We recently saw Linux smartphones are coming in a few weeks or months, but the $ 150 PinePhone might not come on its own and will soon be joined by a $ 25 companion, namely the PineTime smartwatch.
This is what we learned from a tweet by Pine64 explaining the PineTime is a Linux smartphone companion which can run FreeRTOS or Arm Mbed operating systems. This will be a side project however, and the focus is still on PinePhone and Pinebook Pro, which means it will take some time depending on the level of community engagement.
Thanks in part to easy access to Chinese OEMs, there is a lot of interesting work going on in building and shipping consumer-facing devices like smartphones and smartwatches running Linux that isn’t. Android – which just a few years ago would have required huge amounts of funding and seemed like pipe dreams.
While these devices aren’t as fast or fancy as an Android device or an iPhone, they’re starting to be a viable option for people who truly appreciate open source.