Home / Linux / Now you can buy a Linux smartphone for $150 (PinePhone BraveHeart developer/early adopter edition)

Now you can buy a Linux smartphone for $150 (PinePhone BraveHeart developer/early adopter edition)

Several companies are planning to ship Linux smartphones in the coming months. The PinePhone is by far the cheapest — and it could be one of the first to ship… if you’re OK spending money on a developer/early adopter edition phone.

The PinePhone “BraveHeart” Limited Edition smartphone is now available for purchase for $150.

It’s set to ship in late December or early January.

There are a few things that make this a BraveHeart model:

  • Phones purchased now will be from the first mass production run.
  • Hardware should be fully functional, but some design elements (including the 2G antenna placement) may change in future production runs.
  • Software is very much a work in progress — the BraveHeart phone doesn’t come with an operating system pre-installed, so you’ll have to install your own build.
  • Some firmware features may be buggy/unsupported for a while.

But those warnings are a lot easier to accept for a $150 smartphone than they would be with a higher-priced model.

Want a more stable experience? Just wait a little longer. Pine64 plans to begin selling finalized hardware with more robust software in March, 2020. Those phones will still cost just $150.

As you probably guessed from the price tag, the PinePhone isn’t exactly a speed demon.

It’s powered by a 1.2 GHz Allwinner A64 ARM Cortex-A53 quad-core processor with Mali-400 graphics and features 2GB of LPDDR3 memory, 16GB of eMMC storage, and a 5.95 inch, 1440 x 720 pixel IPS touchscreen display.

The phone has a plastic case and wireless capabilities top out at 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0.

The PinePhone does support global cellular bands though, including:

  • LTE-FDD: B1/ B2/ B3/ B4/ B5/ B7/ B8/ B12/ B13/ B18/ B19/ B20/ B25/ B26/ B28
  • LTE-TDD: B38/ B39/ B40/ B41
  • WCDMA: B1/ B2/ B4/ B5/ B6/ B8/ B19
  • GSM: 850/900/1800/1900MHz

And the phone has a few features that you won’t find on many modern flagship smartphones, including:

  • Removable battery
  • microSDXC card reader
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Kill switches to shut off WiFi, Bluetooth, cellular, GPS, mic, and camera hardware

And most importantly, it’s a phone designed to run free and open source software. Sure, you can try to unlock the bootloader and install a phone-friendly Linux operating on an existing phone — but that’s not quite as simple as buying a phone designed to run the software.

Other PinePhone features include a USB Type-C port, and a 15 watt charger, a 5MP rear camera, 2MP front camera, and a mono speaker.

The Pinephone measures 160.5mm x 76.6mm x 9.2mm and weighs 185 grams.

You can find more details and/or place an order at the Pine64 Store.

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