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PinePhone - Setup

Setting up PinePhone for daily use.


PinePhone 1.2B Convergence edition with 3GB RAM

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra battery case

Back panel adapter for Galaxy S20 Ultra accessories

(see "Calls, SMS, and MMS" below for issue with the battery case)

Operating System

postmarketOS 23.06 with Phosh

Installed on a brand new 128GB SD card

Official postmarketOS image built on 2023-11-27

Phone configuration

I use T-Mobile (US) which allows PinePhone and other "unofficial" devices on their network.

T-Mobile BYOD settings

Mobile network settings

Settings / Mobile Network / Access Point Names

Name: T-Mobile

APN: fast.t-mobile.com

Messaging settings

Chats / Preferences / SMS and MMS Settings

MMSC: http://mms.msg.eng.t-mobile.com/mms/wapenc

APN: fast.t-mobile.com

Modem firmware upgrade

Much recommended by the community for bugfixes and better handling of calls and SMS/MMS. To be honest, I don't understand much, but I will gladly use all of the improvements the enthusiasts made.

LinMob article


Flashing instructions

Get latest firmware (package.tar.gz) release from GitHub

tar xzvf package.tar.gz
sudo ./flashall
sudo reboot

I ran the automatic script several months ago, but updated to latest release manually just to be sure.


According to docs, T-Mobile requires ADSP 01.003.

ADSP carriers

Run as root:

wget https://github.com/Biktorgj/quectel_eg25_recovery/raw/EG25GGBR07A08M2G_01.003.01.003/update/NON-HLOS.ubi
echo -ne "AT+QFASTBOOTr" > /dev/ttyUSB2
fastboot flash modem NON-HLOS.ubi
fastboot reboot

After properly updating ADSP, my modem stays connected and seems to connect to both 4G and 2G.


My phone software requirements are not extensive. All I need is:

Calls, SMS, and MMS

Mostly handled by the setup above.

Placing calls works well. Receiving a call makes the screen flicker and become unresponsive with no way to accept or reject the call.

TODO: Search community about this issue.

Call quality is acceptable. When using speakerphone, the other party says they hear themselves.

SMS/MMS works well, and MMS is delayed until mobile data is available.

Bizarre issue with the battery case: A minute or two after the battery case is turned on (i.e. PinePhone is being charged from the case), PinePhone's modem loses signal and fails to connect until the case is turned off or removed. I suspect this is an issue with USB, since modem is /dev/ttyUSB2

TODO: Check how to set PinePhone's physical USB port to charge-only.


Fractal 5 is the new version of the Matrix client that now has E2EE and is more mobile-friendly.

Overall, works really well. All of the features that I need are supported: E2EE, replies, edits, attachments. Photos and videos are viewable in-app. Minor issues: Sometimes takes over a minute to start, notifications are silent (but they blink the LED), keyboard is not brought up on input focus, and some avatars are rendered poorly.

Looks like GNOME is shifting some software towards flatpaks.

Fractal on Flathub

sudo apk add flatpak
sudo apk add gnome-software-plugin-flatpak
flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://dl.flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo
flatpak install flathub org.gnome.Fractal

Reboot for path changes and such to take effect.


ProtonMail setup


GNOME Maps seems like a decent candidate. Newer flatpak version (45) is much better for mobile. Installed via Software.

There is no offline option. Maps can take a while to load on mobile data.

Position provider, however, is terrible. While I went for a drive, my location was not being updated automatically, and when I re-centered, it was pinned to the nearest known WiFi access point coordinate, often several streets over.

TODO: Find why provider shows bad location
TODO: Look for alternatives: mepo, osmin, PureMaps (Qt)


Megapixels works fine, even though it takes a while to postprocess photos and quality is potato.

TODO: Look at postprocessing.

There are scripts out there to shoot video too.

TODO: Try video


There is an excellent client called Spot. Installed a flatpak via Software.

Make sure there is a default keyring and it is unlocked, or you will get many "New sign-in to Spotify" emails.