next pinephone model, maybe "pinephone handheld".
#1
next pinephone model, maybe "pinephone handheld".

this is a discussion to start possible features of next pinephone. i don't think there is going to be new model any time soon, maybe next year (2024) as earliest. i put my proposed features list here.

absolute priority:
generic bootloader and partitioning, which can be controlled. no fastboot, no android partitioning.

high priority:
bigger battery.

medium priority:
one battery integrated into one unit. edit: no two batteries, but battery is replaceable.
one unit with integrated keyboard, or dual screen.
horizontal flip.
full hd screen.
faster modem chip.
3.5mm audio jack.
usb port works if dual piece.
cpu, ram and gpu comparable to pp pro.

low priority:
nr5g modem chip.
all the keys should be inside the device, not accessible when (flip is) closed.
easy access to memory card slot.
possible gpio pins, these could be in difficult place.

this is a picture of keyboard accessory and pinephone. i would propose something little more bulkier and integrated. edit: battery and unit as one, but parts replaceable.


[Image: PP_KB_Front-1024x576.jpg]
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#2
Great topic.

How I see this:
Pinephone is working decent enough to be used as daily driver but it is so slow that it is actually more "dummy phone" than smartphone. You can technically do all sort of complicated things with it but do you want to?

Pinephone Pro is still a work in progress, but assuming it can be made to work as a phone it would be decent enough to use as a smartphone. Battery life would be biggest challenge and afaik it is nearly impossible to improve enough so it can be used as smartphone when on the road.

Considering that a tremendous amount of work has been done on both models I wouldn't want to see any more brand new faster and shinier devices except in a completely exceptional situation.
For me perfect next Pinephone would be Pinephone Pro (if community can make it work as a phone) with a giant battery - and seriously giant something like 20 000mah.
Then we have decent device with decent battery life and it can seriously compete with ios and android in daily use.
And when more people can daily drive it because the software is mature enough and battery life is long enough we might get a genuinely bigger crowd interested - and some of them will contribute to community.

And after that we can jump to next gen. Pinephone but personally I don't want to rush there, because then we would have to wait two years again for the phone to be "almost good".
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#3
(05-20-2023, 03:31 PM)zetabeta Wrote: one battery integrated into one unit.
"integrated" as in "not replaceable"? That would be a step backwards! A replaceable battery (as in the current PinePhone and PinePhone Pro) is a must for an easily serviceable and sustainable device.

As for phone vs. handheld, I think the current solution with the optional keyboard accessory is better than a non-removable keyboard.
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#4
(05-21-2023, 07:07 PM)Kevin Kofler Wrote:
(05-20-2023, 03:31 PM)zetabeta Wrote: one battery integrated into one unit.
"integrated" as in "not replaceable"? That would be a step backwards! A replaceable battery (as in the current PinePhone and PinePhone Pro) is a must for an easily serviceable and sustainable device.

i need to clarify. i meant as one unit and one battery. of course some parts are replaceable, like battery. this two battery compromise in keyboard case bundle is not optimal.

(05-21-2023, 02:46 PM)alaraajavamma Wrote: ... with a giant battery - and seriously giant something like 20 000mah. ...

20 000 mAh!, i measured with my inaccurate weight scale. current keyboard case ~250 g and phone ~200g. together ~450g. it is already quite heavy. so, 20000mAh probably weighs 1000g. i think too much.
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#5
I believe the thing that made the Raspberry Pi successful was a combination of low price and hardware stability via their 'Obsolescence Statement'. The combination allows time for discovery, experimentation, and optimisation by the development community.

I am new to this community, but the PP seems like a very decent bit of hardware already! but coming from Android/iOS development world, it looks like the software stack needs a lot of work for it to become a daily driver. So in my opinion, the next PP shouldn't be even the PPP, but instead a finished/consumer ready PP. Assuming that is even a goal of the community, because having an open platform is also a commendable goal in itself.
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#6
I would like to see more reliable software as well (though IMHO it is already much better than it was 2 years ago when I got my first PinePhone), and while we are at it also more reliable hardware (my first PinePhone had its USB circuitry fail, taking the modem offline, and also preventing data transfers over USB with JumpDrive, after not even 2 years).

The issue is that improving the software reliability would require Pine64 to invest a lot more in software than it does now, and that that would significantly drive up the price of the hardware, to the point that it would no longer be affordable to many of us. Purism is investing quite a bit in the software for its Librem 5, which is work we also benefit from, but the result is that the Librem 5 is several times more expensive than the PinePhone or the PinePhone Pro. And Purism's investments are basically what brought us the current Phosh, and also work on software like ModemManager than Plasma Mobile uses as well. So if you want something more production-ready than that, it would need an even higher investment and hence an even higher unit price. Are you prepared to pay $2000-$3000 for a smartphone? And that might not even be sufficient, given that at that price, whatever company tries that is going to sell a lot fewer units than Pine64 does now.

Neither do we have a company with deep pockets such as Google funding the software development, nor are hardware manufacturers instantly going to sell volumes as large as Samsung etc. that would allow big investments in software without driving the unit price up too much.
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#7
Again this is great topic, I love it Smile

As we speak I have more stable PP than ever and for me this is really really close to be as reliable as competitors at the moment.
I have uptime over two weeks without any modem dropdowns or other big freezes.
So the software maturity in some terms is actual quite good with PP. PP battery life is also good enough and can compete with some cheap android phones.

I have also Pinephone Pro with 24/7 connection to external display and charger and no suspend option.
And it is also really reliable - maybe month without issues (but at the moment if you use suspend then there will be issues)

But this conversation is most likely more app/ui oriented so my thoughts about that.
To get more people excited I think there are a few battles where to focus:

It just works (decent enough)
People expect that basic things just work out of the box. And as I claim the biggest drawback in PP/PPP is battery life. Easy fix would be to increase battery size.

