The system I use (mobian/phosh) still feels sluggish, but I suspect it's more a matter of software than hardware, now. I tried yesterday KDE neon/plasma with that new board, but had problems that the screen would black out after a few minutes of use (had to do hard reboot to recover).
I see in this release announcement that their build of plasma is on top on Manjaro, I'll have to try that one. It's especially interesting because someone from Plasma mobile team told on HN the other day that they support MMS.
I know that what's going on on a typical website these days requires an enormous amount of computational power, but I mean, come on. That shouldn't be the explanation, it's part of the problem.
On a typical website all of the analytics are causing page bloat.
Sometimes there are frameworks like bootstrap but hypothetically those should be cached.
If you are looking at a web application then it has a framework that is a magnitude higher and the rest of it you see a significant increase.
It also has a lot to do with the fact that the Pinephone CPU is underpowered compared to anything from 2020 (or almost anything from 2015, really).
It's only slowed down by storage access speeds mostly.
And this demo is purposefully using both displays at once to stress the device more. With single display mode there's less demands on RAM, and more bandwidth is available to CPU.
For example, compare Twitter or Facebook to their recent SPA rewrites in React. I can't use either without sacrificing GBs of residential memory. Loading anything on those sites now requires many more CPU cycles than they did before.
A Webbrowser these days is simply much, much more than a static document viewer, despite this might be, what you want it to be.
And those who really want only simple HTMl rendering, I believe there are lightweight alternatives (?).
And if not, well then maybe there is simply not enough demand, because most people apparently want to be able to have a email client in the browser and do online banking, or edit Wikipedia articles in a rich html editor, or play games, or watch videos and share and comment them or even do video editing, ... all in the browser.
IMO they largely just want to do all these things in an open core VM, without risking installing malware on the ridiculously insecure proprietary OS most of them use if/when they use desktop computers.
No, then it is not.
Or do you mean in academical sense of functionaliy per byte? How useful is that?
And no, the firmware and drivers are sadly not memory optimized (or barely run at all), as ar as I know.
How does fluxbox works on mobile? Is it basically the same than the desktop on a small resolution, or it can receive phone calls and have a notification bar?
It's also a pure wayland system, so it's quite unlike what we're used on desktop.
When you say "pure", do you mean "no XWayland"?
I bought a few data only sims in hopes of leaving the house for short errands with different devices. There is no way I could leave the house with the pinephone. It isn’t usable yet. Could an extra gig of RAM solve this? It seems like it needs years of work.
On the Pinephone, and all other ARM-based Linux devices, we're still running applications like web browsers that were written expecting to run on multi-core I/O monsters with lots of RAM, beefier GPUs etc. (the main exception being the main GUI shell... it would be so much worse if you had to boot the phone into a full Gnome/KDE environment) We're still in the late stages of getting the pile of software that is a typical Linux distro running at all on a mobile device. Then assuming these devices get enough traction, you'll start to see more effort put into mobile-optimized software.
I remember running x11 and Java w/swing on 8MB 486 laptop... So something is off if multiple cores at 30-100 times the frequency can't run a gui?
The FreeRunner and Zaurus were sluggish, but they’re also on hardware that’s about 15 years old
However, the Pi has never gotten much beyond being a forky port of Linux software (back then they had to: they were an arm6hf device in an arm7hf world) and since they seem determined to stay forked (i.e. they no longer need to be a fork, but rather seem to want to be), I don't expect much more from the project in terms of broader Linux enhancements. I'd love to be proven wrong on this.
Something I have found worthwhile has been listening to the UBports podcast over the last 6 months or so. They really do seem to be 'getting it' faster than most re: what's left to be done. That's partly because they're in the rather unique position of coming from a place of having the Android kernel (which isn't just a vanilla Linux kernel) do a lot of things for them (i.e. UBports on Android phones) and now that they're running on bare metal (i.e. UBports on Pinephone) with (mostly) the same code base they are able to see 'oh, yeah... the kernel and/or apps need to be able to do Y' in order to replicate the functionality they get on Android phones.
Just curious, what corporate backing are you referring to? I hadn't heard that before.
I'm curious about this too, as I explicitly tried plasma mobile on several distros (PostmarketOS, Manjaro, KDE Neon), and MMS did not work for me at all. It seems to work on the ofono stack, which seems to be closer to supporting MMS versus ModemManger + Chatty, but I'd love to hear from that same person again to hear their set up.
https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=9832 has more info
Since I work from home, this means mostly podcasts, and the occasional call.
