To help people who are trying to decide which Linux phone to buy, I have created a table to compare their features. In addition, see this table comparing all 12 phone models that can be bought with Linux preinstalled.
|Model||PINE64 PinePhone (specs: 1, 2, 3)||Purism Librem 5 (specs)||Necunos NC_1 (specs)|
|Announced||Feb. 2, 2019 at FOSDEM||Aug 24, 2017||Nov 29, 2018|
|Shipping||● v1.1 “BraveHeart” on Jan 17, 2020;
● v1.2 Community Edition: UBports in June 2020;
● v1.2a Community Edition: postmarketOS on Aug 25, 2020;
● v1.2b Community Edition: Manjaro on Oct 29, 2020
● v1.2b Community Edition: KDE Plasma Mobile on Jan 18, 2021
● v1.2b Community Edition: Mobian in mid-February 2021
● v1.2b Beta Edition (Manjaro/Plasma M.) in late April
|● Birch on Nov 26, 2019;
● Chestnut in late Dec. 2019;
● Dogwood on Aug 3, 2020;
● Evergreen (mass production) on Nov 18, 2020
|Unknown (no update since Jan 24, 2020)|
|Price||● $149.99 + shipping for 2GB RAM / 16GB Flash
● $199.99 + shipping for 3GB RAM / 32GB Flash / Convergence Package
● $249/$299 for future retail editions
|● $799 + free shipping for Librem 5
(was $599 till 2019-01-31, $649 till 2019-07-31, $699 till 2019-12-31 and $749 till 2020-11-15)
● $1999 + free shipping for Librem 5 USA
|System on a Chip*||Allwinner A64 (40nm)||NXP i.MX 8M Quad (Samsung 28nm)||NXP i.MX 6 Quad (40nm)|
|Jan 8, 2015||Jan 4, 2017||Jan 2011|
|June 2015||Jan 2018||Nov 2012|
|$2 per chip in large quantities (originally $5 per chip)||$35.49 per chip in lot of 2500||$59.97 per chip in lot of 1000|
|FBGA 396 balls, 0.65mm ball pitch, 15x15 mm||FBGA 621 balls, 0.65mm ball pitch, 17x17x2.03 mm||FCPBGA, 0.8mm ball pitch, 21x21 mm|
|Geekbench 3, Truebench, PassMark PerformanceTest||Boundary Devices||Boundary Devices, Geekbench 3, OpenBenchmarking, TrueBench|
|CPUs||4x Cortex-A53, 64-bit, superscalar||4x Cortex-A53, 64-bit, superscalar||4x Cortex-A9 MP, 32-bit|
|CPU clock||1.2 GHz (currently limited to 1.15 GHz)||1.5 GHz||1.2 GHz|
| L1 cache
|32KB instruction & 32KB data||32KB instruction & 32KB data||32KB instruction & 32KB data|
|266 MHz Cortex-M4F, 16KB instruction and 16KB data L1 cache, 256KB TCM cache|
|GPU||ARM Mali-400 MP2 (Utgard)||Vivante GC7000 Lite||Vivante GC2000|
|Feb. 6, 2008||April 3, 2014||2009|
|GPU cores||1x geometry processor/vertex shader, 2x Pixel processor/fragment shader||16 Vega shaders||4 VEC-4 shaders / 16 VEC-1 shaders|
|GPU clock||416-500 MHz (in other devices with same SoC)||800MHz at 0.9V (when DVFS is implemented, 1000MHz at 1.0V)||594 MHz|
|Notebookcheck, CNX||Boundary Devices||OpenBenchmarking, Vivante, Boundary Devices|
|GPU specs||● Triangles/s: 267 million,
● GFLOPS 32-bit: 32,
● GFLOPS 16-bit: 64,
● GTexels/s: 1.6,
● GVerteces/s: 1.0
|Triangles/s: 200 million|
|APIs||OpenGL ES 1.1, 2.0; OpenVG 1.1 (The free Lima driver supports OpenGL ES 1.1 and 2.0)||OpenGL ES 1.1, 2.0, 3.0, 3.1; OpenCL 1.2; Vulkan 1.0 (plus OpenVG 1.1; OpenGL 3.0 and Direct3D 11 according to Vivante). (The free Etnaviv driver only supports OpenGL ES 1.1, 2.0 and OpenGL 2.1)||OpenGL ES 2.0, OpenCL 1.0, OpenVG 1.1|
|HDMI †||SoC supports HDMI 1.4, up to 4K@30||SoC supports HDMI 2.0a, up to 4K@60||SoC supports HDMI 1.4, up to 1080p@60|
|DisplayPort||Not supported by SoC.
