PinePhone Pro just announced (Oct 2021)

https://www.pine64.org/pinephonepro/
https://www.pine64.org/2021/10/15/october-update-introducing-the-pinephone-pro/

We learned a lot from working on the original PinePhone. Over the past two years we painstakingly collected and analyzed your feedback and explored all avenues for hardware improvements. The PinePhone Pro is the end result of this journey. It is powered by a Rockchip hexa-core SoC operating at 1.5GHz, and ships paired with 4GB of dual-channel LPDDR4 RAM as well as 128GB of internal eMMC flash storage. It features a high-fidelity 13MP main camera sensor and a 5MP front-facing camera.

What’s the availability like?
We have started taking PinePhone Pro pre-orders from developers on October 15, 2021, and expect to have them delivered by December this year.
We have also secured the necessary components and factory floor-time to produce a large production run of the PinePhone Pro in November; we’re calling it the Explorer Edition . If everything goes according to plan, early adopters will have their Explorer Edition units delivered in early 2022.

Device Specifications

System on Chip (SoC)
Rockchip RK3399S 64bit SoC – 2x A72 and 4x A53 CPU cores @ 1.5GHz

GPU
ARM Mali T860 4x core GPU @ 500MHz

RAM
4GB LPDDR4 @ 800MHz

Storage
128GB eMMC flash storage
Optional micro SD card (SDCX up-to 2TB)

LCD panel
6″ 1440 x 720 in-cell IPS with Gorilla Glass 4™

Cameras
13MP Sony IMX258 main camera with Gorilla Glass 4™ protective layer
5MP OmniVision OV5640 front-facing camera

Modem & GPS
Quectel EG25-G – global GSM and CDMA bands
GPS, GPS-A, GLONASS

WiFi & Bluetooth
AMPAK AP6255 WiFi 11ac + Bluetooth V4.1

I/O
Micro SD slot
Pogo-pins (OG PinePhone compatible)
USB-C- power, data (USB 3.0), and DP alt-mode video out

Sensors
Accelerator
Gyroscope
Proximity
Compass
Ambient light

Privacy hardware switches
Cameras
Microphone
WiFi and Bluetooth
LTE modem (including GPS)
Headphones (to enable UART output)

External buttons
Volume up / down rocker
Power ON/ OFF

Audio Out
Headset speaker
Audio jack
Loud Speaker

Other
Flash / Torch
Vibration motor
Status LED
UART via audio jack

Battery
Samsung J7 form-factor 3000mAh

Charging
5V 3A (15W) Quick Charge – USB Power Delivery specification

Dimensions
160.8 x 76.6 x 11.1mm

Weight
Approx. 215g

Price
$399 (not inc. shipping & import tax)

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Additional reporting: https://liliputing.com/2021/10/pinephone-pro-is-a-faster-linux-smartphone-for-399.html
and: https://tuxphones.com/pinephone-pro-linux-phone-specs-pricing/

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I love seeing these Linux phones hitting the market :slight_smile:

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Really interesting. I already own a PinePhone and also bought a Librem 5.

The Pine Phone Pro tackles some things that annoyed me to the PinePhone. The USB3 will make 4k Monitors possible which was already possible for the Librem 5. The faster CPU and Graphics will make the system even faster and the Camera will allow better pictures. I get very much the impression the PPP is now better comparable to the Librem 5 but no the same.

I think it’s really cool that the possibilities to buy a linux phone grow. There will be comparisons and people who value some features higher than others but in total more and different offers mean more people are attracted and will own such devices which will profit all of those devices. I am a fan!

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AFAICS the PPP is mostly a faster PP, or did I miss any new features? Is the glass better? The Wifi is. Not compared the modem, yet. Storage is bigger.

I also own a PP and I ordered a L5. I think I will wait now what I get with the latter and if there will be subsequent hardware revisions of the PPP. Then I’ll consider ordering.

The glass is better, the PinePhone is just listed as “hardened glass” on the store page whereas the PPP has Gorilla Glass 4.

Maybe read through Pinephone Pro annouced (comment from @amosbatto) if you have a second and want spec compared vs a Librem5 and some first take impressions.

Having a PinePhone already I’m interested in the November Explorer version depending on what updates they showcase between now and then especially in regards to the suspend state and battery life.

