Several weeks ago, I wrote about the upcoming “Necuno Mobile” phone made by a company called Necunos and running Linux on NXP i.MX6 Quad processor. The phone was supposed to be 100% open source hardware which all software and hardware resources to be made available publicly.
There has been progress since then, as well as a name change since Necunos NC_1 is now up for pre-order for 1,199 Euros including VAT and international shipping with delivery promised in March 2019.
Necunos NC_1 specifications are said to include:
- SoC – NXP i.MX 6Quad quad-core Arm Cortex-A9 processor with Vivante GPU
- System Memory – 1GB RAM
- Storage – 8 GB storage
- Display – 5″ touchscreen (attached or detached)
- Audio – 3.5mm audio jack, built-in microphone, and speaker
- Connectivity – 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
- Misc – Power, volume, and user programmable buttons
- USB – 1x micro USB port
- Battery – 3,500 mAh battery
- Body – Aluminum
What’s missing is a cellular modem, so you won’t be able to use 2G/3G/4G networks for calls, SMS or data. That means it’s not really a phone at this point, but rather a Linux tablet with a smaller screen. The company does sell it as an “engineering unit”, so it’s probably for early software development before a proper Linux phone gets released.
You can purchase the phone without any operating system pre-installed, or select one of the following:
- Debian with Plasma Mobile
- PostmarketOS with Plasma Mobile
- Maemo Leste
- Nemo Mobile
The C in NC_1 stands for community, and there’s also an enterprise version called Necunos NE_1 that comes with a custom made hardened operating system and hardware, as well as secured communications. The phone is designed for governments and companies where the highest security is required. NE_1 cannot be purchased via the online store and instead, you’d have to send your inquiry by email at [email protected].
That’s a lot of money for low-end hardware, even though the product is fairly unique. However, it’s hard to make the case for Necunos NC_1, even for open source and Linux enthusiasts, when the $700 Purism Librem 5 Linux smartphone will ship in April as an actual commercial product with a more recent NXP i.MX 8 processor, and a cellular modem.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.