Jae's Website
Random Beeps'n Boops


Pinephone hot review

- Published on 24th September, 2020 -

Tags: hardware

This article is older than a year and might be outdated!

Greetings everyone!

About a week ago, I finally received my Pinephone Postmarket OS edition.

The Pinephone is a mobile device made by Pine64 and designed to run free OSes like:

As described earlier, my version of the Pinephone runs on pmOS which is based on the Linux distribution Alpine Linux; it uses the graphical environment Phosh which is based on GNOME.

Let’s get over with the few cons this phone has. Keep in mind that this device is a preview and can only get better over time.

The cons

Very little battery life

The button to lock the screen in fact only shuts it down, that means the whole OS doesn’t suspend and battery drains very quickly (from 96% to 83% in about 5 minutes).

There is already a ‘fix’ but it requires to run a command in a terminal to work.

Small library of adapted software

As said earlier, this can only improve over time.

For now, the software you can get on pmOS is either from the Alpine Linux repositories or the GNOME store.

As for now, very little software is adapted for the phone but each day, new ones are coming.

The only thing I’m mad about is that there is no Matrix client supporting E2EE currently on the Pinephone (there was Nheko but it was removed from the Alpine repositories since it was not maintained).

The pros


Yes! Finally, a real, full Linux on a phone!!

Hey, don’t say Android is Linux, Linux is to Android what BSD is to MacOS.

The hardware switches

I find it really nice that you can manually disable features of the phone like:

  • The cameras
  • The microphone
  • The modem
  • Speakers

If like me you are totally paranoid about someone spying on you, you can disable yourself the cameras.

Disabling some features can also extend battery life!

It can only improve over time

Because the Pinephone is Libre and is only using Libre software, everything can only improve.

As this article is getting published, work is being done to improve battery life, port more software, create an application to use the cameras and much more!

The word of the end

In contradiction to Android, IOS and KaiOS, the Pine ecosystem is sane, clean and does not relies on a centralized surveillance system to work.

Nothing prevents you from modifying the OS nor the hardware.

If you don’t like and OS, you can just change it (good luck to do that on regular Phone with a system that isn’t Android).

Some people would deem to say that the Pinephone is too slow for everything. For now, maybe, but keep in mind this is a 150Eur phone so you get what you get for 150Eur but as said many times, it can only improve, waiting a little bit longer will give more powerful hardware for a more optimized OS with features such as deep sleep or better battery management.

I am recommending the Pinephone for everyone who knows the ‘risks’ of running an early version of what will be , hopefully, the future of mobile phones.

I’ll make a follow up of this article in roughly three months to comment on how it is as a daily driver for an extended period of time.

Do not miss the next articles by subscribing via RSS!

I’ll see you next time!