May Update: PineTab pre-orders, PinePhone Qi charging & more!

News Pinebook Pro PinePhone PineTab PineTime

With the PinePhone and Pinebook Pro production well under way and shipping in just a few days time, we’ll now be turning our attention to the other projects we have in the pipeline. There is a fair bit of material to cover this month – the main piece of news, however, is that we’ll be taking pre-orders for the PineTab at the end of this month!  

This may be the longest blog entry in some time, so let’s get to it.

TL;DR of this month’s community update:

  • Moving to PINE64 cluster will be completed by this time next month; expect community services outages
  • Shipping Pinebook Pros and PinePhones this month; don’t spam support/ info emails please
  • We’ll be accepting payments in cryptocurrencies soon 
  • PineTab pre-orders start this month and ships with UBports’ Ubuntu Touch; please subscribe to blog for info when pre-orders go live
  • PineTab adapters for individual and industry users; LTE, SSD, LoRa and RTL-SDR available soon
  • PinePhone Ubuntu Touch OTA and factory image – a quick chat about the software
  • PinePhone multi-OS bootloader is coming; many OSes showing signs of maturing
  • Wireless charging coming to the PinePhone via add-on / using pogo pins
  • A large (5000mAh) battery case for the PinePhone is being explored
  • You will be able to support smaller PinePhone projects soon by buying their project branded case-backs
  • Pinebook Pro – one week shipping delay explained
  • Pinebook Pro you can now watch Netflix on Manjaro; many OS releases become available including official Debian support! 
  • Pinebook Pro USB-C dock details locked in; spare parts are now in the PINE Store
  • Pinebook (original) gets a facelift; we’re committed to the $99 price-tag
  • PineTime can now sync on Sailfish OS; app will be ported to Ubuntu Touch  

Housekeeping

Moving community services over to the PINE64 cluster has hit a couple of roadblocks. As a result the process has been much slower than originally anticipated. While our IRC has already been moved to the cluster (thank you fire219 and Gamiee!) all the heavy lifting is still ahead of us. The good news is that we’ve now ironed out many of the core issues and expect to have everything moved in a little under a month from now. Since this will be a big undertaking, you should expect disruptions to various community services as the process begins. I’ll make sure there is a sufficient heads-up for when the next part of the move takes place. Keep an eye out for updates in the news section on the forum.

One of the PINE64 Cluster nodes with a 1TB NVMe SSD mounted in the PCIe slot

The next topic on the housekeeping agenda concerns shipping of the current PinePhone and Pinebook Pro production batches. Both devices are currently being assembled and should be ready for shipping in a matter of days. We are currently expecting Pinebook Pros with Manjaro to start shipping after May 22 and UBports CE PinePhones after May 26. However, with the Hong Kong border opening first on 7 June (at the very earliest) we had to pull off some magic to make shipping happen in the first place. This means there is a completely different logistics process in place for current shipments; on a purely human level, this will be a stressful time for the logistics and shipping teams, and therefore it would be greatly appreciated if you’d turn to us in the chat, forums or social media for updates rather than bombard info or support emails requesting updates. Thanks!

PinePhone UBports CE being assembled

In other news, we recently ran a poll on Mastodon and Twitter asking whether you’d be interested in using cryptocurrency for PINE Store payments. On the whole, approximately a quarter of all respondents expressed interest in using such payment options. We’re now happy to announce that we’ll be accepting cryptocurrency payments (BTC, BCH, ETH and XRP) in the very near future. The payment infrastructure is currently being set up, and should be available as an option at checkout starting next month. 

[edit] We no longer intend to support cryptocurrency payments at this time.

Lastly, a quick word about our Wiki. If someone would find the time for tidying and adding information to the relevant sections then I’d be very thankful (as I do not currently have time for that). More specifically, the ROCK64, PINE A64 and SOPine sections need a fair bit of editing and their OS release lists need to be cleared of ancient software and new OS’ should be added. Apart from this, I’d also appreciate it if someone would review the release sections for the Pinebook Pro and ROCKPro64 – many new OS options are still missing. Anyone can do the above using their forum login and password. Thanks in advance!  

PineTab pre-orders

With the PinePhone UBports Community Edition and Manjaro Pinebook Pro batches now shipping, we turn our attention to the PineTab. If you follow this blog regularly, then you already know that the tablet has been stuck in a production limbo since summer last year. The decision to postpone PineTab production was made with the purpose to prioritize assembly and shipment of Pinebook Pro and PinePhone batches – as these are PINE64 flagship devices. In light of the global events, which caused subsequent logistics turmoil, production was pushed back nearly 9 months. With the COVID19 pandemic subsiding in China, and factory lines reopening for business, we’re now happy to announce that we’ll be taking orders for the PineTab later this month.

Although we’re skipping any formal naming of this PineTab batch, I need to underline that this is a limited-quantity pilot-production run. In other words, these PineTabs are similar in nature to Braveheart PinePhones – they are aimed at early adopters who understand the implications of purchasing an early production-run device. I have written a lot over the past 9 months about the PineTab, and about the gradual improvements we made to it and its keyboard while we waited for a suitable moment to start production. I suggest you go back and read the relevant posts for more details (https://www.pine64.org/category/pinetab/). 

PineTab With keyboard attached

Here is a quick run-down of the device’s specs; the PineTab has a 10” 720p IPS LCD panel and features the same quad-core A64 SoC and 2GB LPDDR3 RAM used in the PinePhone. It also features the same 2Mpx front-facing and 5Mpx rear cameras that the phone uses. It ships with 64GB eMMC flash storage, and capacity can be expanded using a SD card (which can also be bootable) or a SSD via an optional M.2 adapter. You also get a full-sized USB 2.0, a USB-OTG and digital video output. This is paired with a large 6000mAh battery that can be charged via Micro USB or the barrel plug. The tablet can be used in conjunction with a magnetically attached backlit keyboard that also doubles-up as a cover and stand. 

