Is the pine phone usable as a daily driver now?
#1
I’m an astronomer & I use Linux as my primary OS on my laptop. I’ve been looking to move to linux bases phone (but not android).
Is the pine phone usable / comparable to an iPhone now (maybe not image quality), but for msging, video calls, internet and basic social media apps?
Are there any clips of people using them with a docking station?
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#2
(08-29-2023, 12:12 AM)gautamb11 Wrote: I’m an astronomer & I use Linux as my primary OS on my laptop. I’ve been looking to move to linux bases phone (but not android).
Is the pine phone usable / comparable to an iPhone now (maybe not image quality), but for msging, video calls, internet and basic social media apps?
Are there any clips of people using them with a docking station?

basically, no.

you get roughly 4 hours battery life without suspend and one day with suspend. if you use the phone it's less of course. maybe basics work like messages and audio calls, but social media apps are problematic. basic internet browsing works though. for video calls, i would forget, but may depend on a app and protocol.

you asking pp pro, pp pro has more software problems than pp regular. pp regular is enough usable for basics.

i haven't used docking station for awhile, because keyboard case basically disables phone's usb port. if keyboard case is connected, using phone's usb port may damage circuits because of bi-directional currents.
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#3
Some people use the PinePhone or PinePhone Pro as a daily driver. Many do not, for various reasons. I do, with an original PinePhone, but keep in mind that 1. I did not use a smartphone before, only a dumb phone, 2. I knew and accepted from the outstart that third-party apps are not going to work (proprietary apps, but also several FOSS ones that target only Android/iOS and would be a lot of work to port), 3. I do not use the phone all that much (I use it more to browse the Internet (with Angelfish) and check my e-mail (with Geary) on WiFi, rarely on mobile data because I am on a metered plan, than to make phone calls), and 4. I also still carry a dumb phone around as a work phone (I used to have 2 dumb phones of the same model, I kept the work phone and switched to the PinePhone for personal use). So my experience might not apply to you.

The battery life is usually sufficient for the day with my sparse use (I let it charge overnight every night), but I always carry a power bank around just in case (and when I use the WiFi a lot, I easily end up needing it). The battery is swappable, so in principle, you might carry around a spare internal battery, but you will probably find an external power bank more practical. If you end up needing more power a lot, there are 3D printing source files available for adapters that allow you to fit a back cover with a built-in power bank, designed for the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, to at least the original PinePhone (not sure whether you can make it fit the PinePhone Pro as well).

In the list of things you expect the phone to do, the biggest issue is probably the social media apps. Those are not going to work natively. You may or may not get them to run under Waydroid or be able to use alternatives (e.g., third-party Signal clients like Axolotl, though people have trouble getting that one to work as well, the version on Flathub does not work at all for me). But to set expectations, I would not expect any of those apps to work. Video calls might also be an issue right now, but that should probably improve with libcamera getting more widespread support, whereas the lack of support for proprietary apps is by design and not going to change any time soon.

As for docking stations, what kind of docking station are you envisioning? The simple "bring your own peripherals" connector stick that comes with the original PinePhone "with convergence package"? A video with a prototype of that was already uploaded to YouTube back in 2020: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBeza4UNOm8. Or rather those single-device docks that look and feel like a notebook (but use your phone's CPU), such as the NexDock or the Purism Lapdock? I have read reports of people using the PinePhone or PinePhone Pro with both those models, with some glitches but basically working, but cannot find a video right now.
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#4
(08-29-2023, 12:12 AM)gautamb11 Wrote: I’m an astronomer & I use Linux as my primary OS on my laptop. I’ve been looking to move to linux bases phone (but not android).
Is the pine phone usable / comparable to an iPhone now (maybe not image quality), but for msging, video calls, internet and basic social media apps?
Are there any clips of people using them with a docking station?

Simple answer, NO. I tell other people that think of a PinePhone as a computer that can text and make phone calls. I have used the PinePhone as a daily driver in the past, I currently use the PinePhone Pro as my daily driver. It has bad and good.

