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Pine64 drops first look at its open source Linux smartwatch

LINUX SMARTPHONES have hardly set the world on fire in the last few years (unless you’re Russian). Yes, yes, we know Android is a Linux-based system but it hardly counts – and when Ubuntu can’t make it work, who can?

Nevertheless, plucky little operations like Pine64 have been offering the prospect of Linux laptops for years, and now they plan to bring their own handset too.

But the really interesting bit is that Pine is also working on its equivalent of WearOS and the first fruits are being previewed in the form of a Linux smartwatch.

PineTime (almost impossible to say in any voice but Kath & Kim) is set to run ARM Mbed or FreeRTOS and is specifically designed as a companion to Linux smartphones. If only we knew of any companies planning one of those… la la la….

The big draw, however, is that PineTime is set to cost just $25 (£20 in New Boris Bucks) making it a very easy sell for those five people who want the phone.

The prototypes show that its the software that is unique, the casing and strap have both seen the light of day in other smartwatches, but the software? That’s all-new, baby.

Don’t expect a Huawei Watch 2 or Ticwatch Pro – this is very much an entry-level affair. Expect a heart rate monitor, and Bluetooth and not a massive amount else. But the fact that (being open-source) this is a damn fine tinker-toy will make a lot of developers and hobbyists dead happy.

Pine64 describes it as a ‘side project’. It’s not got a release date, as yet, and was only mentioned in passing on the company’s Twitter page. However, the response has been bigger than that for the phone itself, so it sounds like the great un-Windowed are going to be mad for this.

Fingers crossed, anyway. It can’t do worse than WearOS, eh? μ

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