Too cheap for Librem 5 at $750 but can spend more than $150 on a PinePhone. I want a decent camera, too. LineageOS/postmarketOS on an Android phone?

I know LineageOS on an Android phone certainly isn’t as free as a Librem 5 or even a PinePhone and postmarketOS is quite beta on Android phones. It may work better on a PinePhone but you can run quite a few operating systems on a PinePhone, if that’s your thing. My thing is photography. To some extent.

The Librem 5 costs $750 and the PinePhone costs $150. The average of those two prices is $450, still a little more I want to spend on a phone. Closer to my price range at $350 you can get the Google Pixel 4a with boring, unimpressive hardware but excellent computation photography features. Most smartphone photography these days is computational photography. The brain behind the Google Pixel phones’ excellent camera features, professor Marc Levoy has left the company for Adobe to, I quote, capture the Android-iOS duopoly (of camera apps).

Does that resonate you? Breaking the duopoly? But I don’t want to buy a Google phone, as Google isn’t a hardware company making uninspiring phones sold and supported only in a handful countries in the world. I don’t care much about the Pixels’ GrapheneOS support. My thinking is going refurb Android from an established phone company choosing a model with good ROM support.

For many people their smartphone is their camera. How about you? After all (besides some design changes) how is the new iPhone any better for the average user from the couple of years old model? Some of you may be interested in Marc Levoy’s photography class as well:

Or do I really want a PinePhone at this time? I really under no circumstances want to cough up $750 for a Librem 5 now, I’m truly sorry. I know it’s the future and I truly appreciate the pioneers who support the project in its early stage. Can we still be friends?

between $150 and $750 lies the price range of midrange phones (my usual price range). On the Linux phone side of things the gap can either be filled by PinePhone moving upmarket or by Purism going downmarket. I see a high probability of both of these happening with time. Or 3rd party manufacturers can enter the market as well. On the other hand Linux on Android phones (postmarketOS and friends) definitely gets more polished over time. It’s an exciting product category and I’m looking forward to its future.