How good are open source phones?
I was looking at the current Neo Free Runner as possibly my next phone as on paper it seems to have a lot of great features at a pretty good price - for a SIM-free handset.
However, the software stack seems fairly incomplete. Has anyone any experience of using one, or has any idea of the sort of time-frame within which the phone might become a touch more user friendly?
I've had a look on their website and it's a bit light on that sort of detail. There does seem to be Qtopia, but has anyone any experience of using it?
Open Source phones...lolz
Seriously, as an early adopter of Linux on a mobile (bought a grey import Motorola A780 in the US because I HAD to have Linux on a smartphone), I will honestly tell you to only buy it if you just want to wear a label. "I have an open source phone, I am therefore alpha geek!!" And I am sure it would be fun to code for too.
But if you want a smartphone to actually use, get an iPhone 3G, HTC Windows Mobile phone, a Nokia N96, or even the new Palms. Something with software support that works, secondary applications you can actually buy and use, and the ability to actually have accessories that fit it, like cases, chargers, and car cradles.
Otherwise I suspect that you will just repeat my experience with the A780...which I couldn't WAIT to get rid of after a while, despite loving the physical hardware...
I've asked myself this a few times and always ended up buying Finnish.
The reason is simple : Nokias are everywhere and I have never, EVER seen a Neo anywhere; shop, warehouse, somebodies draw. Nothing.
To be honest, i thought they were just developer units now, not intended as 'retail', more proof of concept than anything.
Openmoko not ready for general consumption
ready for developers and those who want to hack around, but not for general use yet.
If you enjoy trying to get stuff compiled, and want to write some software from the start then roll your sleeves and try and find one of the puppies, but if you want to just have a cool phone, you have to wait a little longer.