Am I ready for a PinePhone
#1
I'm interested in getting a PinePhone to have more control over what my phone actually does.  By comparison, my Moto G6 running some variant of Android is so slow for almost all things I do.  There's even a delay with each character I type in a text message, though it wasn't always this way.  It was never fast, but with my employers control over my phone, it seems to be much worse (they have this Duo and some other admin type thing they installed).  I believe they actually have more control over my phone than I ever had. 

I hate this.  When I click a character, I want it to appear, and not decide to do some other background server task.  Or at least make me think I'm only doing that thing.  Don't be scanning my keys, uploading things somewhere.  If I take a picture, *I* want to decide to send it to AWS, or not.  If I turn that off, I don't want Jeff Bezos turning that back on as it currently happens.

However, I read the start of the PinePhone wiki for installation instructions, and it sounds like I have to buy some separate card, download any supported image and hope that it works on my AT&T phone.  I've installed Linux before on a desktop, I don't mind the command line.  However, I have about a 3-4 hour limit before I start to curse, loose patience. Angry

I'd like to take pictures, have good phone calls, send and receive messages, surf the web including watching youtube videos.

Will this work?

Thanks,
mrb
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#2
Yikes. My G6 is pretty snappy. I don't have too much to compare it to, but it's noticably faster than other phones I've used, especially Samsung S5 and J7 and S3, iPhone SE and HTC Hero.

You're not going to get Google on a PinePhone without some work. All my old phones that I have removed Google from are very usable, so I expect a PinePhone would be too. But not having one, I can't really say. However, everything I've read about it tells me the answer to your "Will this work" is a firm "no." Not yet. The software that is available (does not come from Pine64) is not ready for prime time.
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#3
If you have to ask whether the Pinephone is for you then it probably isn´t yet. Pine makes it quite clear that as of now, this is a phone for people who are happy with tinkering. And i doubt that it will ever be the fastest device around, too.
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#4
If you are good with command line, and know Linux inside out and backwards,  You will have very little problem using a Pine phone.

BUT :
I am just a GUI user,     I have been "Just a GUI user"  for about 30 years.
Both of my Pinebook Pro's and my Brave Heart Pine phone are operating just fine Thank You.

While it does help to be tech savvy,  with some caution, almost anyone can use modern Linux.

 It is good to  "Warn"  the less technical persons,  but don't tell them it is impossible.

This is a   "Great Forum"   You can solve almost any problem if you ask & search enough !

I have received help from many forum members here,  and I believe I have helped some myself as well.

The Main Objective is to expand Linux for everyone to use.
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#5
(08-23-2020, 09:06 PM)mrboring Wrote: I'd like to take pictures, have good phone calls, send and receive messages, surf the web including watching youtube videos.

First: Currently, the PinePhone is sold out, so you would have to get one on eBay or wait for the next Community Edition to be available or some stock coming of the postmarketOS CE being back. So you don't need to hurry and can take your time.

That said, taking pictures does not really work yet. Some distributions have working camera apps, but that's all at a blurry 2 mega pixel resolution with a 1 FPS viewfinder. I am sure that this will eventually improve, but there is so much else that arguably has a higher priority with many of the nascent software projects, that no ETA can be given.

Good phone calls. Well, phone calls have been reliable for me lately, but do they sound hi-def? No. Also, the phone get's hot, and most people report that calls longer than 30 minutes don't really work yet.

Sending and receiving messages. Which kind of? Texts have been working fine for me, but then, I barely use SMS anymore. MMS is an entirely different beast (and in my eyes a horrible technology that has no reason to exist, if you have mobile data, why not use email?), some people on some carriers on some distributions apparently made it work for themselves, so: Don't expect SMS. If you are using specific apps, well... I will look into WhatsApp on Anbox (an Android layer, which does not work reliable yet) this week, Telegram works either with Teleports on Ubuntu Touch or with Telegram Desktop on the other distributions, Signal supposedly works on Ubuntu Touch, although I did not try it and should be portable to other distributions.

