PIine64 has unveiled the PinePhone Pro as their flagship Linux powered-smartphone, and an upgrade to the original Pinephone. It’s a pretty big spec jump with more RAM, more storage, better cameras, a nicer display, and a Rockchip RK399S hexa-core processor running at 1.5GHz. However, with souped-up internals comes a higher price tag, and the PinePhone Pro will set you back $399. In contrast, the original PinePhone cost $150, though its specifications weren’t great.
The PinePhone Pro is still very much a smartphone aimed at Linux enthusiasts, but it’s significantly more usable as an actual phone. One of the biggest improvements comes in part thanks to the RK3399S chipset, specifically designed for the PinePhone Pro. It can allow the phone to receive calls and SMS messages while in a suspended state, preserving battery life. Hardware switches for the cameras, microphone, WiFi & Bluetooth, headphone jack, and the LTE modem are accessible under the back cover just like on the original PinePhone.
Other spec jumps include 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, 128GB of internal eMMC flash storage, a 13MP main camera sensor, and a 5MP front camera. It has a 1440×720 IPS Gorilla Glass 4 6-inch display, a 3,000 mAh battery, and 15W PD charging support. To pre-order the PinePhone Pro, you’ll need to fill out a questionnaire to help Pine64 determine whether or not you are the right candidate to receive a development unit. Questions include a summary of your experience with Linux smartphones, contributions to open source projects, and links to previous relevant work. If selected, you’ll then be invited to pre-order a device for $399.
The PinePhone Pro is not a second-generation PinePhone and is instead a higher-end version of the same device. The original isn’t going anywhere, and pogo-pin peripherals and add-on back cases are compatible with both devices. There’s also native video output via USB-C and USB 3.0 data transfer speeds.