Lets create the PineCom
#21

  1. Do we need both a front and back camera on the PineCom? In fact, do we need any cameras at all? 
    IMHO the device should have a camera on the back, for example to scan QR codes and such.
  2. Should we bring over all sensors present on the PinePhone? If so, which do you think we can do without?

    Light sensor could be useful for auto-brightness or auto-contrast.


  3. Should we use the same single band/11n/BT4 WiFi module in the PinePhone (for compatibility sake) or change it out for a dual band/11ac/BT5?

    Please don't. Realtek chips are awful with Linux.


  4. Should the device feature a GPS (and compass) or are those features redundant in this type of device? 

    I'm for it, either as a module or onboard.


  5. Should we include SPI flash?
    Unless it increases the cost significantly, yes.
  6. We are currently considering following the PinePhone’s general design and aesthetic for the PineCom, but if there is some sort of physical (within reason - also financially) that you think would fit this type of device well then make sure to let us know.  
    Just don't make it look like a brick.
  7. We’re currently thinking of using a 5” LCD panel for the PineCom; what do you think about this - is there a reason to go bigger or smaller? 
    Users might have issues interacting with less-optimized apps on a smaller-than-5" display.
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#22
People here are kinda just describing a rugged GPS receiver with LoRa capability. I guess it could work, but an extra shell for just the PinePhone with the LoRa modem sounds a bit cheaper, more versatile and achieves pretty much the same goals.
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#23
I really like the idea of the device!

One thing missing which I'd like to see is a (d)pmr module. Having an integrated and programmable walkie talkie would be awesome. Either with frequencies from 400-480mhz or even just pmr446 and both tiers of dpmr446. To be compliant with European regulations it would need a non-detachable antenna, which is what phones like the Jelly Atom XL or similiar devices always do wrong.

Regarding the other questions:

  1. Do we need both a front and back camera on the PineCom? In fact, do we need any cameras at all? -> For me, a back camera would suffice
  2.  Should we bring over all sensors present on the PinePhone? If so, which do you think we can do without? -> Not sure, tbh
  3. Should we use the same single band/11n/BT4 WiFi module in the PinePhone (for compatibility sake) or change it out for a dual band/11ac/BT5? -> I'm all in for dual band and BT5
  4. Should the device feature a GPS (and compass) or are those features redundant in this type of device? -> Yes, a GPS module is important
  5. Should we include SPI flash? -> I'm undecided here
  6. We’re currently thinking of using a 5” LCD panel for the PineCom; what do you think about this - is there a reason to go bigger or smaller? -> 5" seems fine to me.
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#24
My wishlist for a phone would be:

* A qwerty keyboard of some sort or another, and perhaps a 
* Something which can be used to take and edit photos, audio and video in the field, albeit in a stripped down fashion.
* Something I can word process with, and update web sites via web/CMS interfaces.
* Being able to receive and send e-mails, as well as use Teams/Zoom etc. - the letter can be web apps, the important thing is that they're accessible.
* A trackpad (not essential, but handy).

Put simply, I'm a web editor/journalist, and I need a device that lets me do my job, even if it's in a limited fashion. All of the above are complete madness, and probably out of the price range, but I do dream of something that's open source, reliable, and an editorial workhorse.
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#25
I am super excited for this! I have been using an iPod Touch as my primary mobile device for the last ~8 years and have managed to avoid having any kind of phone at all. It would be great to have a more updated/secure/open device. I'll only answer the questions I have any kind of opinion on:

> 1. Do we need both a front and back camera on the PineCom? In fact, do we need any cameras at all?
I like having both the front-facing and selfie camera, but could make do with one or the other. I think not having any camera at all would be a bummer

> 2. Should we bring over all sensors present on the PinePhone? If so, which do you think we can do without?
I don't think I use the sensors much at all. An accelerometer would be fun maybe but I don't think I'd miss it

> 4. Should the device feature a GPS (and compass) or are those features redundant in this type of device?
The only time I missed having a GPS was for Pokemon Go and even then it barely ran on the Touch. I say skip it.

