After shipping tens of thousands of PinePhone Community Edition smartphones to enthusiasts, the folks at Pine64 ended the Community Edition program recently. Now you can buy a PinePhone Beta Edition, which will ship with Manjaro Linux and the KDE Plasma user interface pre-installed.

It’s called Beta because the software is still a work in progress. But the hardware is pretty much finalized, and after encountering a series of potential delays due to component shortages, Pine64 announced recently that after going up for pre-order on March 24, production of the PinePhone Beta Edition should begin soon and the phone could ship to customers by late April.

The main thing setting the new PinePhone Beta Edition apart from the past few Community Edition models is the pre-installed software. The hardware, including version 1.2b of the printed circuit board, is unchanged. So if you’ve already got one, there’s probably not much reason to invest in the new model, because you can always install Manjaro or another operating system on your own.

You do get the new official box art if you opt for the new model though.

Buyers also still have two options:

Pine64 has also announced that work is progressing on official accessories including a physical keyboard and a fingerprint reader. They’re both designed to connect to the pogo pins hidden by the phone’s back cover, so both accessories will be built into replacement covers that will be available for purchase from the Pine64 Store soon.

The keyboard could be available as soon as mid-May, while the fingerprint reader is on track for a release sometime in the second quarter of 2021.

You can find more news about the PinePhone and the status of other Pine64 products in the Pine64 March 2021 Update.

This article was originally published March 15, 2021 and last updated March 24, 2021. 

PinePhone Specs

PinePhonePinePhone Convergence Package
Display5.95 inch
1440 x 720 pixel
IPS LCD
5.95 inch
1440 x 720 pixel
IPS LCD
ProcessorAllwinner A64
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 Cores @ 1.2 GHz
Mali-400 MP2 graphics
Allwinner A64
4 x ARM Cortex-A53
Mali-400 MP2 graphics
RAM2GB LPDDR33GB LPDDR3
Storage16GB eMMC
microSD (up to 2TB)
32GB eMMC
microSD (up to 2TB)
WirelessWiFi 4
Bluetooth 4.0
GPS
4G LTE (Quectel E-25G)
WiFi 4
Bluetooth 4.0
GPS
4G LTE (Quectel E-25G)
PortsUSB-C
3.5mm audio
USB-C
3.5mm audio
Cameras5MP rear
2MP front
5MP rear
2MP front
Battery3,000 mAh (removable)3,000 mAh (removable)
Charging5V/3A5V/3A
Sensors Accelerator
Gyroscope
Proximity
Compass
Ambient Light
Barometer
Accelerator
Gyroscope
Proximity
Compass
Ambient Light
Barometer
ButtonsPower
Volume
Power
Volume
Hardware kill switchesModem
WiFi/Bluetooth
Microphone
Rear camera
Front camera
Headphone
Modem
WiFi/Bluetooth
Microphone
Rear camera
Front camera
Headphone
Dimensions160.5 x 76.6 x 9.2mm160.5 x 76.6 x 9.2mm
Weight180 – 200 grams180 – 200 grams
Included accessoriesN/AUSB-C dock
Price$149$199

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2 Comments

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  1. IMHO an awful product. And you need to buy an unnecessary USB dock in order to get the 3G of RAM.

  2. It would be nice if the PinePhone Beta addition came with another button, that users could program to do functions, or tasks of their chosing, like voice assistant, note taking, email, browser, camera, or anything else the user wants, including a wifi toggle button.