Pricing Details:

  • The PineTab – $99.99
  • The magnetic backlit keyboard – $19.99

PineTab keyboard doubles-up as a cover case

Software-wise the PineTab is convergent with both PinePhone and Pinebook software releases. It will therefore, in time, run most mobile operating systems developed for our platform as well as popular desktop OS options. I am also certain that the number of choices will explode after the first batch gets into early adopters’ hands, and that we will see more desktop-oriented releases with touch input capabilities very soon. For this first batch however, we have decided to ship the PineTab with UBports’ Ubuntu Touch. The reason for this choice being that Ubuntu Touch works well for a traditional tablet use-case and, at the same time, converts into a more traditional desktop experience when the magnetic keyboard is attached. The transition is quite seamless and, frankly speaking, rather magical when you see it happen for the first time; check out the video Marius Gripsgard from UBports sent over showcasing this.

UBports Ubuntu Touch runs so well on the PineTab – you need to watch this

We are also making an adapter board for the PineTab that will broaden its use-case application potential significantly. The adapter allows expansions to be mounted inside the PineTab chassis. Each module can be easily installed and swapped out by the end-user – all it takes is removing the tablet’s back cover and undoing a single screw. To make it clear, you can only add one type of additional functionality to the PineTab at a time. That said, multiple expansions can be installed onto the adapter board simultaneously – for instance, a SSD and LTE module can be simultaneously mounted, but only one or the other can be used at a time. 

Here are the expansion options we have in store for the PineTab:

  • M.2 SATA SSD add-on
  • M.2 LTE (and GPS) add-on
  • LoRa module add-on
  • RTL-SDR module add-on

The PineTab expansion adapter board

We hope that this selection of expansion modules will make the PineTab not only interesting to private end-users but also commercial and industrial customers. Especially when paired with LTE or LoRa functionality, I can easily imagine the PineTab being used as a point-of-sales terminal or an in-field device. With its large capacity battery, and thanks to all the optimizations done for the PinePhone, the PineTab can easily last a full work day. You can expect the SSD and LTE adapter functionality to already work on the PineTab, granted you use the same LTE modem already supported by PinePhone software. Implementations of the LoRa and RTL-SDR modules into existing OSes will, as always, depend on developers from the different partner-projects. Pairing all this functionality with an accessible asking price, we cannot wait to see how end-users will employ this multifunctional device. 

More information about the PineTab will be coming very soon, so please subscribe to this blog so you’ll be alerted when pre-orders go live later this month. 

PineTab with LTE installed in the adapter 

PinePhone

Let me begin by acknowledging the amazing work that the UBports team poured into delivering a great OS image to the factory. They really put a lot of effort into shipping a polished build. The most important feature of the OS image is the inclusion of OTA update capability. The PinePhone now officially supports OTA updates on Ubuntu Touch, which means that users will be able to update their devices without ever having to reflash the OS. All you’ll ever have to do is navigate to settings menu -> update and fetch the newest build. Moreover, if you decide to connect the PinePhone to WiFi on initial boot-up, then you’ll be prompted to update your Ubuntu Touch installation once you complete the setup wizard.

I’ll go into more details about Ubuntu Touch on the PinePhone closer to delivery date and in a separate post, or better yet I may ask a UBports developer to write the post; what I will say at this time is, devs expect the day-one update to include most if not all key features bar the camera functionality (which will take a little longer to implement properly). I have a strong sense that many of you will be very impressed with the quality and performance of this build. For those of you who have Braveheart PinePhones – you can download the newest Ubuntu Touch image for the PinePhone here.

Martijn Braam from postmarketOS showcases UBports CE edition factory image

Since we’re already on the subject of software, I’d also like to give a huge shout-out to Martijn Braam from postmarketOS, who has put together the factory test OS image. For those who do not know, the factory test image runs a custom build of postmarket OS with the newest Linux kernel. It is now a feature complete and comprehensive test suite, which includes all radio connectivity, all sensors and inputs as well as both cameras. In other words, it tests all aspects of the device before it flashes the OS internal flash memory. If you want to check it out, and I know many of you Linux geeks love this sort of stuff, then here is the link

In other notable software news, Danct12 shared a photo of a multi-boot menu on the PinePhone. While this isn’t the first solution of this kind shown-off on the PinePhone, this one comes from the devs behind Jumpdrive, and therefore I find it likely this project will be brought to fruition and well maintained. The multi-boot implementation is said to also support both eMMC and SD. Multi-booting is a piece of functionality that many users have been asking for some time, and I expect that once DanctNIX folks make this available it will be universally used by most PinePhone owners. We may even choose to install it on the factory floor in the future for general (non-CE) PinePhones. Let me know what you think in the comment section.  

PinePhone multi-OS bootloader via Danct12

We have also seen a lot of progress, including significant performance improvements, on a number of OSes. It would take me too long to list every single improvement made across all the available builds, so instead I’ll focus on some of the highlights: Sailfish OS and Nemo Mobile can now make phone calls and feature a working web-browser (and run remarkably well!); postmarketOS’ makes it now possible to boot X86 PCs (and theoretically also the Pinebook Pro) from a virtual drive on the PinePhone; a-wai, the developer behind the popular Debian+Phosh build, has christened the project Mobian – the recent Mobian build implements crust deep-sleep allowing the PinePhone to run for upwards of 12 hours with radio (WiFi and LTE) connectivity enabled; lastly, Jolla is asking you to let them know if you’d like official SailfishOS support for our platform – I gently suggest you do so if you’re remotely interested in running Sailfish OS on your PinePhone.  

In PinePhone hardware news, we’re happy to announce that Qi wireless charging is coming to the PinePhone in the very near future. We’re currently working out the exact details of the charging coil implementation and making a series of related decisions, such as for instance whether we should bundle a charging plate with the add-on. If you have a suggestion then make sure to leave a comment in the section below. What is certain, however, is that this will be a universal Qi wireless charging implementation utilizing the PinePhone’s pogo pins. This also means that if you already have a Qi charging surface or station for your current phone then this implementation will, in all likelihood, ‘just work’ with the PinePhone. I should have more details regarding this subject in next month’s community update; we are currently expecting the wireless charging add-on kit to be available in approximately July this year. 