> 7. We’re currently thinking of using a 5” LCD panel for the PineCom; what do you think about this - is there a reason to go bigger or smaller?
It sounds about right to me. The smaller screen size is nice actually, it fits in my pocket more easily. The touch has a 4" screen which is just about perfect for me, I don't know if I would like it as much if it were a lot bigger
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#26
(10-09-2020, 06:13 PM)Luke Wrote: Hello everyone,

We’ll soon be starting work on the PineCom - a privacy-oriented handheld communicator that shares the PinePhone’s pedigree but offers a distinct and different feature set. We hope to achieve a high degree of software compatibility between the two devices - indeed, we expect the PineCom to run all existing PinePhone OS images out-of-the-box. Unlike the PinePhone however, the PineCom will not feature a modem but rather rely on WiFi, IoT LoRa and LoRaWan for communications. The device will also be smaller at (5” LCD panel or less), and will not feature a USB-C alt mode for video output. 

Everything else is still up in the air at this point, and we therefore invite you to brainstorm ideas with us regarding the remaining design features of the PineCom. More specifically, we’d like to know your opinion on the following:

  1. Do we need both a front and back camera on the PineCom? In fact, do we need any cameras at all? 
  2. Should we bring over all sensors present on the PinePhone? If so, which do you think we can do without?
  3. Should we use the same single band/11n/BT4 WiFi module in the PinePhone (for compatibility sake) or change it out for a dual band/11ac/BT5?
  4. Should the device feature a GPS (and compass) or are those features redundant in this type of device? 
  5. Should we include SPI flash?
  6. We are currently considering following the PinePhone’s general design and aesthetic for the PineCom, but if there is some sort of physical (within reason - also financially) that you think would fit this type of device well then make sure to let us know.  
  7. We’re currently thinking of using a 5” LCD panel for the PineCom; what do you think about this - is there a reason to go bigger or smaller? 
We are completely open to any and all suggestions at this point. That said, we’d appreciate it if you’d keep in mind that the targeted price range for this device is $99-149 when offering your insight. 

As always, thank you for your feedback! 

I would rather see a Pinephone with dual band 5GHz wifi and a optional lora radio in place of the modem than a brand new device. This really just seems unnecessary and wasteful of resources, and i think pine would be much better off focusing their resources on their existing products and ideas.
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#27
I don't think the PineCom warrants manufacture in its current form, as it's indistinct from the PinePhone.
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#28
Privacy orientated - it isn't running Android or iOS please fill in the gap if this device implies something else?

Except for a keyboard, LoRa, an antenna sticking out of it and no cellular modem there is not much that makes this device distinct or unique. A security orientated device would have fit that criteria but PineCom is not that. I think what's really going on here is that adding a keyboard to the PinePhone has been found mechanically impossible and is too much trouble. Instead of rebuilding the PinePhone components around a new case that includes a keyboard along comes the PineCom. If I'm wrong and a keyboard is coming for PinePhone, then I'm doubly confused about the purpose of this device.

Some of the security orientated items might be:
- RTC clock, hardware RNG, full transparency/inspection of all hardware and software, FPGA perhaps ...
- hardened, cryptography, secured private keys ...

To be honest, I prefer to use standalone LoRa with a rechargeable battery that will run for days which is not something I imagine for PineCom.
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#29
I agree with other comments regarding whether there is a requirement for such a device . I would also prefer upgrades to the existing pinephone project . Slightly better camera , dual band WiFi and if possible a slightly better processor although the current CPU isn't terrible.

I'm very grateful that pine64 exists and I'm seriously impressed how good some of the hardware is , I currently have a rockpro64 with Nas case and a pinetab both are brilliant , especially the pinetab which has exceeded my expectations.
But as others have said perfecting and improving existing projects is definitely the direction pine64 should take, at least for a few months.
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#30
A smaller device without the cellphone modem would be nice to give my wife for an mp3 player. She uses an old Samsung player but it's stuck on Android 2.4 or something like that. It's much smaller and lighter than her iphone so she likes to use it when running. It has a 3.6" or 4" screen, so a 5" screen would be close enough. A GPS unit might be nice for tracking running. LORA support would be good for doing a live display on a map during a 5K too, actually. If it's small enough, it might even fit into the armband thing she already has.
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