Slider in your hand, Debian in your pocket

In the world of smartphones, we only have two options of devices when it comes to operating systems – iPhone and Android. However, Planet Computers found a special niche with earlier devices such as the Gemini and Cosmo Communicator. It’s now back again, this time with Astro Slide 5G, and it packs some updated specs and the ability to run popular Linux distributions, instead of (or even alongside) Android 11 if you prefer.

We were able to get some hands-on time at the company’s booth at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, ​​and it’s a fun little device that has a very different focus when compared to other devices running a similar chipset. Officially, there is planned support for Sailfish OS, Debian, and Kali Linux.

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Astro Slide 5G Highest Output Ubuntu

Astro Slide 5G: Specifications

Customize Astro Slide 5G
Show 6.53 inches, 2340 x 1080 pixels
Healer MediaTek 800 dimensions (4 x Cortex-A76 + 4 x Cortex-A55)
GPU ARM Mali-G57 MC4
RAM 8 GB LPDDR4x
storage 128 GB
cameras 48MP rear camera and 13MP front camera
Amplifiers stereo
ports 2 x USB-C, 3.5M audio, microSD card slot
wireless 5G (Global), WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, FM Radio, GPS, GLONASS
battery 3500 mAh
Shipping 10W Wireless + Fast Charging (Wired)
Biometrics Fingerprint sensor (on the side of the phone)
keyboard Backlit, sliding out, mechanical, with support for 24 languages ​​layout
Dimensions 164 mm x 76.6 mm x 15 mm
Weight 300 grams


Astro Slide 5G: Design and First Impressions

Astro Slide 5G unfolded

Astro Slide 5G is aimed at a completely different user than most. It doesn’t have the highest specs, and the bezels are quite large. Not to mention how bulky the phone also looks, which could definitely put some users off.

However, it’s all because of the company’s focus on both the QWERTY keyboard and the phone’s software. You can choose the Android-powered Astro Slide 5G out of the box, but then you can get Ubuntu Touch, Sailfish OS, or other popular Linux distributions as well. Furthermore, it can be dual booted so that you don’t need to lock yourself into one particular platform if you have different needs. We were able to play with two devices – one with Android 11 and one with Ubuntu Touch.


Astro Slide 5G Summit

Astro Slide 5G is very thick thanks to the odd form factor. Not only does it have a screen that should be able to slide out and support the body of the phone, but there are also a pair of USB-C ports – one on the top and one on the bottom. I asked why, and was told that more often than not, power users wanted the ability to have a dedicated USB-C port for data transfer while charging at the same time. For example, charging while also using a USB-C to Ethernet adapter to access the wired network. Since you can run Linux distros on your phone, it makes sense for device owners to have power user requirements like these.


Astro Slide 5G

The rear joint feels solid and sturdy, although I wouldn’t necessarily feel comfortable when I knocked it back and forth. It’s as if it could definitely take a beating, the plastic could explode if used too harshly. I was afraid that the phone would break when trying to open and close it, as I felt like it is very About to accidentally pick up something I shouldn’t have.

All in all, this phone is very targeted specific user type. I found typing on the QWERTY keyboard comfortable, and I could definitely see myself getting used to it. It has also shown me how useful this is when managing Excel spreadsheets, documents, and more, and I can see how it can be a useful device for business people.

It’s huge, and it’s definitely a file Different The phone is for most form factors, but from my use I can see how useful it is to be a sought after device for those who fall into that particular niche. It’s the company’s third phone, and it’s a clear improvement over its previous flights.


Astro Slide 5G: Pricing and Availability

The Astro Slide 5G is available for pre-order now on the company’s website and via Indiegogo. It sells for £853.20 including VAT. Ships in April 2022, and there are plenty of different consoles for many different regions to choose from. You can check out the company’s website below if you’re interested.

Buy Astro Slide 5G