The Pinephone is a smartphone developed by Pine64, intended to allow users to have full control over the device. It runs plenty of GNU/Linux distributions and provides six physical kill switches, which allow disabling hardware components.
The smartphone itself looks like an ordinary slate phone. However, there is the keyboard case accessory, which converts the device into a clamshell Linux handheld.
Despite the fact that Pine64 developers were inspired by the Psion Series 5 keyboard, the Pinephone keyboard is not as comfortable to type on as the Gemini PDA keyboard. Besides that, the device is quite bulky when the keyboard is attached.
Nevertheless, it seems to be the most affordable Linux handheld with a physical keyboard, a 5.5-inch display, and a wide range of connectivity options. Do not expect high performance, though.
Overall, the Pinephone with the keyboard case is a nice toy for a nerd.
The New Year’s edition of the ‘Handheld in use’ series shows the following devices:
- Casio Cassiopeia A-20
- Planet Computers Gemini PDA
- Pine64 Pinephone with keyboard case
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
The previous posts from this series:
Despite the fact that Z Fold 3 is the third foldable in my collection, it’s the first one that I decided to use as my daily driver.
More photos of the foldable handhelds are available here.
This post expands the gallery dedicated to the use of handheld computers in various places. The first post from this series is here: Handhelds in use (April of 2021).
I would like to offer you a brief comparison of the cameras of four handheld computers of different years of production: from quite modern to very rare.
The following devices were used in comparison:
- Sony CLIE PEG-NX70V (2002)
- Apple iPhone (2007)
- Samsung Galaxy Note (2011)
- Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (2021, only the main camera was used in the test)
The tests show that even 10 years ago, handheld computers received quite contrast, sharp and saturated cameras. But the main problem with these cameras was the weak dynamic range. Over the past 10 years, device engineers have been able to solve this problem as well. The current result is impressive, not to mention the ability to use multiple focal lengths.
Landscape photos (left to right: Sony NX70V, iPhone, Galaxy Note, Galaxy S21 Ultra):
Portrait photos (left to right: Sony NX70V, iPhone, Galaxy Note, Galaxy S21 Ultra):
Original photos taken on tested devices are available in the following galleries:
Sony VAIO UX is one of the most outstanding, elegant, and powerful UMPC of the first epoch. Despite the quite wide range of models in the UX series and quite high prices, there were no dual-core versions of the device. However, the device itself is 100% ready to work with a dual-core processor. Therefore it’s relatively easy to make a custom upgrade.
The gallery below represents the process of CPU replacement: the original Intel® Core™ Solo U1500 is replaced by Intel® Core™2 Duo U7700 (dual-core, 64-bit). The modding was made by a professional master Sergey (aka Freeqwer). Here is a video from Sergey of a similar modding made for another item: https://youtu.be/OcuwCzd7C0I.
According to my benchmarks, Core™2 Duo U7700 is actually two times faster than Core™ Solo U1500 when the application utilizes both cores. The new CPU has increased the power consumption of the device by 25% and the cooling system is able to handle the extra power without the device overheating.
When you think of removable storage media for handheld computers, something like the items presented in the previous blog post usually comes to mind: Removable storage and RAM for handheld computers.
But there is one UMPC that is notably different in this regard – this is the Kohjinsha SR (SR8KP06A). This 7-inch handheld is equipped with a CD/DVD writer.
Specifications of the device are available here.
In this post, I’d like to present you a small collection of removable cards and modules for handheld computers.
Left-to-right then top-to-bottom:
- MultiMediaCard (MMC)
- Secure Digital card (SD)
- Nintendo 3DS card
- Sony Memory Stick
- Hewlett-Packard magnetic card for HP-67
- Sony Universal Media Disc (UMD)
- microSD card
- Iomega PocketZip floppy disk
- Memory Stick Micro card (M2)
- MMCmobile card
- Psion Organiser Datapak
- CompactFlash memory card
- miniSD card
- DIP Pocket Memory Card – Bee Card (aka Credit Card Memory or CCM)
- Psion Series 3 memory card
- Elektronika removable RAM module for MK-90 (Электроника МПО-10)
- PC Cards (aka Memory Card or a RAM Card)
Samsung Galaxy Fold can be compared with devices like Sony Tablet P or Toshiba Libretto W100, because they fold into a tablet with two screens in the same plane.
But it is also quite appropriate to compare with communicators, whose external interface was used for phone calls, and the device itself was laid out to increase productivity. From this point of view, the Galaxy Fold is the result of more than 20 years of evolution of communicators.
The photos below reflect 24 years of the evolution of communicators, starting with Hewlett-Packard OmniGo700LX Communicator Plus (released in 1996) and ending with Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 (released in 2020).
Our today’s star of the new gallery is Sharp Zaurus SL-6000. It’s a Linux-based handheld from 2004.
SL-6000 is the last device from the Zaurus series to be officially sold outside Japan. Also it’s the last slider in the Zaurus series.