My first PinePhone and diving into mobile Linux

First Impressions — Order Communication

I’d like to start at the point after I’ve handed over the £170 to buy the PinePhone as I think this is a process that could be improved, especially if Pine64 want to reach a more mainstream tech audience.

First Impressions — The PinePhone itself

When I finally got the parcel delivered I was really excited to boot the device up and have a play. The phone comes in a slim box and contains the phone, USB-C charging cable and a simcard holder.

The PinePhone box is way slimmer than I was expecting
I encountered some issues running Plasma in convergence mode
  • The battery life isn’t great, I was getting about 2–3 hours out of it from full charge while testing things out so it’s not really something I can sit doom-scrolling on while watching TV and then head out of the house with
  • The specs of the phone are good enough for launching a couple of apps but it struggles if you try to do anything intense like set up something like libertine, Anbox or Waydroid which I needed for keeping in touch with friends via Signal

A second hand Android might be a better option

After using Ubuntu Touch I was really interested in finding a device that would have a beefier battery so I looked at the device list on the UBPorts website and saw that the OnePlus 6T offered 24 hours on a single charge and after searching eBay I found one with 8GB of RAM for £169.

Overall impressions

I really like what Pine64 are doing and will be keeping an eye on their devices as they offer smartwatches and e-ink tablets which I could easily replace my Apple Watch and iPad with.

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Colin Wren

Colin Wren

Currently building reciprocal.dev. Interested in building shared understanding, Automated Testing, Dev practises, Metal, Chiptune. All views my own.