I’ve had a Pinephone for quite a little while now and I’ve been reluctant to make a video for it. The mobile distributions that are available haven’t performed to well on the phone and has left me a little underwhelmed. That has all changed thanks to Mobian. Mobian is based on Debian and uses GNOME as it’s desktop environment. It performs better than any of the other OS’s I’ve tested on this phone and has changed my mind on the Pinephone completely.
The interface is nice and clean and easy to use and touch input works pretty well apart from the odd lag here and there. This might be more down to the quite low powered hardware that is inside this Pinephone though. The multi tasking capabilities are decent though could do with making it feel a little less cluttered when you have more than one window open and are switching between them. My biggest complaint with the interface is when it’s switched to landscape mode. When in landscape mode you really do notice the cluttered interface when multi tasking. Other than that though I’m overall very satisfied with Mobian’s interface.
Texting and making calls has worked out of the box for the most part which is pretty essential if this were to be your online phone! Even the camera works out of the box and doesn’t require any fiddling around with to get it to work. That isn’t to say it takes great pictures though! It comes installed with a good mix of applications to get you up and running. It includes Telegram, Lollypop, Maps, Firefox and more. You can install new applications through the GNOME software store as well as perform updates. Though I found managing applications was a lot faster via APT in the terminal which I used over SSH. Bluetooth worked flawlessly allowing me to use a wireless keyboard and mouse to interact with the phone making it feel like a mini computer in your pocket!
Not every application available on Debian works perfectly due to the small size of the screen and certain applications cutting off quite important parts of the window. I’ll have to play around with it more in testing and work out which applications work best on this little device. If you would like to download Mobian for yourself click here. What do you think of Mobian so far? Let me know in the comments below!