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PartisanEntity
February 15th, 2010, 05:22 PM
Hi gang,

I am on the look out for a new smartphone and am wondering:

- What is the best Linux powered phone and why?

or

- What is the best Linux friendly phone and why?

Would love to hear from other users and see what your opinions are.

arnab_das
February 15th, 2010, 05:29 PM
i think N900 is the best Linux phone by far. has a good camera, great OS.

but from what i have gathered, its usually always out of stock. 32 GB memory supported, has 5 MP cam. great phone.

saif_held
February 15th, 2010, 05:31 PM
My Motorola V8! :P I would go for an Android-based devices. I heard HTC Hero is a great phone.

PartisanEntity
February 15th, 2010, 05:32 PM
i think N900 is the best Linux phone by far. has a good camera, great OS.

but from what i have gathered, its usually always out of stock. 32 GB memory supported, has 5 MP cam. great phone.

Yes I thought about it, it is a little outside of my price range at the moment. But, it doesn't have a capacitative touch-screen as far as I know?

PartisanEntity
February 15th, 2010, 05:33 PM
How open is Android? I mean does Google prevent users from hacking or modyfying their Android powered phones like Apple does?

saif_held
February 15th, 2010, 05:36 PM
How open is Android? I mean does Google prevent users from hacking or modyfying their Android powered phones like Apple does?

No, I actually heard(again), that there're some mods for Android phones just like the jailbreak of iPhone.

arnab_das
February 15th, 2010, 05:40 PM
Yes I thought about it, it is a little outside of my price range at the moment. But, it doesn't have a capacitative touch-screen as far as I know?

yea thats a bit of a let down, but its very stable. supports loads of apps. and comes from nokia (hence ur guaranteed to get proper support for ur phone). i know its quite expensive, but its totally worth it. i havent used it, coz its not available in my country, but i will buy it if it is. stash ur cash and keep saving, its worth every single penny.

aysiu
February 15th, 2010, 06:28 PM
How open is Android? I mean does Google prevent users from hacking or modyfying their Android powered phones like Apple does? It's pretty open. You just have to consider that a lot of the default Android apps are proprietary (GMail, Maps, YouTube). One of the modders got into trouble for redistributing these in a rom without Google's permission, so he got around it by having his rom just back up the existing proprietary apps and then copy them back after the rooted rom is in place.

NCLI
February 15th, 2010, 06:58 PM
My Nexus One! :D

How open is Android? I mean does Google prevent users from hacking or modyfying their Android powered phones like Apple does?
No, not at all. Google is fine with people changing the OS on the phone, and is not actively trying to prevent it. In fact, they've made it incredibly easy.

The only consequence is that you'll void your warranty.

Anxious Nut
February 15th, 2010, 07:06 PM
I'd definitely go for Nokia N900. it's based on Dedian, same as ubutnu. Since that you can run a lot of programs that you use, some are: OpenOffice.org, aircrack-ng, firefox, vlc(working on it), and dosbox! I know if im gonna buy any, it would be it. That in addition to the 5mp camera and the full qwerty keyboard.

Post Monkeh
February 15th, 2010, 07:06 PM
yea thats a bit of a let down, but its very stable. supports loads of apps. and comes from nokia (hence ur guaranteed to get proper support for ur phone). i know its quite expensive, but its totally worth it. i havent used it, coz its not available in my country, but i will buy it if it is. stash ur cash and keep saving, its worth every single penny.

the only thing you're guaranteed with nokia is that they'll tell you what you want and won't listen if anyone trys to disagree

cb951303
February 15th, 2010, 07:14 PM
I would go with nexus one. There are modified firmwares for several android phone and google is fine with it. Only thing they don't want is the distribution of their closed source applications such as "google maps" and "android market". But note that android is a fully functional OS without google's binary parts.

Also check this link: http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=34326
Maemo is not that open source friendly. Some of its fundemental parts such as the media player UI are closed source.

Both platforms have binary kernel blobs for hardware.

Colonel Kilkenny
February 15th, 2010, 08:14 PM
Also check this link: http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=34326
Maemo is not that open source friendly.

Except that Maemo / MeeGO uses Qt, Linux + normal Gnome software stack and companies involved (read: Nokia) work with the upstream (WebKit, Mozilla, Gnome, PulseAudio, X, etc.) sources. So development in Maemo is also improving our desktop distros. Future versions are also using oFono and other brand new open source components developed from scratch by Nokia & Intel.

