PinePhone vs Librem 5


#21

I just checked the PinePhone’s schematics.

The hardware switch SW1-A goes directly to the PMIC and it turns off the power to the Quectel EG25-G cellular modem. It goes through a JTAG pin, so you can probably jerry-rig your own physical switch for this, but I don’t see how you can change it with software.

The hardware switch SW1-B goes directly to the CHIP_EN pin on the RTL8723CS Wifi/Bluetooth chip and there aren’t any other wires on the schematic which can change the signal after the switch.

Looking at the schematics, this is the only wire that goes to the CHIP_EN pin so I don’t see how you can change its current with software, and that pin turns the chip on/off. It isn’t cutting the power to the chip, but it can’t be hacked through software as far as I see from the schematics.

Switch SW1-C for the microphone goes into pin 35 of something labeled as “OK-50F-04” and I can’t figure out what that is.

Switch SW1-D for the front camera goes to the RESET pin for the GalaxyCore GC2035 image sensor chip.

I haven’t checked the other switches on the PinePhone, but the two most important switches (cellular modem and WiFi/BT) can’t be changed by software as far as I can tell. Did you read that somewhere?


#22

Yea , I read it on the pinfone forum from one of its users that went through it . I guess I was wrong . So in crayon , those are power cutting hardware switches ?


#23

I’m sure that the PinePhone will have ways to turn components on/off via software, but the schematics don’t show a way to override the hardware kill switches for the cellular modem, Wifi/Bluetooth and front camera. If you set them to off, then software can’t turn them on, according to the schematics.

However, only in the case of the cellular modem is it cutting the current to the component. In terms of security in the real world, I don’t think there is a significant difference between cutting the current and turning a chip off by setting a pin like CHIP_EN or RESET. Given the fact that both the Realtek and GalaxyCore chips are old and well tested, it is very unlikely that there is a security hole in the hardware that allows overriding those pin settings.

On the other hand, being paranoid is the whole point of buying a phone like the Librem 5. :slight_smile:


#24

SENPAI ! :star_struck::heart_eyes::hugs:


#25

You are weird.


#26

Weird?

Honestly, if ANY of us were normal, would we be here?


#27

you’re right it IS weird that i’m one of the FEW people here who’re still rocking a bb-q10 phone from 7 years ago :slight_smile:


#28

Looks like there’s a new kid on the block . The Astro Slide 5G Transformer. A " Pocket computer " Smartphone with the ability to run linux in " dual boot " 532.00 early bird price to go upto it looks like 888


This thing is a slide out phone / computer with a full PHYSICAL Qwerty keyboard

A newly-designed integrated physical backlit keyboard
A large 6.53" touchscreen display
A hi-res 48MP rear camera
minimum 6GB of RAM and 128GB of Flash storage
Fingerprint sensor and smart toggle button for security and control
NFC for payment
Fingerprint sensor
2x Nano SIMs and 1x eSIM
Minimum 6GB RAM and 128GB of internal memory
a MicroSD slot for additional storage
2 USB-C ports and an audio jack

Technical Specification
Below is the full Astro Slide technical specification.

 	Astro Slide (Initial Specification)

Network:
Wi-Fi

WiFi 6 (2 x 802.11ax)

Modem

Dual 5G World-wide modem

3GPP Rel. 15
NSA/SA
DL 4.7Gbps
2CC UL 2.5Gbps
2CC Sub-6GHz
2G / 3G / 4G / 5G Multi-Mode

VoLTE	Compatible
ViLTE	Compatible
VoWi-Fi	Compatible	 
Dual SIM operation	Dual 5G Modem

Body: Form Factor RockUp™ Slider / Transformer
Dimensions 16.4(W) x 7.66cm(D) x 1.5(H)cm
Weight Approx. 300g
SIM Dual nanoSIM + eSIM chip
Display: Type Colour FHD+ (20 : 9)
Size 6.53 inch
Resolution 2340x1080, 395 ppi
Multi Touch Yes
Protection Scratch resistant glass
Platform: OS Android 10 OS , Linux OS compatible
Chipset MediaTek Dimensity 1000, MT6889 Octa-core 5G SoC
CPU 4x A77 @ 2.6GHz, 256KB L2
4x A55 @ 2.0GHz, 128KB L2 2MB L3
GPU ARM G77 9-Core
Manhattan 3.0: 120fps
APU 3rd Generation, 6-Core
Total 4.5 TOPS
Memory:
RAM

Card Slot

6GB - Ultra-fast 4-channel LPDD4x

microSD

Internal	128 GB

Camera: Rear Camera 48MP + Flash
Front Camera 5MP
Sound: Speakers Stereo Speakers
Microphone Integrated ambient Microphone
3.5mm Jack Yes
Comms: WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 ax
Bluetooth v5.1, BLE Audio
GPS AGPS, Glonass, Beidou, Galileo
Band L1 + L5 GNSS

NFC	Yes, including payment
FM Radio	Yes
USB	2x USB Type C, OTG support, Display Port support (via adapter cable)

Features: Keyboard
Mechanical full keyboard

24 Layouts

Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Dvorak, Finnish / Swedish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian / Danish, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swiss, Thai, English UK, English US

Charging

Wireless charging + Fast charging

Sensors

Accelerometer, compass, light sensor, gyro, magneto-sensor
Fingerprint

Buttons Fingerprint sensor on display surface

Volume up / down, On / Lock button
Battery: Li-Ion 4000mAh battery (approx.)
Misc: Colour Black with silver keyboard edge


#29

Or will be. Or may be.

