Why one cannot recommend the freerunner as a daily phone (was Re: Is a FreeRunner sufficient for me?)
rusolis at poczta.fm
Sat Jun 20 23:58:29 CEST 2009
2009/6/20 Joerg Lippmann <jl_lists at donalbain.de>
> OK, maybe I should explain.
> My mail should not be taken as FUD. I have a freerunner since it came out a
> year ago and - being a linux user since 1994 - I was prepared to get
> rough and unfinished. But I hoped that it would one day be sufficient to
> first my phone, then my Palm Tungsten C and maybe my Etrex-GPS. It does
> in a satisfactory way.
You're spreading a lot of misinformation. Since you might influence
someone's decision about buying the FR, I'll address those points with which
I completely disagree (about the rest I could argue).
> I used it for about year now, installed this and that distro and during
> time I defended all the shortcomings as being a work-in-progress and a
> community effort. But all in all I cannot recommend it to anyone as a daily
> phone. Here's why:
> - The device wakes up too slowly, I lost some calls.
The wake up time is about 2 to 2.5 seconds. Usually small enough for picking
up the call quickly.
> - The vibrator is too weak, I missed more calls.
> - The volume is way to low, You can really only use it indoors.
Depends on a particular mixer setting. I could get one that's good enough
for me (found a link on the wiki)
> - The Display is too dark for sunny days, even in the shade.
> - I lost many SMS. I eventually receiced most of them after restarting the
> - The battery lasts only a few hours, again, I lost many calls (this
> on the distro. But even with a »good« one, I had cases in which the device
> not suspend due to something crashing)
With most distros you get ~48h of suspend time with the GSM running. Whether
the distro you choose crashes a lot or not depends on your luck and ability
to chose the right distro and version (release, testing, unstable). But
agree that most of them crash occasionally, although I don't see how this
influences battery life (just restart the device)
> - Sometimes I cannot access the phonebook (Android, SHR)
> - Wifi does not work reliably and it takes a long time to connect.
> - The device/software is terribly slow. How fast was even the oldest palm
There is a ton of software, and some of it is slow, some of it is fast. The
device itself is pretty fast for a phone I would say.
> - the on-screen keyboards are all terrible for finger-typing. I liked the
> from QTe, but you have to install german wordlists by hand. Also it was
> impractical to switch upper/lowercase. Best solution would be to use
Then you haven't tried the illume predictive keyboard. It's better for
typing sms with your finger than anything else I've seen. Certainly 10x
faster than a phone without a touchscreen.
> - Even simple tasks like inserting the number of the caller into the
> addressbook is sometimes impossible or very complicated.
> (- Many people I called complained about terrible buzz, but I hope to get
> fix soon)
You can buy a buzz-fixed FR.
> - The alarm clock does not work reliably.
> - When the battery is completely empty, it takes ages to reload the phone
> you're not able to turn it on even when plugged in.
I think it takes a few hours to reload it. The problem with starting on an
empty battery have been fixed in recent devices I think.
> - You cannot sync dates or even contacts, PIM-functions are virtually non-
> (And I did not mention nice things like video-playback, a good MP3-Player,
> voice-notes, a nice email-Interface or a feed-aggregator...)
> Granted, most things depend on the distro you're using. But neither is
> OM: 2007: very stripped down, although I liked the simple interface.
That distro is 2.5 years old! :-)
> QTe: Overall quite OK, but no Sync, no working wifi, no usable browser, no
> GPRS, no usable GPS-Application
> SHR: good battery life when not crashing. some bad design decisions
> (animations are useless on this phone), slow (especially the setup-menus
> finger-scrolling), ugly phone-function, contacts crash very often, tangogps
> working, many SMS and calls lost. Keyboard either english-only or only
> with a pen.
The slowness can be fixed by tweaking some settings in illume gui.
Keyboard english-only? Changing the dictionary to another language is as
simple as downloading a word list into the FR.
> Android: Best of the bunch so far. But volume too low, missing keyboard in
> stable versions (cupcake one looks better, but is not stable enough at the
Well, you definitely forgot about Om2008 and 2009.
> Please, developers, don't feel like I want to thrash your work. It's just
> ready for primetime, yet. I really like the design and the hires screen. It
> could make a cool device when it would work...
I will repeat the famous words, "works for me." Just give it some love.
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