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Open source Neo900 smartphone is ready for production

The first true successor to the N900 is now near the production stage after it left the 200 pre-orders milestone behind.

While Ubuntu Edge failed despite the rather high amount of money pledged for its development, it seems there is more in store for people interested in grabbing a Linux-powered handset. According to the official page of this project "The Neo900 project aims to provide a Fremantle (Maemo™ 5) compatible successor to the N900, with a faster CPU, more RAM and an LTE modem."

The Neo900 keeps alive the tradition of the Openmoko project and supports all operating systems compatible with the GTA04 hardware platform, including Firefox OS or Ubuntu. Its main hardware specs are not high-end but should be enough to run these operating systems and they could also change a bit until the device finally enters production:

  • Processor: TI OMAP 3730 ARM Cortex-A8 single core
  • Memory/Storage: 1 GB RAM; 1 GB NAND+32 GB/64 GB eMMC+external
  • Display: 3.5-inch resistive touchscreen with 800X480 pixels
  • Cameras: VGA front, 5 MP camera with autofocus
  • Connectivity: HSPA, CDMA, LTE wireless, USB OTG, GPS with GLONASS, IrDA and consumer IR, WiFi 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth 2.0 or better 
  • Hot swap battery

Despite its low-end specs, the handset is now priced at almost $1,000 but it will get cheaper as more units are pre-ordered. Until now, 215 pre-orders have been placed and almost $65,000 have been raised so the Neo900 will be built and sent to customers even if the fund raising campaign fails to reach the next milestone (1,000 backers).

As the Neo900 is designed for those who need a handset featuring a truly open platform, we will surely see it coming to life sooner or later.


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Codrut Nistor, 2013-12- 4 (Update: 2021-05-18)