Some Questions Before Purchasing a Pine Phone or Similar and Other ARM Questions

I have been wanting to buy a Pine Phone or similar like Librem but I had a few questions which have been preventing me from purchasing.

Is there a phone with state of the art specs? Pine Phone and Librem are on the lower end of the spectrum.

How is the “app store”? Does it have lots of cool apps and such?

Will these phone work on Sprint (which is now T-Mobile but still Sprint)?

Is there root access to the phone?

I also have one other question about ARM based OS’s. What are they used for, how can I use them and is there some beginners link that someone can share with an idea of how they can be used. If I wanted to tinker around with it what hardware should I purchase to start using Manjaro ARM?

The only alternative to those i’m currently aware of is this, but that wouldn’t run Manjaro. Additionally, the Purism Librem 5 also would not run Manjaro.

I’ll leave the other questions to more knowledgeable people.

Try looking for Pro1-X from FX Technologies. It’s pretty high end spec.

What app store? What App Store and what apps are avilable, depends on the distribution you put on the Phone. In Manjaro, we have loads of apps, but only a few is optimized for mobile (since it’s still a very new platform for Linux).

You will have to ask your provider.

If it’s running Manjaro or other Linux distributions. Yes. If it’s running Android underneath, probably not.

That’s a very broad question.
ARM Based OS’s are used for, you guessed it, running Linux on ARM based hardware.
And it’s used in different ways depending on the OS.

1 link to describe what you can use an ARM OS for, does not exist. It’s used all over. Most IoT devices are ARM based and running some form of Linux.

Manjaro ARM is available for a long list of hardware including, but not limited to:
Pinebook Pro
Raspberry Pi
Odroid N2
Multiple Khadas devices
… and more.


Is not a Salvador Dalí nor Francisco Goya painting, but has some art and soul into it :slight_smile:
Someone did a short review:


No higher end specced Linux phone I’m afraid. At least one that aims to be open source.

The F(x)tech Pro/X, the Cosmo Communicator and any of the Android phones supported by either Ubports, SailfishOS or postmarketOS are using Hallium to bridge the Android kernel with what you can consider a regular Linux distribution. They are good, just a different type of good and with different quirks.

The “App Store” concept - the PinePhone and Librem5 can run any software (as long as it works with arm) for Linux. How well that software will translate to mobile UX is a different topic :slight_smile: A lot of projects have started considering this use case and it’s getting better for mobile use.
With the exception of Ubports, I don’t think other projects aim to create an “app store”.

Can’t comment on Sprint support - you can check the supported bands (I think the PinePhone has support for it whereas Librem5 has different modems for different regions - you’ll have to check that). For Volte and the like - no idea.

For root access - only Ubports makes the system read-only by default as far as I know. And even there it’s very easy to get root access (which is eluding on many android devices even today).


I’m not sure whether it’s changed since the days of Ubuntu Touch, but it used to be the case that if you mounted the root file system as rw and installed software from outside of the App Store (forget what it used to be called), the OS would refuse to update. I was very disappointed with Ubuntu Touch. Was not at all what I envisaged a Linux phone to be. Sent my Meizu back shortly after purchase.


I think I’ll forgo the phone for now but would like to build a Home Automation System using Home Assistant (or something else if anyone has a suggestion, I’m open to any ideas, I used HA for a few weeks but found it clunky). I currently have several smart devices and use Alexa as the hub but have been thinking about building my own hub so I can integrate cameras, lights and other sensors to automatically make things happen.

Does anyone have a suggestion for the best single board computer that is supported by Manjaro and will support Home assistant with plenty of room to grow.

My home assistant instance is running in a Docker container on a RockPro64.

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There is also Volla Phone. It seems to have decent specs, but I’m not really up-to-date on mobile specs, so I cannot confirm it. You can order it with either Volla OS (an AOSP) or Ubuntu Touch pre-installed.

In the Volla Phone Telegram group some users confirmed, that since the recent update (OTA-15), UT can be used as a daily driver on mobile phones.