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One of the world’s biggest hacker communities is helping build a phone for super nerds

Among the 15 million developers, hackers, and tinkerers who visit XDA Developers every month, there’s a recurring joke that the site should just build its own smartphone.

XDA hosts one of the largest online forums for Android enthusiasts, and it’s often the first stop for users who want to modify their phones in ways that the manufacturer never intended. Wouldn’t it be easier to just make a phone where the hacking was the point?

Now it’s not such a joke anymore. This week, XDA announced a partnership with a startup called F(x)tec, and together they’re collaborating on a new smartphone called the Pro1 X. It has a built-in physical keyboard, and it’s designed to boot into either Android or Ubuntu Linux. Nirave Gondhia, XDA’s chief content officer, says his editorial team provided input on the phone’s features and will also be promoting it on the site’s forums.

“We want to build something that’s designed for the enthusiast community,” Gondhia says. “We’re also really going to be driving a lot of the interest behind it through our community.”

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