See “Video out” below.
|SoC supports DisplayPort 1.3 (up to 4K@60) and eDP 1.4 (up to 4.32 Gbps)||Not supported by SoC.
See “Video out” below.
|● 4K@30: H.265
● 1080p@120: H.265
● 1080p@60: H.264, MPEG 1/2/4, VP8, AVS/AVS+
● 1080p@30: VC-1, JPEG/MJPEG
(The free sunxi driver supports MPEG1, MPEG2, H.264 & H.265 hardware decoding)
|● 4K@60 with HDR: H.265, VP9
● 4K@30: H.264
● 1080p@60: MPEG 2 / 4p2, VC-1, VP8, RV9, AVS, MJPEG, H.263
(Can only find MPEG-2 and H.264 free drivers for the Hantro G1/G2 video decoders, so probably have to decode in software)
|1080p@30: H.264, MPEG-2/4, VC1, DivX/XviD, AVS, H.263, RV10, Sorenson, VP8|
|● 1080p@60: H.264,
● JPEG baseline images: 8192 x 8192
(The free drivers do not support hardware encoding so have to use software.)
|● No hardware encoding
● 1080p@30 (H.264) in software
|● 1080p@30: H.264, MPEG-4, H.263
● JPEG baseline images: 8192 x 8192
|Audio||4 inputs, 4 outputs, 24-bit, 2 analog-digital channels 8-48 KHz, 8-192 KHz DAC||20+ channels in/out; 32-bit up to 384 KHz, with DSD512 support||SSI block supports audio, up to 192 kHz in/out ESAI supports audio up to 260 kHz with 7.1 channel outputs|
|MIPI YUV422 8-bit parallel interface
● Max video capture: 1080p@30
● Max still image: 5MP
|2 x MIPI CSI-2 (4-lane)
● Max bit rate: 1.5 Gbps (per lane?)
|MIPI CSI-2 (4-lane, up to 20bit, up to 240MHz)
● Max bit rate: 800 Mbps per lane in 4 lane mode or 1 Bbps in 1/2/3 lane mode
|USB||USB 2.0, OTG||2 x USB 2.0 or 3.0||3 x USB 2.0, OTG|
|RAM||Artmem ATL3A1632H12A 2 GB LPDDR3-1600 800MHz
(The A64 supports a max of 3GB DDR3-1333 at 666.5MHz, but the max LPDDR3 clock is unspecified and the PinePhone distros are using RAM speeds between 552 and 624 MHz.)
