[12.11.20 Update] Latest PinePhone CE Manjaro - Device Arrival & Initial Tests Thread
#1
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Hello everyone,



I was thinking, maybe it is a good idea to encapsulate all of the information for arrival and initial testing of the recently delivered PinePhone CE Manjaro, instead of opening a separate thread for each smaller subject.



I'd first identify which device have I got, and then describe my initial testing and thoughts:



My Device:

PinePhone CE Manjaro Convergence with 32GB eMMC and 3GB of RAM.

I believe it is pre-installed with Manjaro Posh (Update: Reading the paper leaflet that came in the box, my pre-installed Manjaro actually came with Lomiri according the paperwork that came with the device, even though I think the UI looks like Posh).



Delivery notes:
- Ordered on 31.10.2020, received in Europe on 09.11.2020 - pretty damn good I'd say!

- I have received the PinePhone in a small carton box, which held inside of it the actual white box which shows a nice "Pine64 Manjaro" graphic on top of it.

- Inside the box everything was packed carefully.

- What was in the box: the device it self, a charging cable, the Convergence dock, a mini-sim to normal sim (I think?) adapter, and a couple of paper leaflets with instructions / information.



So far my test results using the device right out of the box:



1. Popped up the case cover to remove the battery protection sticker, replace the battery into place and popped the case cover back on the phone.

2. Pressed the power key.

3. Manjaro logo appears on screen, and boots correctly.

4. Device is protected by a default PIN code, which was the factory 123456

5. Went through the initial setup wizard without problems and connected the device to Wifi

6. Could connect to my Wifi network, and browse the internet, Wifi connectivity seem pretty slow (took about 10 seconds to load pine64.org's homepage) - once again, I am not sure if this is an issue? or is the wifi on the device is just slow?

7. Overall the device UI responsiveness seem to run a bit slow when pressing on UI elements (e.g. tap on  Firefox, takes almost 3-4 seconds before it even pops up on the screen), not sure if this is an issue? since this is my first PinePhone, and real linux phone in general.

8. The PinePhone is connected to a charger, currently seem to charge fine (battery indicator was 94% and is currently 95%, so seem to charge)

9. The PinePhone is relatively warm on the top back of the device, not sure if this is normal ? or is it because I am fiddling with the device while it is charging? 

10. Cameras: I have just did a quick general test of the front and back cameras using the pre-installed "Megapixels" app, nothing fancy just wanted to see if the cameras actually function: both cams seem to work, one issue which I did encountered was that when I have switched from the normal cam to the front cam, and then tried to switch again back - the app seem to freeze. 

11. The "Software" app seem to hang on the "Looking for new updates.." screen when trying to look  for new updates ("Updates" tab), the message just hang in there forever - so not clear if it is still looking for something, or just stuck. 







UPDATE #1:

After having the PinePhone right out of the box, connected to a charger, no SIM card in it yet, only connected to Wifi... then and partially fiddling with it but most of the time just letting it lay on my desk, I have noticed something strange - a rather aggressive battery drainage ? about 10 minutes ago the charge indicator on Manjaro indicated a 98% charge, now after the phone has been laying on my desk (without usage), battery charge indicator had dropped and shows 95%, regardless of the device not being used and being constantly connected to a charger. anybody else have noticed battery problems when the device is very lightly used or not being used at all ?


UPDATE #2:

In my first update I wrote about charging issues, I am testing to see now if the problem was the charger block that I have used (my standard apple Iphone charger block), because I have seen that when charging using the apple charger, the status shows on the PinePhone as "Discharging" even when the charger is plugged-in, no idea why.. maybe it is too weak for the PinePhone? I have connected another usb charger which has a little higher charging amperage and suddenly the battery status was changed to "Charging" 

UPDATE #3 (Making / Receiving calls):
SIM Card inserted (was a bit of a hack with the adapter, but at least it help till I will get a duplicate SIM in a "normal" size), 
- I am using a German company (which uses a mix of 3-4 well-known companies depends on where you are, t-mobile, vodafone, o2 etc..).
- The PinePhone was able to identify the SIM and connect to the cellular network 
- I was able to make a call and receive as well.
- The audio sound quality is not crystal clear but not as bad, the voice on the other side can be understood as long as there are not too many background noises, the audio quality could also improve with the time.


** I have not yet tried to send or receive an SMS, I will add an update when I do about my result.


Currently the PinePhone is running updates (including a system update I believe), I will see how it all works out once the updates are complete.



** UPDATE 10.11.2020 **

After the latest update, currently running: 5.9.1-9-MANJARO-ARM

OK Continuing with my testing, after "spending the night" with the PinePhone CE Manjaro on my bed stand, with my SIM card inserted in it:

1. The modem shut down completely after (probably) some time of no usage, when I woke up in the morning I have noticed that when I have turned on the screen both cellular network and Wifi icons showed that they are re-connecting, which means that any usage of modem after the phone has been sitting still is questionable.

