F(*cking you over)tec

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Mar 6, 2021
1
3
I honestly don't know where to start... there is so much to unpack.
I guess I'll just try it chronologically...
So, Fxtec sold us a smartphone with SD835 SoC, which would get Android security updates for at least another two years.
When using a community-driven OS like Lineage, security updates would even surpass this.
Shipping was supposed to take place in March.
The shipping cost was a flat fee of $40. This was supposed to include pre-paid customs, which was a key point for me, since custom rates are effing high here.
All of this at a somewhat steep price, considering the hardware's age (e.g. almost 4 year old SoC).
But the idea of having a (more or less) modern smartphone with a proper keyboard was just too tempting.
I opted in.
But I remained concerned about the SD835 and it's upcoming EOL.
I wasn't all too sure the advertised two years of Android updates would cover SoC firmware updates as well. (Android updates =/= firmware updates)
Without firmware updates it doesn't really matter which OS you are running, since you become vulnerable at the lowest software-level. Exploiting firmware vulnerabilities can allow for total control over the device. And no OS update (not even a community-driven one) could ever fix this.
When I asked questions about this in the campaign's comments, nothing happened at first. Although other questions got answered by Fxtec. I was being ignored.
After multiple comments and finally reaching out to them via email, I got an answer.
I was told not to worry, 'since the phone would get Android security updates for at least two years.'
Yeah...that's a wake-up call right there.
Following above explanation, anyone should be able to see why this answer is such borderline ingenious sh*t cake.
Anyway, I had already lost too much time asking questions to get a refund. And since none of the other backers seemed to be interested in a secure phone, I faced the facts and told myself that I'd just sell it (probably at a minor loss, due to the old hardware) once it arrived in March.
Oh! Look at that! It's March.
So I just went to check on the campaign to see, when my phone will arrive.
BAM! Huge campaign update.
The SoC hit EOL even before they could build the phones!! Their supplier can't provide the SD835 anymore!
If I wasn't affected myself, I'd be ROFLing all over the house right about now.
Instead of the SD835 everyone now gets a phone with an SD662.
>But fear not, at least this SoC still gets proper security updates, as 'SO MANY OF YOU' were concerned about that...<
>Oh, by the way, there might be a *
slight *drop in performance<
>Oh, and we silently updated our FAQ. Now it mentions that the $40 shipping doesn't include customs anymore. It's because of Brexit. We specifically said Brexit wouldn't be an issue. But now it is.
Well, not our money that's gettin' p*ssed away.
Enjoy spending ~25% more than expected on your already expensive phone.<

...* nice, deep breaths --- in ... ... and out --- in ... ... and out *...
Ok. So. Let me get this straight.
Now I am forced to pay 25% more for an already expensive phone, that was already a little weak on the hardware.
Hardware that just got further downgraded from an old flagship-SoC to a new and ~20% slower mid-low range SoC.
... anything else?! Well, yeah, delivery has been postponed. New estimated shipping date is August.
But at this point: who gives a f*ck?!

What's my endgame/why am I writing all of this?!
To be honest, I simply HAD TO write this. If I hadn't, I would probably have smashed someones car or something.
Yes, I'm insanely furious. And I feel betrayed.
Needless to say I will never deal with Fxtec in any shape or form ever again.
And should the name ever come up again when I'm around -be it online or IRL-,
I will strongly -and with every fiber of my being- advise people against any kind of dealings with Fxtec.
Backing this company has been a huge mistake!
Shame on you, Fxtec. Shame on you!
And shame on XDA for partnering up with such a company!
NEVER.AGAIN.!!
 

wvdschel

Member
Jan 23, 2010
13
4
A little late to respond, but 100% had the same feelings. I contacted them about a refund when the news hit, which they refused.

We're getting a worse phone, later in the year. We're getting a SoC that's available in 130 euro phones TODAY, in a 600+ euro package IN AUGUST AT BEST. And we get to pay additional import fees. They 100% had to know this was coming. If they didn't, their purchasing staff simply didn't do their job. The responsibility rests with them.

I was really on the fence when backing this phone, as it had an old SoC, and it was pretty expensive. But I like slider phones, and I'm pretty sure this was our last hurrah before they go away entirely - being stuck with an older phone seemed fine if they used a flagship CPU and promised long community support. I also thought "what could go wrong, it's an existing product, they've been selling these phones for a while now".

