Well, looks like my next phone doesn’t have to be on a Raspberry Pi.
Pine64 is making a Linux Phone kit:
Pine64, maker of cheap Linux laptops, may be making a cheap Linux phone
Which then points on to:
Pine64, the team behind the US$99 Pinebook, has announced it will begin working on a cheap Linux-based smartphone. Dubbed the PinePhone, the handset will be built around Pine’s low-spec, low-cost Pine A64 single-board computer. Designs haven’t been finalized, but dev kits are set to be released on November 1 with a projected device release date of mid-2019. The PinePhone is estimated to sell for US$100.
by Sam Medley, 2018/10/24
You might remember Pine64 as the manufacturer and retailer behind the Pinebook, a US$99 Linux-based laptop. The company is planning to continue its journey into the world of budget-tier Linux mobile devices by working on a smartphone, dubbed the PinePhone.
Like the cheap laptops Pine sells, the PinePhone isn’t likely to be a specs monster. According to the Pine team, they are planning on basing the PinePhone around their Pine A64 single-board computer. That means the PinePhone is likely to have a mere 2 GB of RAM and a quad-core ARM Cortex A53 SoC. The phone will also likely only have 16 GB of onboard storage.
Most of the details are still up in the air, especially concerning the final design. However, Pine64 is planning on releasing a dev kit for the phone on November 1. This will include the Pine A64 baseboard, an SOPine module, a 7-inch touchscreen, a camera, a WiFi/Bluetooth card, a battery case, and an LTE Cat4 USB dongle. The final device may use a 5.45-inch 1440×720 display, but since the design isn’t planned on being final until mid-2019, this could change. Considering Pine64 has close ties with KDE (the team behind the KDE Plasma desktop environment), it’s likely the PinePhone will run a version of KDE Plasma.
Pine64: added basic Devuan support
So can run Devuan… Nice.
I think I need to dip a toe in the Pine64 world and see where there be dragons…
There’s a Pi Zero based phone project, but it isn’t ready for prime time yet
This is a mobile phone that:
– First and foremost, will be a well-working reliable phone
– Is as open-source as possible *while also being cheap*
– Can be assembled and repaired independently
– Is easy to get parts for
– Doesn’t have apps with privacy concerns
– Allows to write your own apps in Python
It costs about 50$ in parts, and all the parts are available on eBay/TaoBao/etc, most of the phone can be assembled with just a soldering iron. User interface is written using Python
and is being morphed into a lightweight phone-tailored UI framework.
A crowdfunded manufacturing run is expected in a month – kits will be available, as well as a small batch of fully-assembled phones. Subscribe to newsletter below!
Then there’s the older R.Pi Phone:
Dave Hunt‘s been at it again. Here’s his latest: a home-made smartphone based around a Raspberry Pi. It’s smaller than many of the phones I’ve owned, and it’s cheaper than the phone that’s currently in my pocket, with a parts list coming in at only $158. The PiPhone is built entirely from off-the-shelf kit, so there’s no soldering required, and no fiddly electronics work. I’ll let Dave introduce it to you.
The PiPhone is a remarkably simple build, with a Sim900 GSM/GPRS module (which you can slip a SIM card into – you’ll still have to pay for your calls) talking to the network and doing the heavy communications lifting (making calls, and hanging up; sending texts and dealing with data); an on/off switch, a converter to make the LiPoly battery output 5 volts, and one of Adafruit’s tiny TFT monitors. You’ll find a typically thorough writeup on Dave’s website, with a parts list (he sourced everything from Adafruit and eBay), although he hasn’t uploaded the code, which he currently considers a bit hacky, to GitHub yet; please do, Dave, because we’d like to have a play! Dave’s now made the code available. Go and have a poke.
Decisions decisions… What with Christmas on the horizon I need to start thinking about what hints to drop on the family ;-)
It is also the case that my quasi Antique LG Flip Phone is starting to have issues with “coverage”. Some parts of the home have dropouts and some areas in Cupertino too. I suspect the telco is removing some of the older lower band antennas as they add newer higher band to their towers. The battery now also has trouble making it to the next day even just on standby. What are the odds I can buy a replacement battery (with form fitting shape that is the back of the phone…) for a 15? year old phone?
So a bit early to be making a decision at the moment. But soon.
I might just see if I can get one of the Pine64 Dev Kits. At $100 it isn’t too bad, I’d be happy to have bits on the desktop for a while or a “brick” sized finished product to play with, and the Pine64 as a compute board is something I’ve wondered about. Though I’m still a little “over committed” on tasks… but maybe by December I could be caught up ;-)