Necunos NC_1 is a Pricey Open Source Linux “Phone” without Modem

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

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
  • LuneOS

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

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.

Via Liliputing

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8 Replies to “Necunos NC_1 is a Pricey Open Source Linux “Phone” without Modem”

  1. I.mx6 is too old for modern requirements for a smartphone. Open source hardware tablet or e-reader would have made more sense to me.

  2. My guess: they took a reference board (to me the hardware looks like that from a 80 Euro phone), put Linux on it, couldn’t get the modem working (or couldn’t get the licenses for it), and put it on the market.

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