The PinePhone and its Pro variant They have become two of the most popular GNU / Linux smartphones, however, their reach is extremely reduced due to the poor support that WhatsApp offers in terms of cross-platform. Despite this, smartphones with GNU / Linux offer a great value at the system level compared to iOS and Android implementations supplied by mainstream manufacturers, and it is the fact of granting much more power to the user, allowing them to have greater control over the processes and components present.
Perhaps being aware of the target audience, the Pine64 company, responsible for the aforementioned PinePhones and PineBook laptops based on the ARM architecture, has announced a keyboard cover for smartphones that can be closed in clamshell format. In this way you can convert a unit of the PinePhone or its Pro variant into a PDA, or perhaps something similar.
Pine64 has explained from the peripheral that its Hinge has a 180 degree design. Recorded keys can be easily relocated for alternate layouts such as AZERTY or QWERTZ ”. In other words, it opens the door to its adaptation to several languages, although apparently our ‘ñ’ is not around.
The keyboard-housing for the PinePhones works with a open source firmware which can be modified. Too Includes an internal 6,000mAh battery capable of charging a PinePhone unit, which can be turned on and off manually and allows you to see its load level through supported operating systems. In addition, the peripheral is capable of work even if your battery is flat.
The keyboard does not detract from the number of smartphone connections, so USB Type-C, microphone, speaker, and volume and lock buttons are available along with a cutout for the camera. The USB Type-C port placed on the keyboard itself is capable of charging the peripheral itself and the smartphone at the same time. Of course, from Pine64 they warn that it is still uncomfortable when answering calls unless headphones are used.
Along with the keyboard-enclosure that can be closed in clamshell format, Pine64 has also started to market some housings for the back of PinePhone smartphones. One called PineDio adds a LoRa module, another offers wireless charging and the latest fingerprint reader functionality.. The three housings are made of resistant black plastic, their construction is modular and they open the door to be modified and repaired.