Here’s the Qi charging coil we’ll be using

We have also begun exploring creating a battery case for the PinePhone. Although we’re confident that the PinePhone will eventually be capable of providing end-users with a full workday battery life, the reality of it is that – especially under heavy usage scenarios – battery life on the PinePhone may never match flagship Android devices. We understand that some users may require to use their PinePhone for hours at a time (on-screen time), and one way to remedy this situation is by adding a larger battery to the phone. To be precise, we’re currently exploring creating a 5000mAh battery case that would more than double the devices on-screen time. Keeping in mind that we will, eventually, reach ~16-20 hours standby time on the PinePhone via software improvements – let me know in the comments if such a battery case is something you’d be interested in.   

One other hardware-related topic I wish to briefly touch on concerns the optional PinePhone keyboard, which we announced a couple months ago. Long story short, presently isn’t the right time for us to take on this challenge – molding for the keyboard is very expensive and face-to-face communication with the vendor is currently impossible due to the closed borders. Investing effort and money into this endeavour at present time, when we cannot evaluate the hardware’s progress remotely, would be a risk that we’re not willing to take. So instead we’ll focus on other hardware and peripherals, and revisit the PinePhone keyboard concept when these uncertain times come to an end. It will happen, I assure you, but not now.   

The last topic in this section I wish to discuss regards support for individual PinePhone developers and smaller projects. We have been thinking about this internally over the past couple of months and arrived at the conclusion that it will be very difficult for us to run full-blown campaigns, such as the current one for UBports, for smaller projects. Here is our solution: we will sell custom back-covers for smaller projects featuring their logos in the store. We will charge $15 for such a cover, out of which we will donate $10 to the project. The regular plain cover, already available in the store for $5, will obviously remain an option to those who just want a replacement back for their phone. We hope that this will help smaller projects have a chance to grow and thrive.  

Pinebook Pro 

The Pinebook Pro production-run featuring the Manjaro KDE Plasma build will soon be heading out to end-users. We had to delay shipping by a week due to an unforeseen complication at the factory. If you’re interested in the details of the delay then read on, if you’re not the skip to the next paragraph; the factory testing image, which is built on a custom Android image booted from a SD card, failed to load up using the u-boot included with the Manjaro OS image which has already been flashed to eMMC. Prior to shipping the build out to the factory a couple of weeks ago, the developers and I diligently tested booting OS images from SD and encountered no issues. We did not, however, account for booting any Android images (this is my fault – I should have thought about it). Regardless, all Pinebook Pros now need to be disassembled so that their eMMC disable switches can be flipped for testing purposes. As you can well imagine, with many thousand units required to undergo the tests, this will require time and hence the shipping delay. 

Apart from this short delay in shipping, I have nothing but good news for all of you waiting for your Pinebook Pros to arrive. Thanks to the work of Spikerguy and Strit from the Manjaro ARM team you are now able to watch Netflix, Amazon and other Widevine DRM protected content on Manjaro KDE Plasma in Chromium. I am happy to report that playback of both Netflix and Amazon content is smooth even when viewed at full HD resolution, and the process of installing the custom 32bit Chromium build running in a docker container has now been streamlined for end-users. This is a welcome addition to the already incredibly polished Manjaro OS image, which I wrote at length about last month. I can now say with complete confidence that the Pinebook Pro has become a daily driver for light-to-moderate workloads.

Netflix played back on the Pinebook Pro – via Strit from Manjaro ARM Team

On the subject of software, the single most important release for the Pinebook Pro this month is Debian. Yes, that’s right, the Pinebook Pro – alongside other PINE64 devices – now has official Debian support. This is obviously great news, but I still strongly suggest opting to use the Debian Installer for the Pinebook Pro created by Daniel Thompson instead. The installer allows you to build and run a feature-complete mainline Linux Debian OS image in no time without hassle. In other software news, ayufan has now a series of mainline Linux pre-release OS images available for the Pinebook Pro and other PINE64 devices. The notable addition to the Pinebook Pros line-up of available software is Ubuntu 20.04 with GNOME desktop. Please keep in mind that, at the time of writing, these images are in a pre-release state, which means that some (or all!) aspects of the software may not be functional.  Lastly, since I am asked at least twice a week about Kali Linux on the Pinebook Pro, I am happy to report that new OS images have just been released and are bootable from both eMMC and SD. From the little time I’ve spent using Kali on the Pinebook Pro, I am happy to report that it runs well and smoothly and – from what I can tell – all the tools you expect this distribution to offer work as intended. 

Both ANSI and ISO keyboards are available in the Pinebook (Pro) spare parts section

In hardware news, we’ve now settled on our Pinebook Pro USB-C docking station I/O connectivity and the general form-factor of the dock. I’d like to thank all of you for offering your suggestions and feedback in the comment section regarding the dock – we’ve taken your suggestions onboard. The dock will be attached to – or slid under – the bottom of the Pinebook Pro chassis, with all I/O facing towards the back of the laptop. The docking station will offer 3x full size (A) USB 3.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, full-sized and micro SD card slots, as well as both a digital video and a VGA output. The dock will also be capable of delivering power to the Pinebook Pro via the USB-C connection and it itself will be powered using a USB-C PD cable. We are currently waiting for the final design of the dock, and I hope to be able to show you photos of it next month. 

Lastly, spare parts for the Pinebook Pro are now also available in the PINE Store. Both ANSI and ISO keyboard segments are available for backorder as we await for these spare units to arrive to us from the Pinebook Pro factory. 

Pinebook 

As I already wrote in last month’s post, the original Pinebook 11.6” will soon be making a return to the PINE Store. I do not have a firm date just yet, but it should be soon after the upcoming pre-orders of the PineTab come to an end. We’ll also be making a couple of aesthetic changes to it – both to freshen is up as well as bring its looks in-line with our remaining products. The Pinebook will now come in a sleek all-black chassis and, similarly to its big brother, feature no branding on the case except a PINE64 logo on the SUPER key. We’ll also be tweaking the keyboard layout slightly to bring it closer in-line with the one used on the Pinebook Pro. 

