The PinePhone is an inexpensive Linux-friendly smartphone with a $150 starting price. And now you can turn it into a tiny Linux laptop thanks to a $50 keyboard accessory.

It’s one of four new PinePhone accessories that are now available from the Pine Store.

In addition to being able to run mobile Linux distributions, the PinePhone has a few other special features that are available when you remove the back cover of the phone. There are a set of hardware kill switches for disabling the mic, camera, or wireless features. And there are a set of pogo pins that allow you to connect other hardware.

Pine64’s new accessories are all designed as replacement covers that can connect to those pins:

All of the cases are compatible with both the original PinePhone and the newer PinePhone Pro, a higher-performance smartphone with a faster processor, more memory and storage, and a $399 price tag. PinePhone Pro Developer Edition devices began shipping recently and an Explorer Edition for early adopters is expected to be available soon.

The PinePhone Keyboard and wireless charging cases have been under development for over a year, and after extensive testing, the final design features a clamshell-style design that allows the phone to fold over the keyboard when closed, or open up like a laptop.

There’s a 6,000 mAh battery in the keyboard that helps extend the PinePhone’s battery life and also helps balance the device when placed flat on a table. And thanks to a 180-degree hinge, you can also hold the PinePhone keyboard in two hands for thumb typing.

Since the keyboard connects to the phone’s pogo pins, you don’t lose access to the PinePhone’s USB-C port, and there are also cut-outs for the phone’s camera and headphone jack. The keyboard also has its own USB-C port that can power and charge both the keyboard and the PinePhone.

And if you’re not happy with the keyboard layout, most of the keys can be removed and rearranged. The keyboard’s firmware is also open source and programmable.

You can find more information about the new accessories at the Pine64 blog.

PinePhone ProPinePhone
Display6 inch
1440 x 720 pixel IPS LCD
Gorilla Glass 4
5.95 inch
1440 x 720 pixel
IPS LCD
SoCRockchip RK3399S
2 x ARM Cortex-A72
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 @ 1.5 GHz
Allwinner A64
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 @ 1.2 GHz
GPUARM Mali-T760 4-cores @ 500 MHzARM Mali-400MP2
RAM4GB LPDDR4 @ 800 MHz2GB or 3GB LPDDR3
Storage128GB eMMC16GB or 32GB eMMC
Camera (rear)13MP Sony IMX258
LED flash
5MP Omnivision OV5640
LED flash
Camera (front)8MP Omnivision OV88582MP GC2035
ModemQuectel EG25-G with global GSM and CDMA
4G LTE
GPS, A-GPS, GLONAS
Quectel EG25-G with global GSM and CDMA
4G LTE
GPS, A-GPS, GLONAS
WiFiAmpak AP6255
WiFi 5
WiFi 4
BluetoothBluetooth 4.1Bluetooth 4.0
I/OUSB 3.0 Type-C (power, data, video)
pogo pins
3.5mm headphone
microSD card reader
USB 2.0 Type-C (power, data, video)
pogo pins
3.5mm headphone
microSD card reader
SensorsAccelerometer
Gyroscope
Proximity
Compass
Ambient Light
Accelerator
Gyroscope
Proximity
Compass
Ambient Light
Barometer
ButtonsPower
Volume up/down
Power
Volume up/down
Hardware kill switchesCameras
Microphone
WiFi & BT
LTE modem
Headphones
Cameras
Microphone
WiFi & BT
LTE modem
Headphones
Battery3,000 mAh Samsung J7 form-factor3,000 mAh Samsung J7 form-factor
Charging5V/3A (15W)5V/3A (15W)
Dimensions160.8 x 76.6 x 11.1mm160.5 x 76.6 x 9.2mm
Weight215 grams180 – 200 grams
Price$399$149 / $199

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7 Comments

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  1. Great to see physical QWERTY keyboard on smartphone again. If LG is still around, they can take the opportunity of making this kind of accessory for their flagship model. Their detachable DualScreen case is an absolute brilliance, it’s far better than any foldable screen smartphone ever exist.

  2. The PinePhone Pro is pretty expensive compared to the OG PinePhone at $399.

    It is still not as expensive as the Librem-5 but it is also out of the impulse-buy category.

    1. But then again, it does have numerous internal upgrades compared to the vanilla model, so I can forgive the price hike.

  3. Ooh, that’ll make me happier to try out manjaro with KDE Plasma instead of Phosh. I found the software keyboard didn’t trigger when tapping the address bar of Vivaldi browser and unlike Phosh there wasn’t a manual button to display the keyboard so I got stuck. Looks like it’ll need cutting to not foul the NVMe SSD heatsinks I put on the SoC to aid in cooling.