Day 5 with thediarygame: PinePhone64 OS testing - part 4

in #the100daysofsteemlast year (edited)

Hihi Steemit! Today I was continuing my research towards the best OS for the Pinephone.

This series comes to an end soon so be sure to listen to my story about the latest testing - I have something interesting to share.

The testing continues!

nixos-load.jpg

NixOS: The Second Failure

First, I was able to cross-compile NixOS! That took approx 2 days of fiddling and 50 GB of disk space for the VM. It wasn't easy but I left some notes on GitHub about that. The sad results that image has compiled successfully and had been written to micro-SD card, but never booted. I tried to write only the main image, and the main image + boot image, and also the main image + boot image + uboot several times. I've seen the Pre-init stage as well as "Mobile NixOS" nice logo, and green LED, but nothing past that, sadly.

9. Sxmo

The image had been written to the SD card.

sxmo-global.jpg
Login screen, clock, system menu & firefox (on the left) with tiling windows

One of the weirdest OS systems I've ever seen. It uses a tiling window manager on the phone! Volume up, down and power buttons act for windows and modes changing, opening menu, etc. etc. Very weird. Interesting approach, but probably still unusable in full without a physical keyboard.
I can't understand how that fully works... So I'll stop here and go to the next one.

Fast Score: 6.2 out of 10.

ubuntu1.jpg
Phone logo, system logo & applications store

10. Ubuntu Touch

Ok, I had to find a 16 GB micro-SD card to test out the Ubuntu Touch - 8 GB isn't enough weirdly. But that's okay... The image had been written to SD card.

I format one from Pine64 :=). The image had been written to SD card.

Pretty loading screen with Pine64 Logo! Interesting. It's the only distro with this logo... Looks promising. Let's see...

Positive sides of Ubuntu Touch

One of the best fonts and artwork for the moment! It uses native phone resolution and you can see it right away. Wifi works, and currently zero disconnects. Brightness works as intended without "full 0" brightness mode!
Web surfing works nicely! Sound works, video playback from websites like lbry.tv works also nicely.

Very nice left menu (swipe right) along with the right application switcher (swipe left). Comfortable and pretty. Many applications are installed out of the box. Fast and good system set-up. The keyboard is nice & responsive.

WOW, this is a SHAME Ubuntu dropped support of this system. I start to think that it's even better than desktop ubuntu itself! Especially, with a phone that hasn't 100% working things out of the box; Ubuntu Touch is one of the best choices for sure. It's so great that UBPort guys picked up the project and didn't let it die as it happened with some other canonical projects!

No visual lags, smooth interface with nice. In the app store, there are great descriptions of the apps and links to official pages and GitHub sources links. Also, application updates works, as well as OS updates (the latter requires system reboot).

And it is testing from the micro-SD card, I wonder how it will perform from the embedded eMMC flash!

ubuntu2.jpg
App menu, LBRY video playing, full system update & copying ubuntu to eMMC

Negative sides of Ubuntu Touch

The only thing I found not working is the camera, but the camera wasn't working in all other distros that I tested as well. So not counting any negative sides of that. Probably the camera needs additional proprietary blob to work.

Maybe I could name as a minus for me is lack of dark interface, but it's not a big deal in terms of this phone being finally USABLE! What's else negative is there? The phone heats more with Ubuntu Touch than with other tested systems.

So, for the moment I give the Ubuntu Touch...

Fast Score: 9.0

It definitely CAN be used as the main OS without mostly any negative sides to that.

What's left

  • Left to test: KDE Neon
  • Best OS to this moment: Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro ARM KDE, Sailfish OS - they are 100% already in "Round 2" of the testing.
  • I will make a spreadsheet with all the results and important info for you, guys

Thanks for staying with my daily reviews, guys.
Until next time!
D from O.