A quick review from Megi here, they’ve had it since the end of August:

https://xnux.eu/log/#047

They have written quite a bit of power improvements (among other things) for the PinePhone so users interested in modem performance and power should find things to note here bearing in mind this is all on pre “production” software still.

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@nimji Keep in mind that information should be taken with a grain of salt as Megi did not have a production version of the Phone with a binned and voltage locked RK3399s SoC. All his unit had was a normal RK3399, as found in the Pinebook Pro, so that’s why it drew so much more power.

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Thanks for the clarity, I guess I missed that part in the post. Re-reading I see them call out the SoC used but I didnt realize this was different on first read.

Still glad to see some numbers, and now we should have somewhat of a comparison against the “s” SoC for later :slight_smile:

Video showcasing some app usage and hardware from Martijn Braam (postmarketOS and Megapixels fame, among other things).

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCxDcMdr_fo

Odysee: https://odysee.com/@martijn:b/ppp:b

Is it really better though? As far as I know, Gorilla Glass is also “hardened glass”.

I guess that’s one way to look at it, you’d need someone to compare the two to get the full picture. The benefit of the brand name though is that we can lookup tests and some specs that the previous hardened glass didnt have as far as I’m aware.

For some having it be more robust would be a benefit for sure, but ymmv.

Example: https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/194663-corning-unveils-new-gorilla-glass-4-can-now-survive-drops-80-of-the-time

This is how you know Puri.sm is full of it. FxTec and Pine64 have had no problem delivering existing phones, and launching new ones. Meanwhile, purism can’t even get what they promised out the door. All they’ve managed to produce are lies and obfuscation.

If you are going to criticize Purism in comparison to other companies, then make sure that you are making apples to apples comparisons, because neither F(x)tec nor PINE64 are having to do nearly the same kind of work to produce their Linux phones.

It is pretty easy to design and ship a Linux phone if you take a Snapdragon 662 reference phone design from Qualcomm which is fully debugged and working, and then add a physical keyboard. It only takes a couple revisions of the phone to get everything just right because you don’t have to spend months debugging on the hardware level and you know that all the drivers just work, because you are using standard Android drivers through libhybris in Ubuntu Touch. You can outsource all the porting work for Ubuntu Touch to UBports and the XDA community, so you don’t have to spend any time working on the software.

PINE64 had a tougher time designing the PinePhone and PinePhone Pro, since it didn’t have phone reference designs from Allwinner and Rockchip to use, but the A64 and RK3399 are old SoC’s from 2015 and 2016, respectively, with good mainline Linux drivers which are well supported. PINE64 had already created several devices based on both of those chips, before creating the PP and PPP, and the PPP is based on many of the same components as PP, so there is less designing from scratch. In addition, PINE64 generally selected older components for the WiFi/BT, sensors, USB controller, etc. that were already well supported in mainline Linux to avoid having to do kernel/driver dev work. Also, PINE64 outsourced all its software to various community projects, so it just has to put out the hardware and coordinate the porting work with the community projects. It doesn’t offer more than a 30 day warranty on the hardware and provides virtually no support, so it can ship the hardware and then let Manjaro, postmarketOS, UBports, Mobian, KDE, etc. deal with any software issues that may arise, which avoids a lot of potential delays and support costs.

In comparison, the Librem 5 was based on a new SoC that did not yet have good mainline Linux support, which has caused a lot of delays. The i.MX 8M Quad didn’t even reach volume production until Jan. 2018 and Purism couldn’t get the SoM that it ended up using in the DevKit until Mar. 2018, so it wasn’t until Dec. 2018, that Purism was able to ship the L5 DevKit. NXP has been very slow in implementing many of the features in the i.MX 8M driver for mainline Linux and produced very poor documentation for its MIPI CSI2 camera interface, which required months of trial and error for the Purism devs to figure out. Many of the delays in the L5 (such as video out, suspend to RAM and working cameras) were actually caused by NXP.

According to Nicole Faerber, the L5 has gone through about a dozen board revisions, which is the result of Purism not having an i.MX 8M reference phone design for Purism to use, so Purism had to design the phone from scratch and go through many iterations to debug the design. With a standard smartphone using an integrated mobile SoC and a reference design, it shouldn’t take more than 2 or 3 board iterations to get to the final design. The L5 is the most complicated phone design that I have ever seen, with a total of 1267 components on its 4 PCBs, whereas the PinePhone has a total of 672 components in its 2 PCBs and the Pro1 X probably has 400-500 components in its 1 PCB.

