Beta version of Linux smartphone PinePhone now on sale with Manjaro distro

Pine64 has started selling the PinePhone, a smartphone that runs on Linux. The phone costs 129 euros, or 150 dollars, and will be delivered at the end of April. It is a limited edition and is aimed at early adopters with a lot of knowledge of Linux.

The phone has been in development for several years. In April last year, Pine64 started pre-sale of the developer version of the phone. That version still ran on Ubuntu port UBports. The Beta Edition Linux SmartPhone, as the new PinePhone is fully called, runs on Linux distro Manjaro with Plasma Mobile OS interface. In October we wrote an extensive review of the PinePhone.

Last month, Pine64 announced that it would stop making several PinePhones with all kinds of Linux distros, but that it would completely switch to the Manjaro operating system. However, users can put other operating systems on the phone.

That new version with Manjaro is now for sale on the Pine64 website. The company also publishes detailed specifications. The phone comes with an IPS screen of 5.95 inches with an aspect ratio of 1440×720 pixels. The CPU is an Allwinner A64 with four ARM Cortex A53 cores, which is combined with a Mali 400MP2 GPU.

The internal memory is 2GB Lpddr3 sdram, with 16GB eMMC internal flash memory. The memory can be expanded with a microSD card, up to 2TB. The phone has a 5-megapixel camera on the back and a 2-megapixel camera on the front. The phone comes with an easily replaceable battery from 2750 to 3000mAh, which can be charged with a 15W-5V 3A fast charger.

Pine64 warns that the phone is not intended for users who know little about Linux and is really intended as an early-adopter phone. “The phone is only intended for users with extensive Linux experience,” the brand writes on the website. The community price for the phone is $150 or $200 with a convergence pack. It contains a USB-C dock that turns the phone into a PC and connects a mouse, keyboard and monitor. The retail price should be $249 once it hits the market.