A few years ago, various companies tried to develop other Linux based mobile operating systems, but most failed with Mozilla Firefox OS discontinued, Samsung Tizen is not being used in smartphones anymore, and Sailfish OS giving up the consumer market focusing on governmental and corporate customers instead.
There’s still a niche market however for privacy-focused, open source Linux smartphones, and we’ve already covered NXP i.MX 8M based Purism Librem 5 smartphone scheduled to launch next year with GNOME based PureOS operating system, and the ability to switch to PureOS with KDE Plasma Mobile or Ubuntu Touch.
Necuno Mobile will be another Linux smartphone based on an NXP processor, but instead of relying on a 64-bit i.MX 8M processor, it will be equipped with the older 32-bit i.MX 6Quad processor, and according to the company be “100% open source device, from metal to pixel, from hardware to software”.
Necuno Mobile preliminary hardware specifications:
- SoC – NXP i.MX 6Quad quad core Arm Cortex-A9 processor with Vivante GPU
- Display – 5.5″ touchscreen
- Audio – 3.5mm audio jack, built-in microphone and speaker
- Misc – Power, volume, and user programmable buttons;
- USB – 1x micro USB port
- Body – Aluminum
That’s not a whole lot of information about the hardware, but i.MX 6Quad processor is not exactly the most power efficient processor around, so battery life may be disappointing (depending on capacity).
Necuno is working with KDE to offer Plasma Mobile on the Necuno Mobile, and the firmware will be based on Linux 4.14 LTS with etnaviv open source graphics driver, which must be the main reason behind the choice of an NXP i.MX processor for the phone. The company admit their will still be closed-source firmware that somehow won’t access the memory namely for WiFi, Ethernet, Serial, and LTE connectivity.
Price and availability are unknown at this stage, and as time passes more details should eventually surface in the product page.