The L5 is the first phone in the world with a smartcard reader (which means an additional ARM microcontroller) and the first with removable WiFi/BT and cellular modem. The L5 has hardware kill switches for 10 components (WiFi/BT, cellular modem, front and back cameras, 2 internal mics, audio jack line-in, Teseo-LIV3F GNSS, ST LSM9DS1 and Vishay VCNL4040), whereas the PinePhone only has them for 6 components (WiFi/BT, modem/GNSS, 1 internal mic, front and back cameras and audio jack).

Then, consider the fact that Purism has 10 people working on the Librem 5’s software, because it is doing kernel work, and creating a new mobile interface (phoc+phosh+squeekboard+feedbackd), and mucking around with GTK/GNOME to make the mobile environment adaptive and touch friendly (libhandy/libadwaita) and changing the code for roughly 2 dozen apps to make them work in mobile devices, plus making new calling and texting apps (Calls and Chatty).

Looking at all the Linux phone makers, you can see the difference in the kind of work they are doing:

Company Purism PINE64 Hallo Welte Systeme F(x)tec Planet Computers
Linux phone models Librem 5, Librem 5 USA PinePhone, PinePhone Pro Volla Phone, Volla Phone X Pro1, Pro1 X Gemini PDA, Cosmo Communicator, Astro Slide
Custom hardware design Y Y N (Gigaset GS290) Y Y
Without reference phone design Y Y N (MediaTek) N (Qualcomm) N (MediaTek)
Using Linux kernel/drivers Y Y N N N
Submitting code to kernel Y N N N N
Creating new interface Y (Phosh) N N N N
Creating new apps Y (calls, chatty) N N N N
Maintaining Linux distro Y (PureOS) N N N N

My point is not that Purism doesn’t deserve criticism, but you should be comparing the L5 to Apple’s first iPhone in 2007 or Nokia’s N9 in 2011, because that more accurately reflects the kind of project that Purism has undertaken with the L5. Remember that it took 5.5 years to get Android to its first phone (the HTC Dream) and it took Apple and Nokia two years to create the new interface for the first iPhone and the N9, and those companies had a lot more resources to dedicate to the task than Purism.

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Look I read your screed and at the end of the day all of this amounts to failed project management, Excuses, and taking no responsibility. I understand I’m in the den of fanboys so I’m willing to take my lumps for speaking up here, but no one is defending purism outside this forum, no one is buying their products outside this forum, and there’s a reason for that. it is CRUCIAL that purism take responsibility for their quality and communication if they want to survive but I don’t see that happening.

It doesn’t matter if its harder to do something one way vs another. Purism said they were going to do it the hard way and do innovative things then completely failed to manage the project at ever level (setting reasonable deadlines internally and setting expectations with customers, sourcing parts). They don’t get credit for trying to do too much then failing to deliver.

Second the board is not an excuse. They chose an iterative release cycle so they could continue to get phones out and they have failed to do this. The board literally changed between batches so it’s not like they had to wait any.

Third, It is your responsibility as the manufacturer of a thing is to figure your supply chain out, purism seems utterly incapable of this. If they knew they needs to have x number of phones out by a certain date they should have bought the parts UP FRONT to keep their promise. The components required to produce a phone did not materially change between revisions such that they couldn’t do this. They didn’t and now we the consumers are suffering for this because now we have to wait for random bits and bobs to come in before we get our phones. comapred to FxTec who bought everything up front and are giving the factory all the parts up front to build everything promised at one time.

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There are video games which are released years after the scheduled date. Setting deadlines is hard.

I just want to say that, as far as I can tell, the cpu used in my phone (evergreen) has two unfixable power-management bugs. Buying thousands of cpus and realizing they are all broken is not the best approach. Also, if I’m not mistaken, they changed screen size between devboard and evergreen. Buying all the parts upfront is ok, if you know your design won’t change, but the iterative approach purism took allows them to change specs according to their needs.

