera on my Psion Revo. It was such a great browser, I quickly started using it on my desktop, and even paid to make the ads go away. My logic was that it was such a great piece of software, the developers deserved to get paid. Fast forward to now, and here I am on the Vivaldi forum.


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