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)
postmarketOS 23.06 with Phosh
Installed on a brand new 128GB SD card
Official postmarketOS image built on 2023-11-27
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
Chats / Preferences / SMS and MMS Settings
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.
Get latest firmware (package.tar.gz) release from GitHub
wget 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.
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 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 - rarely, mostly for everyday needs
- SMS/MMS - for some friends, acquaintances, and everyday needs
- Matrix - for friends and family (I self-host and use a WhatsApp bridge)
- Maps - preferably offline, such as Organic Maps or OsmAnd
- Camera - potato quality is fine
- Spotify - nice to have for driving
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.
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.