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I don't have any experience with any of them, but I have some awareness of the Pine phone. Conceptually, the idea of having a phone that runs on Linux rather than Android or iOS is interesting to me and compelling on the basis that there is no underlying agenda.

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On 5/8/2022 at 7:53 PM, Ishatix said:

Does anyone have any experience with any of these, or know of any similar options?

 

https://www.fairphone.com/
https://www.shiftphones.com/en/
https://www.pine64.org/
 

I thought it might be good to start a thread on this topic.. probably we could have a similar thread about laptops too come to think of it!

thx for bringing this (back) to my attention, i was actually aware of the fairphone previously but havent paid much attention to it. im currently looking for a new phone for my lady's bday, and i know she would be all over this (shes a "sustainability enthusiast" in her own words haha). although i must say im not convinced on pricing and clunkiness yet, hmmm....

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On 6/9/2022 at 2:29 AM, Mr. Fox said:

I don't have any experience with any of them, but I have some awareness of the Pine phone. Conceptually, the idea of having a phone that runs on Linux rather than Android or iOS is interesting to me and compelling on the basis that there is no underlying agenda.

 

Definitely. Though I think an Android fully open source version / custom ROM free of any Google proprietary bits is pretty much equivalent in that regard? Though always good to have choice between some different projects. Murena sell "de-Googled" phones for example:
https://murena.com/smartphones/
https://murena.com/shop/

 

I have some other resources related to providing a Google-free Android experience. Maybe should start a separate thread on that subject...

 

9 hours ago, Reciever said:

Last I saw fairphone didnt sell to the US, but maybe they are more flexible now, the new device looks pretty nice

 

I think Teracube is an alternative option in the US, though not sure how great they look tbh:
https://myteracube.com/

 

Another project I forgot to mention in the original post is the Monocles phone, but not sure if that is still an active project:
https://monocles.wiki/index.php?title=Monocles_phone_x

 

 

3 hours ago, jaybee83 said:

thx for bringing this (back) to my attention, i was actually aware of the fairphone previously but havent paid much attention to it. im currently looking for a new phone for my lady's bday, and i know she would be all over this (shes a "sustainability enthusiast" in her own words haha). although i must say im not convinced on pricing and clunkiness yet, hmmm....

 

Yeah, it seems like you inevitably have to pay a premium to not be evil when it comes to tech unfortunately. And I figure it's still even better than any new option just to use older / second-hand phones and keep them working for longer. Though I suppose part of the whole idea around Fairphone and the like is that they are easier to maintain or upgrade, and should hoepfully therefore last you a longer time.

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13 minutes ago, Ishatix said:

I think Teracube is an alternative option in the US, though not sure how great they look tbh:
https://myteracube.com/

The idea behind the project is great, but the specs are lackluster. The headphone jack, removable storage media and removable battery are certainly hardware features that are desirable. The rest is not much better than pre-paid burner phone rubbish. https://myteracube.com/pages/teracube-2e#tech-spec-secs

 

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18 minutes ago, Mr. Fox said:

The idea behind the project is great, but the specs are lackluster. The headphone jack, removable storage media and removable battery are certainly hardware features that are desirable. The rest is not much better than pre-paid burner phone rubbish. https://myteracube.com/pages/teracube-2e#tech-spec-secs

 

 

Yeah, that was my impression too.

 

I've made a new thread for Google-free Android here now:
https://notebooktalk.net/topic/500-google-free-android/

 

The first ever thread in that sub-forum, my 69th post, and the 500th thread in the forum... 😄

 

EDIT: How do you have 699 posts already!!? ❤️

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4 minutes ago, Ishatix said:

EDIT: How do you have 699 posts already!!? ❤️

I guess I am the keyboard-jockey equivalent of a blabber-mouth. 😉 

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Wonder how much it is to ship a Pinephone here to Spain. I don't use my phone much other than YT and some messaging, so Linux on a phone becomes more and more appealing by the day.

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On 6/19/2022 at 1:52 PM, Katja said:

Wonder how much it is to ship a Pinephone here to Spain. I don't use my phone much other than YT and some messaging, so Linux on a phone becomes more and more appealing by the day.

 

Yeah, same here. I don't even have my phone switched on at the moment. I use Signal these days to stay in contact with people and just use the desktop app for that mainly.

 

I'm still a little confused as to what the draw is of having a Linux phone over simply a Google-free Android and/or custom ROM. Is it for more control and configurability? Or is there certain Linux software that would be useful to run on it?

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25 minutes ago, Ishatix said:

 

Yeah, same here. I don't even have my phone switched on at the moment. I use Signal these days to stay in contact with people and just use the desktop app for that mainly.

 

I'm still a little confused as to what the draw is of having a Linux phone over simply a Google-free Android and/or custom ROM. Is it for more control and configurability? Or is there certain Linux software that would be useful to run on it?

i can imagine a potential lure would be more control over privacy, more flexibility on customizations and a truly open system.

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20 hours ago, jaybee83 said:

i can imagine a potential lure would be more control over privacy, more flexibility on customizations and a truly open system.

Thanks, and yes, I've been having a quick look into it more now, and that does seem to be the important parameters. There's a few other points mentioned here:
https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/things-consider-linux-smartphone-os/


I hadn't considered the idea of a dual boot phone before which seems like an interesting approach. You could keep your daily driver OS more open source and private (e.g. Linux), while having a more "standard" Android OS just for running say Google Maps. I anticipate potential problems keeping communications synced between the two, but I think it can work OK with the right choice of messaging app. It might be simpler though just to have two different phones (like I have separate ones for comms and GPS navigation respectively).

 

There's really quite a spectrum of different options built upon the Linux kernel, with the main split between the Linux or Android operating environment built on top of that, and then further splits between more open source Android, or more Google and proprietary software Android. There's a nice little introduction to Linux phones in this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSudn0qB6u0


It's coming from a less technical younger person's point of view, but not a bad overview all the same. I agree that choice of applications is probably the biggest issue, though I don't agree that there no motivation to develop open-source alternatives (the reality of what we have today clearly demonstrates otherwise).

 

One important issue that doesn't seem to get much attention when considering alternatives is that any solution that requires rooting your phone can immediately make it incompatible with banking apps in particular. I don't like to do banking on my phone anyway, but an increasing number of banks are starting to make apps mandatory for login (there's a deeper issue here about non-technical corporate boardrooms making decisions about what hardware and software we can use). I wonder how compatibility is here with some of the purchased as new solutions. Presumably it is still an issue with the more Linux environment based ones.

 

 

I also came across this table comparing a few different Linux phones:
https://liliputing.com/phones

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