Surfing the web. It works. But.. with most of the current crop of browsers, that mostly have not been designed for mobile from the ground up, multi-tabbing can slow things down or even crash the browser, as it runs out of memory. Watching YouTube works, even without MPV, but the experience on your Android phone with something like the NewPipe app is likely better.

There is a ton of videos on the web showcasing different mobile operating systems for the PinePhone, just watch them. Arguably, the most ready one that is a true mobile OS in general is Ubuntu Touch, and according to their website, the good old One Plus One which might cost you next to nothing is the device that is best supported (btw, PinePhone support for Ubuntu Touch improved a lot with the recent OTA update, I would not call it "experimental" any more, even though some features don't still work yet (Online Accounts wizard, Libertine with GUI..). Another popular option is Sailfish OS. They have a program called Sailfish X, where you can buy an officially supported image for certain Sony devices. These might be good options for you as well and would solve the "I don't feel in control" issue while still being able to take better pictures than with a PinePhone.
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#6
(08-24-2020, 12:48 AM)bcnaz Wrote: If you are good with command line, and know Linux inside out and backwards,  You will have very little problem using a Pine phone.

BUT :
I am just a GUI user,     I have been "Just a GUI user"  for about 30 years.
Both of my Pinebook Pro's and my Brave Heart Pine phone are operating just fine Thank You.

While it does help to be tech savvy,  with some caution, almost anyone can use modern Linux.

 It is good to  "Warn"  the less technical persons,  but don't tell them it is impossible.

This is a   "Great Forum"   You can solve almost any problem if you ask & search enough !

I have received help from many forum members here,  and I believe I have helped some myself as well.

The Main Objective is to expand Linux for everyone to use.

That´s why i said that, for the time being, this is a phone for people who have fun tinkering. Don´t expect a finished product that just works yet.
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#7
Thank you for your responses. I didn't mind some tinkering, and on some level wanted to at least be able to do that. But I collectively, I think I'll need to wait a bit longer. The same phone I tinkered with I wanted to actually use. I knew most of the things on my Android would not work. If the Android emulators are like wine on Linux, you'd be better off just getting an Android, but at least you'd have a native Linux app instead of a JVM-ish interpreted program running inside something like a container. But I do rely on a having a working phone for my livelihood, so this is probably not the right thing to buy, nonetheless, I thank all of you for your input.
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#8
I'm pretty sure PinePhone *will* run Android. But that's not "finished" yet either.

It sounds to me like you're trying to replace the phone that you use for work. Why not have a separate phone for personal use? That seems to me like the only way you're going to achieve your goal anyway. It least it seems to me that software that your employer has on your phone is causing all your problems.

In that case, maybe you do want a PinePhone, (or maybe a PineTab). After all, you won't *need* 100% functionality yet, and you'll be able to play along as things progress. So preorder one when you can, there's no hurry.

If you want something to play with that's a little further along, there's always the Pinebook Pro. You can run Android on that, too. And a plethora of other operating systems. You can have an Android device, a Chromebook, a NetBSD server, a portable Commodore 64 or Amiga, and your favourite desktop Linux, at the swap of an SD card.
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#9
You may instead (dare I say it) buy a second hand One Plus One or Nexus 5 etc and push UBports excellent and working Ubuntu Touch ports through it as a daily driver.
Phone - works
Camera - Works
Browser - Works
Whatsapp - no

they can be picked up for few less coins on ebay and for a test will help you decide before the next more improved Pinephone is ready

Put it this way I have had both...still have One Plus one and a 3t running Ubuntu so a pinephone would (although nice) be a down grade at the moment for me as they work (3T less so but enough)

or Amiga, and your favourite desktop Linux, at the swap of an SD card.
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#10
If you are really  'On the Fence'  You want a Linux phone, but cannot decide between a true Linux phone
or
A converted Google phone,   there are a lot of YouTube videos on the particular subject.

I do recommend Rob Braxman there as an intelligent tech to help you make that choice.
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