PinePhone Pro Linux smartphone to feature a power-optimized Rockchip RK3399S processor

PinePhone Pro

Pine64 has now announced the PinePhone Pro Linux smartphone with a Rockchip RK3399S hexa-core processor clocked at 1.5 GHz, that’s a power-optimized version of the popular Rockchip RK3399 processor. It will provide a noticeable upgrade to the PinePhone Linux smartphones launched in November 2019, which, by today’s standards, is quite underpowered. Besides the faster processor, PinePhone Pro also comes with 4GB RAM and 128 GB storage which should make it a better candidate at mobile desktop convergence, as well as a 5.95-inch display with 1440×720 resolution, a 13MP rear camera, a 5MP front-facing camera, and more. PinePhone Pro specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3399S with an hexa-core processor comprised of 2x Cortex-A72 core @ up to 1.5 GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 cores, Arm Mali T860 quad-core GPU @ 500Mhz System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4 @ 800MHz Storage – 128GB eMMC flash storage, MicroSD slot Display – 5.95-inch 1440 x 720 in-cell IPS with […]

Fairphone 4 repairable Android smartphone comes with a 5-year warranty

Fairphone 4

The Fairphone is a socially responsible repairable, modular Android smartphone that aims to last longer than most other phones. The latest iteration is the Fairphone 4, which follows the Fairphone 3 released in August 2019. The Fairphone 4 runs Android 11 on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G octa-core processor coupled with up to 8GB RAM, 256GB of storage, and a 6.3-inch Full HD+ display. The smartphone comes with a 5-year warranty by default, and software updates are guaranteed until at least 2025. Fairphone 4 specifications: SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G (SM7225) octa-core Kryo 570 processor with 2x Cortex-A77 cores @ 2.2GHz, 6x Cortex-A55 cores @ 1.8GHz, Adreno 619 GPU System Memory & Storage options 6GB RAM, 128GB internal storeage, MicroSD card socket up to 2TB 8GB RAM, 256GB internal storage, MicroSD card socket up to 2TB Display – 6.3-inch Full HD+ (2340×1080) IPS touchscreen display with Gorilla Glass 5 Cameras Primary […]

How to use PinePhone as a mobile hotspot

PinePhone SIM Card MicroSD Card

I’ve recently started using my Android phone as a mobile hotspot with mixed results so instead, I’ve switched to using PinePhone as a hotspot with Manjaro Arm Linux with Plasma Mobile instead, and performance seems much more stable now. Early this year, I received Pinephone with PostMarketOS beta, and after playing with it a bit I did not do much with it so far. But in recent times, I’ve been staying in various places without WiFi, so I purchased a lost cost SIM card with a one-year cellular data plan to be able to work from any location using my Android 10 smartphone (Huawei Y9 Prime 2019) as a mobile hotspot. It works most of the time, but sometimes I have massive packet loss, and the only way to recover is to turn off and on the hotspot, and in some cases even reboot the phone. Playing with settings on […]

Linux 5.13 Release – Notable changes, Arm, MIPS and RISC-V architectures

Linux 5.13 release

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 5.13: So we had quite the calm week since rc7, and I see no reason to delay 5.13. The shortlog for the week is tiny, with just 88 non-merge commits (and a few of those are just reverts). It’s a fairly random mix of fixes, and being so small I’d just suggest people scan the appended shortlog for what happened. Of course, if the last week was small and calm, 5.13 overall is actually fairly large. In fact, it’s one of the bigger 5.x releases, with over 16k commits (over 17k if you count merges), from over 2k developers. But it’s a “big all over” kind of thing, not something particular that stands out as particularly unusual. Some of the extra size might just be because 5.12 had that extra rc week. And with 5.13 out the door, that obviously means […]