2. "Clocks" app: The alarm clock feature does not work - I have made a test, and set a timer to 6:00, it did not wake me up :-) must be some issue with the whole phone going into sleep mode? (Yes, I have tripled check that I set the date,time and timezone correctly on the phone)

3. Battery drainage is a real problem - even after waking up in the morning, and realizing that the cellular modem and Wifi were completely off the whole night, and with the device being constantly connected to a charger, I have still got a 96% charge when turning on the screen first thing in the morning (and tapping on top to slide down the upper toolbar which shows the charge status with %)

4. Remember what I have wrote in my upper portion of the post about the "Software" app being stuck up on the "looking for updates screen" ?
Well, strange enough, after inserting my SIM card and having it identified and connected - the "Software" app suddenly started to work and found a few updates :-) I did the updates, rebooted, and it seem to look like after the updates the overall UI "feels" better, work smoother.. Firefox works much better now! very nice indeed!

5. I was pleased to see the the Desktop app of Telegram functions as good as a mobile app, and that everything connected flawlessly.

6. "Megapixels" app still freeze up the moment you switch cameras twice - but the camera for me is not the highest priority  Wink

** UPDATE 10.11.2020 #2 **
I have noticed something in regarding the the charging of the PinePhone Manjaro CE, maybe this is the reason for why the device is never being able to get a 100% charge ?
- When the device is sited on my desk for long periods of time without being used, it seem to be that the charging procedure is being "detached" or stopped somehow.
  * Because when that happens, every time I press on the power button to turn on the screen, the battery icon shows the normal "battery" state (not charging), then only when I remove the charging cable from the device and plug it immediately back on - only then, the "charging" icon is coming back on.

What I am experiencing is a matter of fact, but the question which I am not able to accurately answer is, is this a hardware issue? or an operating system issue? since I thought that the hardware controls the charging and not the operating system.
 
** UPDATE 11.11.2020 **
1. "Clocks" app - I have tried again to setup an alarm clock for me, at 6:00 in the morning, this time I have woken up earlier to make sure the phone is not in "sleep" mode, I made sure the "Clocks" app is still running after I set my alarm, I configured the alarm to function in all days of the week, all of the configuration was double checked! unfortunately the alarm still does not work!
This is strange, because first I was thinking that because this is a real linux, that when the device is going to sleep mode it prevents the alarm from going off, but this is not the case, because even when the phone is not in idle mode (I made sure to fiddle with it every 5-10 minutes or so), the alarm still does not work.
This is not the most important app, but IMHO it is a very basic functionality, and I have no idea why it does not work? from my side, I am pretty sure that I was using it correctly. maybe a software bug? or something else? I am not sure.
2. "Software" App - I have tested the "Explore" tab and was able to search for all types of software, FYI: the search is not filtered only to mobile-compatible apps, so even software that was never meant to run on a PinePhone will be found and are possible to install. I have installed a few apps for testing: some did not even run, some crushed, other loaded fine but it was clear that those were Desktop-only apps so not usable on a PinePhone.
* As a software developer, I would love to know if there is any resource with information about developing apps for Linux arm, preferably something modern (It's been some time since I have done C programming), best if focused on development for smart devices such as the PinePhone (none of that embedded software type) maybe I could contribute somehow.


[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif]
** UPDATE 12.11.2020 **
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1. "Clocks" app - I have tried the alarm clock feature once again, this time it worked, the alert went of on time and work me up.
Yesterday I had to reboot the PinePhone after (once again!) the lock screen stopped responding, maybe it was that reboot which have settled down some changes in the system, which allowed the "Clocks" app the finally work correctly? no idea, but it is now working as expected.



Please share your own initial tests and insights here if you like, once you get your device (or if you already got it ), maybe we can build here a very useful thread that is focused on the new PinePhone CE release.





In the meantime, I wish a great day to all  Big Grin
#2
As stated an another thread:

You use it as an linux GADGET and not as an linux PHONE without using a sim card and making/receiving calls
#3
(11-09-2020, 07:52 AM)firefox-58 Wrote: As stated an another thread:

You use it as an linux GADGET and not as an linux PHONE without using a sim card and making/receiving calls

Yes, you are right! that is why (as stated in my post) I wrote that, once I get my SIM card into the device, I will update the "Incomig / outgoing calls" part of the post.

I actually thought of maybe get my self a second pre-paid SIM card so I don't have to switch from one phone to another, at least until the PinePhone will be stable enough to act as my main phone.
#4
Very good, descriptive review kern707,

As far as the battery status, please note the charge displayed by each different operating system can show a different percent, and the rate of charge and rate of discharge can vary with each different distro, or even with an update to one distro.

