The Gemini pocket PC is shipping and we've got one. This is what it's like

Hands on with the Linux-powered reborn Psion


Gemini default desktop

The default "Home" or Desktop. Note that the third party apps aren't bundled, but you can download them from the Google Play store.

Gemini screenshot - fiddly switcher

The task switcher isn't really optimised for a landscape view. You can sort of use it using the keyboard (there's a shortcut), but there's an extra keystroke needed to select each app.

Gemini LEDison

Ledison allows you to program sequences of flashing LED lights. I could find a way to attach a sequence to an action like a Notification, though.

Gemini running Word

Microsoft Word works really well - and even accepts Ctrl-key combos.

Gemini screenshot - default home

I settled on Nova Launcher.

Gemini screenshot - Microsoft Launcher confused

Not all third party launchers will cope with a Landscape mode. This is Microsoft's, and it's very confused.

The out-of-the-box instant verdict

Around the forums, I see that a few fans are already making their wishlists for better hardware for a version 2.0 Gemini, even though they haven't got version 1.0 yet. I hope Planet turns a deaf ear to them.

Personally, I think there's very little that needs to be changed about the hardware. Perhaps they could double the battery capacity to 8000mAh, as was originally envisaged. I'd certainly like tighter and heavier keys, but that's about it. It's a well-specced machine as it is, and the 10-core Mediatek processor doesn't struggle with every task.

But given its raw state, this v1.0 Gemini is really for enthusiasts and hobbyists – who are going to have a wild time with it. For a future Gemini, it's the fit and finish of the software integration – such as improving the unlock experience and providing tools for scribblers – that will see Gemini succeed or fail with the mass market.

Gemini doesn't need to replicate Evernote or OneNote, or specialist writer tools like Scrivener. But Planet can do small things to make these work better on Gemini. One example that springs to mind is improving the shell, or providing a better framework for sharing files. It should all be about getting text in and out of this thing.

Still, Gemini is shipping, and it's off to the races. ®

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