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PinePhone with Linux OS up for pre-order next week

A PinePhone prototype. (Source: Martjin Braam)
A PinePhone prototype. (Source: Martjin Braam)
Pine64 started planning for a smartphone running on Linux last year and it looks like its vision is finally being realized. The PinePhone is nearly here and early adopters can put down some case on pre-orders from next week with the device shipping in late December through to January.

Pine64 is best known as maker of the US$99 Pinebook laptop, a low-cost, low-power device running Linux. The company announced late last year that it was commencing work on a low-cost, low-power smartphone also running Linux. Now, slightly over 12 months later, the PinePhone is on the verge of becoming a reality with pre-orders of the PinePhone Brave Heart Edition starting November 15. Targeting early adopters, the model will start reaching customers in late December through early January.

The company’s latest blog post reveals that it hasn’t all been smooth sailing to date but boiled down to the fact that it wasn’t able to reliably source quality digitizers but that it now has its supply chain issues sorted. Although the company considers the Brave Heart Edition to be “final” it is very much for those willing to experiment and perhaps take on board a little more risk than might otherwise be the case. If this doesn’t sound like you, the final production models are being targeted for March 2020.

Pine64 hasn’t detailed all the specifications at this time, although it is thought to have just 2 GB of RAM and run on a quad-core ARM Cortex A53 SoC derived from their A64 single-board computer. A 5.45-inch 720p display and support for 4G networks. You can also expect it to ship with a version of KDE Plasma optimized for a smartphone interface. Although pricing is still to be announced, Pine64’s goal was to get the phone in at around US$100. So, all things considered, it should be a fun device for open source devotees and developers.

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Sanjiv Sathiah, 2019-11- 7 (Update: 2019-11- 7)