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KDE teams up with PinePhone for the PinePhone - KDE Community edition

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Your daily dose of not-linux-gaming news, with an announcement for fans of Linux gadgets and tech as KDE has teamed up with Pine64 to bring out a PinePhone - KDE Community edition.

Sounds like it's going to be quite a nice device for enthusiasts, especially if you're after a proper Linux phone that isn't Android and will respect your privacy - something I've tried to become more conscious of myself over the last few years. For extra privacy and security, and something I wish more phones had, there's hardware kill-switches for the modem, WiFi/Bluetooth, microphone and cameras.

Just as awesome though is that it's been designed for mobile / desktop convergence. So you can hook up a USB-C dock to connect it up with a mouse, keyboard, monitor and more to provide a more desktop-like experience using this useful little device.

I absolutely adore the little Pine icon on the back!

I have to admit, I've always loved the idea of being able to just hook up a tiny portable device like this into a full desktop like environment. While you can build your own using the likes of a Raspberry Pi and other tiny boards, having a ready-made all in one specially made solution is great too.

Here's the specifications they sent over:

  • Allwinner A64 Quad Core SoC with Mali 400
  • MP2 GPU
  • 2GB/3GB of LPDDR3 RAM
  • 5.95′′ LCD 1440×720, 18:9 aspect ratio
  • (hardened glass)
  • Bootable micro SD
  • 16GB/32GB 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
  • Vibrator
  • 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, Cameras
  • Samsung J7 form-factor 3000mAh battery
  • The case is matte black finished plastic
  • Headphone Jack

According to the folks at Pine64, the phone will be running mainline Linux and there's open source drivers for all main SoC components. It will be running Plasma Mobile, which is a developed by free software volunteers and you can follow the progress of Plasma Mobile on this dedicated site.

They said that pre-orders will be open on December 1, with "all proceeds" going to the KDE e.V. which is a non-profit that represents the KDE Community in legal and financial matters.

If interested in this Linux phone, you can follow it on Pine64.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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26 comments
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win8linux 19 Nov
This is the PinePhone CE that I've been holding out for ever since PinePhones started shipping! I will try to get one as soon as I can. In particular, the Convergence variant since it is the higher-end model and comes with a USB hub which could be useful for other devices too.
Botonoski 19 Nov
I wonder how good the main camera is? The budget android phone I'm currently using is reportedly 12MP, but the pictures are so dreadful I'm convinced it actually uses some kinda horrid 3MP sensor and pushes the image data through a crappy upscaler. The images always look smeary, and in low light scenes (anything besides direct sunlight) additionally look blotchy and blurry. If the PinePhone is a honest good quality 5MP sensor, it might outclass my current device quite easily. Though that isn't hard to do, I swear the Sony Mavica I used in the mid-2000s pumped out better looking pictures more often than my current Android device.
pb 19 Nov
Any word on the price? I would like that but with a bit more ram...
3zekiel 19 Nov
Quoting: pbAny word on the price? I would like that but with a bit more ram...

https://pine64.com/product-category/pinephone/?v=0446c16e2e66
Guess same price ? That seems pretty damn cool. I´m itching to get one too. Something that is privacy friendly, cheap AND can plug with keyboad/mouse/screen AND kill switches ? That's seriously great.
Nibelheim 19 Nov
Quoting: pbAny word on the price? I would like that but with a bit more ram...

16GB eMMC/2GB of LPDDR3 RAM = 150$
32GB eMMC/3GB of LPDDR3 RAM + HUB = 200$
MayeulC 19 Nov
Well, I have a braveheart edition, and it's pretty good, but it has its quirks and is most likely not ready as a daily driver yet. It's improving quick, though, and should be mostly there by ~january.

For now, it's quite cool to plug on my USB-C docking station, switch ttys, ans start sway using my laptop/desktop config. Works pretty well, but hangs the phosh interface until a reboot. Maybe I should try Plasma Mobile again.

Quoting: BotonoskiI wonder how good the main camera is? The budget android phone I'm currently using is reportedly 12MP, but the pictures are so dreadful I'm convinced it actually uses some kinda horrid 3MP sensor and pushes the image data through a crappy upscaler. The images always look smeary, and in low light scenes (anything besides direct sunlight) additionally look blotchy and blurry. If the PinePhone is a honest good quality 5MP sensor, it might outclass my current device quite easily. Though that isn't hard to do, I swear the Sony Mavica I used in the mid-2000s pumped out better looking pictures more often than my current Android device.

See Martjin's (from postmarketos) series on the pinephone camera to get a general idea.

It isn't top-notch, but it's passable. It also reflects the improvements that have come in multiple areas for this device: power consumption, audio quality, etc.
Arehandoro 19 Nov
I have been very unlucky with my PostmarketOS CE Edition. By unlucky I mean; phone won't boot/start from first week, got some component after much battle with Pine to fix it, the component doesn't fix the issue, and probably now repeat the back and forth emails to see if we find the solution.

At this rate, I guess Librem 5, already started shipping, will arrive before I fix the Pinephone hahaha.
Shmerl 19 Nov
Quoting: win8linuxThis is the PinePhone CE that I've been holding out for ever since PinePhones started shipping! I will try to get one as soon as I can. In particular, the Convergence variant since it is the higher-end model and comes with a USB hub which could be useful for other devices too.

Interesting! Does it run upstream Mesa and kernel? Also, are there any plans for Plasma Mobile to use gestures, similar to SailfishOS (and to hide navigation buttons like "Home" and etc.)?

Thanks!
Salvatos 19 Nov
I was just looking at some PinePhone videos last night after learning that the Librem 5 was shipping soon and it seemed really slow. I hope the Librem 5 will do better in this regard but there aren't as many videos showing it off.

Still too rich for my blood either way :(
slaapliedje 19 Nov
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Quoting: SalvatosI was just looking at some PinePhone videos last night after learning that the Librem 5 was shipping soon and it seemed really slow. I hope the Librem 5 will do better in this regard but there aren't as many videos showing it off.

Still too rich for my blood either way :(
Still waiting for my Librem 5... sadly the PinePhone isn't really supported in the USA... :( Much like the SailfishOS phones. I miss using my Nokia N9 and N900... Amazingly didn't feel like I was constantly being spied on / advertised to with them....
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