Short Guide to Linux Phone Desktops (TuxPhones article)


I didn’t know about the JingPad and its JingOS, which is based on Plasma Mobile. Here is a review.

The specs of the JingPad are good, but the processor probably won’t have long-term support, because UNISOC drops support quickly, and there is little hope of this processor ever getting mainline Linux support, so you are stuck with Android drivers working through libhybris, which you probably can’t upgrade. It’s kind of a bummer that it doesn’t support video out, so it can’t be used as a convergent PC.

Still, I’m happy to see something with better performance and specs than the PineTab on the market for people who want a Linux tablet+keyboard. I just wish that they had used a Snapdragon rather than a UNISOC Tiger, because Snapdragons eventually do get mainline Linux support, so there is the possibility that you can keep upgrading with a mainline kernel, rather than being stuck with an Android 4.14 kernel.

For now, there is no way to get both a modern processor with FinFET transistors and long-term software support in a Linux mobile device. If you want good performance, you have to use an Android kernel and Android drivers through libhybris, which is what you get with Jolla Phone, Pro1 X, Cosmo Communicator, Astro Slide and JingPad. However, it looks like the Rockchip RK35XX processors will bridge that gap, which is why I have such high hopes for the PinePhone 2.

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About the company (JingLing Tech):

Staff cuts
Code open-sourced
Unlockable bootloader

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The “short guide” completely misses the convergence option of phoc/phosh. Is this provided with the other environments, too?

Also note:

4G/5G modem (Not supported in all countries, a list is coming in June, 2021)

If usage on-the-go is a requirement, you would need to get clarification on what 4G bands are supported (5G bands if relevant to you). That may be a regulatory issue too.

On the one hand, at the discount price the specs are very good, but on the other hand its future may be uncertain (orphaned device) and few potential customers will have …

the skills to port a different operating system

It is unclear what its blob status is.

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