The Explorer Edition of PinePhone Pro, Pine64’s flagship Linux product, is available today for pre-order.
Pine64, the makers of popular single-board computers, the Pine Phone KDE Edition and the Pinebook Pro, are preparing to ship the PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition. Pine64 shipped the PinePhone Pro to developers in Q4 2021 for $ 399 and is now offering the Explorer Edition for the same price to more mainstream Linux fans. However, it is primarily aimed at Linux enthusiasts and experienced developers with experience in embedded systems.
“Contemporary mobile Linux operating systems have a long way to go before they can be considered as true alternatives to Android or iOS. While mobile Linux is not in a state that can satisfy most consumer electronics consumers, we recognize that a significant portion of our community is ready to make the leap to a Linux-only smartphone today, ”said said PinePhone. “The PinePhone Pro has the raw power to be your daily driver, provided you are prepared to accept current software limitations. “
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The PinePhone Pro can run multiple versions of ARM-based Linux and is powered by Rockchip’s RK3399S System-on-Chip, which consists of two fast 1.5 GHz A72 cores and four less powerful 1.5 GHz A53 cores.
It comes with 4G DDR4 RAM, 128GB eMMC storage, Sony 13MP main camera and 8MP front camera, 3.5mm headphone jack with mic, Global LTE and pogo pins for external keyboard and rear boxes.
The Linux phone also has a Micro SD card slot for up to 2TB of additional storage and a 3000mAh Li-Po battery which is actually removable. But the battery must be purchased and shipped separately due to restrictions on shipping lithium-ion powered devices, according to Pine64. The device only has a 30 day warranty.
The RK3399S is a custom version of its RK3399 used in Pine64 development boards. The phone also has video output via USB-C and offers faster USB 3.0 data transfer.
To its credit, Pine64 is fairly transparent with mobile Linux fans about the device’s availability, capabilities, and its primary audience.
Pre-orders for the Explorer Edition placed between January 11 and 17 are expected to ship by January or early February, according to the pre-order page. Orders placed from January 18 will leave Hong Kong at the end of February. But Pine64 notes that this production series is “big” and, therefore, shouldn’t sell out quickly.
While this is a well-specified Linux phone and should be well received by owners of PinePhone last year, PinePhone Pro is not for typical iOS and Android fans. because it does not yet have the scope of applications available for these platforms.
That said, for those with the technical skills, it should be on par with mid-range Android phones and solid for browsing the web, watching videos, playing Linux games, and gaming emulators.
“We have a long way to go,” Pine64 says of its appeal to the average Android user.
“If you depend on mainstream mobile messaging apps, banking apps, loyalty or travel apps, DRM media, or mobile video games on your fruit or your Android smartphone, then the PinePhone Pro is no match for you. probably not for you, ”he adds.
The PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition is “intended for Linux developers with extensive knowledge of embedded systems and / or experience with mobile Linux,” he warns on the pre-order page.