I don’t think the reason is that they failed in scheduling L5 delivery, or they are bad at keeping customers updated with latest development news. None of my friends has ever heard about purism. Purism is making niche products (overpriced laptops, heavy phones) and at a scale which is way smaller than other famous brands. It’s OK if all of the “fanboys […] defending [them]” are actually on this forum: it means they are doing a great job at converting people interested into their devices in customers or forum members.

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I totally agree with you. I think Purism is struggling and struggling to get the scarce Chipsets.

Also i think that if Purism it made little toys like Pine64 it making then Purism had not delivery problems too.
Purism makes good/top Linux electronics…

Dude, cmon, don’t presumptuously make yourself a martyr.

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To some degree, it was poor project management on Purism’s part to believe that they could create the proc+phosh interface in six months and to believe that the phone could be delivered in 17 months. At an initial crowdfunding target of $1.5 million, Purism did vastly underestimate the total cost of producing the Librem 5 phone. 4 years after the crowdfunding started, Purism has only managed to ship 2500 Evergreens, so from that perspective, the company deserves criticism.

However, companies with far more experience and resources than Purism have failed to develop software projects on time and have gone way over budget. I worked in a software company which made a projection that it would take 12 - 18 months to release the next version of its software, and it ended up taking 3.5 years. Microsoft was the biggest software company in the world in the 2000s, yet Windows Vista arrived two years late (2005->2007). Nokia was the biggest phone maker in the world in 2009, when it started losing market share to Android and it knew that it had to make MeeGo or Symbian into an Android competitor, yet it took two years to get MeeGo to its first release, which led it to adopting Windows Mobile and destroying the company.

If you look at the history of mobile Linux, what you will find is business failure after business failure. Since the first Linux phone in Feb. 2003, there have been at least 20 attempts at commercial mobile Linux that actually made it to market, but then failed, and there were many more that never made it to market like Poky Linux and Wind River. I should add a few more to that list, since Tizen is effectively dead now that Samsung is switching its watches to Android and webOS is only being installed in a few LG TV models. I don’t think there is a single phone manufacturer currently selling Sailfish OS preinstalled (although jolla-devices.com is an aftermarket seller of Xperias).

When you consider the fact that large companies like Motorola, Wind River, MonteVista, FIC/OpenMoko, Nokia, Palm->HP, Samsung, Intel, Nokia, Mozilla and Canonical all failed at mobile Linux, the fact that Purism is still selling the L5 and paying for the development of mobile Linux is frankly a minor miracle.

Yes, there is plenty to criticize over the last 4 years, but we have to keep in mind that Purism isn’t just shipping a phone, but developing mobile Linux. In my opinion, the L5 campaign has done poorly in terms of shipping hardware and it has been a mixed bag in terms of supporting the hardware in the phone, but it has been pretty successful in creating a new Linux mobile environment that is sustainable and easy to maintain. See my blog post on the strategic advantages of Phosh.

Having looked at Plasma Mobile and Ubuntu Touch, I am convinced that Phosh has the best chance of all the mobile Linux environments of actually reaching mainstream users, and considering that roughly 60% of desktop Linux users use a GTK-based environment (GNOME, XFCE, Mate, Cinnamon, etc.), Purism’s work to make GTK/GNOME software adaptive and touch-friendly with libhandy/libadwaita is extremely important to all Linux users.

The modern hardware industry doesn’t work that way and frankly it would have been bad project management for Purism to buy all the components back in 2017 or even in Nov. 2020 when it started to ship Evergreen. At that point, Purism didn’t have a finalized design that had passed FCC regulations, and it wasn’t until Q2 2021 when we were already in the midst of a global chip shortage when many of the critical components (cameras, smartcard reader, video out, GNSS and sensors) had been tested enough to know that the design was good. There was no point in buying chips in bulk until the company had validated the design. You can criticize the company for shipping Evergreen before it was truly ready for mass production, but I think Purism made the right choice at that point to only produce small batches, since the phone hadn’t been fully tested. I suspect that Purism in Nov. 2020 also didn’t have enough funds on hand, which is why it released the phone before it was ready in order to try to stimulate more orders.