Well... calls don't work for me, but that might be my (secondary) SIM. I'll try it with the primary soon.
Podcasts... I set up gPodder (while docked, because the UI doesn't adapt to the screen) and then use mpv to actually play the episodes which... is surprisingly usable. Next I'll see if I can adapt Podbird or such. It should work, really...
I also find myself late-night hacking in vim (again, surprisingly usable with onscreen keyboard, with minor tweaks) at night-time. xD
In a nutshell: I love the project. It's not "there" yet, but it's making progress, and I'm finally happy again to get update notifications to my phone.
Edit: also chat of course. The reason I didn't mention that is that I simply didn't think about chat as an issue. 99% of my chats are on telegram these days and that works pretty flawlessly on the pinephone, since it runs the exact same (efficient) codebase as the desktop app. In fact, just resize the (Qt) desktop app to simulate how it behaves on the phone. :)
I did look at the different frameworks/libs on areweguiyet.com and also arrived at iced at the beginning. Have you tried actually compiling this for arm64 yet? I don't see the target set in the project itself, but I usually set it in `.cargo/config`
WRT to podcasts in general: Gnome Podcasts (not packaged in Mobian) is ok, and Rhythmbox (which is kinda adapted for phones), has podcast support too (with Apple Podcasts directory search).
It looks empty because there's no README.md and you could mention it's using Iced as it's ui library.
Dolphin et gwenview are speed killers (I love Gnome's ethos but Nautilus is a snail and is missing many features I use hourly).
Can the KDE pinephone be used as handheld computer for reading PDF, taking pictures, scanning bills and invoices, media player and that kind of things ? I am not ready to rely on it for SMS and phone calls, I can't afford to miss any calls or messages.
I don't like how, in list view, the clickable portion of a file/folder is only as large as that file/folder's text label.
In all other "list view" UX I've ever used, the entire row is selectable, but in Dolphin, files with shorter names are harder to click because the clickable area is as big as the name...
I agree it's inelegant to have shorter file names be harder to select, but on the other hand they all have a great big icon; the text being clickable too is just icing.
Yesterday, I wrote a script to retrieve MMS "easily" on the Pinephone (in the spirit of janky-mms  which does not work well on my phone and of which I'm unable to read the code properly), I need to take the time to release it at some point.
When I came to the US (mid 2010's), I was surprised a large number of people never even heard of WhatsApp.
But it never took off, I don't know of anyone using it. I must have received two in my whole life.
edit: I just checked. I can send MMS. This could have been useful. I sill send and receive SMS and I'd feel like I wouldn't try to send an MMS out of fear of the other side not getting it.
edit 2: ah, looks like it doesn't deliver. shrug
A bunch of my old phones are sitting around doing nothing.
Edit: I guess maybe part of it is a "future development/emerging market" thing maybe I can develop apps people would want on Linux phones in the future.
In particular Qt/some native GUI/hopefully cross platform and to get more into C++ as I'm coming mostly from JS "wHy CaNt I uSe DyNaMiC tYpInG" ha that was a struggle.
This could basically be a daily use PC + Phone for 199$? Quite impressive.
I think Pinephone 2, whenever that happens, will be a much more practical convergence device. Pine64's plans to upgrade to the RK3566 SOC in their low-power devices look very promising.
Upd: from a consumer point of view, the answer would be "because it is innovative"  and it has much faster RAM and GPU .
Tinfoil-hat engaged... the Shenzhen thing idk while it has physical switches have I personally routed those switches to check the devices are actually off. I've kind of given up on that kind of thinking anyway since I don't tape up my phone's webcams/mic/battery off/faraday cage/led container/etc haha.
Anyway sorry tangent, I'm not really getting Linux phones with privacy as main intent just the idea of a "desktop experience" on a phone is great.
This is a valid concern. Purism publishes schematics and x-ray images, so anyone can search for hardware backdoors themselves.
In addition, there is "Made in USA" version of the phone for $2000.
> Of course nobody alone can review the millions of lines of code that are required to make a modern operating system and its software, but having a large community of people who can look at the code and fix problems when they find them provides far more transparency than a security model based on trusting giant tech companies.
> "Made in USA" version of the phone for $2000
Yeah that's tough too man... it is nice regarding supporting domestic development but man.
Anyway as a whole I hope it becomes more ubiquitous although I imagine most people just want their phone to work not something they have to program/assemble/etc(I mean it does work OOB) but still not mainstream like Android/iOS. The app market share thing too as I remembered that may have been a big contributor to why the Windows phones died which I loved the design at the time I had a Lumia 920.
