PinePhone “BraveHeart” Limited Edition Linux Smartphone is Now Available for $150

Pinephone is a Linux smartphone powered by an Allwinner A64 processor, and running one of the various Linux mobile distributions such as PostmarketOS or Ubuntu Touch among others.

Last time we wrote about Pinephone mass-production schedule, the phone was expected to start shipping in October, and there has been a slight delay, but the good news is that Pinephone “BraveHeart” Limited Edition is now up for sale for $149.99. Note this batch is for enthusiasts as the phone may have some defects, and comes without operating system with the users having to flash it themselves.

PinephonePinephone specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner A64 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor @ up to 1.2 GHz with Arm Mali-400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3 SDRAM
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC flash,  MicroSD Card (SDHC/SDXC) up to 2TB
  • Display – 5.95″ IPS capacitive touchscreen with 1440×720 resolution
  • Audio – Mono loudspeaker, 3.5mm stereo audio jack with mic support
  • Cameras
    • 5MP rear camera with 1/4″ sensor, LED Flash
    • 2MP front-facing camera with f/2.8, 1/5″ sensor
  • Connectivity
    • Cellular
      • Micro-SIM socket
      • Worldwide, Global LTE bands
        • LTE-FDD: B1/ B2/ B3/ B4/ B5/ B7/ B8/ B12/ B13/ B18/ B19/ B20/ B25/ B26/ B28
        • LTE-TDD: B38/ B39/ B40/ B41
        • WCDMA: B1/ B2/ B4/ B5/ B6/ B8/ B19
        • GSM: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
    • Single-band Wi-Fi 4 802.11 b/g/n with hotspot support
    • Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DPprofile
    • GNSS – GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • USB – USB Type-C with DisplayPort Alternate Mode support
  • Sensors – Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, ambient light, magnetometer(compass)
  • Misc – Vibrator; 4x privacy switches: LTE (includes GPS), Wifi/BT, Mic, and Camera
  • Battery – Removable 2750-3000 mAh Li-Po battery; fast charging via USB-C using USB PD
  • Dimensions – 160.5 x 76.6 x 9.2mm (plastic enclosure)
  • Weight – 185 grams

The phone will ship with a USB-A to USB-C charging cable so you can use your own charger. PinePhone is not the first Linux phone to ship, as last month Librem 5 started to ship. OMG! Ubuntu! has made a nice-looking comparison between the two models.

Librem 5 vs Pine64
Click to Enlarge

Librem 5 phone has slightly better specs, with Purism supporting the software (PureOS) themselves, while PinePhone relies entirely on the community for software support, and thanks to its much lower price tag attracted more projects.

As noted in the introduction, PinePhone BraveHeart Edition will come without OS at all, so you’ll need to download one of the OS images for their earlier development kit. Those include Postmarket OS, UBPorts Ubuntu Touch, Sailfish OS, Maemo Leste, and LuneOS. Note those are all test images (Alpha or Beta), so you should expect bugs that may take a few months to sort out.

Beside expected issues with the software, depending on your luck your sample may also suffer from dead pixels on the LCD:

  • Small numbers (1-3) of stuck or dead pixels are a characteristic of LCD screens. These are normal and should not be considered a defect.
  • When fulfilling the purchase, please bear in mind that we are offering the PinePhone at this price as a community service to PINE64, Linux and BSD communities. If you think that a minor dissatisfaction, such as a dead pixel, will prompt you to file a PayPal dispute then please do not purchase the PinePhone. Thank you.

A fair amount of people have already purchased the phone, and the total cost with shipping is $164.99.

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Diego
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Diego

Great news, will get one once its ready for those with hearts of normal mortals 😉

Sunxi still has no thermal and dvfs listed in mainline for the A64, does anyone know if there are out of tree patches floating around somewhere?

Rohitread
Guest
Rohitread

“Heart of normal mortal”👍👍. What i remember 2gb ram was min requirnment laid for linux os in mobile. Now its 2019.

Member

A64.. ? In 2019.. ?
Just… why

James
Guest
James

You are so right… even my bottom-of-the-line Samsung phone that I got for “free” with my cellular contract has a much better processor than an A64.

tkaiser
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tkaiser

And both of you really do not realize that PinePhone and Librem are not about some Android thingy full of BLOBs with an outdated kernel and a baseband processor owning the device?

Diego
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Diego

Pearls and farm animals, you know…

Member

Yeah, i’d _really_ like to see a 4g baseband with fully open firmware and drivers.

Philipp Blum
Guest
Philipp Blum

LOL, this takes a while 😉 Have you ever looked into this industry? It is really fucked up and they are not interested in open source at all. They are trying to make it as hard as possible to be a competition for them. Gatekeeper business.

Diego
Guest
Diego

Because it is 99% reverse engineered and runs a vanilla mainline Linux kernel.

But for you a mtk based phone is in any case the better option 😉

Philipp Blum
Guest
Philipp Blum

Is it? Is it supported by the mainline kernel? Can you flash it with open tools such as OpenOCD?

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

No need for OpenOCD since those Allwinner SoCs usually are unbrickable since you can always boot from SD card and maybe even FEL mode is working here (allowing to boot the thing via USB).

k.c.
Guest

i got me one, lets hope it wont have any big hw bugs

Member

Would be good to hear back on how this fares over time. if possible, please update us later on.

Thanks,
Jay

Member
Michal Lazo

Are they planning to use lima driver or mali arm driver for GPU ?

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

Neither nor since ‘they’ never advertised any software services or support. Pine Microsystems Inc. is doing this hardware mostly as a service for Linux and BSD communities since A64 software support starts to become mature in 2020.

What ends up running on the PinePhone later is the result of community efforts done here and there…