The LILYGO T-Deck is a pocket-sized device with a 2.8 inch, 320 x 240 pixel IPS LCD display, a BlackBerry-like thumb keyboard, and an ESP32 dual-core processor. While it’s not exactly a smartphone, it could make an interesting platform for building a handheld messaging device or dumb terminal, among other things.
One thing to keep in mind is that the T-Deck doesn’t support 4G or 5G cellular networks. But there’s optional support for a LoRa module, and all models support WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 5.0 LE. The T-Deck is available from the LILYGO website for $43 and up or from the LILYGO AliExpress store for $53 and up.
Starting prices are for a WiFi & Bluetooth-only model, but customers can also pay extra for a model with a SX1262 LoRa radio for long-range wireless communications. LILYGO offers models that make use of 433 MHz, 868 MHz, or 915 MHz bands.
The T-Deck is more of a development kit than a finished, user-friendly product. It doesn’t come with a case, so the circuit board is exposed to the elements. There’s no battery included, but there is a connector that can be used to add a LiPo battery. And users will have to code their own software to run on the device (at least until/unless this becomes a popular platform and you can start to find third-party software available for download).
All models feature a 240 MHz ESP32-S3FN16R8 dual-core Tensilica LX7 microcontroller, 8MB of PSRAM and 16MB of SPI flash storage plus a microSD card reader for removable storage. In other words, this thing doesn’t have the horsepower to run a modern smartphone operating system like Android or Mobian.
But it can be programmed using Arduino and Micropython, so I can imagine folks using it as a standalone messaging device or coding software that lets you pair it with a smartphone for use on the go.
Other features include a trackball, USB Type-C port (for power and data), a speaker, dual microphones, and a power button. The T-Deck measures 100 x 68 x 11mm (3.9″ x 2.7″ x 0.4″).
LILYGO has posted firmware, schematics, and some other documentation in a GitHub repository.
via CNX Software