PinePhone Review

I have a pine phone. To those of you who have not heard of pine phone look at It’s a Linux phone which can run about 20 different Linux OS’s, but it’s not sold as a complete phone, it was sold as a development phone. Until the software is perfect. I will explain why I bought one.

Written by Chris Burmajster

PinePhone Review

I do not like the two main OS’s that phones come with. There’s Android, which is Google and iOS which is an Apple product. Both very lacking in privacy! About 9 years ago Ubuntu reckoned that the world was ready for a Linux phone, and I was very excited by this and ordered one. It was a Spanish company called BQ who made it. I ordered it straight away. It was WONDERFUL to have an Ubuntu phone! The privacy it offered was absolutely staggering. To date, I still have this phone and am using it.

I purchased my pine phone last year when I bought my new car for my retirement. It had a feature whereby it had a wireless phone charging app on the car. The

PinePhone Review

salesman chatted about it and put my 9 year old phone on it.

Now those of you with 9 year old phones will know that they don’t have wireless! But I didn’t know that at the time. Anyway, my attention was elsewhere! I drove the car back home with the phone on the wireless charging on (I didn’t know how to switch it off). When I got home I took the phone off and it was dead. I was puzzled by this, because everything about the phone was solid.

So I ordered a pine phone, which came with Manjaro OS, but I installed UBports, which was Ubuntu in all but name. Ubuntu had ceased to develop the OS for the mobile phone and UBports had stepped in to develop the phone. Those of you who have seen UBports will have (hopefully!) a good view of it.

Anyway, the pine phone was not a daily phone even with UBports on it. So I looked at my old phone and discovered that it was just the battery that had gone. So I ordered another battery. When it came I fitted it and, hey presto, it all worked! So I was back to an Ubuntu phone.

So I have kept my pine phone all this time looking at UBports website and the pine phone, but so far they have not yet cracked the software. So I decided to put KDE Plasma Mobile on it just to try it and see what had been achieved. This had been the mobile OS of choice for Pine64 and it was interesting to see it.

However, one of my computers had given up the ghost, and so I bought a new one just a few months ago. It was a Windows

PinePhone Review

computer to go with the Ubuntu computer that was my main computer. Then came Windows 11 which I put on it and it runs OK.

Now, the last time I used my Ubuntu computer it was rather complex to put an OS on the pine phone, because it came with multiple drives. I didn’t want to go through that again. So I used Windows 11. I downloaded the KDE Plasma Mobile, also downloaded Balena Etcher for the flashing process. My Windows 11 computer is set up according to Rob Braxman’s new computer setup, which means that I have two users, one a local account, which I use regularly, and the admin account which I hardly ever use. I don’t use any anti virus, except for Microsoft’s own. That was going to be the problem.

I did everything except turn off the anti virus, and this made Balena Etcher twitchy. It didn’t flash properly. I tried it again and once again, it didn’t work. But then something was wrong with my pine phone. It didn’t work. It was dead! So I got onto Pine64’s forums where I asked why this had happened and was it going to be fixable. I’ll cut the time spent (5 days!) down.

One thing that worked was Jumpdrive. This was a utility that allowed the eemc to be directly exposed to the Rashing process. I had an SD card which ran Jumpdrive and the phone worked with it. But it didn’t offer the computer an emmc drive to which the computer wanted to Rash it. Eventually, I got the SD card to be flashed by a mobile OS, KDE Mobile to be precise. This worked because the phone booted from it, but it was very slow. Then I discovered with the back off of the phone, that there was a reset button. I asked what it did and was told that it reset the hardware to factory settings. Oh wow! I immediately used the reset button and found that I could Rash UB ports to the phone on eemc!

So I did and now all is well. It’s so good that the pine phone has all these features and I’m very pleased with it.

Leave a Comment