Nice specs.

Unclear whether any of the radio devices are replaceable / removable - and whether they can be hardware killed.

Unclear how good the Linux support will be. Is this primarily an Android device, and Linux may or may not work so well but is theoretically bootable? Or will the Linux support be on par with the Android support?

For the hard-core Linux user a physical keyboard is nice.


#30

From user freedom standpoint I doubt the same care was taken as in cases of pinephone and l5 to create complete compatibility with Linux and give users the freedom of choice to customize OSs and environments. We’ll see though I guess.


#31

This is not something we can compare to what Purism does. For the Librem 5 there have been made much “low level” stuff - No standard board, a CPU which was not meant to be for smartphones, baseband on M.2, battery optimizations, much kernel development, libhandy and the adoptions of Gnome to mobile phones with phosh and phoc. You need man power for that and Purism is doing quite well in my opinion.

Pine Phone is “only” the hardware, they don’t offer an operating system by themselves - which is totally fine. But they kind of “guarantee” linux support and the drivers are there. The price is very cheap compared to the Librem 5 for different reasons.

This Astro Slide thing seems one level beyond that, only stating “linux compatible”. Every Android smartphone is linux compatible, they all use that kernel. :smile:


#32

more like 25% of the linux-kernel you mean … the rest is proprietary or non GPL …


#33

I’m not aware that they drop miscellaneous features out of the kernel for Android devices. To my point of knowledge they use the mainline kernel (a very old one) + proprietary drivers / firmware.
But you are right that they don’t include the GNU coreutils as regularly included in GNU/Linux distros - if that’s what you mean. Many many programs/commands are delivered by the coreutils which Android unfortunately don’t support.


#34

Ofcourse it isnt a direct competitor to the L5 but its exciting to see the field opening up for sure.


#35

TL;DR


#36

Planet Computers keeps introducing new models of phone/PDA that make me drool. Here are my thoughts:

  • The list price of the Astro Slide 5G at €819 is too high in my opinion, but if you back it now at €491, then it is a very reasonable price, and the risk of losing your money is low, because Planet has already managed to bring two similar models (Gemini PDA and Cosmo Communicator) to market.
  • We can trust that Planet will eventually give us the promised Linux ports, because the company did it with the Gemini PDA, but the Linux ports never were as polished as the Android port and the company will focus first and foremost on Android. If you want portable Linux with a physical keyboard and a large screen, this is the best option, but be prepared to wait an extra 6 months after it initially ships for a usable Linux device.
  • By the end of 2021, there will probably be the Volla Phone, PinePhone, Librem 5, Cosmo Communicator and Astro Slide 5G for sale that run Linux. PinePhone and Librem 5 should support Bluetooth external keyboards, and they will be ready a lot sooner. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone makes a physical keyboard mod for the PinePhone.
  • The Astro has a very powerful processor (whose CPU is roughly 10 times more powerful than the Librem 5) and has a very high resolution camera. If it supports video out, it might be a good convergence device to use as a desktop PC, but we will have to see how well that works.
  • The Astro is 0.5 mm thinner than the Librem 5, but 70 grams heavier. At 300 grams, the Astro is probably too heavy for me to use it comfortably as a phone.

#37

Thank you everyone I really appreciate all your info and posts, the info you guys have provided is awesome.

Some some upadtae questions for anyone in the know?

  1. Without me looking it up, what is the accurate update on shipping for the Evergreen batch?

  2. Is Fir batch coming after evergreen? And if so when and what will be the difference?

  3. Pringles or dorito’s in terms of crisps what are we saying? :smile:

  4. Lastly I am still on the search for more reviews from Purism & customers anything you guys know of would be great!

Thanks you all again

LinuxNew


#38

According to the Purism web site, Evergreen is still scheduled to start shipping in mid-August. However, the Dogwood batch was supposed to start shipping by the end of April, and that still hasn’t happened, so that might mean that Evergreen will also be delayed.

The web site says “Shipping window: Q4 2020 (delayed due to Coronavirus outbreak)”, and Purism hasn’t made any announcement about Fir since then as far as know.

The major difference will be switching the processor from the i.MX 8M Quad (28nm planar) to the i.MX 8M Mini (14nm FinFET), which should be more energy efficient, and thus have better battery life. The max CPU speed will increase from 1.5GHz to 1.8GHz, so the CPU will improve, but the GPU in the Mini is less powerful than in the Quad. Purism hasn’t said what will be the specs in Fir, but I hope that Purism will give us more RAM and more storage space than in Evergreen.

Hopefully a Purism employee can give us more info.


#39

Thanks that’s cool. Yes hopefully someone else has more news?


#40

With the understanding that Purism is free to change any or all of that. It’s a vaguely announced future edition. Predicting the future is inherently uncertain.

Honestly, I think that until Evergreen ships, there won’t be much around from actual customers. The first four batches (A through D) were all presumably small, development batches - iterating towards the final design. Presumably Evergreen will contain thousands of devices - and almost all of those would be actual customers.