The folks behind the Volla Phone are now taking pre-orders for a second phone that will also be available with a choice of Android or Ubuntu Touch operating systems pre-installed.
As expected, the new Volla Phone X is a rugged smartphone with similar specs to the company’s first phone, but a more durable body. It also has a bigger battery, a slightly smaller screen, and a higher price tag – the Volla Phone X is up for pre-order now for €449 (about $530) and it should begin shipping to customers in August.
By comparison the original Volla Phone sells for €359 (about $425). But while that model initially went up for pre-order through a crowdfunding campaign before it was sold through Volla’s online store, the new Volla Phone X is skipping the crowdfunding step.
The new phone has an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance, covers that protect the USB and headphone ports when you’re not using them, and a 6,200 mAh battery which should provide longer run time. But it’s also a heavier phone (280 grams vs 190).
Still, it’s one of a relatively small number of phones available for purchase with a Linux-based operating system pre-installed as an alternative to Android. Folks who buy a model with Volla OS (the company’s version of Android) can also install Ubuntu Touch on their own if they’d prefer to go that route.
Here’s a run-down of some key specs for the Volla Phone X:
|Volla Phone X|
|Display||6.1 inch with V-notch|
19.5:9 aspect ratio
HD+ screen with 283 pixels per inch
|Processor||MediaTek Helio P23|
8 x ARM Cortex-A53 CPU cores @ 2 GHz
Mali-G71 MP2 GPU @ 770 MHz
microSD (up to 256GB)
|Ports||USB 2.0 Type-C|
Dual nano SIM
|Cameras||13MP + 2MP rear w/PDAF|
8MP MP front
9V/2A fast charging (wired)
|Hardware kill switches||No|
Hello. Assuming that this will work well enough given I usually use an mvno that allows choice of network, is there a way to order this phone in the states? On the Volla shop you cannot order to the U.S. or display the shop page in English, and while there is one option to order on the Indiegogo site, it’s for the previous model. Not to mention it says it’s not guaranteed to make it through customs. I want a Linux phone to tinker with at a 500 or less price range, so I would like to get this if it’s possible.
Is flashing made safe/easy? I would really like to experiment with distros and develop some applications.
What’s the general consensus on the processor? Is it low-end like the Pinephone AllWinner, or is it more high-end like a Snapdragon? Or perhaps somewhere in-between? I’m thinking about getting it but don’t want to get another Pinephone-type phone with inferior hardware. Due to the mistake of getting a Pinephone, I was thinking of waiting until the Mobian devs integrate Halium and then flashing a OnePlus.
Also, is Ubuntu Touch even ready for primetime? If the processor is decent, flashing the Volla phone with Mobian/Phosh might be an option I suppose.
It’s not exactly a high end chip, but it’s an 8-core arm cortex-a53 chip with higher cou and graphics clocks than the PinePhone’s quad core Allwinner A64 chip. Basically it’s a step or two up in performance. Maybe think of it as a better budget chip or a lower mid range smartphone chip.
As for Ubuntu Touch, it’s actually one of the more robust options available for phones that use Halium rather than a mainline kernel. It’s been around a long time, lomiri is a pretty slick user interface, and there are a number of mobile friendly apps as well as tools for running desktop applications. But development isn’t super fast – the latest current builds are still based on Ubuntu 16.04, and it’s unclear when they’ll rebase to Ubuntu 20.04.
Is there any way to buy this if you live in the USA? I think Volla phones are like the Iodé phones. I wanted to buy the Iodé Fairphone 3+, but unfortunately they don’t sell in America.
I checked with Volla Phone and they are taking orders for the US but I couldn’t get my US carrier (Verizon) to guarantee that it would run well on their network so I hesitated to spend the money to order the phone. Volla’s tech/sales rep gave me the frequencies it runs on and it matches about 75% of Verizon’s frequencies which I think indicates it may have less than full coverage in some areas depending on frequencies that various towers are running.
That sounds about right. Many international phones work on T-Mobile and AT&T in the US, but not Verizon. It sounds like the situation here may be a little better than usual for Verizon customers, but I’d be wary of buying it if I planned to only use their network.
Comments are closed.