OpenMoko phone comparisons

Peter Naulls peter at
Sun Nov 11 18:33:01 CET 2007

I, like many others have been following the Neo development with
interest, but I still have some reservations.   No, it's not about the
quad band issue that so many here in the US feel compelled to complain
about - I'm in Southern California and would be using T-Mobile.

I am however in the aproximately 1% (allow me some exageration here) of
the population of the Western world lacking a mobile phone.  For me to
get one requires considerable justification.  For one, the extortionate
situation in the US is a considerable barrier, although I'd almost
certainly use T-Mobile pay-as-you-go which would cost me about $100/year
(I make very few calls).

On the other hand, the Neo does provide some considerable justification,
but I have concerns about the screen size (even though it's 640x480,
it's still tiny) and the ruggedness of the device and of course the
device. The other phone I'm considering in preference which also runs
OpenMoko is the UTC universal (plenty of options under 'Jasjar' on

My requirements are:  640x480 (for suitably transcoded movies), runs
Linux, wireless access and can make occasional phone calls.

The UTC has the benefit of a physical keyboard, although the phone is
relatively large - also means a larger screen.   Also, its wireless is
limited to 11Mbit (that's not such an issue though).  One downside is
although the device has near comprehensive Linux driver support, it
isn't open hardware, and there could be issues (not that the Neo doesn't
at present but those are being worked on).

For price comparison, the UTC is about $350 and Neo is $450.

Anyone willing to placate my concerns, or point out other phones that
meet my requirements (must fill _all_ the requirements I listed, so
please check carefully).  As a final point, I'll note I'm a long (long)
time embedded and ARM linux developer, so don't mind doing occasional
work to improve either kernel or userspace stuff.

Also, if you're following up, please don't uneccesarily quote
signatures, taglines and bits you aren't responding to.

Thanks in advance.

Peter Naulls - peter at        |
RISC OS Community Wiki - add your own content   |

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