Should I buy a Pinephone Pro?
#1
I have been looking for discussions on the Pinephone Pro but did not manage to find any -- I am sorry if I simply missed them.

Anyway: I am thinking about upgrading to a Pinephone Pro. There are two things I would hope for: That (1) it is not underpowered, i.e that it runs smoothly & fast and (2)(most of all) that the modem does not crash all the time.

After watching this video I was not too impressed by the increase in speed given the amount of money I would have to spend.

What is your experience with the the Pinephone Pro?

Are you happy? Would you recommend buying it?
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#2
(03-03-2022, 11:23 AM)Anna Wrote: ...
Would you recommend buying it?

Aah - the million dollar question Smile

The cost is high - for me the PP was close to petty cash but the Pro is getting to be serious money with VAT etc.

The elephant in the room: there are no camera drivers and AFAIK none in sight. I really don't understand what happened here as the front on the Pro is supposed to be the same as the original back. And the new back was chosen (I am sure I recall reading somewhere between announcement & shipping) because it had good linux support!

The modem is identical to the original - I have never had the instability you have on either my original PPs or my PPP.

I am struggling to get a stable arch install on my Pro eMMC - Mobian on an SDcard is fine. (On my PPs I could get either stable on eMMC and either stable on SDcard.) I appreciate this is likely transient (but nagging in my mind is how stable the eMMC itself is - I have also had some grief with 'poor' flashes of images to it which is more noticeable than ever on an original PP).

Speed it really is a better experience. Of course impossible to accurately quantify but my attempt to cause an argument is boot speed of arch from the eMMC (from plugging in USB power till phosh login screen). I have just timed my original PP at 40 seconds and will update this post when I get a comparable PPP time.

Am I happy - perhaps 6/10, the cameras and the price are downers. I guess I would rate my PP as 8/10 with the main downer being speed.

Would I recommend - if you have the disposable cash then of course: as someone who loves tinkering with computers it is a great toy. Otherwise, no.

ps, boot time on PPP is 28 seconds. Note this includes 10 seconds of Tow-boot time (presumably if I had a serial console I would see an options menu), so effectively 18 seconds, or half the time of my PP!
  • ROCKPro64 v2.1 2GB, 16Gb eMMC for rootfs, SX8200Pro 512GB NVMe for /home, HDMI video & sound, Bluetooth keyboard & mouse. Arch (6.2 kernel, Openbox desktop) for general purpose daily PC.
  • PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition, daily driver, rk2aw & U-boot on SPI, Arch/SXMO & Arch/phosh on eMMC
  • PinePhone BraveHeart now v1.2b 3/32Gb, Tow-boot with Arch/SXMO on eMMC
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#3
(03-03-2022, 11:23 AM)Anna Wrote: ...

Would you recommend buying it?

i probably say no, and if you decide to buy it then wait it few months. consider keyboard, because it has more mAh's. https://pine64.com/product/pinephone-pin...oard-case/

i probably buy pp pro at some point but 400 usd makes decision more difficult. pp pro doesn't have bigger battery which i think it's a disadvantage. so 200 or 400 usd for same battery size. i can live with 3gb/32gb model (for now).
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#4
Yes if you are in to developing software - the Pro needs a lot of kernel work done.

Otherwise, no - wait 6-12 months.

3rd option: wait for phone that comes after Pro
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#5
Thank you, guys!

That was helpful.
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#6
(03-03-2022, 11:23 AM)Anna Wrote: That (1) it is not underpowered, i.e that it runs smoothly & fast and (2)(most of all) that the modem does not crash all the time.

Agree with @dukla2000 -- the modem shouldn't be crashing. Poor cell signal from modem to tower will make my modem keep searching, and in Phosph it _appears_ the modem is going on/off or cycling 3G/4G, randomly getting 4bars then 0bars -- blame that on poor UI. My modem isn't crashing. mmcli and other tools give more precise info than any UI. And someone could blame poor signal on poor antenna but in my case it's living too far from towers.

It's not always the modem's fault. But just encase, have you tried fashing to Biktorgj's FOSS firmware?

How fast does the phone need to be?

Reviewers complain a lot Allwinner A64s but ignore storage. Switching to F2FS on the eMMC is a noticeable difference in responsiveness, and the eMMC can be even faster with soldering (to change its voltage -- I've considering doing this). But I don't think any web browser will be as fast as Android/iOS anytime soon without good GPU acceleration and probably some proprietary blobs, and half of that problem is _bloated_ websites not worth our time anyways. I've been impressed with the responsiveness of native apps that are doing a lot of things -- like Pure Maps.
PPv1.2a running PMOS ... almost a daily driver!
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#7
(03-07-2022, 11:22 AM)vap0rtranz Wrote: have you tried flashing to Biktorgj's FOSS firmware?

How fast does the phone need to be? 

Yes, I've installed the FOSS firmware very early on, so I don't know if the modem had crashed before. I am planning to do some research on the matter, i.e. the most reliable firmware, how to  go back to the stock firmware or how to upgrade Bicktorgj's firmware and on, but information and instructions are so scarce, complicated and sometimes outright intimidating that I keep procrastinating. Once I have read everything available, I will open a thread on the matter.

Regarding speed: Well, I can live with the unhurriedness of my Pinephone -- especially if the alternative is smoldering or spending 400 Euros (probably considerably more including shipping and tax).
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#8
(03-07-2022, 11:22 AM)vap0rtranz Wrote: Agree with @dukla2000 -- the modem shouldn't be crashing. 

The problem is solved: Setting ATTR{power/control}="on" instead of ATTR{power/control}="auto" in the first line of /usr/lib/udev/rules.d/80-modem-eg25.rules minimises the crashes (and drains the battery quite a bit).
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#9
(05-22-2022, 04:00 AM)Anna Wrote:
(03-07-2022, 11:22 AM)vap0rtranz Wrote: Agree with @dukla2000 -- the modem shouldn't be crashing. 

The problem is solved: Setting ATTR{power/control}="on" instead of ATTR{power/control}="auto" in the first line of /usr/lib/udev/rules.d/80-modem-eg25.rules minimises the crashes (and drains the battery quite a bit).

even boktorgj is saying something similar, although for pp sdk. i would recommend for both stock and pp sdk.

https://github.com/Biktorgj/pinephone_mo...ETTINGS.md
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