The folks behind the $149 PinePhone Linux smartphone have introduced a new version that’s designed to work not only as a mobile Linux device, but also as portable desktop computer.
The new PinePhone Convergence Package is a new $200 bundle that includes a version of the smartphone with souped up specs, plus a USB-C docking station that makes it easy to connect a display, keyboard, mouse, and even Ethernet.
Starting today, you can place an order for the limited edition PinePhone Community Edition: PostmarketOS with Convergence Package bundle for $200. Or you can just order the phone itself for $150, but you’ll get a slightly less capable device for that price.
The PinePhone features a 5.95 inch, 1440 x 720 pixel IPS LCD touchscreen display, a 1.2 GHz Allwinner A64 quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor, a headphone jack, USB-C port, a removable battery, and a microSD card reader.
Designed to run a variety of different operating systems, the “Community Edition” models Pine64 has taken to selling recently tend to ship with a particular OS pre-installed, and a custom logo on the back. But unlike most other smartphones, the PinePhone is designed to be hacker-friendly and there’s nothing stopping you from replacing postmarketOS with Ubuntu, Mobian, SailfishOS, or a bunch of other operating systems.
But the big news today is that not only can you buy a version of the phone with postmarketOS pre-installed, (as promised last month), but you can also pay a little extra to get a model with 50-percent more RAM and 2X the storage of all other PinePhone models to date.
The new Convergence Package model has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of eMMC storage, up from the usual 2GB/16GB.
Customers will also get a USB-C dock that includes:
- 1 x HDMI output
- 1 x 10/100 Ethernet jack
- 2 x USB 2.0 ports (for mice and keyboards)
In a blog post, Pine64 says the company has not yet decided whether the Convergence Pack will become a permanent offering, or if this will be a one-time experiment. The future of this option will depend on depend on how much demand there is for this option.
For now, just keep in mind that the developers of postmarketOS describe “convergence” as a beta feature. Using the USB-C dock makes it easy to connect external hardware, but there’s still work underway to ensure that the software works flawlessly.
In other PinePhone news, Pine64 has added a few new accessories to its official store: you can pick up an external battery charger or a tempered glass screen protector. They’re priced at $5 each, making the screen protector pretty inexpensive by modern standards. The battery charger… there really aren’t a lot of other options that I’m aware of, since the PinePhone is one of the few modern smartphones that even has a removable battery.
You can also pick up a spare battery for the phone for $10.