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Thread: Linux-based mobile phone

  1. #1
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    Linux-based mobile phone

    Hi all. Just wondered what everyone thinks is the best Linux-based mobile phone out at the moment, or shortly about to come out (in the UK). I'd really like my next phone to be Linux-based. I've considered every single Android option I can find, but none are quite there for me. The Motorola Droid/Milestone comes extremely close, but I'm afraid I just could not own a phone with gold trim! (shallow, I know ) At the moment, the Nokia N900 is tempting me with its Debian-based goodness.

    My current phone is decent but it has all kinds of weird quirks and bugs and is stuck on a really old firmware version that I can't update. Who else hates it when operators brand the firmware by using their own customised version and completely screw it up?!

  2. #2
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    Re: Linux-based mobile phone

    Probably the Nokia N9000.

  3. #3
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    Re: Linux-based mobile phone

    why do you want it to be linux based?

    if it is just to say "my phone runs linux" then there is a wide choice.

    if it is so that you can hack and modify it, and install what ever native linux software you want, then the choice is much smaller.

    if you want the most open phone then look at the openmoko. lets you flash whatever you want on top it (there are a few specific distros, but you can also use debian or gentoo if you really want). however it does feel a bit like running linux in the early to mid naughties, some commandline knowledge will help a lot.

  4. #4
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    Re: Linux-based mobile phone

    I currently own an HTC Hero and I have to say that it is not all I hoped for. It's a decent phone, it's pretty but it's also slow and the selection of useful applications is rather small. Worst though is that it isn't structured to get work done but rather to be pretty (which given the slowness is rather frustrating).

    I am very interested in what Intel is doing with Moblin on phones. I think the UI is a very good fit for a smartphone and the stack is very close to a standard Linux desktop (as is Nokia's Maemo). Hopefully this means the option will appeal to Linux developers and grant them the option of easily porting existing applications.

    Presentation video here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZmkuuFKz5s

    Right now I would probably recommend the N900, it is a very sexy, if expensive, phone and the same development time that is put into that platform also goes into improving your Ubuntu desktop since they run pretty much the same stack.
    On strike during the Oneiric cycle due to ungratefulness of Ubuntu.


  5. #5
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    Re: Linux-based mobile phone

    Yeah man just get one of the sweet Android phones, HTC Magic or whatever looks quite cool - there's a ton of choice there at lots of price ranges... usually you're talking over about £140 though for a reasonable one (here in the uuukay!)
    Registered Ubuntu user #28880

  6. #6
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    Re: Linux-based mobile phone

    Quote Originally Posted by ssam View Post
    why do you want it to be linux based?

    if it is just to say "my phone runs linux" then there is a wide choice.

    if it is so that you can hack and modify it, and install what ever native linux software you want, then the choice is much smaller.

    if you want the most open phone then look at the openmoko. lets you flash whatever you want on top it (there are a few specific distros, but you can also use debian or gentoo if you really want). however it does feel a bit like running linux in the early to mid naughties, some commandline knowledge will help a lot.
    It's not just to say my phone runs Linux, although that is kinda cool* It's more that the Linux-based operating systems for phones are interesting me the most. I'm not jumping at the opportunity to get another Symbian phone, and iPhone OS does not interest me at all. All the other phone OSes I know of are just proprietary ones for whatever phone make.

    * Not by most people's standards!

  7. #7
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    Re: Linux-based mobile phone

    Quote Originally Posted by gnomeuser View Post
    I currently own an HTC Hero and I have to say that it is not all I hoped for. It's a decent phone, it's pretty but it's also slow and the selection of useful applications is rather small. Worst though is that it isn't structured to get work done but rather to be pretty (which given the slowness is rather frustrating).

    I am very interested in what Intel is doing with Moblin on phones. I think the UI is a very good fit for a smartphone and the stack is very close to a standard Linux desktop (as is Nokia's Maemo). Hopefully this means the option will appeal to Linux developers and grant them the option of easily porting existing applications.

    Presentation video here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZmkuuFKz5s

    Right now I would probably recommend the N900, it is a very sexy, if expensive, phone and the same development time that is put into that platform also goes into improving your Ubuntu desktop since they run pretty much the same stack.
    Yeah I read your blog post on the HTC Hero. I wasn't convinced about it but I was considering it, but after reading I decided against getting one.

    The N900 is expensive, but I'd add that it's still less than an iPhone! The only disadvantage I could see was the resistive touchscreen rather than capacitive, but whether that's actually a disadvantage, I guess I'd have to try it.

  8. #8
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    Re: Linux-based mobile phone

    The HTC Hero and Magic devices are good, and I'm of the view that Android will be a major player in the operating system battle that is raging. Like all things, it's an acquired taste - but I would say if you want a smartphone definitely consider Android devices. As for the N900, it is expensive but consider it if you like Ubuntu/Debian, a great camera, file system access, superb build (love 'em or hate 'em but Nokia wipe out every other phone maker on build quality), excellent video support, the best mobile browser yet, full and accessible multi-tasking, root access, apt and editable software sources... As for the downsides, battery life (but hey, you'll use the N900 lots!), you need to get micro-USB chargers everywhere, there isn't an app store with 100,000 [mostly poor] time-wasting apps in it... Er... It's a good option!

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    Re: Linux-based mobile phone

    ELSE, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nn1uPQ3zXMw

    Sadly though, like the iPhone, AT&T will probably get the ELSE.

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