Archive for March 17th, 2006

Want a cheap Linux smartphone?

I found for purchase a Linux/Qt phone from Motorola, the quad-band/EDGE A780. The phone was originally destined only for Asia, but now Geeks brought it to US with the best price of any Linux phone I have ever seen: $295. Which is a very good price considering that you are getting a PDA/phone with Opera, Real Player, Document Viewers with an updated firmware from late 2005.

If you are not convinced that this is a bargain, consider that the brand new and VERY similar in software/specs Motorola Ming A1200 Linux phone costs $700 here in US.

Its software is almost identical to my E680i Linux phone, so expect the same lag in the UI and in the video/camera application. The A780 phone is better than my E680i in every respect, except in three points: it doesn’t support A2DP, it doesn’t have an FM radio and it uses Transflash instead of SD (so you are limited to 1 GB instead of 4 GBs of removable storage). Other than that, it’s a really cool phone and the BEST Linux purchase you can make today, if you are a Linux geek or a prorfessional who needs PDA functions on an affordable phone device.

If only Motorola was to freely release the SDK though so devs could port apps. That’s the only limiting factor from calling all Motorola Linux phones “true” smartphones. 🙁

BTW, at the bottom of the Geeks.com page it says that the phone doesn’t seem to work with Cingular’s GPRS, but this is not true. This phone DOES work with GPRS/EDGE with both T-Mobile and Cingular.