Cosmo Communicator Review
Table of Contents
The Cosmo Communicator by Planet Computers is the bastard child of a mobile phone and a mini-laptop. And that’s a good thing. The inquisitive two-year old at home calls it a “puter” and he knows the word for “phone”.
This review will look into what makes this device tick, why I bought one and what sort of uses it lends itself to. I will focus primarily on the user experience.
I have written and published this post using only the Cosmo Communicator. No conflicts of interest.
Why, Oh Why?
Essentially, what makes the Communicator different to every other mobile phone is the keyboard. And it really is a full keyboard with good tactile feedback, separate numbers and navigation keys.
The keyboard is small enough to allow thumb typing when holding the device and large enough to touch type when the device is laid down on a table (it takes a little getting used to but the standard key layout and excellent feel of the keys helps).
This means that using the Cosmo Communicator feels more like using a tiny laptop than a normal mobile phone.
And that results in the ability to write and edit documentsm code and commands in a way that would be infuriating, slow and error-prone with a normal phone on screen keyboard. Arrow keys for correction are also a great time saver.
The other huge advantage of a dedicated keyboard is that the screen of the device is not cluttered and obscured by the software keyboard. This allows getting a lot more usable space out of the screen.
Lets move on to a description of the hardware.
The Cosmo doesn’t have the fastest CPU on the market, but it’s more than adequate for any common user task. I have not experienced any lag or wait in using and switching between the common applications I use. The subjective speed of the device is helped by a good amount of RAM (6GB).
The main screen is very sharp, has excellent contrast and good brightness. It copes well with full sun.
There’s a USB-C to HDMI adapter available which works well.
The Cosmo has very good WiFi, Bluetooth and mobile (4G/LTE) connectivity. It also has NFC (which I leave turned off).
I have found all connections
As a mobile phone
As a very small computer
As a system administrator’s device
At the moment, the Communicator runs Android. I have shut down as much of the Google crap as possible but I still prefer not to run any system which has been touched by that despicable company. Thankfully, Planet Computers have shown really good support for alternative operating systems on their prevous device (The Gemini). I look forward to trying Lineage OS, Sailfish OS and Devuan on the device in the future and there’s a good chance that they’ll all work due to the open bootloader.
For the moment, Android (Pie) will have to do and I wouldn’t mind it too much if it didn’t feel like Google is trying to exfiltrate data at every turn.
Which applications work best with the Cosmo? Firstly, they need to format reasonably well in landscape mode and applications which allow good use of the full screen are also preferred.
Web browser: - Lightning has been the best so far, it does a great job of rendering pages and getting out of the way, especially with quickly and logically hiding the menu bar
- Contact lookup on the secondary display
I probably have too many contacts in my library, which results in selecting any letter above
dreturning results for contacts starting in