Android, not so much.

cb951303
February 15th, 2010, 10:39 PM
I'm not trying to start a flame war. "Open source friendly" may not be the right word though. What I meant to say is that when you look at both systems component by component, android is fully functional with 100% open source code whereas maemo is not.

on the other hand, AFAIK maemo does not use QT yet.
and android too, uses Linux. I think you meant that it uses a debian based distro whereas android is pretty much non-standard except the kernel.

revoltism
February 17th, 2010, 05:39 AM
I would definitely go N900. If you like Ubuntu you will find many things similar in Maemo 5. You also have Mer (community driven) and if you want you could run Ubuntu (Arm) on it but without the phone functions if i am correct.

A couple of things is disturbing though.. Nokia and Intel have just announced they will merge their two distributions Maemo and Moblin to make Meego. They have decided to use RPM as package-manager. The UI will be runned by QT although GTK+ will be supported. This means that the next version Maemo 6 will be the last purely "debian" based. Though firmware updates will continue and support for QT applications will be added. This means you will continue to have new applications long in the future. So next time you want to buy a phone you will probably have to go Meego but still use the same applications.

Engadget said the N900 was the best surf experience they have had on an handheld. That is not strange as it uses a browser with Firefox as base. In fact if you like you can install Firefox on it. And both Java and Flash are supported.

So right now. If you want linux on your phone N900 is it. Android is a pale comparison to linux in my mind (pretty much runned through java). The N900 have 32 Gb storage included. So far i have not seen an Android with better hardware. The snapdragon 1000Mhz cpu is about equal in speed to the 600Mhz N900 cpu.

HappinessNow
February 17th, 2010, 02:24 PM
HTC Legend

aeon.flux
February 20th, 2010, 10:14 AM
google nexus one rocks!

Kenny_Strawn
February 20th, 2010, 11:35 AM
I'd definitely go for Nokia N900. it's based on Dedian, same as ubutnu. Since that you can run a lot of programs that you use, some are: OpenOffice.org, aircrack-ng, firefox, vlc(working on it), and dosbox! I know if im gonna buy any, it would be it. That in addition to the 5mp camera and the full qwerty keyboard.

So, that's 2 mobile operating systems with a Debian-like core? (Yes, I say 2, because Google Chrome OS also has APT [albeit with jacked-up permissions]!)

qalimas
February 20th, 2010, 06:15 PM
No one has mentioned the Palm Pre.

It is Linux based (kernel 2.6.24), and from what I read, very compatible with Linux.

Only downside is no sd slot, but it has 8gb internal memory, so it's not terrible.

CptPicard
February 20th, 2010, 10:32 PM
N900, and there is no competition -- the hardware specs are beyond anything else, and Maemo is Debian. It just runs anything you want it to. I've tried it and am planning on getting one as soon as I can justify the cost... I don't understand the issue with the touchscreen, it felt just fine when I tried it.

I must admit I'm a bit partial to Nokias, being a Finnish geek and a Nokia user since early 90s, but I am so totally hyped by my favourite mobile company delivering something like this ;)

Dr. C
February 21st, 2010, 12:11 AM
The real issue here tivoization (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/rms-why-gplv3.html). The only real protection is GPL v3. One can start with an OS that is 100% Free Software but proceeds GPL v3 such as gNewSense (http://www.gnewsense.org) 1.1, don't provide the user with the root password and lock it down to the hardware so it cannot be changed with out the overseer's permission. One then adds as much DRM and malicious features as one wants, the latter written say under GPL v2 and provide the end user with all the source code. The Kindle from Amazon comes very close to this. Having access to the source code in this case did not prevent the users of the Amazon Kindle from having their notes deleted by the overseer. The result is a system consisting of 100% Free Software but is it free to the end user? Or is say Windows 7 (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/) with administrator access and the ability to change the OS a more free option?

When considering an Android phone one should first visit Bing (http://www.bing.com) and search for "root android". If there is a way to get root for the phone then one does have freedom, otherwise forget it.

MCVenom
February 21st, 2010, 12:36 AM
Motorola Droid/Milestone & Nexus One, here's some info on why (full disclosure: I'm posting this from a Droid :D) :

Both run Android, which is IMO currently the best and most free smartphone OS out there today (until MeeGo comes out, in which case I hope to god it somehow makes it to other hardware vendors, I don't know about you guys but Nokia isn't exactly 'fashionable' in the US :p )

The Droid's CPU can be overclocked stable up to 1.3 Ghz, its easily rootable, has a thriving development/modding/hacking community, support for multitouch, and offers 'now-I-can't-live-without' features such as free maps and GPS navigation. It can also run Ubuntu/Debian (I run Ubuntu, ext3 filesystem on mine) and a free VNC client is available so you can easily get a GUI up and running (I use LXDE).