|Micron MT53B384M32D2NP-062 WT:B 3 GB LPDDR4-3200 (SoC supports up to 4GB LPDDR4-3200)||1 GB (SoC supports DDR3, DDR3L, LPDDR2)|
|Flash memory||Kimtigo KM111SS0016GxA-DDD00WT 16GB TLC eMMC 5.1 (the A64 only supports up to eMMC 5.0)||Kioxia (formerly Toshiba) THGBMHG8C2LBAIR 32 GB NAND Flash eMMC 5.1 (the i.MX 8M Quad only supports up to eMMC 5.0)||8 GB (SoC supports both eMMC 4.4 and UHS-I SDR104 at max of 104 MB/s)|
|Display||Xingbangda XBD599 5.99″ IPS LCD, 720x1440 pixels, 16M colors, 269 PPI, 74.3% screen-to-body ratio, hardened glass||Mantix MLAF057WE51 X 5.7″ a-Si TFT LCD, 720×1440 pixels, 16.7M colors, 282 PPI, 1500:1 contrast ratio, 90% sRGB, MIPI DSI, 73.1% screen-to-body ratio||5.0" (attached or detached)|
|Cellular baseband||Quectel EG25-G (soldered to logic board)||Thales Cinterion PLS8-E / PLS8-US or BroadMobi BM818-E1 / BM818-A1 / BM818-T1 on a M.2 3042 B key card (via USB 2.0 and I2S)||None for security reasons|
|Supported bands||● GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
● WCDMA: B1, B2, B4, B5, B6, B8, B19
● LTE-FDD: B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B7, B8, B12, B13, B18, B19, B20, B25, B26, B28
● LTE-TDD: B38, B39, B40, B41
● VoLTE supported.
● GSM: 900, 1800 MHz
● WCDMA: B1, B3, B8
● LTE-FDD: B1, B3, B7, B8, B20
● GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
● WCDMA: B2, B4, B5,
● LTE-FDD: B2, B4, B5, B17
● GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
● WCDMA: B1, B2, B5, B8
● LTE-FDD: B1, B2, B3, B5, B7, B8, B20
● LTE-TDD: B38, B40, B41(120M)
● GSM: 850, 1900 MHz
● WCDMA: B2, B4, B5
● LTE-FDD: B2, B3, B4, B5, B12, B13, B17, B25, B26, B66
● LTE-TDD: B41(200M)
● GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
● CDMA: BC0
● HSPA+/WCDMA: B1, B2, B4, B5, B8
● LTE-FDD: B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B7, B8, B28, B66
● LTE-TDD: B34, B38, B39, B40, B41(200M)
PLS8 supports VoLTE; BM818 now supports VoLTE, but needs carrier configuration and/or whitelisting.
|SIM||1 Micro-SIM||1 Nano-SIM||None for security reasons|
|External storage||microSD (SDHC, SDXC, max 2 TB), bootable||microSD (SDHC, SDXC, max 2 TB, via USB 2.0 bus), not easily bootable from microSD|
|Back camera ª||OmniVision OV6540, 5.0 MP, 1/4″, 1.4 μm pixels, max 2560×1920 photo, 1080p 30fps, 720p 60fps, LED flash, using MIPI 8-bit parallel interface||Samsung S5K3L6XX 13.25 MP, CMOS, 1/3", 4224×3136 pixels, 4K@30fps, FHD@60fps, HD@120fps, f/1.9, 28mm, auto-focus: 10cm - ∞, 81.5° FOV, LED flash
(working on kernel support)
● Front and back camera can be used simultaneously
|Front camera ª||GalaxyCore GC2145, 2.0 MP, f/2.8, 1/5″, max 1600x1200 photo, 800x600 and 1600x1200 video, using MIPI 8-bit parallel interface||SK hynix YACG4D0C9SHC 8.0 MP, CMOS, 1/4", 3264×2448 pixels, QUXGA@30fps, FHD@60fps (crop), HD@90fps, focusing range: 28.9-65.0cm, 83.3° FOV
(working on kernel support)
|Sensors||● ST LIS3MDL accelerometer,
● Sensortek STK3335 proximity & ambient light (datasheet),
● TDK MPU-6050 magnetometer
|● ST LSM9DS1 9-axis gyrometer, accelerometer & magnetometer,
● Vishay VCNL4040 proximity & ambient light
|None for security reasons|
|Hardware kill switches||
6 DIP switches under back cover:
4. Rear camera
5. Front camera
|3 switches on side of case:
● Cellular modem,
(3 together kill all sensors and GNSS)
|Audio DAC||24-bit 8-192 KHz DAC in the A64||Wolfson Media WM8962|
|3.5mm audio jack||Yes||Yes (stereo out, mono mic)||Yes|
|Speaker||One||1 earpiece speaker, 1 loud speaker (case image shows speaker holes on bottom bezel)||Two|
|Battery||Li-Po 3000 mAh (same as Galaxy J7 battery), 5V 3A (15W) fast charge, easily replaceable without tools
(a 3500mAh battery in the same form factor is possible)
● Can boot without battery, but needs the battery to use the cellular baseband and WiFi/BT.
