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Do You Want An Openmoko FreeRunner Cellphone?

At first I thought this was a pinoy joke when I saw the phone on Engadget. I had to remind myself that I was actually reading Engadget, and so after ten seconds I took to reading the article seriously. It’s an Openmoko Freerunner phone, with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and the much acclaimed GNU/Linux Open Source software (I think this means you have access to the phone’s software and you can modify and add programs as you see fit, but only if you are a hardcore programmer and have nothing else to do). Anyway, what really interested me in this phone, besides its name of course, is that it is touch-screen like the Iphone. Let’s see the specs.

Openmoko FreeRunner Phone

  • A very high resolution touch screen (1.7″ x 2.27″ – 43mm x 58mm) 480×640 pixels
  • 128MB SDRAM memory to allow operation of many applications at once
  • Internal GPS module for map and tracking programs
  • Bluetooth for local data exchange
  • 802.11 b/g WiFi for fast web browsing and data transfer
  • A faster 400Mhz processor (up from 266MHz)
  • A hardware Graphics Accelerator chip allowing the acceleration of a limited set of operations.
  • Unfortunately, this is on a shared slow (7M/s) bus with the SD card.
  • 2 3D accelerometers so that the phone can know its orientation for example switching to landscape mode automatically
  • 2 LEDs illuminating the two buttons on the rim of the case (one bicolor [blue|orange] behind the power button, 1 unicolor [red] behind the aux button)
  • Tri-band GSM and GPRS for North America (850/1800/1900 Mhz) and the rest of the world (900/1800/1900 Mhz)
  • USB Host function with 500mA power allowing you to power USB devices for short periods (will drain the FreeRunner battery faster)

In retrospect “Openmoko” is a very apt brand for this kind of phone. It practically invites you to see and tinker the programs “inside” it.

Unfortunately it doesn’t have a camera, a real let-down considering it has a relatively higher 640×480 pixels resolution. And it’s not 3G. I think the web browser is meant to be connected to the Internet through wi-fi (read: browse for free at your favorite hotspot) which is the only practical use I see for this phone in the Philippines.

It costs $399 and will be released in July. (This phone is not available in the Philippines).

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  • Really a good one.

  • Ricky Nite

    Openmoko.com sells the Neo Freerunner at a discount if bought in multiples of 10 (US$369, instead of 399), to be shipped in one package. Group buying saves money on the purchase, and also on the
    shipping.

    Although the GSM 900 variant is currently sold out, new stocks are promised by July 25th. We can sign up and organize a group purchase here:

    http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/GroupSales#Philippines

  • Allan

    you can request them to ship one. I’ve been dying to have one of this since they announced it I think a year ago..

    i don’t think open-source mobile devices won’t have much market share for until 2010..
    who knows..
    Google’s android is selling pretty well, i heard