As for the Nexus One, it's sleek, sexy, and does everything the Droid does (pun not intended ;)) and more, so, so much more. Sooner or later all US cell providers will have it (AT&T will be the last, but its coming ;))

Dr. C
February 21st, 2010, 12:42 AM
Motorola Droid/Milestone & Nexus One, here's some info on why (full disclosure: I'm posting this from a Droid :D) :

Both run Android, which is IMO currently the best and most free smartphone OS out there today (until MeeGo comes out, in which case I hope to god it somehow makes it to other hardware vendors, I don't know about you guys but Nokia isn't exactly 'fashionable' in the US :p )

The Droid's CPU can be overclocked stable up to 1.3 Ghz, its easily rootable, has a thriving development/modding/hacking community, support for multitouch, and offers 'now-I-can't-live-without' features such as free maps and GPS navigation. It can also run Ubuntu/Debian (I run Ubuntu, ext3 filesystem on mine) and a free VNC client is available so you can easily get a GUI up and running (I use LXDE).

As for the Nexus One, it's sleek, sexy, and does everything the Droid does (pun not intended ;)) and more, so, so much more. Sooner or later all US cell providers will have it (AT&T will be the last, but its coming ;))

Can the Milestone be rooted if it is already running Android 2.01?

hobo14
February 21st, 2010, 12:44 AM
I have an N1 (and it's great, I'd recommend it to anyone) but I think to fit your "best linux" requirement, you need Maemo, so an N900.

Yes, the N1 is easily rootable - mine is rooted. http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=8855085#post8855085

PartisanEntity
February 21st, 2010, 12:56 PM
Thanks for the feedback everyone. If I had the money, I would go with the Nokia N900. All the specs are right apart from the touchscreen, which I can live with.

And after checking, the Google Nexus One is not yet available in Austria.

For you Android users, I would be interested in the following apps (these are the ones I use regularly on the iPhone), are they available for Android?:

Media renderer for media centers
LogMeIn
Twitter app
Navigon navigation
VNC
RSS reader
Multiprotocol chat app
Fring, Skype (stand alones)
Evernote
VLC remote
Mousepad
XMBC remote
Webex
Dropbox

Post Monkeh
February 21st, 2010, 01:18 PM
Thanks for the feedback everyone. If I had the money, I would go with the Nokia N900. All the specs are right apart from the touchscreen, which I can live with.


i would challenge anyone to try that touchscreen along with 5 capacitive touchscreens and try to choose which one isn't a capacitive. and i don't like nokia at the minute after buying the steaming pile of manure that is the 5800.

steev182
February 21st, 2010, 09:01 PM
I don't know if this is indicative of Android as a whole, but I was using a Samsung Galaxy for about a month and a half after swapping my iPhone with my sister for a little while.

There are things I don't like about it, firstly the Bluetooth stack seems poor. They say that A2DP is supported, but it doesn't seem to work very well at all, the music doesn't stream properly and is more pink noise than music. Samsung won't upgrade the OS to 2.1, or even 1.6! The video playback of mp4 is a little jerky too.

I do love the notification system used in Android and it is so much better than that of the iPhone.

I was thinking about going with the Nexus One, but then my (non techy) friend bought an N900, and Nokia has completely redeemed themselves for me. I tested his for a couple of hours, the way it works is really nice, my divx/xvid tv shows and movies play perfectly, the browser is brilliant and the contacts app is brilliant. I'm signed into skype through the phone's settings and when I go to contacts, whether I'm on wifi or 3G, I can call using skype, meaning my transatlantic calls can be anywhere, rather than restricted to home/places with unprotected wifi.

After the little time testing, I actually bought one myself, and it's great. The BEST thing Nokia has done for a long time. The last Nokia I had was an N-Gage (big disappointment, but was a nice phone despite S60).

The camera is great, very nice at even very close up shots and really good in the dark (surprisingly) and is enough for those snapshots when I don't want to carry my DSLR (which surprises me no end!)

PartisanEntity
February 21st, 2010, 09:33 PM
Thanks for the quick review steev182, and experiences with OS compatibility when syncing? (contacts, emails, calendar with Ubuntu / OS X?).