● Planned 6000mAh battery mod
4500 mAh 3.8V LiPo (2000 mAh in Birch and Chestnut, 3600mAh in Dogwood), easily replaceable without tools, fast charging up to 5Vx3A (15W), 9Vx2A (18W) & 12Vx2A (24W)
● Can run on USB charger without the battery.
|3500 mAh (not soldered, but screen must be removed to replace the battery)|
|USB port||USB Type-C, USB 2.0, USB Host (OTG)
[bug in v1.1 & v1.2]1,2
|USB Type-C, USB 3.0 (150-170 MB/s), Power Delivery (PD), Battery Charging 1.2 and Dual-Role Port to charge other devices||Micro-USB 2.0, data transfer disabled|
|Video out †||DisplayPort alt-mode over USB-C (Analogix ANX7688 converts HDMI 1.4 to DP alt-mode, highest reported resolution is 1080p@60)||DisplayPort alt-mode over USB-C (max 4K@60fps, using DCSS, TI TPS65983 converts DP 1.3 to DP alt-mode)||DisplayPort|
|Wi-Fi||Realtek RTL8723CS 802.11 b/g/n, single-band (2.4 GHz), hotspot||Redpine Signals RS9116 802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4 & 5 GHz via SDIO 2.0 on a M.2 2230 E Key card||WiFi (via SDIO) WF1801, single band (2.4GHz)|
|Bluetooth||4.0, A2DP||5.0 (only Bluetooth 4 verified), via I2S and SDIO 2.0|
● Planned NFC mod
|GNSS||Quectel EG25-G (GPS, A-GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, BeiDou, QZSS)||STMicroelectronics Teseo-LIV3F (GPS, A-GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, BeiDou, QZSS) (via UART2)||None for security reasons|
|Case||● Matte black plastic case
● Phone structure is also plastic.
|● Dark grey plastic back cover
● Aluminum outer frame
|Dimensions (mm)||160.5 x 76.6 x 9.2||153 x 75 x 15.5 (150mm long in Birch-Dogwood)|
|Weight||● v1.1: ~192 g,
● v1.2: 185 g.
|● Evergreen: ~260 g (76 g in 4500mAh battery)
● Dogwood: 240 g (62 g in 3600mAh battery)
● Chestnut / Birch: 230 g (2000mAh battery)²
18 ports so far:
● Ubuntu Touch (Lomiri§),
● postmarketOS (Phosh§, Plasma Mobile, i3wm, Kodi, Mate, Sway, Xfce4)
● Mobian (Phosh§, xfce4, lxde, jwm, openbox),
● LuneOS (Luna Next),
● SailfishOS (Silica),
● PureOS (Phosh),
● Fedora (Phosh),
● Arch Linux (Phosh),
● Manjaro (Phosh§, Plasma Mobile§, Lomiri),
● Maemo Leste (Hildon),
● Nemo Mobile (Glacier),
● KDE Neon (Plasma Mobile§),
● NixOS (Phosh),
● openSUSE (Phosh),
● AVMultiPhone (Mate),
● GloDroid (Android)
● Gentoo (Phosh)
● OpenMandriva Lx (Plasma Mobile)
(PINE64 gives $10 donations to the distro for each sale of a Community Edition or back cover.)