In terms of other changes, future Pinebooks will ship with an IPS 768p LCD panel and Manjaro with XFCE. We feel that the 1336×768 resolution is a better fit for both the small Pinebook screen as well as the A64 SoC. This is a good quality 768p IPS panel and, when paired with the excellent mainline Linux build of Manjaro XFCE, it makes the Pinebook feel snappy and responsive. There is, of course, also a financial aspect to this decision – namely, component pricing has gone up significantly in recent months, and the $99 price-tag (which is already subsidized by the PINE Store) would be impossible to maintain with a higher resolution panel. 

The $100 price-tag is important for us to maintain because we have already begun on building up a portion of upcoming OG Pinebooks for charity. More information on the Pinebook and how we will start on our project to help close the digital divide coming next month – stay tuned.

PineTime

I’ve written about the PineTime software progress at length in the past two months, showcasing the smartwatch’s OSes and the amazing community driving them. In March I wrote that we’ll be looking to have the PineTime supported across both Linux mobile OS and Android; two months later, the PineTime is able to communicate with both mobile and desktop Linux as well as Android. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?  Adam Pigg, one of the developers working on the Sailfish OS port for the PinePhone, worked together with JF and other PineTime developers to include core smartwatch functionality into an existing Sailfish OS application called Amazefish. The PineTime can now sync time as well as receive notifications from any Sailfish OS phone, which includes the PinePhone of course.

PinePhone and PineTime chatting away! – via Adam Pigg

This Sailfish OS application will be ported to Ubuntu Touch and, in time, maybe also other Linux mobile operating systems. I suspect that while it may be possible to port this application to other Qt based systems – such as KDE Neon, Manjaro or even NEMO Mobile – we’ll need something else for systems using Phosh and GNOME as front-ends. In a recent tweet Lup Yuen Lee implied that he will be using gotk3 to build a GTK3 companion app for the PineTime. In the end, I am certain that a number of solutions will be available to sync the PineTime with your PinePhone or Android phone. As for the latter, I’ve now reached out to the Gadgetbridge developers and they’ll be supporting PineTime on the Android platform. 



That will be all for this month’s update – comment away!

124 thoughts on “May Update: PineTab pre-orders, PinePhone Qi charging & more!

  1. love that literally moments after i come looking for this months update it’s here. and its way better than i could imagine. you guys are awesome, keep it up and i’ll keep buying. i might need to add PineHouse to my front door at this rate.

  2. Please make a PineBook 11 Plus with a decent resolution LCD, I can’t do work in 768p. Bring up Eclipse and look at source code, there are just not enough lines to see what code is doing. This is especially true for people, like me, doing coding to any reliability standards that require braces on a separate line. I’d gladly pay extra for a Plus version. I really want something that I develop on an Arm architecture but 768p would be a deal breaker for me and while I will support your products I will not be supporting this one.

    1. The original Pinebook had 1080p, and the Pinebook Pro has 1080p. This update only talks about changing the original Pinebook from 1080p to 768p, It doesn’t affect the Pinebook Pro which is still 1080p.

      1. Yes, just wanted to confirm, that what I wrote related to the OG Pinebook specifically — the Pinebook Pro will always retain it’s 1080p LCD panel.

    2. I get what you’re saying Michael, that’s why many of my peers prefer 15in over 13in laptops… I don’t know if a PB11 Plus would make a lot of sense though or if it would just be getting too similar to the PB Pro – you’ll get your 1080p panel and other upgraded specs. Sure it’s double the price tag but we’re still talking under $200 for a brand new laptop

    3. There’s actually a good technical reason for the downgrade.

      The 1080p Pinebooks are unfortunately pretty sluggish at drawing anything on screen, regardless of software improvements. The Mali 400 GPU is just not up to the task of handling 1080p screens. It’s not a particular good user experience, and we don’t want that to be the norm.

      If you still want a 1080p Pinebook and don’t want the Pro instead, you may need to look at second hand markets.

  3. I would 100% buy a battery case for my pinephone. I have an LG V20 with a 10000mAh from zero lemon and it is really nice to have.

    1. Seconded. Both my spouse and myself would love to see a battery case, as we are both fairly heavy phone users and having the extended battery would definitely help in using the pinephone as a daily driver. It would be amazing!!
      Also, on that note, a way to independently charge a battery case like that would be super useful too.

    2. Would you prefer to see a back-cover with an inbuilt battery (interfacing via pogo pins) or a PinePhone case with inbuilt battery (likely interfacing via USB-C) ?

      1. Thanks for the option of providing feedback on the battery case! As someone who drops my phone more than I would like to admit, I certainly need a case (and already ordered the basic one from your store to be ready when my phone arrives). On the assumption that the back cover interfacing via pogo pins would make it impossible to use the basic case from your store, I’d much prefer the case with inbuilt battery combo, thanks!

      2. It would be important that the battery case did not monopolize the only usb-c port.
        it would also be important that a protective phone case was either Incorporated in any battery or that there was one designed to include the battery in it. not having a protective case would not be a happy option.
        I would lean towards an inbuilt very large battery connected via pogo pins so that it did not wear out the only usb-c Port through vibration or something. I would also suspect that aiming around 10000 mah would be better for those who want really extended use, and I would be happy to pay for this privilege if it were available considering the phone is obviously intended to be used extensively like a PC not just for phone calls.
        I look forward to it very much.

    3. I also would prefer to see it being a back-cover, interfacing via the pogo pins. This might change if the functionality of the Type-C connector were replicated on the battery extender, but even then, I would probably be concerned about vibration damage, etc. Another concern/consideration would be does this mean access to the pogo pins is lost.