I have a docking station at work to charge and use a full keyboard and mouse. At home I VNC into the phone. VNC is shown in my videos (link below)

I use Arch Linux on EVERYTHING, so... I have only used Arch with Phosh on my PinePhone.

See this post for a complete install and setup. (Pro or the OG)
https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=18192

See this post for my experience on functionally 
https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?...#pid118783
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#5
The last time I tried using the PinePhone Pro as an actual phone, the audio wouldn't work when making or receiving calls (I tried several distros, they all had the same problem). Has any progress been made on this?
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#6
(09-08-2023, 12:02 AM)Barugon Wrote: The last time I tried using the PinePhone Pro as an actual phone, the audio wouldn't work when making or receiving calls (I tried several distros, they all had the same problem). Has any progress been made on this?

The audio is working for me.  I am using postmarketOS phosh.  I think that I updated the modem firmware, though I don't remember if that fixed the audio problem or was done for another reason.   It's been a while.

wrt OP:  I daily drive the ppp but don't expect much at all from it.  I make and get both phone calls and texts on it.  I don't use it for data, but use internet via wifi, mostly for browsing.  I am off of social media apps so don't know about that.  I always have charging options at my fingertips, charging overnight as well as in the day.
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#7
(09-10-2023, 01:14 PM)apink Wrote:
(09-08-2023, 12:02 AM)Barugon Wrote: The last time I tried using the PinePhone Pro as an actual phone, the audio wouldn't work when making or receiving calls (I tried several distros, they all had the same problem). Has any progress been made on this?

The audio is working for me.  I am using postmarketOS phosh.  I think that I updated the modem firmware, though I don't remember if that fixed the audio problem or was done for another reason.   It's been a while.

wrt OP:  I daily drive the ppp but don't expect much at all from it.  I make and get both phone calls and texts on it.  I don't use it for data, but use internet via wifi, mostly for browsing.  I am off of social media apps so don't know about that.  I always have charging options at my fingertips, charging overnight as well as in the day.

I use my PPP as a PDA device and it's perfect for that. It runs cool and at maximum room temp when on wifi.
I also use an iclever folding BT keyboard mouse pad and again perfect. I suspect the device will last for many years with this type of usage.
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#8
(09-10-2023, 05:48 PM)DaForest Wrote: I use my PPP as a PDA device and it's perfect for that. It runs cool and at maximum room temp when on wifi.
I also use an iclever folding BT keyboard mouse pad and again perfect. I suspect the device will last for many years with this type of usage.

What kind of battery life do you get with the modem off?
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#9
(09-10-2023, 07:33 PM)apink Wrote:
(09-10-2023, 05:48 PM)DaForest Wrote: I use my PPP as a PDA device and it's perfect for that. It runs cool and at maximum room temp when on wifi.
I also use an iclever folding BT keyboard mouse pad and again perfect. I suspect the device will last for many years with this type of usage.

What kind of battery life do you get with the modem off?

I just tested again today and I got 9 hours of average usage including wifi with 86% battery left. I'm guessing that 12 hours out of a charge should be no problem for PPP.
I'm using Arch Linux Phosh
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#10
(09-10-2023, 08:31 PM)DaForest Wrote:
(09-10-2023, 07:33 PM)apink Wrote:
(09-10-2023, 05:48 PM)DaForest Wrote: I use my PPP as a PDA device and it's perfect for that. It runs cool and at maximum room temp when on wifi.
I also use an iclever folding BT keyboard mouse pad and again perfect. I suspect the device will last for many years with this type of usage.

What kind of battery life do you get with the modem off?

I just tested again today and I got 9 hours of average usage including wifi with 86% battery left. I'm guessing that 12 hours out of a charge should be no problem for PPP.
I'm using Arch Linux Phosh

Thanks.  Looks like the modem is a major consumer of energy on the ppp.
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