WiPhone ESP32 VoIP Phone Targets Makers and Hackers (Crowdfunding)

Orange Pi Development Boards

WiPhone – pronounced as in Wi(reless) Phone – is a tiny VoIP phone made for makers and hardware hackers. The phone is based on ESP32 WiFi + Bluetooth SoC, is designed to be easily disassembled and modified both at the hardware and software level.

It looks like an entry-level 2G/3G feature phone, except you can make only make phone calls over WiFi using a SiP account, as there’s no cellular modem.

WiPhone
WiPhone Front and Customizable Back (fitted with an extra battery here)

WiPhone specifications:

  • SoC – Espressif ESP32 dual core Tensilica LX6 processor @ 240 MHz
  • System Memory – 4MB PSRAM
  • Storage – 16MB flash, microSD card slot
  • Display – 2.4″ screen with 320×240 resolution
  • Connectivity – 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1 dual mode (BT not yet supported  in software)
  • Audio – 3.5mm audio jack
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for charging, serial communication and firmware updates
  • Expansion – 20-pin programmable header on back of phone with UART, SPI, I2C, PWM, digital I/O, ADC
  • Misc – 25 buttons keypad, 4 reserved for user, with all key being user programmable
  • Battery – 700 mAh battery good for 8 hours of VoIP calls, one week standby time
  • Dimensions – 120 x 50 x 12 mm
  • Weight – 80 grams

Beside the calling function, WiPhone also supports text messages, and stores contact. It can be programmed using the Arduino IDE, or MicroPython, and depending on funding may also support wireless firmware updates.

WiPhone ExpansionThe WiPhone supports expansions via daughter boards thanks to the 20-pin on the back of the phone. You could always your own, but the developer has already made some samples including one board turning the WiPhone into an RC car, and others adding an RGB LED matrix, mega battery pack, or LoRa connectivity to the back of the phone. You’ll find more up-to-date details about software and hardware development on the Hackaday.io project page.

WiPhone launched on Kickstarter a little while ago, and with four days to go they raised close to $70,000 easily surpassing their $40,000 funding goal. A pledge of $89 should be able to get you a WiPhone by August 2019. Shipping appears to be free to the USA, but adds $25 to European countries. Living in other parts of the world? Sorry, you’ll have to skip this Kickstarter campaign, as WiPhone is not offered outside of the US or the European Union.

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Brian
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Brian

This is like an ODROID GO with a microphone. Might be fun to port the GO emulators to this.

(edit – except the screen is the wrong orientation I think. Bah.)

Jerry
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Jerry

Raspberry based phone could provide so much more power and richer user experience. 64-bit quad core a53, full hd display and free drivers by Eric anholt.

Alex
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Alex

We know Jerry, Raspberry-based *anything* is always the answer. Everything is open-source and even has real gigabit ethernet!

zoobab
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” Everything is open-source” well the first thing you boot is a broadcom “blob”.

blu
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blu

And here I was surprised to see Jerry in an ESP thread. Until I read his post — silly me.

tkaiser
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tkaiser

Do you even think before you spam? Care to read above ‘one week standby time’? How many hours standby time do you achieve with a Pi Phone and the same battery?

Alex
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Alex

Haven’t you heard? Samsung will be integrating the BCM2837 into their next flagship due to its unmatched performance, power efficiency, thermal characteristics and connectivity!

David
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David

“Battery – 700 mAh battery good for 8 hours of VoIP calls, one week standby time”

Really?? The battery in the picture has “+4000mAh” laser-printed right on it! (It must be pretty thick for that.) Plus there’s no way you are going to get 8 hours of VoIP talk time with an ESP32 and a 700mAh battery, more like two or so hours max., if you are lucky. Despite the official specs the ESP32 is a power hungry little thing, especially when the WiFi is really busy. Plus you have to run a full duplex VoIP codec too. Anyway, I think this thing is cool.

One thing I would like to see is support for the Inter-Asterisk eXchange v.2 protocol (IAX2), not just SIP. While IAX2 is less extensible than SIP in some applications, it’s OK for generic VoIP, plays well with homebrew Asterisk soft-switches, and it is natively good at NAT/PAT transversal. Any good SIP provider will automatically detect and interoperate with IAX2 (the last time I checked, my provider Callcentric did).