Why one cannot recommend the freerunner as a daily phone (was Re: Is a FreeRunner sufficient for me?)

arne anka openmoko at ginguppin.de
Sun Jun 21 09:46:51 CEST 2009

i use it for about a year now as sole phone, after some weeks with 2007.X  
i installed debian with fso (a kind of distri you forgot to metion, too).

> - The device wakes up too slowly, I lost some calls.

no problem for month now.

> - The vibrator is too weak, I missed more calls.

most if not all vibrators i have known i cellphones were _way_ weaker --  
most notably the treo650's, which made me lose more calls than the fr  
until now.

> - The volume is way to low, You can really only use it indoors.

no problem here.

> - The Display is too dark for sunny days, even in the shade.

-no problem here

> - I lost many SMS. I eventually receiced most of them after restarting  
> the
> device

experienced tha a long time ago, imo at least in fso that is fixed.

> - The battery lasts only a few hours, again, I lost many calls (this  
> depends
> on the distro. But even with a »good« one, I had cases in which the  
> device did
> not suspend due to something crashing)

dunno, what you mean by "couple of hours", i get at least 48h standby,  
crashing and leaving th fr in a unsuable state happens every couple of  
month. i say, that's a rate other devices have too.

> - Sometimes I cannot access the phonebook (Android, SHR)

no problem here, but i use zhone and tweaked it to read not from sim but  
vcf file.

> - 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 in comparison!

compared with a plam, that's true -- but then, the palms were never able  
to do multi tasking.

> - the on-screen keyboards are all terrible for finger-typing. I liked  
> the one 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  
> landscape automatically.

no problems here, i use matchbox-keyboard, which is sufficient for my  
needs. and i am no friend of completion either.

> - Even simple tasks like inserting the number of the caller into the
> addressbook is sometimes impossible or very complicated.

far to general -- what software/distribution are you talking about?

> - The alarm clock does not work reliably.

don't know, i never used them. in the beginning there were no working  
alarms and i bought a little alarm clock, which is the only use i have for  
alarms anyway.

> - When the battery is completely empty, it takes ages to reload the  
> phone and you're not able to turn it on even when plugged in.

not more than about 1h -- after that the fr is able to boot and you can  
access it.

> - You cannot sync dates or even contacts, PIM-functions are virtually  
> non-existent.

ever checked avaliable sw repos? debian has all kinds of sw available and  
thus even pim, the integration with other apps (namely calling/sms) is  
indeed missing so far.
and with those apps you can sync the same way you would eg a laptop's pim  
with a desktop's

> (And I did not mention nice things like video-playback, a good  
> MP3-Player, voice-notes, a nice email-Interface or a feed-aggregator...)

see above. if you can't find apps for non-debian distris, it's most likely  
because of the fact that no one missed the really so far and cared to  
create them. i for one don't miss those.

i don't say (like you do) "it is ready. period", but i say "it is ready  
for _me_ and sufficiently fits _my_ needs. period."

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