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Another keyboard (for a) phone: the PinePhone


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pinephonekbd.thumb.png.e2f3cc486e5e521f9162a8c586e49e6a.png

This prototype keyboard (from the video in the manufacturer's February Update), which, rather than a slider, is a separate clamshell design the phone itself somehow has to be attached to, is still missing the kneecaps keycaps.

As far as I can see, this is an affordable lower-end phone that exclusively runs Linux. After different experimental versions it will now ship with Plasma Mobile on Manjaro. 

Edited by Rob. S.
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1 hour ago, Rob. S. said:

This prototype keyboard (from the video in the manufacturer's February Update), which, rather than a slider, is a separate clamshell design the phone itself somehow has to be attached to, is still missing the kneecaps keycaps.

As far as I can see, this is an affordable lower-end phone that exclusively runs Linux. After different experimental versions it will now ship with Plasma Mobile on Manjaro. 

I have a Pinephone from the very first batch.
A Linux phone without keyboard is not a good idea anyway...

I am also going to order this keyboard attachment, but I still think Pro1 keyboard and the whole solution is much better anyway.

Currently I feel a Pinephone plus keyboard attachment will be a very good laptop replacement running Linux.
However, I don't know how this keyboard works together with phone functionality - It does not seem to be comfortable to use  as a phone.
Also, Pro1 has much more comfortable layout.

Edited by VaZso
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44 minutes ago, VaZso said:

I have a Pinephone from the very first batch.

How is it? What OS have you got installed? Are the core phone functions (telephony, texting, mobile data, ...) working reliably?

I had read about this project some time ago, but somehow lost it from my radar. I get that the system is far less powerful than the Pro1. Also I am no longer sure I could realistically survive without my Android apps. However, as a (real) mobile Linux playground, the PinePhone may just be ideal ...

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17 minutes ago, claude0001 said:

How is it? What OS have you got installed? Are the core phone functions (telephony, texting, mobile data, ...) working reliably?

I had read about this project some time ago, but somehow lost it from my radar. I get that the system is far less powerful than the Pro1. Also I am no longer sure I could realistically survive without my Android apps. However, as a (real) mobile Linux playground, the PinePhone may just be ideal ...

I did not have too much time playing with it in the meantime.

However, I have UBPorts installed on SDCard which initially seemed one of the best alternatives but stopped improving so I have also stopped updating it.
I thought to wait for the "official" software and to prepare it close to a working solution...

So I wanted to try another OS which may have the latest developments included.

Using the version of UBPorts I currently have installed, initiating a call basically works.
However, microphone is too loud and speaker is too quiet, but the latter is a design flaw modified in later releases and it sometimes has sound routing problems near call initiation.

Battery time improved a lot from a few (maybe about 12) hours to around a day and it still improving in recent developments.
As far as I remember well, some kind of mobile data was also working and I could use WLAN, texting also works.

Camera also works, but in a really low framerate and only back camera, but I saw both cameras work well using another OS while it still did not work well under UBPorts.

So these are not the most recent information, but I felt enough of UBPorts not seems to improving and wanted to switch to another OS which has not happened yet.

Also, I am serious a Linux phone worth practically nothing without a real keyboard, it is very uncomfortable to type on any terminals on a touch screen...

So together with a keyboard, it can be an interesting product, but it is not as complete solution like Pro1, seems less durable, keyboard is still under development but it is also not as good, less RAM amount, less CPU power, less resolution, etc.
...but much cheaper, has more Linux support (better than what Qualcomm has), and... khm, it is available for purchase...

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Cool, looks like a mini mechanical keyboard. Happy to see any manufacturer that comes up with interesting designs. Any phone that doesn't have the lazy candy bar form factor is a win for me.

I would like to see flagships with physical keyboards, like maybe the upcoming Asus Rog phone could be a flip and tilt like the Pro1 but have a tiny mechanical keyboard. A man can dream... :)))

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I posted about this keyboard mod a bit ago the keyboard is designed like the psion one like planet computers uses

The keyboard attaches to the back of the phone I believe after removing the back cover I think it uses the extension GPIO points.  It also has a huge battery inside the keyboard to phone battery life.  Think what FxTec as doing with the moto mod phone.

