Are you using the Pinephone as your daily driver?
#1
I have been owning a pinephone now for almost a year, but it still is something that lies around most of the time, while for any real world use, I regularly catch myself falling back to my android (LineageOS) device. I wonder how much is can be blamed on the current state of the software and how much on the quite modest hardware, the pinephone is equipped with. For instance: When I tap the geary icon, it takes around 30 seconds (estimated) for the window to show up and several minutes for it to finish checking the various IMAP accounts. K-9 on Android comples the same tasks in seconds, but also Geary on the desktop is much much faster. I suspect that on the Librem5 it also will be faster than on the Pinephone.

But maybe I simply haven't found the right setup yet to get an enjoyable experience out of the pinephone, so I thought I should do a mini survey among those who do use it as a real phone:

So these would be my questions, any answers and comment would be hugely appreciated:

  1. Do you use the Pinephone as your daily driver?
  2. If yes: What distribution do you use?
  3. Which desktop environment/interface do you use?
  4. Does the interface offer the basic functionality you need or is something missing?
  5. Have you been able to add the missing functionality through third party applications or customisations?
  6. Which customisations did you apply to make the pinephone meet your expectations towards a daily driver?
  Reply
#2
I want to use mine as a daily driver too (my Pixel is dying soon) but I just can't.

I can't even log into many of my services as my PW manager (Bitwarden) doesn't work. I am trying to build my own app but since C++ is a giant nightmare, I can't find any pointers on how to build an app in lets say Python Sad
  Reply
#3
As an experiment, I bought the cheapest phone I could find at Best Buy. Got this Alcatel Raven or something for about $25. The specs on this thing were probably weaker than the pinephone all around. The screen is awful and I swear the wifi antenna is bubblegum wrapper, but it's otherwise fairly responsive and snappy. If I can get by on something like that, then the Pinephone absolutely has the hardware to be great. All the barriers keeping me from replacing my pixel 4a entirely are all software based.

All my friends use Discord. That's the last *real* hurdle for me, and everything else I want is extra credit (like a swipe to type keyboard, or Retroarch to not crash, or maybe better clients for email and sites like reddit/Twitter
  Reply
#4
(05-09-2021, 03:00 PM)jro Wrote: ...
  1. Do you use the Pinephone as your daily driver?
  2. If yes: What distribution do you use?
  3. Which desktop environment/interface do you use?
  4. Does the interface offer the basic functionality you need or is something missing?
  5. Have you been able to add the missing functionality through third party applications or customisations?
  6. Which customisations did you apply to make the pinephone meet your expectations towards a daily driver?
1) Yes
2) Mostly Mobian, also play wth Arch for a bleeding edge fun.
3) Phosh
4) Worst thing with Phosh is umpteen keystrokes to wake up phone and get to app. I dont want a password to cramp my style so badly.
5) Yup, add lots after any install including telegram-desktop, axolotl, mpv, evolution, liferea, atril, pcmanfm, wake-mobile and utilities so megapixels does jpg the way I want.
6) scale-to-fit, remove any preinstalled apps that I use my prefs for in 5. Lots of playing in /usr/share to get things looking the way I like including -U start oprion for phosh. load /etc/hosts to avoid ads, set user agent in firefox because I generally despise mobile versions of websites. Install/configure p-boot. Dont have my recipe book to hand to detail all the mods.
  • ROCKPro64 v2.1 2GB, 16Gb eMMC for rootfs, SX8200Pro 512GB NVMe for /home, HDMI video & sound, Bluetooth keyboard & mouse. Arch (5.14 kernel, Openbox desktop) for general purpose daily PC.
  • PinePhone BraveHeart now v1.2b 3/32Gb daily driver, dual boot via p-boot with Mobian/f2fs/Phosh on eMMC, Arch/ext4/Phosh on SDcard
  • PinePhone v1.2a 2G/16Gb that needs USB board replaced
  Reply
#5
(05-09-2021, 03:00 PM)jro Wrote: I have been owning a pinephone now for almost a year, but it still is something that lies around most of the time, while for any real world use, I regularly catch myself falling back to my android (LineageOS) device. I wonder how much is can be blamed on the current state of the software and how much on the quite modest hardware, the pinephone is equipped with. For instance: When I tap the geary icon, it takes around 30 seconds (estimated) for the window to show up and several minutes for it to finish checking the various IMAP accounts. K-9 on Android comples the same tasks in seconds, but also Geary on the desktop is much much faster. I suspect that on the Librem5 it also will be faster than on the Pinephone.

But maybe I simply haven't found the right setup yet to get an enjoyable experience out of the pinephone, so I thought I should do a mini survey among those who do use it as a real phone:

So these would be my questions, any answers and comment would be hugely appreciated:

  1. Do you use the Pinephone as your daily driver?
  2. If yes: What distribution do you use?
  3. Which desktop environment/interface do you use?
  4. Does the interface offer the basic functionality you need or is something missing?
  5. Have you been able to add the missing functionality through third party applications or customisations?
  6. Which customisations did you apply to make the pinephone meet your expectations towards a daily driver?

