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PinePhone Pro Is Here! Plus An Exclusive Interview with Pine64

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Pine64 is at it again, just when you thought they couldn’t possibly have any more tricks up their sleeves after the announcement of the PineNote, today Pine64 has revealed the new PinePhone Pro! The community has been talking about this device since the moment the PinePhone was announced with anticipation of what it could be and that day has come. The PinePhone Pro is here!

The Pinebook was a break through device that showed that a product could be made at very low costs and be successful. The Pinebook Pro was the successor to this break through device and it lived up to its “Pro” label by making it much more powerful and capable of a device. So this begs the question, “does the PinePhone Pro live up to the label”? Let’s see.

PinePhone Pro and the product box
PinePhone Pro and the product box

Let’s start off with the hardware, what kind of specs does this new PinePhone Pro have? The PinePhone Pro comes with a much more powerful System on Chip (SoC) in the Rockchip RK3399. This SoC is not only more powerful than the SoC in the original PinePhone, it’s the same SoC that comes in the Pinebook Pro!

Pine64 worked closely with Rockchip’s engineering team to fine-tune the SoC’s performance so that it meets the necessary thermal and battery-consumption envelopes. Rockchip’s team was also instrumental in enabling the PinePhone Pro’s suspend state, which allows the smartphone to receive calls and SMS messages while preserving battery.

The PinePhone Pro also comes with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, 128GB eMMC flash storage, and the ARM Mali T860 4 Core GPU. The PinePhone Pro has a 1440 x 720 IPS display protected by Gorilla Glass 4 and it doesn’t stop there.

The PinePhone Pro has upgraded both the back camera and the front-facing camera. The PinePhone Pro sees the use of a 13 Megapixel Sony IMX258 camera for the back camera and the 5MP OmniVision OV5640 main camera of the original PinePhone is now the front-facing camera in the PinePhone Pro.

Hardware Specifications of the new PinePhone Pro
Hardware Specifications of the new PinePhone Pro

The PinePhone Pro is no slouch and in my opinion, the specs certainly live up to the Pro label but how much will it cost. This is Pine64 we’re talking about here so the price is not only reasonable but its a great deal because you can get a PinePhone Pro for just $399!

I can’t wait to get my hands on this device! We will have to wait a bit though as it’s not available for order just yet. The initial production run of the PinePhone Pro is aimed strictly at partner-project developers and established contributors. If you are an enthusiast aching for a PinePhone Pro – hold tight, Explorer Edition pre-orders geared towards tech-savvy end-users will open later this year.

Detailed closeup of the PinePhone Pro back & list of privacy switches
Detailed closeup of the PinePhone Pro back & list of privacy switches

Pine64 wanted the PinePhone Pro to reflect its status as a pro-grade device while maintaining perfect compatibility with all existing PinePhone peripherals. The PinePhone Pro uses the same pogo-pin systems and back cover attachment as the original PinePhone, making it compatible with all existing add-ons. The keyboard, PineDio LoRa, fingerprint reader and wireless charging cases will all work with the PinePhone Pro.

Hardware privacy dip switches for the cameras, the microphone, WiFi & BT, headphone jack (enabling UART) and the LTE modem (including GPS) are accessible under the back cover, just as on the original PinePhone. The chassis is slightly thicker (~2mm) than the original PinePhone’s. Proportions of the original design were altered to accommodate the new display and to allow for improved heat dissipation.

The PinePhone Pro is finally here and I know many of you are just as, if not more, excited as I am to get your hands on one. If you’d like to learn more about the new PinePhone Pro, be sure to check out the exclusive interview with Lukasz Erecinski of Pine64 had with us on the Destination Linux Network. We deep dive into this highly anticipated device from hardware to manufacturing discussions on what it took to bring the PinePhone Pro to market.

What are your thoughts on the PinePhone Pro? Are you going to be getting one when the pre-orders go live? Let us know in the comments below.