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Linux is back on smartphones: The PinePhone Beta Edition starts at US$150 and fails to impress

PinePhone Beta Edition with Convergence Package Linux smartphone (Source: PINE STORE)
PinePhone Beta Edition with Convergence Package (Source: PINE STORE)
With specs that make it look ancient, such as eMMC storage and a 2/5 MP pair of cameras, the PinePhone Beta Edition is exactly what its name says. Priced at US$150 (2/32 GB) or US$200 (3/64 GB and a USB-C docking bar), the PinePhone Beta Edition only comes with 30 days of warranty and it isn't just another smartphone.

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A few years ago, I was adventurous enough to get the ZTE Open C as my daily driver. The whole experience was interesting enough, but Firefox OS is sadly history now. However, Linux is still around and showing up on smartphones from time to time. Unfortunately, the PinePhone Beta Edition looks like another device that only targets hardcore fans.

Without further ado, these are the two variants that can be pre-ordered right now (links at the end of the article):

  • PinePhone Beta Edition - 2/32 GB, priced at US$149.99 (US$249 retail price)
  • PinePhone Beta Edition with Convergence Package - 3/64 GB, priced at US$199.99 (US$299 retail price)

In addition to the basics above, the list of common specs includes the Allwinner A64 processor, a 2 MP front camera and a 5 MP one on the back, microSD slot, a set of 6 pogo pins to add hardware such as a fingerprint reader or a thermal camera, a removable 3,000 mAh battery, as well as a 5.95-inch 720p IPS LCD touchscreen. The operating system is Manjaro with Plasma Mobile OS and the warranty is just 30 days.

Would you buy the PinePhone Beta Edition or any other Linux-driven handset? Ever used such a device/still using one? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section.

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Codrut Nistor
Codrut Nistor - Senior Tech Writer - 5461 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2013
In my early school days, I hated writing and having to make up stories. A decade later, I started to enjoy it. Since then, I published a few offline articles and then I moved to the online space, where I contributed to major websites that are still present online as of 2021 such as Softpedia, Brothersoft, Download3000, but I also wrote for multiple blogs that have disappeared over the years. I've been riding with the Notebookcheck crew since 2013 and I am not planning to leave it anytime soon. In love with good mechanical keyboards, vinyl and tape sound, but also smartphones, streaming services, and digital art.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 03 > Linux is back on smartphones: The PinePhone Beta Edition starts at US$150 and fails to impress
Codrut Nistor, 2021-03-24 (Update: 2021-03-24)