The first production-ready PinePhones became available earlier this year, giving Linux enthusiasts another option for a phone powered by open-source software. Pine64 has released a few different production runs of the PinePhone, each partnered with a different OS vendor, and a new model running KDE Plasma Mobile will be available next month.
The Linux-powered PinePhone can run a variety of operating systems, as we previously covered, but the OS it ships with has changed a few times. The next batch of phones will be branded as the 'PinePhone KDE Community Edition,' with KDE Plasma Mobile installed by default and the KDE logo on the back. As with previous Community Editions, each PinePhone purchase includes a small donation to the group producing the software. Two configurations will be available: 2GB RAM and 16GB storage for $149, or 3GB RAM and 32GB storage (plus a USB Type-C dock) for $199.
|Chipset||Allwinner A64 (quad-core ARM Cortex A53, Mali 400 GPU)|
|Display||5.95-inch 1440x720 18:9 IPS|
|Storage||16-32GB eMMC, expandable up to 2TB via microSD|
|Battery||2,800mAh, replaceable with any Samsung J7 battery|
|Cameras||5MP rear with LED flash, 5MP front|
|Connectivity||LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, Accelerometer, Gyro sensor, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, Compass|
|Dimensions||160.5 x 76.6 x 9.2mm, 180-200g|
Pine64 says Plasma Mobile is now one of the most polished operating systems for the PinePhone, thanks in part to KDE using the PinePhone as its primary mobile ARM development platform. "Plasma Mobile is a direct descendant from KDE’s successful Plasma desktop," an announcement on the KDE blog said. "The same underlying technologies drive both environments and apps like KDE Connect that lets you connect phones and desktops, the Okular document reader, the VVave music player, and others, are available on both desktop and mobile." Pre-orders for the PinePhone KDE Community Edition will start on December 1st on the company's website.
Pine64 has also been hard at work on other PinePhone-related projects. An upgraded motherboard is available for people who purchased the older BraveHeart/UBPorts CE models, which has the same 3GB RAM and 32GB storage as newer high-end PinePhones. Pine64 is also designing a replacement back for the PinePhone that adds Qi wireless charging, which should be available "early next year." On the software side, most PinePhone operating systems now keep the display at 60Hz, and open-source drivers to replace the proprietary Wi-Fi/Bluetooth blobs are in development.