§ preinstalled in CE or Beta
|● PureOS with Phosh,
● PureOS with KDE Plasma Mobile (little progress),
● UBports’ Ubuntu Touch (little progress),
● postmarketOS (Phosh, Plasma Mobile, others?),
● Mobian with Phosh
● no OS,
● Debian (Plasma Mobile),
● postmarketOS (Plasma Mobile),
● Maemo Leste,
● Nemo Mobile,
(A donation will be made to community providing the OS)
Depends on OS.
● Ubuntu Touch supports QLM and HTML5 apps, which can downloaded through the OpenStore. Android apps can be run in Anbox and desktop apps in Libertine containers.
|PureOS/Phosh supports GTK, Qt/QML and web apps, which can be downloaded through the PureOS Store with planned badges for freedom, privacy, security and ethical design. Anbox can be installed to use Android apps.
● List of apps: 1, 2, 3
|Where assembled||Shenzhen, China||● DevKit: San Diego area, California,
● Librem 5: Shenzhen, China,
● Librem 5 USA: in USA (probably San Diego area).
|Security & Privacy||● All chips use serial protocols (USB 2, SDIO, UART, I2C) that don’t allow direct memory access (DMA).
● All code in the root file system can be audited except 3 Realtek WiFi/BT firmware files.
● Ubuntu Touch sandboxes apps according to their AppArmor config file to specified directories and hardware access has to be authorized by the user or AppArmor.
|● All chips use serial protocols (USB 2.0/3.0, SDIO, UART, I2C) that don’t allow direct memory access (DMA)
● All code in the root file system is FOSS and can be audited.
● Sandboxing of apps with flatpack and bubblewrap.
● End-to-end encryption for messaging over XMPP (and Matrix as well?).
● 3FF smart card slot (2FF in Birch & Chestnut) and 80MHz Cortex-M4 STM32L432KC controller, so an OpenPGP card can be installed for secure cryptographic operations. (Future plans to use free firmware in Cortex-M4.)
● Software kill switches to turn off GNSS while using cellular modem and turn off individual sensors.
● Publishes schematics and x-rays and will offer anti-interdiction services to detect tampering and inserted spy chips.
● Looking into implementing the Librem Key for tamper-evident booting.
|Other features||● RGB status LED.
● 6 pogo pin connector to I2C bus, so that mods can be added by changing the back cover.
● Planned mods:
- physical keyboard & 6000mAh battery,
- Qi wireless charging & fingerprint reader
|● RGB front LED (with PWM control per color).
● 20 test points for boot modes, UART, JTAG and USB under back cover
|● Extra programmable button,
● 100 Mb/s Ethernet jack
Boots from 1. microSD card, 2. eMMC
(unclear if booting from USB is enabled)
u-boot starts from eMMC or USB (uuu) while holding down Volume Up.
(Can chain boot from microSD with jumpdrive after USB boot.)
|Longevity & Fixability||● Promises to produce the phone for 5 years.
● Adding hardware to mainline Linux kernel so easier to support long-term.
● Battery (same size as the Galaxy J7) can be bought from many sources.
● No glue and easy to disassemble with screwdriver.
● Sells economical replacement parts.
● Outsourcing the OS to many communities means there will always be some group providing software updates.
|● Promises “lifetime support” in software updates.
● Designed to avoid planned obsolescence
● NXP promises to produce the i.MX 8M Quad until Jan. 2033 so can expect updates.
● No glue and only Philips screws, so easy disassembly, but screen and frame are one unit.
● Sells replacement battery & BM818 modem.
● CTO Nicole Faerber says "since we are in direct contact with the factory we can (and will) stock spare parts and will try find ways to make most of the parts replaceable. But I can not promise this for all and everything."
● Upstreaming code (1,2,3) when possible for better long-term support.