It is great we can compare our notes on this forum, though even with the same identical device we may not all get identical results.

Wifi is an important item in todays phones, but how the phone interacts with our home routers can vary by brand, and individual programming.

In some of my testing I found my laptop was much faster browsing, surfing the internet while using the phones hot spot, than the phones own
browser was, - while both were tested using the phones data connection.

With the sim card and carrier testing,,  Not only does that vary from one carrier to another, but even from one NVMO, to another.
Some sim cards automatically load the APN information for you, some do not.

Some forum members have complained about terrible audio,  while for me even being slightly hard of hearing,  I have not had terrible audio.
Rather, for me, the audio does work,  or it does not work. * (Some DO 'sound' better than others)

I have never heard a buzz or a whine from any of my Pine phones. (Yet)

  Of my Pine phone collection, one Brave Heart, three Post Market, one Manjaro phone, I have tried multiple operating systems and many
different releases of each.

Thank you for your fine post,  I just wanted to add my own 2 cents.
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your favorite OS Team
#5
(11-09-2020, 10:35 AM)bcnaz Wrote: Very good, descriptive review kern707,

As far as the battery status, please note the charge displayed by each different operating system can show a different percent, and the rate of charge and rate of discharge can vary with each different distro, or even with an update to one distro.

It is great we can compare our notes on this forum, though even with the same identical device we may not all get identical results.

Wifi is an important item in todays phones, but how the phone interacts with our home routers can vary by brand, and individual programming.

In some of my testing I found my laptop was much faster browsing, surfing the internet while using the phones hot spot, than the phones own
browser was, - while both were tested using the phones data connection.

With the sim card and carrier testing,,  Not only does that vary from one carrier to another, but even from one NVMO, to another.
Some sim cards automatically load the APN information for you, some do not.

Some forum members have complained about terrible audio,  while for me even being slightly hard of hearing,  I have not had terrible audio.
Rather, for me, the audio does work,  or it does not work. * (Some DO 'sound' better than others)

I have never heard a buzz or a whine from any of my Pine phones. (Yet)

  Of my Pine phone collection, one Brave Heart, three Post Market, one Manjaro phone, I have tried multiple operating systems and many
different releases of each.

Thank you for your fine post,  I just wanted to add my own 2 cents.

Thank you for your notes :-)

I have updated my original post now that I have my SIM card in the PinePhone, with additional information (so far I am pleased, since my SIM card was recognized and connected to the cellular network, and I was able to make calls  Smile )
#6
I have also experienced what I would consider rather aggressive battery usage. With the battery being at ~58% factory charge, I tried opening up a few apps and closing them, i.e. what could generally be considered "light usage", without being connected to the Internet or a SIM card inserted (all the killswitches and Wi-Fi with Bluetooth were switched on in software though, default after first boot) and within about 10 minutes the charge dropped to 54%. Is this to be expected or is something up with my battery or Manjaro's power management?
#7
(11-09-2020, 02:55 PM)marcih Wrote: I have also experienced what I would consider rather aggressive battery usage. With the battery being at ~58% factory charge, I tried opening up a few apps and closing them, i.e. what could generally be considered "light usage", without being connected to the Internet or a SIM card inserted (all the killswitches and Wi-Fi with Bluetooth were switched on in software though, default after first boot) and within about 10 minutes the charge dropped to 54%. Is this to be expected or is something up with my battery or Manjaro's power management?

Yes, power management seem to be a major issue, please refer to the last update I wrote on my original upper post about the power drain of my PinePhone at night, while the modem was (probably) in sleep mode and the charger constantly plugged-in, I woke up in the morning expecting a full charge of the battery, that was not the case - almost like a ghost was fiddling around with my phone as I was sleeping  Big Grin

* My assumption is that this is a power management issue, and not a charger or a charging block issue - since the phone is constantly losing charge even while connected through the night to a charger and sitting still on a desk with the screen turned off and nobody touching the phone, which is very strange.

In general I am very pleased with what I see, the phone is IMHO not YET stable enough to be a daily phone, but the progress that is being made shows that all it will take is figuring out the solution for a small amount of issues, and the phone will be stable enough to give whatever other phone we had to charity and just use the PinePhone once and for all.

All my respect to the PinePhone hardware engineers behind the hardware, and the software engineers that are constantly working on improving the various software for the PinePhone, it has a huge potential.

I will keep updating whenever I have completed any further interesting tests on the PinePhone, hopefully we can generate enough feedback to help the developers to be able to pin point and solve those issues.
#8
(11-10-2020, 02:06 AM)kern707 Wrote: Yes, power management seem to be a major issue, please refer to the last update I wrote on my original upper post about the power drain of my PinePhone at night, while the modem was (probably) in sleep mode and the charger constantly plugged-in, I woke up in the morning expecting a full charge of the battery, that was not the case - almost like a ghost was fiddling around with my phone as I was sleeping  Big Grin

* My assumption is that this is a power management issue, and not a charger or a charging block issue - since the phone is constantly losing charge even while connected through the night to a charger and sitting still on a desk with the screen turned off and nobody touching the phone, which is very strange.