Snapdragon 778G 5G SoC to power “high-tier” smartphones with up to 16GB LPDDR5

Snapdragon 778G 5G

There used to be “premium mid-range” smartphones, but Qualcomm now calls those “high-tier” smartphones in the recent announcement of Snapdragon 778G 5G processor succeeding Snapdragon 765G/768G 5G mobile platforms. The octa-core Cortex-A78/A55 SoC features a Snapdragon X53 5G Modem supporting up to 3.7 Gbps downlink, support FHD+ display up to 144 Hz, up to 16GB LP-DDR5 memory, and packs 12 TOPS of AI processing power. Snapdragon 778G (SM7325) specifications: CPU – Eight Kryo 670 CPU cores including 4x Arm Cortex-A78 @ 2.4GHz and 4x Arm Cortex-A55 @ 1.8GHz GPU – Adreno 642L with Vulkan 1.1, Snapdragon Elite Gaming features, H.265 and VP9 video decode, HDR10+, HDR10, HLG DSP – Hexagon 770 Processor with fused AI Accelerator architecture, Hexagon Tensor Accelerator, Hexagon Vector eXtensions, Hexagon Scalar Accelerator 2nd generation Qualcomm Sensing Hub Memory – Up to 16 GB LP-DDR5 memory up to 3200 MHz Display On-Device Display – up to FHD+ […]

Android 12 Beta released with revamped user interface

Android 12 Beta

Google has just announced the release of Android 12 Beta. We already covered the first Android 12 developer preview with changes including support for AVIF image format, trust and safety improvement, and enhanced media transcoding. But with the release of Android 12 Beta, Google also introduced significant changes to the user interface created with a design language called Material You, plus some new features that we’ll explore in this post. The most notable user-facing changes include: Personalization – Your phone can now be personalized with a custom color palette and redesigned widgets. This is done automatically using color extraction from your wallpaper images, and Android 12 applies those colors across the entire OS including the notification shade, the lock screen, the volume controls, new widgets, etc… Fluid motion and animations – Google optimized the system to make animations more fluid by reducing the CPU time needed for core system services […]

Why you should request open-source software for your IoT devices

PineTime open-source software Gadgetbridge

I usually think of open-source hardware and/or software are enabling skilled people to more easily fix bugs, improve on the design, get feedback from the community, etc… But in a world where IoT devices become more prevalent, there’s another reason why you should request open-source software: Long term support. What made me think about are two things. The first one if that I own WeLoop Hey 3S smartwatch, which I love and wear since March 2018. That’s quite a feat since most cheap devices I own often only last a few months or a year or so. I’m also used to the watch face and Weloop app interface. So what’s the problem exactly? WeLoop company closed on December 31, 2019, and while the app worked fine for about a year after that, recently I have been unable to login to the app to access my data and/or update settings for […]

MediaTek Dimensity 900 6nm SoC brings UFS 3.1, LPDDR5 to mid-range 5G smartphones

Mediatek Dimensity 900

Arm Cortex-A78 and LPDDR5 would have been premium features not so long ago, but time flies, and the just-announced MediaTek Dimensity 900 5G SoC for mid-range smartphones includes two Cortex-A78 cores, six Cortex-A55 cores, support for LPDRR5/4 memory, UFS 3.1 storage, and of course 5G cellular connectivity up to 2.77Gbps. The mobile processor’s multimedia capabilities are pretty good as well with support for displays up to 2520 x 1080 resolution at 120 Hz, up to 108MP camera, 4Kp30 video with H.265, H.264, AV1, as well as an Arm Mali-G68 MC4 GPU and third-generation APU 3.0 AI accelerator. MediaTek Dimensity 900 specifications: CPU – Octa-core DynamIQ processor with 2x Arm Cortex-A78 @ Up to 2.4GHz, 6x Arm Cortex-A55 @ Up to 2GHz GPU – Arm Mali-G68 MC4 AI Accelerator – MediaTek APU 3.0 VPU Video Encoding – H.264, H.265 / HEVC up to 4K @ 30FPS Video Playback – H.264, H.265 […]