Thanks for testing it. I noticed that the PinePhone’s DevKit runs at 1.152 GHz as well, so that pretty much confirms it. It would be great if we could get some benchmarking on the PinePhone v1.2 and Dogwood. In theory, Dogwood should have 30% better CPU performance and twice the GPU performance of the PinePhone v1.2, but it would be good to see what is the performance in the real world.
I sort of agree and disagree at the same time. The majority of people who want to buy a Linux phone are going to compare the PinePhone and Librem 5 and decide that it isn’t worth paying the difference in price. Certainly, the specs don’t justify paying 5 times more for the Librem 5.
On the other, you might want to think about these issues as well, that I raised in a debate with a guy on YouTube:
Amos Batto 3 weeks ago
@Fuseteam, There are different development models and different goals for the two phones, and those make for very different costs. See my article on why the Librem 5 costs so much: https://amosbbatto.wordpress.com/2019/12/01/decide-pinephone-vs-librem-5/
It is clear that you like PINE64’s low-cost strategy of:
- adapting a platform which PinePhone has been working on since 2015 to use on a phone,
- using old hardware which is already well supported in mainline Linux,
- partnering with community projects to provide the software
I am very happy that we have two companies producing mobile Linux devices because both companies together will grow the mobile Linux market. I think that PINE64 is playing a very valuable role and I am planning on buying the PineTab, but let me offer some reasons why I decided to buy the Librem 5 over the PinePhone:
UBports, LuneOS, Nemo Mobile and Maemo Leste are huge code bases which are largely siloed and it will require a large amount of work to maintain them in the long-term. These communities took code bases developed by companies, and are trying to maintain them with volunteers. You need a group of very dedicated volunteers to make that sustainable or you need companies that pay developers to work on the projects. PINE64’s donation of $10 per phone isn’t enough to pay developers to do the work, and I’m skeptical that any of these projects is going to be well maintained with just volunteer labor, because each of those communities is very small and there are no companies paying developers to work on the projects.
I worked 10 years as the community lead in an open source company, so I have some idea of the challenges. With volunteers, you are going to get a lot of devices tested and people developing apps (which is what we see with postmarketOS and UBports), but you don’t get many people doing serious work on the core. The open source projects that work well are the ones where there are people who maintain the code as part of their job, which is the case if you investigate who contributes to many projects such as the Linux kernel, PostgreSQL, Apache and PHP.
In my opinion, the only viable choices for Purism were either KDE Plasma Mobile or developing GTK/Phosh, because both could rely on an active larger community to help maintain the code in the long term, and both communities have corporate sponsors who pay developers to work on the projects. Purism would have had to do a lot of dev work to make Plasma Mobile work for the Librem 5, and Purism didn’t want to switch its desktop to KDE and it didn’t want to maintain a separate environment for the desktop and the phone, since its goal was convergence between the two. Given the fact that Purism had spent years working with GTK/GNOME and its alignment with the FSF, there were reasons for the company to develop Phosh.
Since I want to establish Linux as viable mobile OS in the long term, I want to support a company that can pay developers to work on making that a reality. I can see that happening with Purism, but not with PINE64.
I want mobile Linux to be an alternative for normal people, not just a dev environment for tech enthusiasts. The goal of PINE64 is to serve tinkerers, open source communities and Linux geeks, whereas the goal of Purism is to make devices for non-technical users who value privacy and freedom. Of course, it will take many years for Purism to reach its goal, but Purism’s planned PureOS Store shows me that it is trying to create a viable alternative to the Google Play Store and Apple Store that ordinary people can use.
I want a Linux phone that can replace my current smartphone running LineageOS. The hardware in the PinePhone simply isn’t good enough and never will be, because the A64 only supports a maximum of 5 megapixels in the camera, and its Mali-400 MP2 is simply not good enough for the graphics processing that I need. The Librem 5’s GPU is twice as powerful and its CPU is 30% faster in Evergreen and will be 50% faster in Fir than the PinePhone. If I buy a PinePhone, I will still have to carry around my current phone, because the PinePhone’s camera is not good enough to become my primary phone.
The two biggest problems in the tech industry are planned obsolescence and surveillance Capitalism, and the Librem 5 is designed to solve both of those problems. The PinePhone is far better than most phones on both these issues, but I want to reform the tech industry, and Purism sees that as part of its mission.
I care deeply about promoting the ideas of the FSF, so I want to support a company aligned with the goals of the FSF. I want to support 100% free software and open hardware. Yes, I know that the PinePhone will only have 3 proprietary files in /lib/firmware for the Realtek WiFi/BT, so there isn’t much technical difference, but there is a huge difference in terms of the message that the Librem 5 sends to the world when released as the first RYF phone and the second phone with free/open schematics.
Purism is working to get new hardware supported by the Linux kernel, so we have more hardware options in the future. If you check Purism’s commits to the kernel, you will see that it is adding new hardware to the kernel, not just using old hardware that already has good Linux support, which is what PINE64 is doing. Purism’s work on the i.MX 8M drivers is important, because that same work will benefit other projects such as the MNT Reform, which will be the first open hardware laptop. Purism’s work with Redpine Signals is vitally important because it will allow the Linux community to have decent 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth without binary blobs in the Linux file system, which has been a huge problem for the Linux community, since the only current solution has been crappy Atheros Ath9 WiFi that doesn’t work well and requires proprietary firmware for the Bluetooth.
Purism works with suppliers like NXP and Redpine Signals which have a history of contributing code to the community, whereas PINE64 selected Allwinner which currently violates the GPL and won’t answer any questions from the community and Realtek, which used to violate the GPL. Purism rewards good suppliers with business, whereas PINE64 rewards bad suppliers with business.
The goal of Purism is to “drive change up the supply chain,” and it says that it will have more power to make change in the hardware industry as its volume grows. I don’t know if Purism will really make much of a difference in this respect, but I think that it is a good strategy, and I want to support its efforts.
The Librem 5 is a more innovative phone. I count 6 innovations in the Librem 5, where as I count 2 innovations in the PinePhone, that have never been done before in the mobile phone industry. See: PinePhone vs Librem 5
[Edit: I have revised this. I now count 4 innovations in the PinePhone.]
When I think about my long term goals for the tech industry, I see strategic reasons to support Purism over PINE64. None of this is to say that others may come to other conclusions and have other priorities, but just understand why people like me have chosen to support the development of the Librem 5 over the PinePhone.