Do you remember when It’s FOSS first broke the story that Pine64 was working on a Linux-based smartphone running KDE Plasma (among other distributions) in 2017? It’s been some time since then but the good news is that PinePhone will be available for pre-order from 15th November.
Let me provide you more details on the PinePhone like its specification, pricing and release date.
PinePhone: Linux-based budget smartphone
The PinePhone developer kit is already being tested by some devs and more such kits will be shipped by 15th November. You can check out some of these images by clicking the photo gallery below:
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The developer kit is a combo kit of PINE A64 baseboard + SOPine module + 7″ Touch Screen Display + Camera + Wifi/BT + Playbox enclosure + Lithium-Ion battery case + LTE cat 4 USB dongle.
These combo kits allow developers to jump start PinePhone development. The PINE A64 platform already has mainline Linux OS build thanks to the PINE64 community and the support by KDE neon.
Specifications of PinePhone
- Allwinner A64 Quad Core SoC with Mali 400 MP2 GPU
- 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM
- 5.95″ LCD 1440×720, 18:9 aspect ratio (hardened glass)
- Bootable Micro SD
- 16GB eMMC
- HD Digital Video Out
- USB Type C (Power, Data and Video Out)
- Quectel EG-25G with worldwide bands
- WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n, single-band, hotspot capable
- Bluetooth: 4.0, A2DP
- GNSS: GPS, GPS-A, GLONASS
- RGB status LED
- Selfie and Main camera (2/5Mpx respectively)
- Main Camera: Single OV6540, 5MP, 1/4″, LED Flash
- Selfie Camera: Single GC2035, 2MP, f/2.8, 1/5″
- Sensors: accelerator, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, ambient light
- 3 External Switches: up down and power
- HW switches: LTE/GNSS, WiFi, Microphone, Speaker, USB
- Samsung J7 form-factor 3000mAh battery
- Case is matte black finished plastic
- Headphone Jack
Production, Price & Availability
PinePhone will cost about $150. The early adapter release has been named ‘Brave Heart’ edition and it will go on sale from November 15, 2019. As you can see in the image above, Pine64’s homepage has included a timer for the first pre-order batch of PinePhone.
You should expect the early adopter ‘Brave Heart’ editions to be shipped and delivered by December 2019 or January 2020.
Mass production will begin only after the Chinese New Year, hinting at early Q2 of 2020 or March 2020 (at the earliest).
The phone hasn’t yet been listed on Pine Store – so make sure to check out Pine64 online store to pre-order the ‘Brave Heart’ edition if you want to be one of the early adopters.
What do you think of PinePhone?
Pine64 has already created a budget laptop called Pinebook and a relatively powerful Pinebook Pro laptop. So, there is definitely hope for PinePhone to succeed, at least in the niche of DIY enthusiasts and hardcore Linux fans. The low pricing is definitely a huge plus here compared to the other Linux smartphone Librem5 that costs over $600.
Another good thing about PinePhone is that you can experiment with the operating system by installing Ubuntu Touch, Plasma Mobile or Aurora OS/Sailfish OS.
These Linux-based smartphones don’t have the features to replace Android or iOS, yet. If you are looking for a fully functional smartphone to replace your Android smartphone, PinePhone is certainly not for you. It’s more for people who like to experiment and are not afraid to troubleshoot.
If you are looking to buy PinePhone, mark the date and set a reminder. There will be limited supply and what I have seen so far, Pine devices go out of stock pretty soon.
Are you going to pre-order a PinePhone? Let us know of your views in the comment section.