Not heard of postmarketOS? It’s a finely-tuned Linux distro aimed at mobile, and based on Alpine Linux. And just like a regular distro the system lets you run different “UIs” on top, including Plasma Mobile and UBports.
This PinePhone Community Edition, like the UBports powered one that went on sale in April, comes with postmarketOS pre-installed. This saves you the (minor) hassle of needing to flash it yourself. The handset also comes with a custom back cover carrying the postmarketOS logo and a über cool “powered by Linux” slogan.
Software wise postmarketOS is said to offer a functional phone experience out of the box, but will still be a few hues away from being something considered “stable” or “feature complete”.
Although this software project is most commonly demoed with a Plasma Mobile UI the PinePhone postmarketOS CE ships with Phosh, the “GNOME Shell mobile UI” developed by Purism, by default.
Hardware wise the new model is an improved version when compared to the UBports Community Edition (which itself had a few minor hardware differences to the Braveheart model sold in April 2020).
Firstly, mainboard revisions mean the PinePhone Community Edition sold with postmarketOS can be connected to a UBS Type-C dock, external monitor, keyboard and mouse, etc.
Secondly, to take advantage of the “convergence” capabilities now available, Pine64 has created a limited edition PinePhone with 3GB RAM and 32GB eMMC storage available exclusively in a “convergence pack” for $199.
Orders for a standalone PinePhone postmarketOS Community Edition (with 2GB RAM, 16GB eMMC) went live in mid July priced at $149.
Shipping is expected to take place in late August.
As before, $10 from the sale of each unit sold is donated to the postmarketOS development team . This isn’t huge but it is pretty generous considering the thin profit margins the device has.
Now, confession time: I’ve have a PinePhone (Braveheart Edition) sat on my desk since March and I’ve charged it, er, maybe once or twice?
Not exactly a ringing endorsement BUT I’m yet to try postmarketOS on it. If anyone has experience of running postmarketOS on the PinePhone Braveheart Edition I’d love to hear some feedback on how well it runs, and how easy it is to flash!