Gemini PDA: A New Smartphone with a Sliding Physical Keyboard
Many of us still remember the Psion personal organiser which was quite an intriguing tech achievement way back in the late 90’s. Psion is considered to be the actual starting point of the conception of the modern smartphone we use these days. The new Gemini PDA which is undergoing Indiegogo campaign just seems to take enough inspiration from Psion. Just like Psion it also comes with a miniature keyboard allowing you to quickly type emails, messages and docs.
It seems that after more than two decades the exemplary Psion is back. Yes, from design and the concept of the device the inspiration seems almost obvious but in reality, it is a new gadget from a new company with a lot of unique attributes and feature set. Question is in a world dominated by the on-screen keyboard of tablet PCs, convertibles and iPads, does this small keyboard PDA at all make an appealing proposition?
The Psion inspired design
Gemini PDA comes with a clamshell design loaded with full mechanical keyboard and a dimension of 171.4 x 79.25 x 15.1mm. The PDA boasts of a 5.9-inch display apart from a sliding keyboard.
Over the top the 5.9-inch screen offers 2160 x 1080 pixel (403ppi) display and just below it you have a fully mechanical keyboard. It is far from the latest array of thin smartphones, but it can easily be slipped into the pocket of your blazer or jacket.
The dark grey metal that makes the outside of the device gives it a thorough masculine look with the little interruption of a few connection ports, a button for voice activation, and a socket for headphone measuring 3.5mm. Both the SIM slot and microSD card slot remains hidden at the back of the case.
A smartphone without a camera, that too in 2018!
Yeah, it can be a surprise for many of us, but this is a reality however strange it sounds. Gemini PDA doesn’t offer an outside facing camera. The company says that the customer still can add a camera with the lens protruding out of the design.
It deals with the lack of outside screen in a strange way
Well, the Gemini PDA lacks outside screen and naturally while the device is shut off, you can’t see who is calling. To address this shortcoming the company given a row of colourful LED lights that can blink differently depending on the person calling. That’s really a strange alternative to called ID showing on phone screen.
Specs and OS
Unlike the similar device that was launched two decades ago it is not run on Symbian but current Android OS. When it comes to specs, it offers quite an impressive package with MediaTek deca-core processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB inbuilt storage with optional expanding microSD storage, 4G, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, eSIM support and powerful 4000mAh battery. For advanced users, the device also offers the option of dual booting to use Linux.
A software dock looking exactly like Psion
While the usual Android experience has been embraced through and through, the Gemini PDA offers an app dock that just looks similar to the original Psion. The dock changes its look and priority based on your use and priorities.
The keyboard of the Planet Gemini PDA looks almost similar to the that of original Psion. Except requiring your finger movements to be nimble and precise over this narrow keyboard, it works awesomely good.
Price and availability
The Planet Gemini is priced at £599 and £499 for respectively the 4G version and the Wi-Fi only model. It has already overreached its funding limit and currently is available for order at Indiegogo.
Obviously, we had less chances to use Psion, and for many, it was only a futuristic sample of a product. It succumbed to other emerging products too soon. This time making a followup of the original Psion Gemini PDA reintroduced a design and a concept that actually justified the original brilliance in all respects.
But at the end of the day, we must ask whether it is really worth buying as a smartphone alternative since we have so many sleek designed and stylish on-screen alternatives. Well, it represents a completely different concept and can only appeal to users who like typing on physical keyboards instead of the on-screen ones.