PinePhone with keyboard


ClockworkCoder

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IMG_20220111_135318.jpg
 

ClockworkCoder

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Conratulations!

What does it remind to? Psion-series? HTC WinMob ? Or :- ?)
It's not quite as good (not quite the same quality, and the space button can be slightly sloppy, depending on the angle you press it from), but the general feel is similar to my old ThinkPad (x220). I definitely like it.
 
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Git1

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I'm a little confused, will this charge the battery in a non-Pro?
 

ClockworkCoder

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I'm a little confused, will this charge the battery in a non-Pro?
Yes, it does, although depending on what distro you have installed it may not be so obvious (I wish there was an indicator led on the keyboard part).

You also need to make sure that it's firmly seated in place. It's quite easy for the pogo pins to not make good contact.
 

Git1

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Yes, it does
Awesome, thanks.
Looks like l'll be getting one. :)

Not sure why they wrote it like this:
USB-C for charging, capable of powering the case and PinePhone (Pro)

So will it also extend the battery life of the phone when not connected to an external charger? That would be awesome.
 

ClockworkCoder

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Awesome, thanks.
Looks like l'll be getting one. :)

Not sure why they wrote it like this:


So will it also extend the battery life of the phone when not connected to an external charger? That would be awesome.
It triples the effective battery life.

Just also be aware that you should "never" plug your phone's usb in for charging while the keyboard case is installed. I did, briefly, without realising, and it doesn't seem to done any harm (I did plug it into my laptop), but something to be conscious of.
 

SAS

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Well, after couple of weeks with the hardware keyboard attachment to the PinePhone (PPkbd) – here are some impressions and musings.


First – briefly – about my usage scenario. The main reasons I want a hw kbd for my ‘always on, always connected’ device are:
* instant messaging communication Mainly with family members through my XMPP server, but sometimes through other services like Discord, or Google-messaging-client-whatever-named-this-quarter via browser (no notifications needed);

* e-mail correspondence;

* notes – mainly markdown notes synced via NextCloud. Or maybe occasional draft in a WordPress site.


Currently, I am using BlackBerry Priv. Despite of not having root – it works quite OK as a messaging device. Plus, I can utilize it for common tasks like music playing / RSS reader / browsing / remote control / sporadic phone call / etc, that are OK without hw kbd.

So, on this basis, how does PPkbd compare?

* PPkbd is bulky. Not just thick. It is large in all dimensions. Here are pictures comparing PPkbd with Priv, with Priv and GPD MicroPC (mPC) and Treo 680 (my daily driver as a PDA), and PPkbd with Priv and Nokia N900 (my ideal for ‘pocket computer’). PPkbd is comparable with the GPD mPC and is much larger than any of the other (not-so-thin) gadgets. I still consider it a handheld device – but definitely not ‘pocket’-able.

01-PP&Priv-thickness.jpg


02-PP&GPD_mPC&Priv&T680-thickness.jpg


03-PP&Priv&N900-thickness.jpg

* no notifications / notification light in ‘carry-me-around’ position. My main problem with PPkbd is that there is no easy way to know if there are new notifications, something that requires attention. Do I have new XMPP messages? Or new e-mail? No way to know without opening the clamshell.

04-PP&Priv-notifications.jpg


* lack of ‘home screen’ / ‘desktop’. My next major issue – it feels more like ‘Linux-on-mobile’ thing – is that (at least with Mobian) there is no way to use information on the home screen. On the Priv I have a widgets for selected text notes, for e-mails, for list of calendar events, shortcuts for IM with favorite contacts, etc. With Mobian – only a list of applications (yes, I remember which mobile OS had the same approach for years ;) Still – this reduces the usability of PPkbd for me.

05-Priv_home_screen.jpg


06-PP_home_screen.jpg

* shallow keyboard The keyboard has quite nice tactile feeling – definitely better IMHO compared to the GPD mPC – but is somewhat ‘shallow’ / not as firm as T680 or N900.

07-PP&GPD_mPC&Priv&T680-kbds.jpg


08-PP&N900_kbds.jpg

Other issues I have:

* hardware keyboard did not work with Mobian ‘official’ /bullseye/ and required update to ‘bookworm’, that seems to be work-in-progress. The update broke couple of things – for example wi-fi connections :D - but gradually it is back-to-normal.

* my kbd attachment has some problems with the top row keys. Specifically, the key ‘5’ has different sensitivity and requires much more pressure than the rest of the keys. So having ‘5’ in a password for example is great test for my luck / patience :)


In summary – the keyboard is quite nice, the price-performance ratio is excellent and for text-intensive tasks on-the-go it can be quite suitable. But with practically no notifications – I am still with the Priv and PPkbd feels more like alternative to GPD mPC for me. So – while waiting for the Pyra – I start thinking for AstroSlide 5G / F(x)tec Pro1X .....
 

ClockworkCoder

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* my kbd attachment has some problems with the top row keys. Specifically, the key ‘5’ has different sensitivity and requires much more pressure than the rest of the keys. So having ‘5’ in a password for example is great test for my luck / patience
 
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