Do they have an app market/store for the N900? (and if yes, can I also install apps from outside the market?)

steev182
February 21st, 2010, 09:46 PM
It supports syncML over USB/Bluetooth, the email client supports all the usual IMAP/POP/MS Exchange.

At the moment I'm playing around with media syncing, I installed rsync and just run 'rsync -t /home/User/MyDocs/* steve@home:/home/steve/n900/' which I want to end up triggering when the phone is on wifi, but at the moment it's good going from the terminal.

To install apps, it's a bit like a cross between ubuntu and an iPhone.

There's an 'App Manager' which lists everything in the repositories you have access to, you can add repositories, such as testing and also any others for the N900. It also looks after OTA system updates, which is awesome. These are free/open source apps. Then there is the Ovi Store which is Nokia's answer to the App Store. I can see this getting bigger, but at the moment it's pretty bare. Soon all the developers owning N900s will be bringing out some nice apps I reckon.

You can also download .debs directly too, but they do need to be especially for the N900. Also from the app manager, you can get an application which allows you to get sudo and install from the terminal using 'apt-get'.

It's awesome!

PartisanEntity
February 21st, 2010, 10:40 PM
Very nice, unfortunately the N900 is selling for around €520 here, which is more than I would like to spend on a phone. Hopefully it will get cheaper soon.

hobo14
February 22nd, 2010, 12:10 AM
On the N1:

Media renderer for media centers - yes (?)
LogMeIn - dont think so
Twitter app - yes
Navigon navigation - yes
VNC - yes
RSS reader - yes
Multiprotocol chat app - dk
Fring, Skype (stand alones) - yes (Fring, Nimbuzz, others)
Evernote - yes
VLC remote - yes
Mousepad - dk
XMBC remote - yes
Webex - don't think so
Dropbox - don't think so

You can chroot a debian image and have access to everything there though...

LunaticHiatus
February 22nd, 2010, 01:14 AM
n900 > Droid = Nexus 1 > Droid Eris = My touch > G1 > everything else

steev182
February 22nd, 2010, 01:53 PM
Just another pro for the N900, I used it this morning as an Alarm, and in contrast to the iPhone and Galaxy I had before, it woke me up straight away just using music!

Ozor Mox
February 22nd, 2010, 03:25 PM
I was considering the N900, but I wasn't sure about its practicality. Does no one find it a bit big and heavy? What about the lack of MMS and the inability to use it in portrait mode? Does this make it difficult for daily use or not really?

cb951303
February 22nd, 2010, 11:01 PM
logmein is working on an android app.

hobo14
February 23rd, 2010, 03:43 AM
I still think the N900 is the "best linux" phone, but I've got Debian running on my N1 now, which is nice.

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=8865159#post8865159

the yawner
February 23rd, 2010, 03:54 AM
I was crushing over SE's X10 for so many months now. (Being an SE fanboy that I am)
But then I saw the HTC Legend, and I think, I'm in-love.

lacs
February 23rd, 2010, 04:00 AM
this is all based on opinion but i think (i lov google) android is good (never used it but it looks awsome can you tell i am 13) :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: :! :!:

johnycage
February 23rd, 2010, 06:18 AM
I'm using old phone, Motorola Ming A 1200. But it's a Linux based smartphone. Never get hanged like Windows phones. I highly recommend it but I guess it's out of production now, the newer version is Moto A 1600.
-ve: cons are no 3G, no wifi. :(
pro: Value for money

HittingSmoke
February 23rd, 2010, 07:58 AM
I'm holding out for the yet to be announced HTC Supersonic. 1 Ghz Snapdragon CPU, 4.3" OLED capacitive touch screen, kickstand for media viewing. From what I hear the Android on-screen keyboard is so good people rarely use the hardware keyboards on the phones that have them. Also, with a 4.3 inch screen there's more than enough room for a keyboard on the screen.

The N900 is a nice phone, but the app development community for Android will be much more robust as Nokia sells pretty much crap in the US so the Maemo market share is never going to touch Android's

Supposed to be out this summer from Sprint. I'll never look back to Windows Mobile after that phone comes out.

the yawner
February 23rd, 2010, 08:45 AM
I'd very much want a Snapdragon Android handset. But that'll probably happen when Android phones have become more common in my local market. :(

amitabhishek
February 23rd, 2010, 01:09 PM
I have seen the both side of the spectrum. I own a OpenMoko's FreeRunner (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo_FreeRunner) phone as well as a HTC Magic phone.

