Just when you thought physical QWERTY keyboards on phones were a thing of the past, Planet Computers has introduced Astro Slide 5G. While most companies are moving towards foldable and rollable phones, Astro Slide 5G caters to a different audience. Its Astro Slide is the first 5G-ready smartphone with a built-in keyboard.
The Astro Slide 5G offers a proper keyboard instead of the tiny buttons we found on Nokia 97, Samsung Wave 533, Motorola Droid 3, and others. It slides out in the landscape mode and almost looks like a mechanical keyboard with large keys. It can be used as a mini laptop with users placing it on the desk and typing.
The phone had been on crowdfunding website Indiegogo for a while before the official announcement came recently. In the age where bezels are getting almost negligible, Astro Slide sports chunky bezels on the top and bottom, probably to accommodate the keyboard hinge.
As per PocketLint, it comes equipped with a MediaTek Dimensity 800 processor instead of the Dimensity 1000 which was promised earlier. It has a 6.39-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage which is expandable up to 1TB via microSD card. It is still not final whether it will be backed by a 3,500 or 4,000 mAh battery but it will support Qi wireless charging. Also, there are two USB Type-C port on the phone at the top and bottom to let the user charge as per his/her convenience. It will run on Android 11 with a few tweaks to make keyboard usage in landscape mode more appealing.
The camera details of the phone have not been revealed yet. In the hands-on photos, we can see a selfie camera placed inside the notch. Even though the company says it will be around $699 there is no fixed price or the date of release yet. Also, the smartphone is highly unlikely to make it to Indian markets.