8 of 2008's Latest Linux-Powered Mobile Phones

Just how ubiquitous has Linux become? You've probably read about the 10 Linux-powered e-book readers. And of course you've heard about the Google Android G1 handset. Now, have you ever wondered if the G1's the only phone that runs on Linux? There are actually more out there. Let's see if we can come up with 8 of the latest

Note: The list is not arranged in any manner.

Openmoko Neo Freerunner

Some specs:

  • Size: 120.7 x 62 x 18.5 mm
  • Weight: 133 grams
  • Display: Touch screen; 2.8" VGA (480 x 640)
  • Memory: 128 MB SDRAM, 256 MB NAND Flash
  • Highlights: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, AGPS, GPRS, Bluetooth 2.0
This phone can be more appealing to developers (than end-users) who would want to tinker around with the operating system/software stack. Say what? Yes, that basically means you get a chance to build your own custom-made phone using any of the available phone software stacks. The latest to throw in its own to the increasing number of stacks is Koolu using a version of Google's Linux/Java Android stack.

Motorola Krave ZN4

Some specs:
  • Size: 51 x 105 x 19 mm
  • Weight: 130 grams
  • Display: Touchscreen; 2.8" 240 x 400 65k colors TFT (the flip resolution is 240 x 320)
  • Memory: 130 MB
  • Highlights: 2.0 megapixel camera, digital zoom, Class 2 Stereo Bluetooth
With its 500 hours of standby time and 250 minutes of talk time, this is one phone that you can rely on if you're one of those who constantly forget that a phone is a device that does need charging. Here's one cool feature: the cover is also touch-sensitive and allows you to listen to music, watch a TV show, or use the GPS apps without being flipped open.

Samsung Olympics Phone SCH-i859

Some specs:
  • Size: 56 x 110 x 15.8 mm
  • Weight: no info
  • Display: 2.8" 65k colors TFT (240 x 320)
  • Memory: 128 MB ROM
  • Highlights: 3.0 megapixel camera, Bluetooth
I couldn't find an official English site for this phone. If you click on the link above, it'll take you to linuxdevices.com, where they provide you with a link to the Chinese official site. I just wish these Asian companies (which do provide a lot of excellent Linux-powered phones) can have an English version for their sites. Well apparently, they didn't need one for this, as well as for the other products found in this list, since these products are aimed towards specific Asian countries.

Motorola MOTOROKR E8

Some specs:
  • Size: 115 x 53 x 10.6 mm
  • Weight: 100 grams
  • Display: 2.0" QVGA 240 x 320 262k TFT
  • Memory: up to 2GB of internal memory
  • Highlights: 2.0 megapixel camera, 8x zoom, Class 2 Stereo Bluetooth
If you're a CNET Prizefight fan, you'll easily recognize this as the phone that beat the Nokia Xpress Music 5310 by a large margin in a clash between two of the top-rated music phones in the market. Motorola seems to come up with the most innovative front-panel features. This time, it introduces a ModeShift keypad that appears to metamorphose from one interface to another depending on the mode you are in: phone, music player, or imaging device.

Motorola MOTOROKR EM30

Some specs:
  • Size: 115 x 53 x 10.6 mm
  • Weight: 100 grams
  • Display: not indicated on the official site
  • Memory: optional 8 GB microSD removable storage card
  • Highlights: 2.0 megapixel camera, 8x zoom, Class 2 Stereo Bluetooth
If you're thinking I must have made a copy-paste mistake here, don't worry. I didn't. This ROKR phone does look like the E8 including certain specs and over-all appearance... except for the center circular navigation interface. While the E8 uses the new haptic scroll interface, this one uses the usual four-sided wheel. It's still equipped with the ModeShift interface, but can only shift between two modes compared to the E8's three.

Panasonic P706ie

Some specs:
  • Size: 109 x 49 x 16 mm
  • Weight: 106 grams
  • Display: 3" TFT QVGA (240 x 427)
  • Memory: supports MicroSD up to 8GB
  • Highlights: 2.0 megapixel camera
Designed for Japan's NTT DoCoMo's 3G FOMA network, it is suitable for media streaming, video conferencing, and short Mobile TV segments.


Some specs:
  • Size: 118 x 50.5 x 12 mm
  • Weight: 114 grams
  • Display: 2.4" 240 x 320 262k TFT
  • Memory: up to 350 MB available memory
  • Highlights: 5.0 megapixel camera with a shutter speed of up to 1/1000 seconds
If you click on the link above and check out the full specs on the site, you'll notice that it is primarily a camera with phone capabilities than the other way around. Yup, it's quite full-packed with quality camera features, that the highlights I provided are nowhere near describing it. Teaming up with Kodak for this one, Motorola appears to have produced a benchmark for the perfect camera phone.


Some specs:
  • Size: 117.7 x 55.7 x 17.1 mm
  • Weight: 158 grams
  • Display: Touch-sensitive 3.2" TFT-LCD HVGA (320 x 480)
  • Memory: 256 MB ROM 192 MB RAM
  • Highlights: 3.2 megapixel camera, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi
Easily the most popular in this list, this is backed-up by Google which means you can easily access Google apps such as Gmail, Youtube, Google Talk, Google Calendar, and Google Maps from it. Developers are loving this phone because, like the Freerunner above, they get to play around with it. Code for the applications are written in Java but will run on a specialized VM. You may click on that link if you want to read more about it.

There you have it, 8 of 2008's latest Linux-powered mobile phones. There's actually more out there, so if 8's just too short a list for you, here are two links that you might want to check out before you have a cup.

Linuxdevices.com and


lunaticg said...

I wish I can understand linux. Once using one linux OS phone but I still cannot understand about linux.

Great blog. See You around.

c'eSt la vie said...

nice dropping uR bloG.....

thanks for the warm welcome!

DragonWiz263 said...

Thanks for stopping by!. Can you tell where I can get a good 3D view of the phones. These are some neat models that you have exibited.

johnV said...

I'm not sure if these are what you're looking for but here are some links:







Mara said...

The HTC looks a little promising.

johnV said...

@ Mara

Hmmm. Couldn't agree with you more. :)

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