Until recently one of the main things keeping the PinePhone from being a smartphone most people could use as a daily driver was battery life – when my PinePhone arrived in September, 2020 I couldn’t find an operating system that would offer more than a day or so of battery life while idle, let alone during active use.
But thanks to an active development community, PinePhone battery life is getting better all the time. Now developer Megi, who maintains a custom Linux kernel optimized for Pine64’s Linux phone, says the latest versions offer support for up to 6 days of standby or idle time.
And that’s just one of many improvements in Megi’s Linux 5.12 and 5.13 kernels.
There are a number of small tweaks that lead to longer battery life while idle, including a patch that disables the touchscreen controller when the PinePhone is sleeping, and another patch that stops the phone from waking when you press the volume keys, which also saves power. There are also patches that automatically shut down CPU cores when they’re idle.
Keep in mind that most of these enhancements will bring better battery life when you’re not using the PinePhone, but they’ll have less impact, if any, on active use.
Some of the other changes added to Megi’s kernels in the past few months include:
- Improved support for audio output over HDMI
- Improved support for charging the phone using 1.5a power adapters
- Improved reliability for detecting if and when headphones/mics/headset are plugged in or removed
There’s also a bug fix that should help with stability by preventing some of the events that could cause the system to stall or hang.
You can find more details in Megi’s PinePhone development log.