A Key Device

F(x)tec releases a smartphone with a pop-out qwerty keyboard. There’s certainly a niche market for smartphones with keyboards, and the Pro1 brings a new take that differs from the “phone-in-a-PDA” approach favoured by Planet Computers. We have highlighted the “long tail” of the smartphone market for some time, and F(x)tec is a good example of the diversity and innovation that characterizes suppliers in this underappreciated part of the industry. At £649, there’s a premium to be paid for a small-scale niche device with additional hardware features. But with little direct competition, it has a chance of being snapped up by keyboard addicts missing the glory days of the BlackBerry.



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