Freerunner is a completely open phone. This phone is so open that even its CAD diagram is available for download. Now the bad news; all the OSs (except Android & probably SHR) that it supports suck big time. They are at best a hobbyist OS.

Android phones from HTC provide best of both world. These phones receives regular updates from the manufacturer. However if you decide to use one of those cooked ROMs (available at XDA) then the updates become even more frequent. You can also go few steps further and build your own ROM (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=530972)! This way you can do a mix and match of the best thats available in Android world :).

amitabhishek
February 23rd, 2010, 01:12 PM
I'm using old phone, Motorola Ming A 1200. But it's a Linux based smartphone. Never get hanged like Windows phones. I highly recommend it but I guess it's out of production now, the newer version is Moto A 1600.
-ve: cons are no 3G, no wifi. :(
pro: Value for money


I have used this for a year...great phone & lovely design.

aysiu
February 23rd, 2010, 04:08 PM
From what I hear the Android on-screen keyboard is so good people rarely use the hardware keyboards on the phones that have them. The actual on-screen keyboard itself isn't that good, but...

1. The autocomplete suggestions are multiple (not just one) as you begin typing, so you don't have to type the whole word. You can just select the actual word you want when it pops up.

2. There are many alternatives to the standard Android keyboard, so if you don't like the stock one, you can install another one.

3. Hard keyboards are also annoying to type on, since their keys are also tiny.

revoltism
February 25th, 2010, 04:37 PM
I have bought an N900 now and am amazed! It is not a phone you take on a hike to the mountains but will pretty much do what you like. It's a computer. The screen is nice. You will not feel any differens to a capacitive. It's fast. I downloaded htop to see the load when running multiple programs. At most i got it to 30% cpu load. Love the TV-out, radio transmitter and keyboard. The UI is damn nice and i will try and dualboot Ubuntu later.

I can't really say anything bad about it.. The Iphone aren't even close to this. This thing give you pure power to you finger tips. I don't even think N1 could compete with it..

Maybe the price are the bad thing and as it can do pretty much everything (also MMS) it is little heavy (but fits without problem in the pocket)...

Buffalo Soldier
April 18th, 2010, 06:31 PM
I bought the Nokia N900 two weeks ago. Enjoying it. Been using to SSH to remove servers, been using ping and nmap. It's GNU/Linux in a phone... I'm smilling like an idiot each time I use the 3G and terminal to connect to remote servers and do my work. It's like finally my prayers have been answered.

druide24
November 11th, 2010, 12:35 PM
Hi there,

After years of resistance, I finally decided that it might be worth having a handheld :)

I don't have any experience with smartphones so sorry if these are stupid questions...

Is the Nokia N900 still the "best" linux phone right now ?

The Nokia N8 seems cool, but is the virtual keyboard sufficient or is the physical keyboard better ? I would like to use my handheld like i do for my netbook : web, mail, instant messaging, but also games, videos and maybe something like accessing my pcs and/or servers for work...

Concerning the OS : Maemo/Meego/Symbian. Which is the best in your opinion ? Meego seems cool but I don't like RPM so much... Nokia would leave Maemo for Meego for 2012, so will Maemo still be used and by what device ? Which would be the best to interact with Ubuntu (the OS I use everywhere) ? Is there any way to install another OS in a smartphone and how ?

Thank you for your help. Bye :)

slackthumbz
November 11th, 2010, 01:51 PM
The N900 is a serious technorgasm, it's awesome. Hands down the best linux smart phone available.

danielNowLinuxDenmark
September 21st, 2011, 12:28 PM
hi m8

i see you post is old and you might already have bougth a device...
i hope for you that you did choose the N900 IT IS BETTER THAN AMAZING!!!!!!!

i bougth a Nokia N900 which is a fantastic device, best device ever, it runs apache2 server with fully functional mysql database and php5 and other sweet features i actually think to buy one more just in case this will be broke hehehe

from my phone i host several of my projects and its only thumbs up, im glad i didnt choose android device or other than N900 for that matter

AND THANKS TO QOLE FOR THE EASY DEBIAN :KS
so far i only try to iso's but i see on internet it should also be possible to install Ubuntu to this device..
any1 have experince doing this?

if so hows it to install and is it running smoothly??



WARNING!

If you get the N900 your family and girlfriends etc might find you a bit antisocial but its all worth it):P bye bye NOT electronic life


cheers all

nothingspecial
September 21st, 2011, 12:33 PM
Old thread.

Closed.