User experience in mobile
Ubuntu Touch is only OS who have opportunity to fight against Apple or Android in that out of the box (it is not stable enough with PP/PPP but still that is my statement) - all other options are niche and actual wins are taken elsewhere
The evolution in this has been huge and I personally love Phosh at the moment but my not so tech orientated wife hates it.

User experience with external display
Best winning argument for PPP (and little bit for PP) - there are no actual competition for this. With Phosh this is usable now.

Familiar apps
Some of them are never going to happen but at least we are pretty damn close on familiar apps as "linux desktop users"
This is also one killer feature and huge benefit to linux mobile.

Free as in freedom
The opportunity to do absolutely whatever you want - it's yours

Inside this community we might want some new features (I want them too) but to be honest we actually need bigger community behind us.
Most of the world have never ever heard about Pine64, PP, PPP or linux mobile never ever before.
I really don't care how many people use same device as I but would love to see linux mobile devices also in the future.
Another topic is it worth growing this how big because all of this will disappear when this becomes too popular xD
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#8
(05-24-2023, 04:06 PM)alaraajavamma Wrote: the biggest drawback in PP/PPP is battery life. Easy fix would be to increase battery size.

I think the better fix would be a smaller production process.
The Quartz64 devices use a 22 nm process and that already runs MUCH cooler then the Rock64.
I don't know at what process the PPP is made, but likely (much?) higher.
For comparison: a Samsung Galaxy S7 (2016) is made on a 14nm process and recent (high-end) phones are made on (less then) half of that.

Smaller production processes mean higher energy efficiency and lower temperatures, which in turn means the CPUs don't have to get throttled as much.
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#9
(05-25-2023, 04:31 AM)diederik Wrote: I think the better fix would be a smaller production process.
The Quartz64 devices use a 22 nm process and that already runs MUCH cooler then the Rock64.
I don't know at what process the PPP is made, but likely (much?) higher.
For comparison: a Samsung Galaxy S7 (2016) is made on a 14nm process and recent (high-end) phones are made on (less then) half of that.

Smaller production processes mean higher energy efficiency and lower temperatures, which in turn means the CPUs don't have to get throttled as much.

pp pro is probably 28nm, according to wikipedia. 22nm sounds good idea though.
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#10
Wow guys,

Yes @zetabeta great topic.

@diederik Re the heat on the Rock64. It is a "big" issue for us up here in the tropics of Australia and I see it as a potential show stopper! Heat is the "Terminator" of devices in this environment and certainly my greatest concern as a new PPP owner. I just can't see this device "surviving" for any satisfactory duration due to the heat issue. This is based on extensive prior consumer electronic device usage and experience in this environment. (Happy to be proven wrong)

@alaraajavamma Software accessibility, usability and stability is "critical" however I do have the utmost confidence in the Linux community to address "software" issues as time progresses. The key factor there of course being "time" and being able to resolve major issues in a satisfactory and timely manner. I am already very impressed with the work so far (currently based primarily on my humble and "short" Mobian Posh and "legacy" Sailfish OS experiences). As one of the many Community Development Case in point examples. Take the wonderful journey of the "Debian" and Ubuntu projects and the progress, continually improved capability and success of such projects. Over the years this shines as a great beacon of what can be achieved by such software and hardware integration endeavors.

@Kevin Kofler you are certainly correct in the desire for better software support. The challenge in Open Source phones has always been the mobile support and the binary blobs for the hardware as we are all very well aware. The point of the benefits we get from groups such as Purism investing so heavily is very pertinent and essential in the immediate future.

I remain optimistic that the Pine64 philosophy of "sustainable" hardware deployment and overwhelming continued "Community" support can be maintained. And frankly it's what impresses me and is what separates Pine64 from other hardware groups and projects.

If Pine64 can continue to "pay" the bills and keep production going I really can't see any other realistic and affordable option for Open Sourced Mobile Telephony in the immediate future. Particularly based on prior history and efforts of initial overly optimistic and ultimately commercially unsuccessful projects such as Open Moko. Even the then Mobile giant Nokia burnt out brightly with N800 / N850 / N900's followed of course by N9's (internal company politics and devastating business decisions not withstanding). Jolla and Sailfish taking up the torch afterwords with "mixed" commercial success.

Agreed @WhiteHexagon The key as I see it is economical and ubiquitous Open access to the "hardware". Ergo the Raspberry Pi experience and it's IMHO subsequent catastrophic lack of consumer supply issues. Get the highly capable, economical and accessible hardware into the hands of Developers and the Community. Many people Many times ! Be both surprised and impressed with the consequent results and outcomes. The "true" indomitable strength of Open Source and it's associated Freedoms.

Bottom line. For me it's been a long road to getting the "freedom" of a daily driver open sourced Mobile into my hands. Something that I can "practically" use every day for all my Mobile related activities. For the first time in my journey I feel I am actually getting ever so close to that when I hold my new Pine Phone Pro in my hand.

Of course early adoption is not with out it's downsides and there is still much work to getting us to a "practical" and commercial consumer grade / standard. But on the Open Source Path I see us "geeks" getting that path "paved" first as the necessary prior step.

As optimistic as I am I acknowledge I've "got it wrong" before Wink

Notwithstanding however, bring on the next improved and greatly more capable generation of economically accessible Open Sourced Mobile devices already !!!!!

The future is bright and so is my Pine Phone Pro screen.

NB: Loving Tow-Boot I don't underrate it's genius
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