● WiFi/BT and cellular modem can be upgraded to support different standards and regions, but not 5G due to increased power requirements & different mmWave antennas.
|Free/open source software||All FOSS in the Linux file system except 3 proprietary firmware files in /lib/firmware/ for Realtek RTL8723CS WiFi/Bluetooth. There is optional auto-focus firmware for the OmniVision OV5640 back camera, but it is not used by any of the ports.||Goal to be the first phone to receive the FSF’s Respects Your Freedom certification for 100% free software that executes on main CPU cores. There will be proprietary firmware in components (Wi-Fi, cellular baseband, etc.) which don’t need to be updated and proprietary code to initialize DDR4 by U-Boot will be moved to a separate SPI Flash chip and executed on the Cortex-M4F core.||Will have binary blobs, but no proprietary firmware will have memory access. According to the FAQ, Necunos is considering trying to obtain FSF’s Respects Your Freedom certification, so probably only has blobs for U-Boot that can be moved to a separate ROM.|
|Free/open source hardware||PINE64 publishes the PCB schematics in PDF (v1.0 Dev, v1.1 BraveHeart, v1.2 CE: UBports, v1.2a CE: postmarketOS), PCB silkscreens, and 3D .stp file for the back cover for 3rd party production of mods and cases, but there is no free/open license to reuse or modify them.||The PCB schematics in PDF (DevKit, Birch, Chestnut, Dogwood) are published under the GPL 3.0+, as required by Purism’s SPC charter, as well as the KiCAD schematics files for the DevKit, which was designed with free software tools.
● CEO Todd Weaver says that Purism needs to recover its development costs before releasing the Gerber files, which they are “thinking about releasing in a time capsule” of “3 years, 5 years, something like that.”
● Purism released the OpenSCAD and STL files for the case, battery, modem and screen mount.
|Other chips||The more important chips in the PinePhone component list are:
● X-Powers AXP803 power management IC,
● SGMICRO SGM3140 LED flash driver,
● Goodix GT917S touch controller
● Analogix ANX7688 HDMI to USB-C bridge
● Sitronix ST7703 MIPI LCD driver
|The more important chips in the Librem 5 component list are:
● TI TPS65982 USB Type-C and USB PD controller,
● Goodix GT5688 Touch IC,
● ROHM BD71837AMWV power management IC,
● TI LM3560 Synchronous Boost Flash Driver for camera,
● TI BQ25895 I2C charge controller (supports up to 14V & 3.25A),
● Maxim Integrated MAX17050 battery monitor,
● Microchip USB2642 USB 2.0 Hub and Flash Media Card Controller
|Included in the box||● USB-A to USB-C red cable||● USB-C Power Delivery charger with folding US-type plug, supports up to 5Vx3A (15W), 9Vx2A (18W) & 12Vx1.5A (18W)
● 2 electric plug adapters for international use
● USB-C to USB-C cable, 3 feet (92 cm) long
● Wired earbuds with call/volume controller and 3.5mm TRRS jack, 50 in (127 cm) long
● Ejector pin for the SIM/microSD tray
● Quick Start Guide booklet
|Mobile phone innovations||● First phone where the maker outsources all software to multiple community OS projects.
● Ported to more Linux distros and more environments (8 interfaces) than any phone ever produced.
● First phone with physical switch to convert the headphone jack into a UART serial port.
● First smartphone to promise 5 years of production.
● Second phone maker (after OpenMoko) offering booting from a microSD card.
|● First phone with easily-accessible hardware kill switches.
● First phone with replaceable cellular modem and Wi-Fi/ Bluetooth (on two M.2 cards).
● First phone with smart card reader (for 3FF OpenPGP card).
● First phone with 100% free/open source software in principal file system.
● First convergence as PC based on using adaptive classes (libhandy) to downsize desktop software to run on a mobile interface (as opposed to using separate software or upsizing mobile apps).
● First phone to promise lifetime software updates.
● Third phone maker (after OpenMoko and Golden Delicious) offering free/open source PCB schematics.
|Reasons to buy||● Economical and good value for money, because software development is outsourced to the community (volunteers), adapted from its existing A64 board design, and selected older components with existing mainline Linux support.