At any rate, the i.MX 8M Quad processor currently has two outstanding silicon bugs in power management:

e11174: CA53: Cannot enter WAIT mode
Description: CA53 platform cannot enter WAIT mode if there is a pending interrupt. If the chip enters WAIT(WFI) mode, the chip requires a reboot to recover.
Workaround: No workarounds. SW should not use WAIT mode.
Impact: This mode turns off the power to the SCU (Snoop Control Unit) and the L2 cache. Not having this mode affects only 1 mode of core power savings.
e11171: CA53: Cannot support single-core runtime wakeup
Description: According to the GIC500 specification and the Arm Trusted Firmware design, when a CPU core enters the deepest CPU idle state (power-down), it must disable the GIC500 CPU interface and set the Redistributor register to indicate that this CPU is in sleep state. In such case, if the CPU core is in WFI or power-down with CPU interface disabled, another core cannot wake-up the powered-down core using SGI interrupt.
Workaround: One workaround is to use another A53 core for the IRQ0 which is controlled by the IOMUXGPR to generate an external interrupt to wake-up the powered-down core.The SW workaround is implemented into default BSP release. The workaround commit tag is “MLK-16804-04 driver: irqchip: Add IPI SW workaround for imx8mq".

It would have been a bad idea to stockpile the chip when these bugs might get fixed in the future by NXP. Also, the historical trend is that components get cheaper over time, so it would have been wrongheaded to stockpile components in Q4 2020 for expected manufacturing in mid-2021, when prices were expected to be cheaper, and Purism would also have to pay the cost of storing all those components.

F(x)tec is hardly an example of a company that delivers on time or “bought everything up front” for manufacturing. First of all, F(x)tec started in Feb. 2017 as a crowdfunded project to create a physical keyboard mod for Moto Z phones. They never managed to ship the device, because it proved too difficult to source the parts with only 3k units, so they had to cancel it. Instead, F(x)tec announced in Sep. 2018 that they would make a new phone, the Pro1, with a physical keyboard. F(x)tec tried to convince the keyboard backers to accept vouchers to buy their Pro1 phone. The Pro1 was originally scheduled to ship in July 2019. It got delayed, but the company announced that it would start shipping in Nov. 2019. By Jan. 2020, F(x)tec managed to ship 70% of its pre-orders, but then the shipping stopped due to the global chip shortage. When F(x)tec announced the Pro1 X in Oct. 2020, it still hadn’t managed to ship 30% of the pre-orders for the Pro1, which provoked comments like this on reddit:

F(x)tec needs to get their shit together. This is a cool phone and all, but the specs combined with expected shipping time absolutely screw over anybody who’s still waiting for the original to ship.

The Pro1 X was originally scheduled to ship in Dec. 2020 with a Snapdragon 835. In February 2021, F(x)tec announced that it wouldn’t be able to ship until August 2021, because it was no longer able to get Snapdragon 835 processors, so it had to redesign the Pro1 X to use the Snapdragon 662, which has 30% lower CPU benchmarks than the Snapdragon 835. People who were still waiting for their Pro1 orders would get the Pro1 X instead with a weaker processor. The web site now says that the Pro1 X will ship in Nov. 2021, but the October update said that the phone still hadn’t obtained FCC/CE certification and the antennas had been changed.

The backers who preordered the keyboard in Feb. 2017 had to wait till Nov. 2020 to get a phone with a keyboard, and 30% of the people who preordered the Pro1 are still waiting for their phone 2 years later, so this is hardly a track record of success.

Planet Computers is also behind in shipping the Astro Slide, which was originally scheduled to ship in June 2021, but is looking like it will ship six months later in December.

PINE64 has a decent track record of shipping on time, but people who ordered the PinePhone UBports Community Edition were disgruntled that the phone shipped with a USB port which didn’t support data, so they had to buy a new board to fix the problem. People are still complaining about the fact that PINE64 won’t acknowledge that the screen backlight flicker is a bug and is refusing to change their design to fix it.

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Maaaate, I could tell you some war stories … One of the largest software companies in the world may have used up X years, tens of millions of dollars, and ultimately delivered nothing, with the project being abandoned as a failure by all parties. That’s without even getting into military projects, which take overruns to the next level. :rofl:

It is a credit to Purism that they have stuck at it, and delivered something that basically works. That is not to diminish the disappointment that those who have not yet received a phone will feel - or to ignore that there is still a fair amount of work to deliver and polish all the core functionality.

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