Pinephone redpills for normie Linux users.
- The Pinephone was built for the greater Pine64 community as a means of developing and advancing mobile Linux and creating a space for wider market adoption. It is a development device, it was never made to compete with popular Android devices or iPhones.
- The Pinephone has an open hardware design and boots using the uboot bootloader. The qualtec modem on the phone (yes every phone has a modem). Does run it's own proprietary firmware that is independent of the OS running on the Pinephone. This is just a reality of hardware and we've come a long way. Several years ago this was just a dream and now it's a reality. There is a FOSS firmware replacement for the qualtec modem but it is reversed engineered, so you're mileage may vary. While this device is mostly libre, it was never designed to pander to the FSF extremist crowd.
- The Pinephone (along with other Pine64 products) does offer useful privacy features for the user (like hardware dip switches). But the device was not made to be the most perfect and immaculate device for privacy and security, no device is.
- Some people are just so extreme, and paranoid that to them everything is backdoored, everything is a honeypot. So they bad mouth the project with unproven and baseless claims (like all ARM SoCs are backdoored, it was made in China so it's CCP backdoored, etc). This kind of rhetoric is so unproductive and the same people that spout this FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt), will ultimately walk around town with a Samsung or iPhone all day long and not think twice about it. Or they will cite ISP and cell tower tracking. Look the Pinephone was not created to help El Chapo run his drug empire. These arguments are stupid and pointless. If you are that paranoid, get off the internet and stop using electronics all together.
- Also if your going throw out blanket statements about Pinephone hardware being backdoored, then actually back it up with technical data and proof. Otherwise your just a fool and a troll. This just feeds into the greater software/hardware utopia fantasy that people with fall into where they will pick apart everything about FOSS projects to find fault and then throw it all out and demand perfection or no support or usage. Totally damaging to the progress of free software in my opinion, especially in such a hostile, political and complicated environment of big tech and hardware manufacturers.
- The Pinephone, even the beta version, still have good enough hardware to get the job done with it's intended tasks of being for developers to advance and refine mobile Linux platforms. A lot of the battery and modem issues are a result of needed software optimization and I've seen a 110% improvement over the span of a year, all of the headaches in the past were totally software related. We not going to go from concept to Android competitor without a lot of hard work and dedication. Bitching on the internet about performance and not contributing code or testing or money to the project is typical entitled behavior and holds us back.
- At the end of the day it's a Linux SoC computer with phone capabilities, it was never intended to be a consumer grade product, it's meant to help pave the road for a future consumer grade product. Unfortunately mobile Linux will always be in the shadow of Android and iOS, just like desktop Linux will always be in the shadow of Windows and MacOS.
- There are no BSD ports for the Pinephone as far as I know, I wouldn't hold your breath for one.
- There are 3 main mobile GUI environments for Linux, KDE Plasma Mobile, phosh, and sxmo. (yes I know there are others, but these are the most important). KDE Plasma Mobile is usable but it still is immature and buggy and has years to go before it can rival the others. Phosh is the most mature GUI for mobile Linux, it's very stable and functional, and has been in development the longest out all other projects. sxmo is great too, and can help with some the performance issues due it's low overhead in resource usage. The only downside is the learning curve as it relies on hardware button combinations to run the window manager.
- The phone is free as in freedom, nothing is really locked down and your options are pretty large. You can run a variety of distros and make personal security, privacy enhancements. Just the more exotic you want to get, the more advanced your skill level needs to be with Linux and ARM SoCs.
I hope that can clear up some confusion. My Pinephone runs Arch Linux ARM + Phosh and it's good enough to daily driver as a cellular phone, but has the added perks of being a GNU/Linux computer with terminal, ssh, etc. The battery life is good to, I only charge it when I'm sleeping, that's it, and it keeps a charge all day. But I'm not on the device all day like a maniac either.
Thank you for coming to my TED talk.
"I appreciate SDF but it's a general-purpose server and the name doesn't make it obvious that it's about art." - Eugen Rochko