Home > Computing , Open Source-Free Software , Smartphone > Wanted buyers for NeoFreerunner GTA04: free smartphone tries again

Wanted buyers for NeoFreerunner GTA04: free smartphone tries again

Nearly four years ago I wrote an article (I've also talked about here and here ) in which I spoke of the imminent launch of the first smartphone built according to the typical principles of Free Software and Open Source. Many of you will remember, in fact, the NeoFreerunner produced by OpenMoko and others will remember that this wonderful gadget, on which we have placed many in a huge confidence, was disappointed as regarded the real usabilità.Oggi, after more than three years , here check out a new "revision" of the hardware NeoFreerunner: the GTA04 . Will this be the right time to have a smartphone completely free?

Let me say that after the "burn" suffered with the purchase of the then NeoFreerunner expensive, I would move with extreme caution and for this I avoid responding affirmatively to the question that I asked myself. On this point I would make two observations from which the evincerà because of my failure to take a position.

First let's start with what were some of the problems that plagued the "old" NeoFreerunner: 1) have a hardware only partly free; 2) mismanagement of the graphics department at the hardware level by the processor bus (the hated Glamo ) shared with that of the memory card. Virtually all projects operating systems created for the Freerunner you are stranded on the slowness and lack of responsiveness of the GUI that made the experience of using this smartphone for nothing appealing.

One of the aspects, however, the more I liked and what I'm really delighted to have been (and still be) the owner of the old Freerunner GTA02, also known as the "soap" for its unique look, is to have known and frequented the Italian community of telefoninux.org .

Coming to the new hardware of the Neo Freerunner, for whose specification please refer to the official website , the considerations which I relate to the costs and the technologies used. These two aspects leave me very puzzled about the real success of the project and especially make me give up the idea of ​​purchasing one. In fact, the hardware, though significantly higher than the previous version, is quite dated. We're talking about a system that nowadays it is not even comparable to many entry-level smartphones low-end ... I wonder ... with the fast-paced technological evolution of the CPU and GPU, what sense would buy a product that is already "old"? It would make sense only if the cost of having a mobile phone completely free was only slightly greater than an equal level of closed type, but it is not so! To take home a GTA04 you should shell out at best at least 400 euro and up to more than 500 ... for me it is not worth the money.

I close, linkandovi what he wrote about one of the admin (as well as founder) of the website telefoninux.org, m0nt0, that I would fully agree!
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  1. Matthew Zaffo '80
    February 3, 2012 at 12:10 | # 1

    I fully agree, I also possess a GTA02.

    Out of curiosity, what distribution you have installed on your phone?

  2. stefano
    February 3, 2012 at 24:17 | # 2

    Hello Matthew,

    actually I tried almost all of them.
    Definitely the most intriguing to me was SHR, while the most usable (especially as a department phone) was QtMoko which is still one installed.
    I also tried Android but I was not convinced at all ... too slow! :)

    You have on that distro instead?

  3. Matthew Zaffo '80
    February 3, 2012 at 13:05 | # 3

    At the time I installed Qtmoko, whereas in the past I had installed SHR.

    I was passed to SHR to have something more complete than the distribution is installed by default and I have to say that SHR has endured a lot on my FreeRunner. Then I wanted to try the nenonata QtMoko and I was very impressed.

    Android on the other hand I was a little disappointed, I thought it would go better with the GTA04 (much too slow for me). Maybe I'll try again after some new release.

    I attora instead Debian with LXDE, I'm curious to see how it behaves. One day or the other I try installing it on SD.

  4. stefano
    February 3, 2012 at 13:10 | # 4

    @ Matthew Zaffo '80:
    +1 For Debian with LXDE ... I would try to see how it goes!

  5. Matthew Zaffo '80
    February 14, 2012 at 13:22 | # 5

    I wanted to point out an article on Computer Point: "The return of OpenMoko" ( http://punto-informatico.it/3437448/PI/News/ritorno-openmoko.aspx )

  1. February 2nd, 2012 at 18:01 | # 1