● Linux phone most ready for daily use today with 24 hours of battery life with the modem on.
● PINE64 designs its hardware in collaboration with the community and CEO TL Lim responds to community feedback.
● Pine64 supports community software development with a $10 donation per phone to the OS projects and the hardware helps projects attract more volunteers.
● Support a company that is transparent, community-based, and doesn’t over-promise in its PR.
● Good for tinkering and DIY projects with schematics and larger community for help.
● Good for creating mods with I2C pogo pin connector, .stp back cover file, and 5 years production on a common A64 platform shared by the PinePhone, PineTab and PINE A64-LTS.
● Proven track record of supplying economical replacement parts.
|● Commitment to 100% free software and one of the few companies that produces new hardware and aligns with the FSF.
● Social Purpose Corp.[1,2] that promotes digital rights to privacy, security and freedom over profits and produces free software and free hardware.
● Goal to drive change up the supply chain by working with good component suppliers that take feedback and will work for free software compatibility.
● Help pay for development costs of GTK/Phosh and adaption of GTK desktop apps, so that the GNOME ecosystem can be used on mobile devices, which lowers the long-term maintenance costs.
● Help pay for new components (i.MX 8M, LM3692x, MAX17055, LSM9DS1, BQ25890) to be added to mainline Linux.
● Trying to fight planned obsolescence with 1. lifetime software updates, 2. upstreaming code to parent projects for long-term support, 3. using a well-maintained GTK/GNOME stack, 4. replaceable WiFi/BT and cellular modem on M.2 cards, and 5. an SoC manufacturer that promises production till Jan. 2033 and contributes to the mainline Linux kernel for future updates.
● Better privacy with accessible hardware kill switches with lockdown mode to turn off all sensors, software switches, an OS and web browser preconfigured for privacy, and optional Librem One web services, and optional AweSIM privacy cellular plan.
● Better convergence for use as a PC due to use of existing GTK/GNOME desktop software, faster USB 3.0 port, better graphics performance and better video out.
● The i.MX 8M Quad is better than the Allwinner A64: 30% faster CPU clock speed, 140% faster RAM standard, 140% better OpenGL performance, USB 3.0 and support for higher resolution cameras.
● Long-term goal to produce phones for non-technical users that are preconfigured for privacy/security and apps from the PureOS Store with easy-to-understand badges and Librem One web services, so normal users don’t have to give up convenience to get privacy and freedom.
|● Assembled in Finland.
● Extreme focus on privacy/security and company has provided workshops for journalists to protect their privacy.
● Can provide customized security phones for corporate clients.
● Good community collaboration and donation to the OS project providing the software for each phone sold.
AndroidAuthority (2019-11-28), Drew DeVault (2019-12-18), danct12 (2019-12-20), Linux Experiment (2020-03-28), M. Higgins (2020-04-17)
v1.2 CE: UBports:
boilingsteam (2020-07-02), AndroidPolice (2020-08-13)
azdle.net (2019-11), TheLinuxGamer (2019-12-21)
ArsTechnica (2020-01-24), TechRepublic (2020-03-16), TechTelegraph (2020-03-16), MakeUseOf (2020-04-30)
|Future versions||● Original specs said 16-64 GB storage, so maybe a future version with 64GB.
● The next SoC for the phone is the RK3566, based on the Quartz64 SBC.
|● Fir batch with the 1.8GHz i.MX 8M Plus (Samsung 14nm LPC FinFET) is planned after Evergreen.
● A tablet based on the Librem 5’s design is planned “once we have the Librem 5 in a stable state, i.e. continuously shipping.”
* All specs for the SoC in italics are what the SoC supports, but there may not be FOSS drivers, configuration, thermals, or other hardware to use it.