But yeah thanks for the info/providing both sides.
It's an interesting conundrum: right now I can probably get 90% of Linux GUI software running on my Pinephone. The problem is, it's so slow and painful to use that I don't want to. I'd much rather see the critical 5% of the software (browsers etc) optimized for mobile. I think we'll get there in time, but it's still early days.
A 386SX running on 20 MHz with turbo mode on, with 2 MB RAM.
Something has gone quite wrong when the Pinephone hardware cannot keep up with C++ apps.
It surely does, https://developer.android.com/ndk/guides/audio/aaudio/aaudio
Also Java and Kotlin on Android are native compiled code since Android 5.
GNOME shows me where the Linux "performance" is heading.
However, as of today, there's a much better way of achieving what you're describing in an Android phone: Termux (1)
With Termux you can use an amazing number of regular Linux/UNIX tools, interface them with phone specific functionality (like GPS or other sensors) and still enjoy having a modern smartphone in terms of apps available, performance and battery life.
(Shameless plug: you can watch Termux in action in this talk from last year (2). It's centered around Ruby, but Python works just fine, too)
Actually switching to a pure Linux phone and might be the more viable long-term solution.
It's a shame we're losing so much useful functionality there.
Security is a worthy goal but getting rid of useful features just because Google wants to handhold Android users so much seems to me like throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
I know plenty of people that ordered one, but they are all laying on a drawer somewhere with the intention to play with it a bit. Basically how most RPi's end up.
Just curious if this phone is actually competitive with android devices in the same price class.
I do. I have been using my pmOS edition as my daily driver since the day i gott it.
> Just curious if this phone is actually competitive with android devices in the same price class.
That depends on your needs. It is not going to have any of the proprietary app that are on Android. So, what works?
- Camera: stills only
- Phone calls: Yes. Sometimes calls don't come through but it usualy works.
- Messaging: SMS works, unless you need MMS. If people send you group SMS or picture messages, these are MMS. MMS not only don't work but disable the ability to receive SMS. The user must use command line tools to fix this.
- GPS works. However the default pmOS maps app only works with an active internet connection. Further it does not do navigation. You can get directions but you cannot do turn-by-turn navigation on the road. There is an app that works for this called PureMaps. It works as expected.
- Web browsing works great with desktop firefox even on mobile.
- Convergence. The phone advertises that you can plug in a monitor. This is technically true, however it only works while the phone is running from battery power. Further using the dock drains battery extremely quickly and is therefore only recommended on wallpower. So this is still a work in progress.
- Bluetooth. Bluetooth headphones work for music but not for phone calls.
If you have any questions, ask and i'll try to answer. Whether its "competitive" with Android phones is opinion. For me, its way better and i am glad to have it.
Are you saying it can't record video? Curious what kind of stuff you've installed. I'm assuming I can do `$dpkg -i package.deb` and it will work?
Here's my test recording from a few weeks ago: https://megous.com/dl/tmp/vid-720.mp4
You can only encode via CPU for now, and at best you may be able to encode to x264 at the ultrafast profile. (don't remember which one is fastest, but it's the fastest one) Encoding with the fastest available profile just happens to run at 30fps, so it's still not enough to for realtime encoding even via CPU, if you account for the fact that CPU will start throttling soon after you start loading all 4 cores at once to the max.
So I recorded the above by saving raw frames. :)
Video image quality sucks of course. (that frame counter is all white uniform background in reality)
I guess when you say "saving raw frames"... are you saying this video you made was not simple by "push record button, .mp4 comes out"?
Oh the white background comment is about the iso/bad balance?
Anyway thanks this is pretty cool... I just ordered mine so won't be able to play around with it till January.
There's quite a lot of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vignetting going on. Camera sensors have anti-vignetting circuitry that is supposed to eliminate this, but it needs to be calibrated to each module and maybe even enclosure the module is in.
I recorded this via a C program, but you can do the same via v4l2-ctl command line tool and encode the result with ffmpeg.
Oh man that's cool. I'm working towards that level (C/C++) but coming from JS/Python where you can pretty much "do anything" it's challenging(typing problems in particular eg. array of assorted things of any length).
Oh interesting about the Vignetting will have to read up on that not familiar with the term.
Yeah that's something cool I gotta work with too at some point.
> I'm assuming I can do `$dpkg -i package.deb` and it will work?
