The cosmo communicator. I did a hands on with the cosmo in the pub before kovid 19 kicked off in phone show 380, but that was a pre release unit. This has been out for just over a full year now, but planet computers. Pr chat, pointed out. It had just received a long long overdue software update from july 2020 right through to january 2021, here android, nine, but android 11 is planned for this for the summer, interestingly skipping over android 10 completely. I really did not know this was possible, but well done if they pull it off so it’s a classic communicator and that it’s landscape, it’s, qwerty, it’s, largish, it’s metal and it’s heavy at over 300 grams, it’s 100 geared towards writing an email and it’s spectacularly compromised In all other areas, because of how good it is at its primary functions, but i’ll come to that, the physical design is really very clever. Indeed, the metal cladding folds away at the back as you open the clam shell to act as a stand. Angling, the keyboard and providing stability in much the same way as this, the previous gemini, except that this time the metal has to incorporate folding away from the brand new for the cosmo cover, controls and display. Now the gemini was limited in terms of phone use, because the only way to see who was calling was by decoding the led sequence built into the frame. Now this adds a small amoled display showing caller name time date, notification, icons and so on, plus it’s touch enabled, and you can swipe between major notifications or even to a panel of tools, including camera control and a torch and below this display is a capacitive fingerprint Sensor for unlocking in google play authorization with push button controls on either edge, letting you accept or back out of whatever’s happening on the cover display.
Then, above all, this are a 24 megapixel camera and led flash of which more later, it’s all sleekly implemented and the cosmo really isn’t that much well that much thicker than the gemini, while adding a lot more functionality. But it’s opening up the cosmo communicator. That really impresses you’ve seen this full mechanical keyboard before on the scion series 5 range in the 1990s and on the gemini and it’s as good as it ever was. In fact, i think it’s now better to writer. Like me, it’s like it’s like coming home, a full five rows, including numbers and it’s backlit. Each key has its own led, apparently impressive, so picture the scene coming home from an event in the evening on a train or a plane. Postcoded others are struggling with laptops. Bluetooth, keyboards are just an on screen keyboard. You calmly open up the cosmo and have a laptop like form factor and backlit keyboard, it’s a possible game changer, as with the gemini it’s android in well landscape mode, and that can be a bit iffy. Android has been rubbish adapting to landscape for years now this really isn’t planet, computer’s fault with so many android apps, assuming a portrait ui most the time you’re offered left on the cosmo swiping content in a small landscape window between apparently oversized top and bottom toolbars. But this isn’t necessarily a problem because it all depends on what you do on the cosmo planet supplies a handy shortcut bar.
Anyone else remember extras on the scion, with controls for a good number of planet or commissioned applications that work really well in landscape and with the qwerty keyboard. So the desktop itself app names below icons, which you don’t always get in landscape with android air mail. A generic imap and exchange email, client, the utterly wonderful agenda again channeling, the original scion. This even has the fabled year view you’ve, got notes and finally data. Yes, the name and concept lifted from the cyan again, a free form, database super flexible and the cornerstone of many people’s lives over the last two decades, i’m. Still getting calls from people with scion asking for help with their 1990s scion databases on which they run their lives. So if you live in these applications plus word and excel, also on the customizable shortcut part android’s own landscape limitations might be kept to a minimum. Might just be aware that things go a bit pear shaped when opening up generic social media and utility applications now bigger limitations crop up in terms of some of the hardware compromises on the cosmo. Everything literally everything else is affected to some degree by the need to design around the sumptuous keyboard and clamshell hinge system. The screen itself is lcd and has huge side bezels, not something one expects to see on a 600 pound plus smartphone in 2021. Lcd is actually fine for the core productivity use case, but you won’t enjoy media much on the cosmo.
The other reason why media is a no go here is that planet’s electronic design has wired up the stereo speakers out of phase, just as on the german eye. Now this is a complete facepalm moment, since every single, gemini and cosmo that has ever been made has had this issue and seemingly no one at the company ever spotted the problem in testing and now it’s too late. Since all cosmos have been made and planet is moving on it’s a bit weedy and the stereo sounds funny, but now by deliberately playing music section encoded out of phase i cancelling out the outer face speakers you get this, and this is how the speakers could have Sounded better face better fidelity and properly centered and then, as the music section goes back in phase, oh, we get the weedy out of phase stereo again. Ah, it beggars belief really and it’s a shame really, since the angling up of the screen when opened, would have been so handy for watching media and enjoying some decent sound. He is hoping that the upcoming astro slide next gen product will finally have this fundamental floor. Fixed also compromised in the drive to focus on the keyboard pun intended are the camera systems. The external cover camera has poor, dynamic range, appalling, low light capabilities, as shown here and precisely zero software effort exerted by planet. On this front, there are no extra camera modes beyond photo and video and no multi frame algorithms.
Again. This is effectively a smartphone camera system from a decade ago and not helped in that the front internal selfie camera is even worse, and this is a problem since a core part of productivity and work life in 2021 is video calling and remote interaction. So you’ll want a usable self facing camera and the unit here is necessarily offset so others in zoom meetings, won’t, think you’re, looking at them plus we’ll see a grainy video from the year 2010. I do think that planet could have put in a much better internal camera in the cosmo. Then this battery life, the four two two zero milliamp hour cell – should, in theory, be fine for all day use, but by default you’re out of power by tea time. Every day until you spot a toggle in settings, standby, intelligent power, saving, you turn this on and then battery life is extended through a full day. It’S, the usual android dose function, culling stuff that doesn’t need to run when the cosmos closed, and in this case it makes enormous sense. Why isn’t this setting turned on out of the box software quality control even after a year of release, experience and updates isn’t great. There are occasional, missed initial keystrokes, for example, a few times a day, i’d hit the first key in a new field or document and nothing. The second keystroke gets recognized but i’m missing a character or i’m going to hit function, d for the desktop and nothing function, d again and i’m back to the desktop as advertised all seemingly random, behavior but again i’d have hoped that these glitches will be gone by Now, gripes aside, you’ll want to know a few more of the basics: we’re talking a mediatek helio p70 chipset 6 gig of ram 128 gig of storage plus microsd, all very decent plus a 3.
5 mil headphone jack good to see and it outputs decent quality and volume. Well done to mediatek, i think, plus a second type c port on the right edge, which can accept storage devices for extra flexibility, though not power that’s on the left hand jack. But next to this you have a slightly redundant silver call, handling and assistant button left over from the gemini. You can now more easily manage calls from the cover buttons here and call the google assistant from a function key press on the main keyboard. I don’t think i’ve ever reviewed such a polarized device as the cosmo communicator there’s, so much to applaud and so much to criticize the use case for the writer, the journalist on the move is still compelling, and if this is you, then i suspect you’ve already bought Or tried this or the previous gemini, in which case you’ll, know how good this keyboard is. I will forgive everything else: that’s subpar, but for the mainstream, rather obviously it’s best to look elsewhere, hooking up a bluetooth keyboard or even a neck stock for occasional heavy writing duties and enjoying a good display, camera speakers and so on the rest of the time. I do wish planet well with their ambitious update schedule for the cosmo this year, android 11a, and i wish them well for the astro slide. But even as a writer myself, i can’t give this a a full wholehearted recommendation. You have to go into a cosmo purchase with your eyes, open and be prepared by watching reviews like this one.