Disclaimer: this is not a review, nor is it a recommendation to go buy something. I’m telling about my new Linux phone from the perspective of MY needs.
“No plan survives contact with the enemy”
yet another saying that Napoleon never said.
I love running Linux on my devices for many reasons: freedom, privacy, security, keeping away from Google spyware, together with personal taste. however, It was never my plan to buy #PinePhone, a relatively cheep #Linux phone. back in August 2019, I decided to support crowdfunding for Librem-5, a Linux phone made by #purism, a phone that attempts to maximize your reedom, privacy and security with hardware made (almost) from scratch and Linux as OS. the plan was to replace my old phone with that one, once delivered.
Just like Napoleon didn’t say, the plan did not survive contact with the enemy. In this case the enemy was delays in Librem-5 production and delivery (it’s currently postponed to November 2021) from one side, and the old phone starting to physically dismantle on the other side. so I had to buy cheep intermediate phone, and PinePhone was my choice.
So now I have PinePhone with Linux on it. it’s not great, but it will improve. not only that the software it runs keeps improving, also the hardware is built with all main components being replacable. I can do basic phone tasks (calls, messages, contacts) and I have a large amount of applications available to install. not all applications work well, many Linux applications are designed with desktop in mind and do not scale well, or even work well, on mobile device. however, with the whole repositories of Linux distribution (Debian in my case, but you can choose between some) under my finger, I find suitable application for most of my needs. I also run some Android apps on it, using #anbox, but only if I have no other choice.
with all the troubles, having a real standard free Linux distro on my phone is an amazing experience, I may elaborate more in the feature about what can be done and what not (yet), but currently I’m having lots of fun with it.
and one last thing: If you are going to write a comment telling me that such devices “will never be good for the average user”, save it. I don’t know who is the average user but I’m sure he (“he” because in our patriarchal society an abstract is always male) is not paying for my phone and is not using it, so it was never a consideration.