100% feeling ripped off. That keyboard would bettter end up being amazing. Never going to back a technology based crowdfunding again.

My guess is that F(x)tec is probably in financial trouble and unable to give out refunds for disgruntled backers. They'd rather take the reputation hit on the chin and postpone bankruptcy for a while. Though with one niche phone that didn't sell great, and this attempt at building a bigger community around their product backfiring massively, I doubt it will save them for very long.
 
What else is there to say? Apprehensive-jumped hit the nail on the head.

I too was on the fence,
Who's F(x)tec, I said.... But my love for, and loyalty to XDA and it's community made me believe, "it's XDA, they wouldn't partner to a relatively no name if they didn't do thorough research first, right?"... Christ all mighty....

To think now, that I would back a company, with $$ I should have kept in bank cause the pandemic destroyed my smart home business just weeks later, with the bullshit they have force fed their backs for what seems like an eternity.... Boils my blood doesn't quite fit the bill.

I will second that motion, so hopefully it carries... To EVERYONE'S ears, and well into the future: For shame F(x)tec, for shame.

I would flat out call you thieves in the night, if XDA wasn't attached to this.
(To be clear, I still, and always will, have faith and respect for XDA. I'm certain they did not know f(x)tec was selling snake oil....)
 
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0xDE57

New member
Dec 9, 2021
1
0
According to their latest update (November Pro1-X update | Nov 30, 2021 • 11:02AM)
"""
  • We are re-booking a manufacturing slot with the factory for the 5th January 2022. Due to the number of steps/complexity involved in the Pro1-X production line, it is difficult for us to book an assembly slot any sooner. For reference, we have 30+ individual procedures, compared to a generic smartphone which typically has around 10 steps).
  • We will manufacture some pre-production units from the 15th December 2021 to get familiar with the production line and all of the necessary steps required for mass manufacturing ahead of January 2022. These pre-production units will then be sent out to all of the OS developers to help us verify the production quality and functionality internally.
"""

Sound like some of these devices may actually begin to exist within the next few months. Who knows with shipping. I just accepted it as a loss and move on with my life. If a phone ever shows up, cool.

I don't think ill ever do crowdfunding any more, too many crappy kickstarters and indegogos out there its just not worth the risk.

too bad its so hard to find a phone with headphone jack and no stupid hole or notch in the screen these days.
 

Kenaz Rune

Senior Member
Mar 29, 2019
108
28
According to their latest update (November Pro1-X update | Nov 30, 2021 • 11:02AM)
"""
  • We are re-booking a manufacturing slot with the factory for the 5th January 2022. Due to the number of steps/complexity involved in the Pro1-X production line, it is difficult for us to book an assembly slot any sooner. For reference, we have 30+ individual procedures, compared to a generic smartphone which typically has around 10 steps).
  • We will manufacture some pre-production units from the 15th December 2021 to get familiar with the production line and all of the necessary steps required for mass manufacturing ahead of January 2022. These pre-production units will then be sent out to all of the OS developers to help us verify the production quality and functionality internally.
"""

Sound like some of these devices may actually begin to exist within the next few months. Who knows with shipping. I just accepted it as a loss and move on with my life. If a phone ever shows up, cool.

I don't think ill ever do crowdfunding any more, too many crappy kickstarters and indegogos out there its just not worth the risk.

too bad its so hard to find a phone with headphone jack and no stupid hole or notch in the screen these days.

It would be nice if the XDA team would drop by one in a while to give us some hope, but my post at the beginning of the month has no replies but my own. At this point, even if we get the hardware I'm not sure the software will be maintained or updated by anybody. There's certainly no indication of XDA interest here. There are no ROM threads, no representation from Ubuntu Touch nor LineageOS.

Sure, I get it that until the hardware is out, there won't be anything to install, but someone somewhere must be working on it if there is intention to support it. I'm not seeing any evidence of that, though.
 

ctkatz

Senior Member
Dec 2, 2010
72
50
it's now april.

I still do not have this device. in fact this device is still not in production yet.

I backed this project strictly on the reputation of xda and I feel royally ripped off and cheated. in the time since the campaign ended I have purchased 2 devices both with better specs than this device. a "brand bew" device that will receive less than a year of security updates if it eventually comes out.

the thing that I am majorly disappointed in is that xda isn't or hasn't used its influence as an entity cosigned on this project to push fxtec to honor the backers that requested refunds due to the delays and spec downgrades that were initially promised. their reputation is also put into question here.