My own experience so far is that: A. the phone's very power hungry, and B. it charges up very well provided the charger can supply enough current to exceed what the phone's using at that time.

I started off trying to charge it up from my PC's USB port while I was mucking around with the phone, with WiFi enabled, and looking at the Power Supply application Status I could see it was barely able to increase the charge (often going down to about, say, 0.15W). The PC USB port does a better job for charging if you just switch the phone off completely and leave it plugged in to that.

I don't know about your Apple charger but I've got a USB mains adapter that's rated up to 2 amps output and since I plugged the PinePhone into that today it's been charging much better. Right now it's up to 99%, Status: Charging (0.61W), Current limit 1.5A. It definitely helps that I've disabled mobile, WiFi and Bluetooth while I'm doing this.

I'm a kind of antisocial weirdo so I tend to leave mobile disabled most of the time unless I'm expecting a call, so if you're leaving mobile enabled overnight when you want to charge up the phone I wonder if that's why it's not charging so well. It will use up a lot of power. I'm not talking about just relying on the modem going to sleep by itself, I mean actually disabling it through the UI.
#9
(11-10-2020, 08:27 AM)acid andy Wrote:
(11-10-2020, 02:06 AM)kern707 Wrote: Yes, power management seem to be a major issue, please refer to the last update I wrote on my original upper post about the power drain of my PinePhone at night, while the modem was (probably) in sleep mode and the charger constantly plugged-in, I woke up in the morning expecting a full charge of the battery, that was not the case - almost like a ghost was fiddling around with my phone as I was sleeping  Big Grin

* My assumption is that this is a power management issue, and not a charger or a charging block issue - since the phone is constantly losing charge even while connected through the night to a charger and sitting still on a desk with the screen turned off and nobody touching the phone, which is very strange.

My own experience so far is that: A. the phone's very power hungry, and B. it charges up very well provided the charger can supply enough current to exceed what the phone's using at that time.

I started off trying to charge it up from my PC's USB port while I was mucking around with the phone, with WiFi enabled, and looking at the Power Supply application Status I could see it was barely able to increase the charge (often going down to about, say, 0.15W). The PC USB port does a better job for charging if you just switch the phone off completely and leave it plugged in to that.

I don't know about your Apple charger but I've got a USB mains adapter that's rated up to 2 amps output and since I plugged the PinePhone into that today it's been charging much better. Right now it's up to 99%, Status: Charging (0.61W), Current limit 1.5A. It definitely helps that I've disabled mobile, WiFi and Bluetooth while I'm doing this.

I'm a kind of antisocial weirdo so I tend to leave mobile disabled most of the time unless I'm expecting a call, so if you're leaving mobile enabled overnight when you want to charge up the phone I wonder if that's why it's not charging so well. It will use up a lot of power. I'm not talking about just relying on the modem going to sleep by itself, I mean actually disabling it through the UI.

Thank you for your collaboration!

I have noticed that the apple charger is so weak, that while using it, my PinePhone kept on discharging regardless of the apple charger being plugged-in, the "PowerSupply" app was showing that the device is "Discharging" regardless of the tiny apple charger - so I figure out the same like you, that the apple charger is too weak.

Then I have plugged-in another charger, not by apple, but has a larger amp output, and boy did it start to charge - I was happy :-) still, it is clear that the device has a power management problem in general.

(11-10-2020, 08:27 AM)acid andy Wrote: I'm a kind of antisocial weirdo so I tend to leave mobile disabled most of the time unless I'm expecting a call, so if you're leaving mobile enabled overnight when you want to charge up the phone I wonder if that's why it's not charging so well. It will use up a lot of power. I'm not talking about just relying on the modem going to sleep by itself, I mean actually disabling it through the UI.
I am convinced that my device has shut off the modem sometime during the night (I saw it in the morning, when first turning on the screen and seeing both cellular network and Wifi icons turned from "probing" to "connected" mode), so I had no idea why still the device consumed so much energy that in the morning it was not fully charged - but then I have found out another interesting fact, the phone seem to randomly "stop" charging even when the battery is not fully charged, I do not know if this is a controlled by the hardware or software (still an open question) and it happens randomly, please refer to my last update on my original post- I have added some details there which will be of no use to duplicate :-)
#10
On the subject of "charging" There has been some work recently on controlling the battery heat while charging.

Perhaps this piece of the safety/control software is still in an "alpha/or beta" stage, possibly causing some of the charging issues. ?

In the past few weeks the phone does not get as hot as it did previously.


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