Well, not on PostmarketOS as that's based on Alpine Linux. Mobian on the other hand is based on debian so you can dpkg to your heart's content.
I’m not clear if for example the degraded mms support is an issue in all variants of mobile gnu Linux distros or oif only some suffer.
- Calls and SMS seem stable, even when the phone is asleep
- Battery life Screen on time is measured in hours, and sleep time is measured in ~1 day
- Anbox is usable, but not easy to install
- convergance is stable
- MMS is non-functional: https://sr.ht/~anteater/mms-stack/
- GPS/location is only usable if you have a GPS signal
- Camera is pretty stable (though the front camera had a green tint)
PostmarketOS edge had Plasma Mobile 5.20.3, which was considered to be the latest plasma mobile at the time.
That said, Firefox is extremely slow and crashes a lot. Getting a fast stable browser seems like priority #1 to me. If these things are ever going to take off they need apps, and I think web apps (for better or for worse) are the quickest way to get a decent number of apps.
I'm not sure if it's simply a hardware issue (can't expect too much for 150USD), or a software optimization problem. I don't have a cheap Android phone to compare to.
I've had the pleasure with pinephone manjaro edition and its ok build. Once the software is better i will go for it.
I'd love to see a current Snapdragon, Mediatek, Exynos, etc. chipset in one of these open phones. I'd even be willing to pay flagship prices for one.
I've been trying to find a replacement, but with better screen, which my main complaint about the B115m (I use it mainly outdoors with 4g, I need brightness), but most laptops use fans, which I'm trying to avoid. Had no luck in the <500€ range.
Here is what I'm ready to sacrifice:
I don't need fanless, I don't need crazy battery time (half a day is more than enough), I don't play games nor do I need videos to play in resolutions exceeding 720p (360p is more than enough for me unless I try to watch a video on coding where I need to read the code), I don't need any OS but Linux. I don't need it to be new (can be refurbished) as long as it still is easy to find in the EU (US would add import taxes).
I thought PineBook Pro can kind of fit this because it seems being a RaspberryPi-like in a MacBookAir-like shell and RaspberryPi4 actually feels Ok.
Can you suggest something that fits better than PineBook Pro and MacBook Air do?
Like this, it's sadly more like "Linux that almost would have fit into your pocket".
For Qt, the current stack seems to be Kirigami, which is KDE's library for convergent apps. There's also the Mauikit framework, which is built on top of Kirigami (I don't know enough to know the exact differences).
For Gtk, it's libhandy, which adds a few widgets for convergent apps.
It looks like Flutter doesn't support ARM yet, I found this after a quick search: https://github.com/flutter/flutter/issues/60678
There's also a few Electron/Webkit-based apps (especially for UBPorts), which is a nice temporary solution to get an app on the device while there isn't yet a native equivalent.
I'd say it's "confusing" rather than "misleading"; this is because of lack of context. Reading "KDE Community Edition released" when you're on a Pinephone website is more meaningful than reading "KDE Community Edition released" on Hacker News, with only the pine64.org domain being available next to the link.
> More than ever people expect a stable desktop with cutting-edge features, all in a package which is easy to use and ready to make their own.
> KDE neon is the intersection of these needs using a stable Ubuntu long-term release as its core, packaging the hottest software fresh from the KDE Community ovens.
I run this on my desktop.
I've tried Neon in virtualbox and it looks nice and consistent. Performance wasn't great but that's more or less a given under VirtualBox. I might give it a go on my next laptop.
By the way, does anybody know a method to disable it cleanly, or at least make it for resources friendly? The article I've found after quick search are years old and not relevant anymore.
Akonadi is required for the usage of KMail, KOrganizer and such (because they use it to store their data, so that is rather essential). If you don't use those applications, you can simply remove it with your package manager. Otherwise we'd appreciate a bug report with regards to the high CPU / memory usage on bugs.kde.org. Thank you for using KDE software :)
Oh right, seeing those Gio in my ~/.local/share/akonadi, I was supposing that it was for file indexing and that was somehow the storage for Baloo or something like that.
I haven't investigated more than that as I don't want to spend too much time on it and just killing Akonadi server from its console is enough (the downside is that after killing it I can't use KMail anymore, which otherwise is a really great MUA).
So maybe it has something to do with my email settings then? I'll try to find time to investigate and check if I haven't activated anything like offline storage, otherwise I'll create a bug report.
Anyway thanks for the great work over the years, beside this little issue, KDE works flawlessly and I like to be able to customize just what I need when I need.