  4. Hi
    I know this is from last months update but I believe is worth sharing , the DYI router I think is a great idea . Furthermore you could get 2 products out of a very similar range of components that PINE 64 already have . I mean having a PINE MINI (like a mac mini ) with the same SOC board you already have on store , this PINE MINI would be a great in home NAS,Media Center , or Nextcloud instance just to name a few uses , at the same time it would share components with the router like a very similar encasing , the board , WIFI antenna , Ethernet , etc . That would not only be a great advantage from a supply chain and manufacturing standpoint but also a cool offering for the community , two new products with different use cases . The Pine Tab is great BTW , and the PINE TIME is amazing great companion for all FOSS devices . Keep the good work !!!

  5. You guys are amazing. The products and content and support you continue to put out are just amazing. Keep building, I can’t wait to keep buying!

  6. Lots of really cool news here. Bummed that the Pinephone keyboard is pushed back but nothing can be done about that. I’m really looking forward to the Pinetab and especially the RTL-SDR addon board for it. That’s a nice surprise! I also noticed that ANSI keyboards for the Pinebook Pro were in stock the other day and I jumped on that. I love my PBP but the ISO keyboard is always tripping me up and this will give me a project to do. The PINE64 cluster at the top is super slick with that M.2 SSD.

  7. Amazing news and thank you everyone at Pine64 and the countless volunteers for working on this and the required software. I’m super excited to get my PB Pro!!

    Great solution for the continuation of the UBports CE – the back-cover option is perfect! Just make sure it’s highly visible when people order. I might even order a second one to support multiple projects!

    A battery case seems like a good option, however I know many people who already have a portable battery to recharge their phone during the day. There are pros and cons for the batter case form factor – don’t need to remember to recharge from the battery, but makes it much more bulky in general and not just when it’s charging the regular battery.
    Seems like a nice to have but don’t see it as a deal-breaker for anyone who needs more juice during the day.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. I think a larger battery to replace the smaller one, just how a zerolemon worked on galaxy s3, would be great. But which easily available battery is going to fit that bill?
      I would prefer swapping batteries to an external battery case

      1. Well, it doesn’t have to be a battery case … it could be a back-cover that would just be slightly thicker to accommodate the battery. It would interface via the pogo pins.

  8. Thank very much guys super excited for this!
    i am very interested in a battery case however would this be compatible with the eventual keyboard simultaneously?
    I want both big battery and a keyboard but i think if i had to choose just one keyboard > battery. Thanks for working so hard during these difficult times. keep up the good work. x

  9. Hello guys,

    nice work as always! I love both the idea and the way you found to support the smaller projects!

    Slightly unrelated question: could you put a pine64 logo into your rss feed? I would like to see the pine in my Nextcloud news! 🙂

    Keep up the good work and stay safe!
    Gergely

  10. A 12 hour min battery life for a phone user playing games would be nice, 20 hours would be better.

    Wireless charging stand would be nice if you could put the phone on its side so you can watch a video at the same time its charging.

  11. Is there any effort in getting display out from PinePhone’s USB-C underway? A similar experience to your PineTab docking demo with Phone connected to display and USB dongles would be absolutely amazing whether Ubuntu Touch or KDE. Please consider pitching this idea to interested parties.

    1. Video out on the PInePhone will happen eventually – we designed that feature for this very purpose after all – but first we need all core phone functionality working. At current phase, I think we’ll see first attempts at getting video-out working late this year.

      1. Excellent, thank you very much. It’s a shame that the PineBook implementation can’t be used in this case.

        Speaking of PineBook, is there any plans to have a revision with USB-C charging only—without extra barrel port—and a full numpad? I’ll gladly break my wallet for it in that case. Of course, more and upgradeable RAM would be very welcome, but at least numpads and doing away with extra cables would be best for daily driving from my perspective.

  12. Thank you for all the updates, particularly on the Pinebook.
    Regarding the PB–
    1) I’m certain you meant *1366* rather than “…*1336* X 768…” (resolution; and NO reason to respond). I don’t have any problems with that, and don’t think most people will; some of the laptops I use on a regular basis have this resolution, and perform beautifully (in all aspects of that word). Based on extensive experience, 1366 X 768 resolution is something I don’t even consider when choosing a laptop.
    2) Is the new Pinebook going to be available with an ANSI keyboard?
    3) One topic I was really anticipating is missing: the PBP upgrade to the Pinebook. What is the status of this? Is the absence of any information on this subject noteworthy; should I (we all) be concerned? I wrote earlier (I’m not going to bore you with a repeat of that post) that I will be first in line to buy an 11″ version of the PBP so I can easily carry it in my briefcase, for business purposes.

    One last comment: if you are re-engineering the PB’s keyboard, what are the chances you could make it back-lit; or–realizing the importance of the $99 price–at least offer a back-lit option? Lots of times the work I need to get done needs to be done in dimly-lit environments–as in “flying cross-country at night”, or “working in the den while everybody’s watching TV” dimly lit environment(s).

    Warmest regards…

    1. “…Lots of times the work I need to get done needs to be done in dimly-lit environments…”

      …and, as I pointed out in an earlier post, the new machine, being black with a black keyboard, merely exacerbates the problem. There is not enough contrast to make the keyboard usable under low-light conditions.
      Perhaps you remember my favorite original–with me–saying:
      ‘Black’ is nature’s original camouflage color.

      Warmest regards…

    2. 1) You’re right of course – will correct 🙂
      2) Yes, it will be ANSI. We’re working to make it resemble the PBP’s ANSI layout as much as possible.
      3) Ugh … the factory that was meant to deliver the graphene heatsink/ pad didn’t do so on time. Now, we’ve got no way to enter the China, and sample shipments have been stuck somewhere between Shenzhen and San Fransisco for 30 days. I should have given you guys an update on it – I forgot. In short, the pad hasn’t been tested so we don’t know if it offers sufficient heat dissipation.

      For whatever reason backlit keyboard for the PB and PBP are seriously expensive… but I’ll keep lobbying on your behalf, I’d like to see one too 😉

      1. What about a thinkpad-like “Thinklight” ? I must say this does the job quite well, as well as being simple and I guess much less expensive.