† HDMI alt-mode over USB-C is generally not supported by the electronics industry. To connect to an HDMI monitor, use a USB-C to HDMI adapter cable (all such cables on the market contain circuitry to convert from DisplayPort alt-mode to HDMI).
ª Listing the max photo and video resolutions supported by the image sensors, but these will be limited by the processing power of the SoC, the speed limit of the camera interface, and the capability of the FOSS driver and camera app.
The A64 in the PinePhone has a hardware video encoder for H.264 1080p at 60fps, but it isn’t supported by the free drivers. Martijn Braam at postmarketOS has created a Python script to take photos and 1080p video at 15fps using software encoding. The A64 Datasheet says the camera’s “CSI” interface supports up to 1080p at 30fps video, but it is actually an 8-bit parallel interface, and PinePhone firmware developer megous comments:
1080p@30fps is not attainable on the parallel interface, at least not with the cameras that are in the phone. It would require ~120MHz clock, and communication starts to break down at around 60-70MHz.
The Samsung 13MP image sensor in the Librem 5 is capable of capturing 4K video at 30fps, but the i.MX 8M Quad has no hardware video encoder and its documentation indicates that it is only capable of encoding 1080p video at 30fps in software. The Purism developers are still working on kernel support for the front and back cameras. Purism created a mockup of a future camara app for the Librem 5, but will probably have to adapt the Megapixels app, which was designed for the PinePhone.
- PhonePhone v1.2a Community Edition: postmarketOS (source):
- Desktop dock in the PinePhone Convergence Package (2 USB ports, HDMI and ethernet):
- PinePhone v1.2 Community Edition: UBports (source):
- 6 pogo pins for adding mods, 6 DIP kill switches, Quectel GC25-G cellular modem and SIM slot in PinePhone v.1.1 BraveHeart (source):
- Side view of the PinePhone v.1.1 BraveHeart (source):
- Front side of main PCB in PinePhone v1.1 BraveHeart (source):
- PCB in PinePhone with heat spreader (source):
- PinePhone’s main PCB, USB-C daughter board and back of LCD (source):
Librem 5 photos:
- Dogwood (source):
- Chestnut with Phosh (source):
- Side view of power, volume up and down rocker button in Dogwood (source):
- Hardware kill switches and SIM + microSD tray on side of Chestnut (source):
- Parts of Chestnut (source):
- Dogwood with the back cover removed (source):
- Back side of Dogwood showing main PCB and white speaker box over USB-C daughter board (source):
- Dogwood’s main PCB (source):
- Dogwood’s heat spreader and thermal paste between the LCD and main PCB (source):
- Both sides of Dogwood’s PCBs (source):
- Unboxing Evergreen by “amarok” (source):
Evergreen’s circuit boards with shields over the chips:
- 2020-06-23: Reopened the post as a wiki and updated the PinePhone and Librem 5 specs.
- 2020-06-25: Added “Reasons to buy” section and feedback from the Pine64 forum.
- 2020-07-02: Added photos and updated the camera specs in the PinePhone.
- 2020-07-07: Changed from “Gemalto PLS8” to “Cinterion PLS8” and updated links.
- 2020-07-12: Changed L5’s battery to 3600 mAh.
- 2020-07-29: Added 12V fast charging for L5, photo of Dogwood, photo of CE: postmarketOS, and more OS info for PinePhone.
- 2020-07-30: Added “Video out” section and fixed info about HDMI and DisplayPort.
- 2020-08-06: Added @dos’s corrections, L5’s cameras and L5’s USB Power Delivery.
- 2020-08-24: Added link to table comparing 12 Linux phones and clarified PinePhone’s RAM speed.
- 2020-09-01: Added phone benchmarks.
- 2020-11-17: Added 4500mAh battery and BM818-T1 modem.
- 2020-11-18: Added Evergreen info and photos, “included in the box” and Megous’ info on the PinePhone.
- 2021-03-19: Changed PinePhone mods and added “boot order”, photo of Evergreen PCB, and future PinePhone retail editions