I'm saying right here and now that if this actually gets made and shipped that I'm not keeping it. I'm not interested in any 2017 midrange device that will barely be given updates in 2022 maybe and a gimmick like a physical keyboard isn't enough for me to have anymore interest in this massive money sink and disappointment.
 
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it's now april.

I still do not have this device. in fact this device is still not in production yet.

I backed this project strictly on the reputation of xda and I feel royally ripped off and cheated. in the time since the campaign ended I have purchased 2 devices both with better specs than this device. a "brand bew" device that will receive less than a year of security updates if it eventually comes out.

the thing that I am majorly disappointed in is that xda isn't or hasn't used its influence as an entity cosigned on this project to push fxtec to honor the backers that requested refunds due to the delays and spec downgrades that were initially promised. their reputation is also put into question here.

I'm saying right here and now that if this actually gets made and shipped that I'm not keeping it. I'm not interested in any 2017 midrange device that will barely be given updates in 2022 maybe and a gimmick like a physical keyboard isn't enough for me to have anymore interest in this massive money sink and disappointment.
Well said
Big thumbs up to your "why is XDA completely mute" part... They too have silently washed their hands of this grossly incompetent project...!??
 

VelosterM14

Senior Member
Another great example of the pitfalls of crowdfunding - very difficult to truly protect yourself from people who take the money and run. Hard enough these days depending on what you are trying to fund to not have the crowdfunding service itself steal your money.

This phone did pique my interest when I first read about it the other day, but not anymore. Sad for the folks that got suckered.

EDIT: Also, another bad example of how people are being taken advantage of by a business model that puts unfinished products up for sale, increasingly dependent on software and of course the bugs that come with it. Cars, appliances, smartphones... We are giving them permission to do this to us by continuing to buy their dook.
 
Last edited:

zaptastic

Member
May 9, 2013
7
1
Backing Indiegogo campaigns is gambling. There's been more than a quarter million failed Indiegogo campaigns. You're lucky if you get anything from backing one.
 
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  • 3
    I honestly don't know where to start... there is so much to unpack.
    I guess I'll just try it chronologically...
    So, Fxtec sold us a smartphone with SD835 SoC, which would get Android security updates for at least another two years.
    When using a community-driven OS like Lineage, security updates would even surpass this.
    Shipping was supposed to take place in March.
    The shipping cost was a flat fee of $40. This was supposed to include pre-paid customs, which was a key point for me, since custom rates are effing high here.
    All of this at a somewhat steep price, considering the hardware's age (e.g. almost 4 year old SoC).
    But the idea of having a (more or less) modern smartphone with a proper keyboard was just too tempting.
    I opted in.
    But I remained concerned about the SD835 and it's upcoming EOL.
    I wasn't all too sure the advertised two years of Android updates would cover SoC firmware updates as well. (Android updates =/= firmware updates)
    Without firmware updates it doesn't really matter which OS you are running, since you become vulnerable at the lowest software-level. Exploiting firmware vulnerabilities can allow for total control over the device. And no OS update (not even a community-driven one) could ever fix this.
    When I asked questions about this in the campaign's comments, nothing happened at first. Although other questions got answered by Fxtec. I was being ignored.
    After multiple comments and finally reaching out to them via email, I got an answer.
    I was told not to worry, 'since the phone would get Android security updates for at least two years.'
    Yeah...that's a wake-up call right there.
    Following above explanation, anyone should be able to see why this answer is such borderline ingenious sh*t cake.
    Anyway, I had already lost too much time asking questions to get a refund. And since none of the other backers seemed to be interested in a secure phone, I faced the facts and told myself that I'd just sell it (probably at a minor loss, due to the old hardware) once it arrived in March.
    Oh! Look at that! It's March.
    So I just went to check on the campaign to see, when my phone will arrive.
    BAM! Huge campaign update.
    The SoC hit EOL even before they could build the phones!! Their supplier can't provide the SD835 anymore!
    If I wasn't affected myself, I'd be ROFLing all over the house right about now.
    Instead of the SD835 everyone now gets a phone with an SD662.
    >But fear not, at least this SoC still gets proper security updates, as 'SO MANY OF YOU' were concerned about that...<
    >Oh, by the way, there might be a *
    slight *drop in performance<
    >Oh, and we silently updated our FAQ. Now it mentions that the $40 shipping doesn't include customs anymore. It's because of Brexit. We specifically said Brexit wouldn't be an issue. But now it is.
    Well, not our money that's gettin' p*ssed away.
    Enjoy spending ~25% more than expected on your already expensive phone.<