1: mostly yes, i have lineageos (phone) as a spare without googoo corporation's closed source stuff. in android world, it's difficult to find cleaned android with recent security updates.

2: mostly mobian, but i have started to think that manjaro is better.

3: phosh. i have tested some others for fun.

4: yes. but apps may be desktop apps, meaning, mouse interface could be better.

5: some/many things are missing. however if basic calls and texts work, then i could throw that goodroid somewhere which is nastier than blackhole. i call it a victory. i do not trust goodroid anymore. even though technically speaking basis of goodroid is open source, it is too much locked to goo services like goo play services. development of goodroid is too closed as well.

6: technically speaking none. i don't use suspend/sleep. pinephone is battery power waster. no automatic updates though, that requires some tweaks.

before pinephone, i had a plan to go totally off from android and ios devices. basically taking technical basic phone. if those even exist because in technical basic phone, i mean only calls and text wtthout packet data. kaios is not basic phone os and for others similar argument. usability may be basic but the os may be not.

although, because dismantling of umts networks, lte-voice is practically required in the future. relying on gsm networks sound like a bad plan. and i have bad feeling that even gsm networks will be out quite soon. i was surprised that volte works in pinephone which is a serious advantage.
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#6
1- Yes I do. Reason being my one+3 I bought used a year ago has been running a custom nongoogle image and now that droid is at 10+, I refuse to 1) buy another expensive phone, and 2) follow googles crappy update system. Whatever still works on my android9 one+ works. When or if it stops working? I don't care. I'll still use it with osmand and magic earth, and a few other aps as well. So it's not like a droid device no longer serves a purpose, It's just that google and co. doesn't.

2)- Mobian phosh stable not the nightly like I maybe should have installed. Manjaro plasma sucks imo. It kept crashing and the radios are retarded. Mobian phosh just plain works for both calls and basic text so that in a nutshell is a phone to me. That is also the only thing I worried about, whether or not I could actually supplant the 1+ with a pinephone. Answer? YES TFG.

3)- Phosh. Or whatever works

4)- All I cared was if I could make and take calls, texts too. Mobian phosh just plain works. There was literally zero network setup and I can even use it to hotspot back to my 1+. I haven't connected the phone with the dock so I still have some work to do software wise. All I've done to it is add some contact data, remove some stuff I don't like and install gthumb.

5)- Haven't connected it to a monitor so I still have some tweaking to do. This is not a device that you can fully tweak without doing so.

6)- I added my network passwords and I input all the contacts I thought I might actually use. THAT'S IT Oh yeah and I have to watch what it does or either the batter dies or it goes into airplane mode which breaks it as a "phone". I believe it's the updater which only works if I have wifi connected so I leave that off. Once I get vlc and my fav radio stream to work, I can forego hotspotting it to my oneplus. In the meantime if I really want to hear it while driving I'll just have to turn hotspot on and connect everything. NBD

I can tell it won't REPLACE android just yet. It's too slow for one. Two, some things in droid are droid so if I want to replace them I have to figure out an arm based debian alt. Whatever. I'll carry 2 devices around (while driving). That way osmand can still function as before for mapping. Doesn't bother me a bit.
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#7
Pinephone manjaro convergence edition 3/32GB model...
not very functional by default when I purchased it a few months back...
After much of distro-hopping (Mobian/Plasma neon/manjaroplasma/ubuntutouch) finally settled with ArchPhosh...
using it as a daily driver for last about a month Arch Phosh installed
(caveat... my official mobile number and for OTP still is on a old flip phone...
I also am not on facebook/whatsapp/twitter... elementz(old riot.im) works well on Arch Phosh...
In fact my old flip phone has only a few numbers in the addressbook(my main addressbook is on pine)
I have not been able to cut the cord from my official flip phone due to regular deep sleep issues(not waking up for OTP for net-banking and sometimes important calls...)
I have been able to completely disengage from AndroidOS... for last about a month...
- Camera as an image annotation device is OK... but no phone camera could match my Nikon D800 images(serious photography was never in the phone domain)
- Audaciuos plays my commute music requirements...
- "Disks" app still required to mount the SD card on the go...
- mpv media player serves the purpose of viewing short video clips(has played all the formats till now)
- did not like the default file manager(portfolio... limited functionality) now using "Dolphin" is a massive desktop style experience.
- Firefox which shipped with the OS is almost perfect(installed uBlocks & Noscript)... all of my commute browsing is on pinephone...
- Evolution has worked reasonably well for emails & contacts...
- 3G cellular(APN autodetected) & Wifi work flawlessly...
- Bluetooth connects to headphones well (sound quality OK) has problems in file transfer to laptops(have to look into it)... my laptop with MX linux doesnot even list the device though pinephone detects my laptop...
- Imageviewer works flawlessly (thumbnails are not displayed... I use dolphin which displays thumbnails... then open in Image viewer by default).
- Document viewer opens pdfs well(some pdf with forms were opend in non-form filling mode)...
- using libreoffice for .doc, .docx, xls files... as a viewer not much of problems... editing & saving as in other linux laptops gets weird results(fonts & formating)
- Able to dial & send SMS from dedicated app and from the addressbook...(when the cellular modem is awake... need a reboot when it sleeps)
- I have even changed my ringtone(requires only .oga file - used soundconverter to convert my old phone ringtone)

Staying away from social media(FB/WApp) might not be everyones cup of tea...
but I have been with Linux since 2006 & never used Windows 8 or windows10(win7 was my last microsoft product)...

