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Planet Gemini PDA Review: A tiny computer with big ideas

Normally when I review a product, the question I'm trying to answer is whether it's worth the asking price. But the Planet Gemini PDA was crowdfunded, willed into existence by almost 6,000 people pooling over $2 million on Indiegogo so that Planet Computers could build a modern version of the classic Psion PDA.

Not ringing a bell? That's okay; the Psion only achieved wide popularity in Europe, and that was a long time ago. (In fact the only time I ever saw one was on film; it's the remote detonator the bad guys were brandishing in 1996's Executive Decision.) Still, the Psion captured many hearts by virtue of its legendary QWERTY keyboard – a keyboard faithfully reproduced by the folks at Planet and mated with an Android smartphone/tablet to become the Planet Gemini PDA.

Is it a smartphone? A tiny computer? A revived personal organizer? Bits of all three, really ... and I'd be doubtful for its prospects out in the "real world" but for the little detail of its fully-funded status. So now that Planet Gemini devices are rolling off the assembly line and into eager buyers' hands, let's take a look at how it performs out in the real world! Join me for the Planet Gemini review above, then stay tuned for Android Central's own Jerry Hildenbrand's thoughts on one of 2018's most interesting gadgets!

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8 Comments
  • Reminds me of my Casio PDA.
  • It look very much like my Hewlett-Packard LX100 . I still have 2 LX100s 2 LX200s and a LX320. I still think the LX100, LX200 are the best tool I have ever owened. It is 6.25 x 3.25 x 1 inch and would run about a week on 2 litheum AAs. It was way ahead of it's time in 1994. But then HP was THE tech then however it was winding down. BTW the key board has 6 rows x 14 colums that you run with your thumbs. Full qutry with number key pad on the right side. When I was using it dayly (about 3 years) I could type about 25 words pet minute with my thumbs.
  • It's almost impressive that you somehow misspelled the word "QWERTY" lol. How is that even possible?
  • I had the Psion Revo which I loved. Still have it somewhere, I will have to find it out. It had a full office suite which synced to my pc allowing me to edit documents on the go. This was great at the time.
  • windows Andromeda is a dead duck..
  • I have a Psion Revo and what's interesting is the keyboard on this device is EXACTLY the same design wise.
  • Looks like an awkward phone experience: open the pda and then use the onscreen keyboard in portrait mode to dial, then close it again to hold it to your ear? How do you answer an incoming call? The screen seemed to shake annoyingly while you were typing too. I think the Nokia Communicator design would be better for this kind of format. Keypad on the front with a small LCD screen to tell you what number you were keying or the identity of the caller for incoming calls. Then you can open it up for any other use case such as checking your schedule or updating your todo list. I have both a HP 200LX and an Apple Newton MP 2100. The Newton got the most use. Using such a small keyboard was too limiting. THE HWR on the Newton was a pleasant surprise. Now tablets are light enough and quick enough to do the job those PDAs used to do. Windows allows me to sync OneDrive, OneNote, MS Office and MS ToDo data seamlessly so the need isn't quite the same. Sure it means I keep a messenger bag around with me all the time but its not that inconvenient.
  • My heart skipped a beat when I saw the Gemini PDA and, in one review, placing it side by side with the legendary and much-missed Psion 5mx. I am an American and a Psion user since 1992...buying each iteration of the diminutive "palmtop" since it was launched. As a physician-scientist and developer of new medications, I would take my Psion 5mx to FDA meetings and type over a dozen pages on the word processor, which seamlessly downloaded into the Psion link on my PC to produce a format-identical Word file. The same was true of Excel files. Another wonderful aspect of the Psion 5mx was its power source - two AA batteries which lasted about 24 hours with the lcd monochrome screen - and so a battery switch was virtually instantaneous without waiting for a "charge." When the Psion 5mx was no longer supported by Symbian, I bought two on eBay just in case mine became damaged or broken. Needless to say, with tears of joy in my eyes I have just ordered the Gemini PDA.