  13. Poprosze o informacje ile realnie działa tablet i telefon na jednym ładowaniu. Ostatnio mówiliście, że to porównywalne wielkości i że sa mniejsze niż tablet z androidem. Co jest raczej smutna wiadomością. Ale jesli będa większe opakowania i będzie można kupić akumulator zwiekszony 2 razy i sprzet będzie działał 48h na jednym ładowaniu (i np. odtwarzal wideo z youtuba, przegladarka i coś robił w tle) to będzie dobrze.

    Czy jest wsparcie dla jezyka RUST?

    Czy jest szansa na dodanie kilku diód by wyświetlać informacje (akumulator czas, w formie binarnej bez włączania ekranu?)

  14. czy planujecie rozkładanie pineBooka 360 czyli możliwość przekręcenia ekranu dotykając klawiatury z drugiej strony
    lub przekręcanie prawo lewo by klawiatura byla wewnatrz.

    Klawiatura nadal nie ma PgUP home itd, co jest niewygodne przy regolith i wszelkich kafelkowych systemach i3wm awesome itd. Nadal brak dodatkowych klawiszy (tzw. multimedialnych ale i tak wiadomo, że uzywamy do wszystkiego)

    Czy rozmowy o zewnetrznej klawiaturze open source coś dały? Jest bardzo dużo różnych samoróbek, czas wprowadzic lepsze ceny i jednolitą infrastrukturę .

    1. We’re currently not planning on making any alterations to our existing Pinebook (Pro) line – that includes the functionality of chassis. The changes to the chassis will only be cosmetic.
      As for your question concerning the keyboard: now isn’t the right time for us to take on new projects.

  15. Hi,

    thanks for all the great work! Have you thought about merging the pinephone 5000mAh case with the announced keyboard, when the time comes for it to happen?

  16. I like the battery case idea. Personally though, I’d prefer a second battery for inside the phone. That’s just me though. I wonder if it could be shipped internationally if it were inside a sturdy external battery charger. Keep up the great work. I’ll keep buying.

    1. This is likely what we’ll do – rather than a case, it will be a custom back-cover interfacing with the pogo pins. So technically the second battery will be inside the phone. Do you like this idea better?

      1. I like it better! The battery in the back case might be the same size as the battery that ships with the phone. That way, if the old battery goes bad I can still always put the new battery straight in the phone. All the propositions I see here sound good to me anyway. Whatever you’re making, I’m buying.

  17. Whilst I am commenting – thanks for the wonderful work you are doing, for your generosity, both in general and monetarily to the community. As well as the fact that you don’t price gouge on the things you sell! In this day and age, where philanthropy is at an all time low, greed is at an all time high, you go in the opposite direction.

    On the battery case idea – I love it! Count me in. I have backed a few Linux phones in my time and the Achilles heel has always been the power consumption. Every little bit helps when it comes to this.

    I am also keen on the keyboard case when it comes (no problem with waiting until it is good for you).

    ..and just so you know, I have ordered a Pinebook Pro and, as other things are production finalised (Pinetab and keyboard, Pinetime), I’ll be buying them too!

    I feel like I am a teenager again with my first home computer (gadget city and more day dreaming than practical application)!

    1. Glad we get a chance to give back to the community 🙂
      Regarding the case — maybe we’ll end up making it a back cover for the phone, interfacing directly with the PCB using pogo pins. If we decide to make it a battery case then either we’ll have to 1) use the USB-C port or 2) use wireless charging … but this is a problem because a) it generates heat and b) you’d have to buy the Qi coil… and we don’t want to force people into buying stuff they don’t want just so the stuff they want works.

  18. So a PineTab with LTE modem should work as a phone?
    Or the fact its LTE modem is connected in a different way than the PinePhone would mean some tweaking would be needed on the software side?
    I’d love the PineTab taking over both the role of the phone and the laptop, the ultimate roadie…

      1. The PineTab will use a micro USB 2.0. As for why – it was designed before the PinePhone. Perhaps USB-C port (not functionality) will be something we’ll consider for future revisions.

  19. Complaints that anaemic Allwinner A64 can’t drive a 1080p screen or sustain 24hr phone life – why wasn’t the newer A63 considered? Smaller 28mm process, panfrost gpu.

    A64 ain’t getting any younger – if you were hoping for the folks at sunxi to upstream a kernel for the Allwinner A200 then we could be waiting 4 years for a Pinephone 2.

  20. Will the expansion board for the pine tab be compatible with the pinebook pro?
    I’m really interested in an lte modem for the PBP!

    1. Sadly no. You could hack it in however, but a that point I think that a USB LTE dongle is better, since you’d have to hack the USB 3.0 port inside the PBP for it. This would be a permanent mod, and you’d loose USB 3.0 functionality.

    1. This is strictly a personal opinion–

      Putting software developers on the payroll would be totally at odds with Pine’s stated mission, and would result in your NOT seeing a $99 Pinebook; a $99 PineTab; a $150 PinePhone; a $200 Pinebook Pro; or a $25 PineTime.

      Strictly a personal opinion…

      1. On one of the opening pages here, there is the message

        “Join in!
        Our goal is to push the envelope and deliver 64-bit ARM that you want to use and develop for.
        Join in on the fun.”
        …and then the ‘button…”LEARN MORE”.
        ‘Clicking’ on this button leads one to a very good, very well done page about what drives Pine. It starts out…

        “PHILOSOPHY
        None of us is as smart as all of us
        ~ Ken H. Blanchard”…
        …and then goes on to explain Pine Microcomputer’s reason for existence.. A very well done, full-page ‘read’. Every organization should have something similar.
        “PHILOSOPHY” can be found directly at
        https://www.pine64.org/philosophy/

        1. Thank you for pointing this out. I can see from this that the Pine community is very developer-oriented. So the development of certain features depends on the interests of the developers.

  21. No keyboard for the pinephone yet !!!!!
    I was soooo excited and looking forward for the keyboard.
    I hope you do realize that most of the guys here don’t want a Linux phone to fiddle with their fingers on the screen.

    I didn’t wanna take the Cosmo communicator option but now I know I will have to.