If the deep sleep of cellular modem is sorted it will be my daily driver...
  Reply
#8
(05-09-2021, 03:00 PM)jro Wrote:
  1. Do you use the Pinephone as your daily driver?
  2. If yes: What distribution do you use?
  3. Which desktop environment/interface do you use?
  4. Does the interface offer the basic functionality you need or is something missing?
  5. Have you been able to add the missing functionality through third party applications or customisations?
  6. Which customisations did you apply to make the pinephone meet your expectations towards a daily driver?

Hi, yes, I would like to use it as a daily driver but as you/others have said, I don't feel it's up to real world tasks at the moment.
I bought it in order to support the project and idea as a whole so that hopefully we can move away from the closed source duopoly of the Google/Apple mobile world. I hope it does do that and ushers in new development for these Linux mobile platforms.
I have to say though that it feels a bit of a waste having it lying around - I'm no coder and it could be better used by someone active in development.
My recent phone came with a software issue and was essentially unusable so I flashed Mobian to it which is a definite improvement but still somewhat slower than I can live with for a daily driver.
1 - No, just can't wait that long for tasks to complete
2 - Mobian/Manjaro seem the best to me but I have a softspot for Sailfish too
3 - Phosh - if that's the answer you're looking for
4 - No, camera is V poor, all apps slow to start/work/close. It just took some minutes to update the system.
5 - No, can't find anything suitable and I don't like unknown territory - not a coder by any stretch
6 - None, not seeing how it can be done. Sticking with Lineage 18.1 on a OnePlus 1 and a OnePlus 8. May even sell my Pine....
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#9
I would like to add I noticed the default OS Manjaro KDE Plasma did/would/will? have Mycroft AI installed.
I saw a video and wanted a Google diy Voice Kit but upon realizing mycroft is NOT what it claims I was pretty disappointed. You must login to use it so that it keeps a profile of you and you can add cameras and what not. It's basically a collaboration between google and ms, the very people that will take away your ability to communicate, and are I might add (why the hell do you think the pinephone was made?). So manjaro, arch, whatever you install, mycroft should not be one. Phones too slow, battery's too weak just to name the obvious. Processors are fast enough on one's own network, and hd space is aplenty to have your own voice controlled talking pc. So having to give up all your privacy so you can make corrupt corporations even more corrupt is absurd coming from an open source based handset. Nobodies talking about replacing droid, it's about communicating in general. As long as voice and texts work it's gold.
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#10
Quote:[*]Do you use the Pinephone as your daily driver?
[*]If yes: What distribution do you use?
[*]Which desktop environment/interface do you use?
[*]Does the interface offer the basic functionality you need or is something missing?
[*]Have you been able to add the missing functionality through third party applications or customisations?
[*]Which customisations did you apply to make the pinephone meet your expectations towards a daily driver?

1. Yes since a month ago.

2. Mobian stable from around march. From an SD card.
I ran and used Mobian unstable for a few months before that, but due to some uncorrectabale behaviour I wiped it clean.

3. Phosh from Purism, which is based on Gtk and Gnome. Though I'm looking for alternatives which have their focus primary on the PinePhone.

4. Yes. Better than the feature(dumb) phone that I used recently.
When the software gets stable enough, I may try to install the OS on the eMMC for extra speed when loading programs.

Issues with low priority:
- I haven't tried if the Maps program offers offline support for maps and GPS navigation. Nor have I researched if it has "Car Mode" (the latter feature is really useful on some occasions).
- Haven't found a good, secure alternative to skype. I'm still researching, but there's too much controversy on the topic.
- Haven't tested any email programs. But I don't have hope we'll see an alternative to Outlook.
- Using the calculator program is sub-optimal, but compared to my last cheap android phone - at least it has a calculator pre-installed.

5. I deleted official programs. The start screen is cleaner.

6. I've toggled the WiFi kill switch. It may be coincidence, but I think it helps with battery life on my Braveheart Edition.

Btw, I recently tried to resurrect an old Windows Phone and I think it really has the best UI in terms of simplicity and accessibility (two-colors interface with large text and icons). Too bad that most of the preinstalled programs now seem defunct, but the UI is really good.

Edit: I want to add that I've purchased the Beta Edition of PinePhone which will be my real daily driver. It's already in the country, so I'll get it really soon. Smile
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