The PinePhone: A Comprehensive Guide to the Affordable Linux Smartphone

The PinePhone, developed by Pine64, is an exciting and affordable smartphone that runs on Linux. With its open-source nature and support for various Linux distributions, the PinePhone offers a unique mobile experience for enthusiasts and privacy-conscious users. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the features, capabilities, and potential of the PinePhone, as well as explore the different Linux distributions available for this remarkable device.

Hardware and Design:

The PinePhone boasts a solid and durable build, featuring a 5.95-inch LCD display with a resolution of 1440×720 pixels. It is powered by a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor, accompanied by 2GB or 3GB of RAM, depending on the model. The phone offers ample storage space with options of 16GB or 32GB eMMC, expandable via a microSD card slot. It also includes a removable 3000mAh battery, USB Type-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera.

Linux Distributions for the PinePhone:

One of the standout features of the PinePhone is its compatibility with various Linux distributions. Users can choose from popular options such as Ubuntu Touch, Sailfish OS, and KDE Plasma Mobile, each offering a unique user interface and app ecosystem. Ubuntu Touch provides a touch-friendly interface with convergence capabilities, allowing seamless transition between phone and desktop modes. Sailfish OS offers a gesture-based UI and a focus on privacy, while KDE Plasma Mobile brings a familiar desktop-like experience to the mobile platform.

Community and Development:

The PinePhone benefits from a vibrant and active community of developers and enthusiasts. This community-driven approach ensures ongoing development, bug fixes, and feature enhancements for the device. With regular software updates and improvements, the PinePhone continues to evolve and become more refined. The Pine64 forum and community channels serve as valuable resources for support, troubleshooting, and discovering new applications and modifications for the device.

Use Cases and Limitations:

The PinePhone is not your average smartphone, and it caters to a specific audience. It is an excellent choice for Linux enthusiasts, privacy-conscious individuals, and those who enjoy tinkering with their devices. The PinePhone offers a range of use cases, including everyday communication, web browsing, media consumption, and even light productivity tasks. However, it’s important to note that the PinePhone may not have the same app ecosystem and polished user experience as mainstream smartphones. Some apps may be limited or require additional development to run smoothly on the PinePhone.

Cost: $149-$199

The PinePhone is renowned for its affordability, making it an attractive option for those seeking a Linux smartphone without a hefty price tag. As of its last known price, the PinePhone is available at a competitive and budget-friendly cost. Its price varies depending on the specific model and configuration, with options available to suit different budget ranges. Moreover, the open-source nature of the PinePhone fosters a vibrant community of developers, resulting in a wide range of software applications and operating systems that can be obtained and installed for free. With its accessible price point and extensive community support, the PinePhone offers an excellent value proposition for individuals looking to embrace the Linux mobile ecosystem without breaking the bank.


The PinePhone is an affordable and intriguing smartphone that embraces the Linux philosophy. With its compatibility with various Linux distributions, the PinePhone empowers users to explore different mobile experiences and customize their devices to their liking. While it may not be a mainstream smartphone, the PinePhone offers a unique opportunity to join a passionate community and contribute to the development of Linux-based mobile platforms. If you’re looking for an alternative to the dominant mobile operating systems, the PinePhone might just be the device for you.