  22. Are there going to be multiple lora modules to account for the different common frequencies? E.g. my lora stuff is on 433 Mhz, would be awesome if I could tinker with that on a PineTab.
    Can the new PinePhone extended battery / battery case be shipped to the EU?

    1. Yes, you’ll have to select in the PINE Store a LoRa module which is approved in your region. From memory, there are different frequencies for Europe, North America and Asia – we’ll have all versions.

      As for the case (or back-cover — see a few comments up) the answer is ‘yes’. Only shipping naked batteries is an issues.

  23. I really like the (PBP) USB-C dock idea! Getting a proven dock with all interfaces is great.
    Would be great if it could also work with the PP and PineTab in the future.

  24. > let me know in the comments if such a battery case is something you’d be interested in.

    Yes, very interested.

  25. – Will the pinetab keyboard have an ansi or iso option?
    – Why does the pinetab not have an USB Type C (Power, Data and Video Out) like the pinephone?

  26. Thank you for your continued hard work during these trying times! A big battery for PP would be nice! I’m sad to hear the news about the keyboard but I truly belive that you made the right decision to wait. Maybe consider putting an extra battery in the keyboard as well? Good for extra battery life and weight distribution.

    1. Extra battery in the PinePhone keyboard is a really good idea! Thanks, I’ll pitch this directly to TL and see if he thinks it would be possible 🙂

        1. Well, the keyboard is meant to double up as a cover – so it needs to be light and reasonably thin. Otherwise, not a bad idea.

          1. ^^^^ This is why I’m sad my Asus Transformer TF101 finally packed up… it had what I would consider to be the best small form factor keyboard in feel, and not only mechanically locked on to the tablet, but also doubled it’s battery capacity.

  27. So happy about this news. Can’t wait to pre-order a Pinetab.
    A Multi-boot choice (looking for Oses in eMMC and SD card) is definitely something that should be available by default.
    A USB-C dock for Pinebook Pro is indeed nice. What about one for the Pinephone?

    Finally and the most important for me, can we expect to be able to buy AZERTY keyboard for Pinetab before September?

  28. Please provide the PineTab in the future with a digitizer and pen support. This was a real budget Surface & ipad-killer!

    Greets from Germany.

  29. Dear Lukasz,

    From an earlier post of yours–
    “…For whatever reason backlit keyboard for the PB and PBP are seriously expensive… but I’ll keep lobbying on your behalf, I’d like to see one too ?”.

    First: thanks so much for the internal lobbying effort; it is deeply appreciated. Next…

    a) Given the fact that some vendor already provides *a* back-lit keyboard for the $99 PineTab (and, of course, I know none of the details), would it be possible to leverage this fact to obtain a reasonably-priced back-lit option for the Pinebook?
    b) It seems that a “paradigm shift”, a need to “…think outside the box…”, is required in order to design a reasonably-priced back-lit KB. Would it be possible to obtain a PB keyboard with ‘translucent-character’ keys, in order to take a look at this problem, or is *that* (translucent key-caps) a major part of the problem? (… been “doing” hardware design problems–and solving them–for a looong time. This problem is really intriguing…)

    1. …or maybe tritium radioluminescence lettered keys like the night sight of handguns, that florescence in the dark,
      abit tacky but…

  30. Count me in as well for a battery case.

    Two questions:

    1. How will the “general (non-CE) PinePhones” mentioned here differ from the CE? Since the product page says “we are offering the PinePhone at this price as a community service” and “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” all in the same list item, will the price increase and/or will non-CE screens be guaranteed free of dead pixels?

    2. The PinePhone battery’s data sheet says it’s certified against UL 1642, UL 2054, etc. What is the test lab (UL, Intertek, TÜV, etc.) and certification file number(s) (e.g. an “E” number for UL)? Or are the certification documents available anywhere?

    1. 1) Price will always stay the same (unless component price-hike or some economic disaster happens). With CE editions we donate $10 per unit sold to a specific project for which we run the campaign. Meanwhile, the $10 from non-CE editions will go to a community fund – so we can fly out community members to talks, have them attend conferences and show off PINE64 devices, so we can sponsor more beer nights at FOSDE, etc.,

      2) This is something i straight-up don’t know — I’ll try to find out however. If I don’t get back to you on this, and you really care about the information, then do email info@pine64.org AFTER all the shipping next month (email this month and your email will be lost in a sea of people asking things related to their order)

  31. Powoli sytuacja dojrzewa do zrobienia sondy, czy kupiłbyś plecki z większym akumulatorem (albo przedpłaty)
    Czy kupiłbys klawiaturę, czy chcesz zmienić klawiaturę w laptopie/tablecie
    czy chcesz router itd.

    Może warto rozważyć też by jakis projekt zrobić na kickstarter czy indiegogo. Chodzi o reklamę. Warto by tez zacząć szukać ludzi, którzy wywalili by bloby z grafiki, internetu i innych rzeczy. Kiedy wreszcie będzie otwarty bios i usaktualnianie ring 0

  32. Glad to read that PineTab is just around the corner – I’m one of those who was waiting for it, patiently or not 🙂

    Any rough estimations on expected shipment/delivery dates (during/after summer)?

    1. My guess is early July – still trying to zero-in on an appropriate time to open the pre-orders; depends how shipping of the phone + laptop goes.

  33. Are there any rough estimates on Pinebook Pro dock availability? Not pushing, just contemplating buying NVMe adapter and keyboard and wondering whether I should order now or wait just a bit more.

    1. Not really; 2 months at the very least I imagine, since I haven’t even seen a picture of the prototype. The ANSI Pinebook Pro’s are running out – just FYI. But you don’t really need to rush, granted we don’t hit another global crisis we should be better on shipping PBPs this year than the last.

  34. I have been wanting a Linux based tablet for years! Not only does it look like I will finally get my wish but, it won’t cost 500.00 like all the other failed attempts to bring one to market. I don’t know if I want to wait or be an early adopter….