    ...* nice, deep breaths --- in ... ... and out --- in ... ... and out *...
    Ok. So. Let me get this straight.
    Now I am forced to pay 25% more for an already expensive phone, that was already a little weak on the hardware.
    Hardware that just got further downgraded from an old flagship-SoC to a new and ~20% slower mid-low range SoC.
    ... anything else?! Well, yeah, delivery has been postponed. New estimated shipping date is August.
    But at this point: who gives a f*ck?!

    What's my endgame/why am I writing all of this?!
    To be honest, I simply HAD TO write this. If I hadn't, I would probably have smashed someones car or something.
    Yes, I'm insanely furious. And I feel betrayed.
    Needless to say I will never deal with Fxtec in any shape or form ever again.
    And should the name ever come up again when I'm around -be it online or IRL-,
    I will strongly -and with every fiber of my being- advise people against any kind of dealings with Fxtec.
    Backing this company has been a huge mistake!
    Shame on you, Fxtec. Shame on you!
    And shame on XDA for partnering up with such a company!
    NEVER.AGAIN.!!
    2
    A little late to respond, but 100% had the same feelings. I contacted them about a refund when the news hit, which they refused.

    We're getting a worse phone, later in the year. We're getting a SoC that's available in 130 euro phones TODAY, in a 600+ euro package IN AUGUST AT BEST. And we get to pay additional import fees. They 100% had to know this was coming. If they didn't, their purchasing staff simply didn't do their job. The responsibility rests with them.

    I was really on the fence when backing this phone, as it had an old SoC, and it was pretty expensive. But I like slider phones, and I'm pretty sure this was our last hurrah before they go away entirely - being stuck with an older phone seemed fine if they used a flagship CPU and promised long community support. I also thought "what could go wrong, it's an existing product, they've been selling these phones for a while now".

    100% feeling ripped off. That keyboard would bettter end up being amazing. Never going to back a technology based crowdfunding again.

    My guess is that F(x)tec is probably in financial trouble and unable to give out refunds for disgruntled backers. They'd rather take the reputation hit on the chin and postpone bankruptcy for a while. Though with one niche phone that didn't sell great, and this attempt at building a bigger community around their product backfiring massively, I doubt it will save them for very long.
    1
    What else is there to say? Apprehensive-jumped hit the nail on the head.

    I too was on the fence,
    Who's F(x)tec, I said.... But my love for, and loyalty to XDA and it's community made me believe, "it's XDA, they wouldn't partner to a relatively no name if they didn't do thorough research first, right?"... Christ all mighty....

    To think now, that I would back a company, with $$ I should have kept in bank cause the pandemic destroyed my smart home business just weeks later, with the bullshit they have force fed their backs for what seems like an eternity.... Boils my blood doesn't quite fit the bill.

    I will second that motion, so hopefully it carries... To EVERYONE'S ears, and well into the future: For shame F(x)tec, for shame.

    I would flat out call you thieves in the night, if XDA wasn't attached to this.
    (To be clear, I still, and always will, have faith and respect for XDA. I'm certain they did not know f(x)tec was selling snake oil....)
    1
    it's now april.

    I still do not have this device. in fact this device is still not in production yet.

    I backed this project strictly on the reputation of xda and I feel royally ripped off and cheated. in the time since the campaign ended I have purchased 2 devices both with better specs than this device. a "brand bew" device that will receive less than a year of security updates if it eventually comes out.

    the thing that I am majorly disappointed in is that xda isn't or hasn't used its influence as an entity cosigned on this project to push fxtec to honor the backers that requested refunds due to the delays and spec downgrades that were initially promised. their reputation is also put into question here.

    I'm saying right here and now that if this actually gets made and shipped that I'm not keeping it. I'm not interested in any 2017 midrange device that will barely be given updates in 2022 maybe and a gimmick like a physical keyboard isn't enough for me to have anymore interest in this massive money sink and disappointment.
    1
    Backing Indiegogo campaigns is gambling. There's been more than a quarter million failed Indiegogo campaigns. You're lucky if you get anything from backing one.