The PinePhone may be a smartphone designed to run any operating system you care to load on it. But Pine64 has been partnering with developers to offer PinePhone Community Edition devices that come pre-loaded with a specific OS, and which have a logo for that OS on the back.
Next up? The PinePhone Manjaro Community Edition. First announced in August, it goes up for pre-order on September 17th for $149 and up.
Manjaro is a Linux distribution based on Arch Linux, but known for being easier to install and use than Arch, with an emphasis on out-of-the-box functionality that has helped Manjaro become one of the most popular desktop Linux distributions in recent years.
The mobile version of Manjaro supports devices with ARM processors and there are builds available with the three user interfaces:
- phosh (Purism’s phone shell developed for the Librem 5)
- lomiri (developed by the UBports team for Ubuntu Touch)
- plasma-mobile (developed by the KDE team)
The developers are still deciding which UI will be the default on the PinePhone Manjaro Community Edition when it ships, but users should be able to switch environments after the fact.
And like every PinePhone, the new Community Edition device isn’t limited to running the software that comes pre-loaded. The bootloader is unlocked, so you can replace the operating system. And there’s also support for booting from a microSD card if you want to try a different OS without removing Manjaro first.
There’s also multi-boot support.
The PinePhone Manjaro Community Edition will be available in two prices/configurations:
- Standard version for $149 – 2GB RAM and 16GB of storage
- Convergence package for $199 – 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage
The convergence package also includes a USB-C dock that makes it easy to use Pine64’s smartphone like a desktop computer by connecting an external monitor, mouse, keyboard, or other accessories.
Just keep in mind that like most GNU/Linux distros available for smartphones today, Manjaro ARM is still very much a work in progress and not necessarily ready to be a full-fledged replacement for Android or iOS as a daily driver for most people.