  35. Why is accepting crypto crossed out? Would’ve a great option. Lots of privacy enthusiasts in the crypto realm.

  36. Will another PineTab revision in the future have digitizer Pen Support, or is this very unlikely?
    Why does the PineTab not have Pen Support at the moment, is it too expensive? Still, it’s a pity.

    1. I don’t think digitizer support is coming anytime soon. Almost every portable device (save for the iPad) with a pressure sensitive stylus is using Wacom hardware, and with it comes closed source drivers and a premium pricetag, which I think goes against what Pine64 is aiming for.

      That said, the idea of something like a Pinetab Pro with a pressure sensitive stylus and USB-C port would be a day-1 buy for me, even if it costs way more. Especially if it uses a non-Wacom digitizer. Wacom has too much of a monopoly in their market still, which is why their prices are so high.

  37. Any timeline on a general user friendly Pinephone with camera, web browsing, call, messaging functionality? I love the project but am not as tech savvy as most following the project

  38. I am repeating what others have already said, but I also would prefer the battery cover using the pins instead of the charging port. I also like the idea of the keyboard having extra battery as well! I don’t mind extra bulk or weight – I do have a belt on my trousers! I would also appreciate these battery and keyboard covers having Qi charging as well if that is technically possible – I don’t know if the heat could cause problems.

  39. Extra battery, Pogo pins v. Usb-C
    Reading the discussion and Not
    knowing design details, can you
    wire in a second pair of power
    Wires for the extra battery freeing
    up both the Pogp pins and Usb-C.
    Both batteries would be in parallel.

  40. I am not a tech person so forgive me if this is a stupid question.
    Would the Pinephone work with the Tap keyboard alternative?
    (Or how could it be convinced to do so?)
    This would seem a more elegant solution than having to lug a keyboard around or type with thumbs on a phone screen.
    The information on their website says that the Tap works with Linux Ubuntu and that they have open source SDK’s and API’s.
    Source: https://www.tapwithus.com/how-tap-works/

    1. Looking at their website, it seems like this device acts like a standard keyboard to the target device, so I imagine it should work just fine on Pinephone. But I have no experience with this device so this is just a educated guess.

    2. I am a tech person, and there are no stupid questions.
      From a– admittedly–quick scan of the website, there seems to be conflicting data as to how easy it is to become a proficient “tapper”; and assumptions seem to be made as to the environment one needs to occupy to be a high-speed “tapper”.
      I’d rather invest the time required (to be a proficient, high-speed “tapper”) in learning to play the guitar, and use the (now reduced) cost of $169(+ tax?) for a more conventional input device, and save quite a bit of money in the process.
      Your priorities and ‘take’ on this situation may be different, and that’s OK too. That’s what makes the world go ’round.

  41. How good are the antennas on the pinephone? I have a Samsung S4 and a Leagoo T5 here: the Samsung can consistently get a signal when the Leagoo cannot. I’d like some idea of the sensitivity of the Pinephone before ordering … to have some certainty that the phone could be used as a phone in lo signal-strength areas.

  42. Czy jestes za tym by podarować Linusowi Torwaldsowi PinePhone?

    Czy wpłaciłbys na ten cel kwote minimum 10 zł ?

  43. I would love a battery back cover, but would wish that options for cases are considered.
    Additionally, if the pogo pins could still be used for something else, that would be lovely. I don’t know what solutions are available for this but it’d be great if it could be considered.

  44. The technical prospect for those new products look very interesting, but I do not like at all the vague commitments regarding shipping. And when a company does not answer legitimate emails sent to sales@, I get very suspicious.

    1. I couldn’t agree more. I love the product but the fact that they sent out a tweet that leads to the forum that tells us when shipping starts is kinda bullshit. It would be much better to actually tell us when shipping starts and on top of that tell us approximately how long shipping takes because on the shipping forum I’ve seen people saying that they are already getting emails about shipping but I certainly haven’t gotten any but there’s also no way to clarify that because of the lack of responses.

  45. I wish it had been made clear to me that the pinebook pro would incur an import duty of approximately $70, making it rather less attractive – so much so that I would not have bought one. Now going through buyer’s remorse.

      1. I agree with Arthur–
        please tell us which country this $70 applies to.

        Someone from Pine Microcomputer: please give us approximate import / duty fees as well you know them.

  46. Hi, great projects !
    May I ask a few questions ?
    Will the Pinephone be repairable ? I mean, we will it be possible to access the different componentsn and will it be possible to find some spare if one is defective or damaged ? Too often, some phones are dead because one component is damaged and there is no way to access it, and repairmen don’t want to make anything on a non mainstream brand.
    Will it be upgradable if there are hardware improvements ?
    Is there a UBPorts navigation software available ? I currently use Osmand on my Android device, and I like it. Is there something comparable, open source, allowing offline navigation or at least offline maps ?

  47. I m also very interested in bigger capacity of the Pinephone. There is currently no option which is satisfying for me personally to get raw sensor data from ANT+ or BLE sports sensors onto a Windows or Linux platform. The accuracy of these sensors are now as accurate so that they can be used as a medical device which is near to an ECG device as far as accuracy is concerned.

    I use a setup where I use these sensors 24h 7h days a week. I Pinephone would be a great platform for a sensor data aquisiton system. But to change the battery every two hours or so is not very comfortable.

    In older smartphones, it was possible to get batteries which had double or four times the size of a starndard battery. Unfortunately, I could not find bigger ones for the Samsung J7 batteries.

    I would definitely favour an option wich allows to use the battery connectors of the Pinephone to add an external battery pack.

  48. What about an adapter which allows to connect usb power banks to the battery connectors of the Pinephone? usb battery packs are available in all sizes and form factors.

  49. I just tried to order a PB Pro wuth an ANSI/US keyboard. The site said it was out of stock.
    Does that mean that all of that type from the first shipment are already allocated, or just that none have arrived?
    When are they likely to be available again?

    I hope this is the appropriate channel for this inquiry. If not, please redirect me.
    Thanks

  50. I definitely definitely definitely want that extended 5000 mah battery! That would make the idle time extend out to about 36 hours, and I think a lot of people would need that.

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