In August, the Pine64 made some noise in announcing PineNote, a mix of tablet and e-book reader. But the company is best known for its Linux-based phones. This line has just gained another member: the PinePhone Pro is a smartphone with a 6-inch screen and the Manjaro Linux distribution as the operating system.
While the “Pro” in the name might suggest otherwise, the new phone is not a model with advanced hardware. Its datasheet includes 4GB of RAM, 128GB of expandable storage with microSD up to 2TB and Rockchip RK3399S processor.
This is a mid-range chip. Two high performance Cortex-A72 cores accompanied by four Cortex-A53 cores for basic tasks make up your specification. The GPU is a Mali T860.
According to Pine64, the RK3399S is a variation of the RK3399 chip developed in conjunction with Rockchip engineers to optimize the device’s thermal control and power consumption.
Contrary to the current trend, PinePhone Pro does not have a screen with notch or great use of front space. But that shouldn’t frustrate the user experience. With 6 inches in size, the panel is IPS LCD type, has a resolution of 1440×720 pixels and comes with Gorilla Glass 4 protection.
On the back, we find a single 13-megapixel IMX258 camera covered by glass that also has Gorilla Glass 4 protection. On the front, the smartphone features a 5-megapixel OmniVision OV5640 sensor.
An interesting detail is that the back cover can be removed to give access to switches that enable or disable features such as cameras, microphone and LTE modem.
As is already clear to you, PinePhone Pro doesn’t come with an impressive hardware set. What attracts attention to the model is its software: instead of Android, the device leaves the factory with the Manjaro Linux distribution as the operating system.
Other distributions can be installed on the device, but the user who tries Manjaro will find an operating system with KDE Plasma Mobile, an environment adapted for mobile devices, as the name suggests.
File manager, web browser, clock, calendar, calculator, terminal and many other applications can be run from this combination.
It is true that Pine64 itself recognizes that, at the current stage, Linux distributions aimed at mobile devices cannot yet be considered complete alternatives to Android or iOS. On the other hand, PinePhone Pro comes with the proposal to offer enough software features for those looking for a different experience with their cell phone.
PinePhone Pro: availability and price
Developers interested in PinePhone Pro can now pre-order the device on the Pine64 website. It is necessary to fill out a form to place the order.
The cell phone is officially priced at $399 plus shipping. Deliveries are scheduled to start in December.
PinePhone Pro – technical sheet
- Screen: 6-inch IPS LCD, HD resolution (1440×720 pixels) and Gorilla Glass 4
- Processor: Rockchip RK3399S (two Cortex-A72 cores plus four Cortex-A53 cores) with 500 MHz Mali T860 GPU
- RAM: 4GB of 800MHz LPDDR4
- Storage: 128GB of expandable eMMC with microSD up to 2TB
- Back camera: Sony IMX258 de 13 megapixels
- Frontal camera: OmniVision OV5640 de 5 megapixels
- Drums: 3.000 mAh
- Connectivity: 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, Glonass, USB-C, headphone jack
- Sensors: accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, compass, luminosity
- dimensions: 160,8 x 76,6 x 11,1 mm
- Weight: 215 g