Astro Slide 5G

Astro Slide is first 5G device with a physical keyboard

Astro Slide First 5G handheld device with full physical keyboard

Planet Computers has announced the Astro Slide, a 5G handheld device with full physical keyboard. Astro Slide runs Android 10 and also supports Linux OSs, with a multi-boot option.

This is the third device from Planet Computers, following the Gemini PDA and the Cosmo Communicator, and the distinctive feature of all three models is a physical keyboard, reflecting the involvement of designers from Psion.

Astro Slide 5G

A second key feature is support for Linux, though Android is the primary operating system with Linux to follow based on community contributions.

The Astro Slide departs from the clamshell concept in favour of a slide-out keyboard, hence the name. “Slide” does not do it justice; the hinge is a complex affair that moves and tilts the keyboard. There is also less metal in the casework to mitigate the extra weight. It will still be a chunky device, though, measuring 164 x 76.6 x 15mm and weighing around 300g.

Second, the Astro sports dual 5G, meaning it supports both SA (standalone) and NSA (non-standalone) networks. According to Planet CEO Dr Janko Mrsic-Flogel, 5G is essential not only for the fast speeds it enables, but for marketing.

Like its predecessors, the Astro will be crowdfunded on Indiegogo from today (30 March) and the plan is to have the PCB ready for the fourth quarter this year and to show devices at CES in January 2021, with shipping to follow a month or so after.

Astro Slide 5G

Specifications are therefore subject to change. As things stand, the chipset will be MediaTek’s Dimensity 1000 MT6889 Octa-core, with speeds up to 2.6GHz. The GPU is a nine-core Arm Mali G77, supplemented by a six-core APU (AI Processing Unit). The devices will support Wi-Fi 6, RAM will be 6 or 8GB, internal storage 128GB, and a microSD slot will be included.

The screen is 6.53″ and FHD+ (2340×1080). There will be two USB-C ports with OTG (on the go) and DisplayPort support. You can install dual SIMs plus an eSIM. Rear camera will be 48MP and front, 5MP.

Crowdfunding for the Astra Slide 5G is now available here.

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