I believe also that more work has been done on the other OS than ubports but unfortunately I've not managed to get a device yet so can't say on that 😞 I am sure manjaro was more complete.

 

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49 minutes ago, _DW_ said:

I believe also that more work has been done on the other OS than ubports but unfortunately I've not managed to get a device yet so can't say on that 😞 I am sure manjaro was more complete.

Yes, on their website it says the phone will ship preinstalled with Manjaro as OS and PlasmaMobile as UI. So I guess that gives the best normal-user experience. That said, a plethora of operating systems have been shown to run on the phone already. Community support for the device is impressive ...

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22 minutes ago, claude0001 said:

Yes, on their website it says the phone will ship preinstalled with Manjaro as OS and PlasmaMobile as UI. So I guess that gives the best normal-user experience. That said, a plethora of operating systems have been shown to run on the phone already. Community support for the device is impressive ...

Yeah they always have had a good development community but they are all about open devices and code.  Think they nearly have an open source version of the modem now as well

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I personally don't think the Pinephone is a real alternative for Pro1(x) backers/users. It's a lot different since it's using mainline linux kernel and the hardware and software are in their very early stage. Definitely not for most users 😄️ it is a great for the future of mobile alternatives though so would be good to support it now and get one since it's cheap anyway.

Also, I don't think it's not correct to say that it exclusively runs Linux. It's an open hardware so you can basically run anything on it, well at least anything developed or ported for it. There are even Android distros although they don't seem to progress well.

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1 hour ago, Kugi said:

I personally don't think the Pinephone is a real alternative for Pro1(x) backers/users. It's a lot different since it's using mainline linux kernel and the hardware and software are in their very early stage. Definitely not for most users 😄️ it is a great for the future of mobile alternatives though so would be good to support it now and get one since it's cheap anyway.

Also, I don't think it's not correct to say that it exclusively runs Linux. It's an open hardware so you can basically run anything on it, well at least anything developed or ported for it. There are even Android distros although they don't seem to progress well.

Yeah its definitely something else and is early development.  But that doesn't mean the hardware isn't solid its more software (saying that I bet its got less bugs than the pro1 😅 stock android) .  And yes there is no reason any OS can't run on it as it's an open platform once modem has been full open sourced.   Someone has already got android 10 running on  a pine phone but no telephony but that will change once modem full open.

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4 hours ago, _DW_ said:

Yeah its definitely something else and is early development.  But that doesn't mean the hardware isn't solid its more software (saying that I bet its got less bugs than the pro1 😅 stock android) .

Khm, I have ordered my Pinephone while I was waiting for my Pro1 to arrive.
My Pro1 has been arrived by late December in 2019, and if I remember well, Pinephone has arrived in January 2020.

Basically, Pro1 worked from the first boot very well. It had some problems like loud in-call volume (still exists) and green tint (still exists). Keyboard handling was improved anyway and had some stability improvement which triggered for me only a few times traveling on a motorway and some other improvements was made.

Stock Android for Pro1 still has some problems (maybe optimization-related) and stock Android itself lacks a lot of functions which other manufacturers write for its own... that was not a goal for Pro1 development but handling of dual SIM, more customizable sound volumes are weak points.

However, Pinephone seemed to be in a very early stage of development phase and far away to be a daily driver.
A lot of improvement has made anyway and although I have not followed software development for the last months, I bet is it still has more bugs than Pro1.
Hardware-wise there is a huge difference anyway, as Pro1 (even with 662) is much faster, has more RAM and internal flash, also two SIM capability.

So if you feel currently it is in early development phase, it is good to know that it is the result of a lot of work from the community and it is still improving.

Also there were some hardware modifications between production runs, so it was also not a finalized product by that time.
It is not a problem as it was "Braveheart" edition which is a really early model...

So it is an interesting product, but it is not really comparable with Pro1.

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