Here is my second report. Once again this mainly applies to Manjaro Plasma.
It bears mentioning that the PinePhone doesn't operate like your usual mobile device, one would be wise in referring to the unit as more of a hybrid between a mobile phone and a laptop. If one were to ask me 'Aren't you basically describing every flagship smartphone in existence', my answer would be yes and no. It is indeed a phone with smart features just like those Androids and iPhones people are used to seeing and operating, but do not be fooled by the mobile-looking UI and think it's going to be anything like those two popular mobile OSs. See figure 1 to get an idea of what I mean when I say it is a hybrid and read the next line.
If you're used to operating a laptop or computer, you should be familiar with moving and resizing the desktop program windows, whereas a typical mobile OS doesn't offer the same flexibility because they use a more mobile design of having everything crammed in one area that cannot be resized or moved.
I must also redact my previous statement that I had no dice with changing the ringtone and notifications sounds because I discovered by sheer accident that they actually can be changed, it's just not in the default pre-installed settings menu. No, I instead had to download KDE System Settings
and here is where the problems came into play.
When I first started KDE System Settings
, everything looked like a mess which is due to the configuration being set to 'sidebar view' as opposed to 'icon view'. Now changing the configuration made it much better to navigate, but I still couldn't figure out where the sounds could be changed. One will be baffled to know it is not
in the audio
because that only changes the volume and output, but it is instead in notifications
. Allow me to instruct those interested in changing the sounds like me.
When you get there you will need to go to setting
under the application
area, then you will have a list of applications where you will then to go to their respectiveevent setting
. Once you've arrived, you will finally see a little slot that has a play button to test the sound along with a button that will replace the default sounds with whatever you desire and have it saved at. This is a convoluted way of changing the sounds but I digress.
I did a quick test run of certain applications I know from using them on Mint and will give a quick rundown.
>FileZilla was able to transfer content from my other devices
<I was unable to test Retroarch and it's ability to play games, especially N64. Attempting to download cores result in crashes. I would imagine it wouldn't have too much difficulty in running those games like Super Mario 64, but it is speculation until I can find a way of getting it to work
<PPSSPP cannot be downloaded to play PSP games
>Angelfish is OK as a internet browser but I used Firefox instead due to being able to install add-ons, at the price of the desktop window not showing everything
>Deluge starts up fine. Haven't downloaded a torrent yet but I'm sure there won't be problems getting them working
>Freetube was able to play a 720p video okay
<VirtualBox can't be installed. DOSBox-X claims to have more features than vanilla DOSBox such as being able to run software for 3.x, 9x, and ME. I managed to get Win3.11 working with vanilla DOSBox before, so it would be a welcome surprise if I'm able to install Win2000, Win98, or Win95 and they don't hog up the phone's performance. I would even be more surprised if 3d games worked but I'm not holding my breath.
The USB-C adapter included with the package has two USB ports, one USB-C port, one modem cable port, and a HDMI port.
I hooked the device up to a HD TV and was bestowed at how much more room there was in navigating the UI. While I could see more that the phone screen couldn't without having to fight with the touchscreen, there may be some slowdowns because I watched that same video on Freetube and it was skipping a lot of frames even with 144p quality set.
Do yourself a favor and get your favorite mouse and keyboard plugged in to the adapter if you want to have an easier time with exploring the PinePhone's nook and crannies.
Before even commiting to buying the phone, you should double check that your carrier's network bands work with the unit.
It is strange to say with my carrier being T-Mobile, the wiki claims that it is the best choice for band support on the PinePhone in the US, but I wasn't able to get my calls to work because I got errors saying that the modem was busy. If one looked at the chart of carrier support, it is even stranger to see that everything sans MMS seems to work fine. I did not, to my knowledge, grab the Plasma Dev version of Manjaro, but it certainly makes sense why Ubuntu Touch wasn't able to make and recieve calls, they're listed as buggy.
I will eventually try Arch Linux Arm and see how that fares with the calls and general feel of using it. Mobian is listed as working which is strange as my experience with it differed, but I'll give it another chance.
On a semi-related note, changing the language worked, but some programs don't pick up on that so you may have to go to the program's settings and manually change it if it doesn't automatically pick it up.
I stand by what I say in that it isn't too bad for a non-mainstream phone, but you may need to exercise some patience in working with the OSs and handle the learning curve if you're used to working with mainstream phones.