Linux phone enthusiasts will be pleased to hear a new version of the PinePhone is available to pre-order — and it comes pre-loaded with Ubuntu Touch.

Ubuntu Touch, also known by the name UBports, is a community-maintained version of Ubuntu for phones and tablets based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. It is a direct continuation of the codebase Canonical cancelled a few years back.

From today you (and anyone else who is interested) can preorder a PinePhone Community Edition with UBports direct from the Pine64 Store.

Trivia: ‘UBports’ is pronounced ‘You Be Ports’

A new “working partnership” between UBports Foundation and Pine64, the company who make the PinePhone (among other low-cost Linux electronics) has been announced too.

“UBports were among the very first to embrace our initiative and offer their supportfor the PinePhone. (…) It is therefore very fitting that the UBports Foundation will be the first partner in our Community Editions scheme,” Pine64’s Lukasz Erecinski is quoted as saying.

Each customised PinePhone sold with UBPorts pre-installed results in a $10 donation to the UBports foundation. Considering the low price point of the handset, and the very low profit margins involved, this is a pretty substantial donation.

Functionality that is listed as ‘working’ in the PinePhone UBports Community Edition:

  • Voice calls
  • SMS texts
  • GPS
  • LTE
  • GPU hardware acceleration
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth

In short: all the essentials.

Functionality which is not currently working on the device includes: both the rear and front-facing cameras; battery/power efficiency (my phone lasts about 4 hours); USB host connectivity — but these are in varying states of progress.

pine64 pinephone specs
PinePhone Specs Sheet

The PinePhone UBports Community Edition also has the UBports logo/mascot printed on the back case. It’s not clear if a branded version of the PinePhone phone case will also be sold too (otherwise you’ll have to choose between repping your OS and protecting your device from scratches).

Not into Ubuntu Touch? No worries. This is just the first of several planned PinePhone Community Editions, each pre-loaded with a different mobile Linux OS.

UBports and postmarketOS are the two Linux phone operating systems considered in the most ‘complete’ state right now. It’s super exciting to track the progress of these (among other) projects on a day by day basis — and now more people can join in the fun, which is great.

Interested in finding out more? You’ll find more information on the product page. Price is $149 and estimate dispatch in late May 2020.

Preorder PinePhone UBports Community Edition

Please keep in mind that Ubuntu Touch for the PinePhone is beta quality software and is best suited for use by enthusiasts, tinkerers, and developers.

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