CNX Software – Embedded Systems News

PineTime is a $25 Smartwatch / Companion for PinePhone Linux Phone

We’ve recently seen Linux smartphones are coming in a few weeks or months, but the $150 PinePhone may not come alone, and soon be joined by a $25 companion, namely PineTime smartwatch.

That’s what we learned through a tweet by Pine64 explaining the PineTime is a Linux smartphone companion that can run FreeRTOS or Arm Mbed operating systems.  It will be a side-project however, and the focus is still on PinePhone and Pinebook Pro, meaning it will take a while depending on the level of community engagement.

Available information is limited to the discussion in the tweet at this stage, but we do know the watch will be made of zinc alloy &  plastic, come with a charging dock, a 20 mm wristband, an heart-rate monitor and last several days on a charge.

We’ve also seen people interested in porting ZephyrOS to the watch, and others would like to make it work with Android and/or iOS smartphones. Development kits should be available in one or two months, but for reference, the prototype is already a reality as shown in the photo below.

One commenter noted PineTime is really similar (see the first photo) to an existing fitness tracker sold on Aliexpress for $25, but it looks like Pine64 may only reuse the case to lower the costs as they did with Pinebook (Pro) laptop, and the internals may be different. In any case, that product on Aliexpress is closed-source, but I’d expect PineTime’s firmware to be made open source.

[Update TL Lim, PINE64 community founder,, provided a few more details:

  1. The PineTime is full touch screen while the one in the Aliexpress link comes with a one button touch screen
  2. Photo of charging cradle
  3. The PineTime SOC is Nordic nRF52832 but the final product may be  using nRF52840 instead if more system memory space is needed.
  4. Battery is about 10 days
  5. The select IPS panel still can visible under direct sunlight.
  6. Developer interested in getting a developer kit need to know how to use an SWD debugger beside having experince with FreeRTOS or Arm Mbed, and  can contact the company by email stating their experience and development intent.

]

Pine64 will provide a more detailed update in a blog post in October.

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