My Linux Phones (from 2005 – present)
I am a fan of Linux phones. I have owned 13 Linux/Android phones since 2005. Here is my write up about my Linux phone usage.
Edited on January 9th, 2023:
It is common knowledge amongst my friends that I am a Linux gadget freak, especially regarding mobile phones. My choice was using Linux-based mobile phones for nearly 14 years now. I was an early fan of the Motorola Linux phones, owning 4 of them along the way. I have owned 3 iPhones in the past before selling them and one Windows Mobile-based phone as well. None of them equaled to my love affair with Linux phones (except for the iPhone 6S Plus, which is a favorite of many Linux phone users).
For me, a mobile phone must be able to take decent pictures, and recently, make some good video shots including night scenes. My mobile phones have helped me come up with the content for many of my postings at SaigonNezumi.com.
Below are all the Linux phones I have owned:
1. Motorola e680i
The Motorola e680i was my first Linux-based phone running Montavista Linux back in July, 2005. I read the reviews about the e680i back in 2005 and knew I had to have it. The problem is that it was not available in Vietnam yet, so I had to go outside the country to purchase it. Lucky for me, I went on a trip to Bangkok, Thailand, where I could purchase the phone at one of the mobile shop vendors.
By far, the e680i was one of my most favorite phones. I felt it could do everything that I wanted. It had a great screen, was the first time I really listened to any music on a phone. I even took a lot of pictures of this blog with this phone. I kept the phone for newly two years before upgrading to the Motoroka Rokr e6. Since selling the phone, I have regretted it.
2. Motorola Rokr e2
The Motorola Rokr e2 was my second Linux phone which I could buy in Vietnam. It was my spare phone I purchased in 2006. Unfortunately, the only thing it was great for was listening to music. It was my least favorite Linux phone. I kept this phone for a brief time before selling it. I knew several Vietnamese friends that actually liked this phone.
3. Motorola Rokr e6
The Motorola Rokr e6 replaced its predecessor, the Motorola e680i, in 2007. I found this phone in Vietnam. It took some splendid blog photos and for the first; I used mobile phones to send and receive emails. Like the e680i, it was a very reliable phone. I had owned an iPhone, but in the end; I preferred the Rokr e6 over the Apple product.
I would still use it today as my spare if I had not dropped this phone back in 2009 (I got angry at my, then, girlfriend). It now just sits in one of my desk drawers since it could not be repaired.
Edit: My friend tried to repair the phone. Unfortunately, it had water damage and was no longer repairable.
4. HTC Magic/G1
The G1 phone became my first Android phone. I bought it with the help of my Vietnamese international student back in October 2008. It replaced my Rokr e6 as my main phone. With the G1, I could start updating my blog with the WordPress app. For the first time, I was using Gmail, Google Calendar and other Office tasks inside the phone.
The G1 was a great phone. I sold it to another Linux friend last year here in Saigon. Boy, I regretted selling this Android phone as well.
5. Nokia N900
The Nokia N900, like the Motorola e680i, was one of the most expected Linux phones I looked forward to. I had a friend pick me up an N900 in the US and he brought it back to Vietnam for me. Yes, it was a nice phone, took good blog photos. In the end, the N900 was a tremendous disappointment for me. I could not update my blog easily. Checking Gmail and syncing with Google Calendar was a pain. It did not run Android. Finally, I got fed up, sold the phone and replaced it with the Milestone.
6. Motorola Milestone (Droid)
The Motorola Milestone is another of my favorite Linux phones running Android. It did everything, played music very loud, was overall a great phone. The only problem with the phone was Motorola. They just would not give a timely update to Android 2.2 Froyo. After about a year, I started having issues with my phone. It ran slower and slower. My friends were flashing with custom ROMs, but they seemed to still have problems as well.
Still, these ended up being minor to me. It took splendid pictures, and I could still update my blog periodically. I found a workaround to get Skype running. In the end, the HTC Desire HD replaced this phone. I was going to keep the phone, but a friend gave me a good deal and bought the Milestone from me.
Sadly, the Milestone would be the last Motorola phone I would buy. I tired of Motorola’s late updates and lack of support for the Droid/Milestone community.
7. HTC Desire HD
A phone has got to be a great phone if I am to buy it after only using another predecessor's phone for just a year. The HTC Desire HD is one of those phones. It has to be one of the best Android Linux phones ever. HTC has done wonders for Android phones as they have done for Windows Mobile phones. It is pre-installed with Android 2.2 Froyo and they are already working on a release for Gingerbread (Android 2.3). HTC is more forthcoming in releasing the source code for their phones than Motorola. I ended keeping this phone for over 2 years. It is that great of a phone. I eventually sold it to a Japanese friend.
8. Samsung Galaxy Note 2 / Note 3/ Note 4
This has been my favorite Linux phone up to this day. I love it so much; I have actually owned the last 3 models. My first buy was the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. I bought it at Bach Long Mobile. Six months later, I replaced it with the Note 3 at Bach Long Mobile. One year later, I replaced that with a dual-sim Note 3 also from Bach Long Mobile (they always bought back my previous phones).
My Note 2 ran Jelly Bean and Note 3 Kit Kat. My current phone I had to root to run Kit Kat. By the summer, I should have Lolipop running on this phone.
What I really like about these phones is that I can do everything I want with them, from blogging, to video recording, etc. I do not need my full size tablet anymore.
Sadly, the Note 5 was a disappointment, so to my surprise, I bought an iPhone 6S Plus in October 2015. I would not get another Linux phone until December, 2016. That would be the OnePlus, though I had tried to purchase a OnePlus 2 the year earlier. I got frustrated with the invitation system, so I decided not to get that phone.
9. OnePlus 3
The OnePlus 3 would become my first OnePlus phone and I was not disappointed. I have used it as my backup phone at home, though it served as my primary phone in January, 2016. That did not mean it was never used. My OnePlus 3 served as my go to phone at home. I used this phone to watch videos, surf the internet and listen to music. With the Nova Launcher, the phone was even nicer to use. It served as a great phone and got replaced by the OnePlus 6T.
9. OnePlus 6T
After over 3 years of use, my iPhone 6S Plus will finally be relegated as the backup phone at home. It’s replacement with the OnePlus 6T. This returns me back to using a Linux phone as my primary handheld device.
I used the OnePlus 6T from December 2018 until I gave it to my friend’s son in September 2022. It is by far one of my most favorite Android phones. A friend brought it to Vietnam from the US for me.
The OnePlus 6T did everything for me.
10. Samsung Z-Fold 4
The Samsung Z-Fold 4 is my current Android phone. The original Z-Fold was the first foldable phone that I wanted. I intended to get one of the Galaxy S Series phones with a stylus. I changed my mind after seeing the Z-Fold 4.
The goal of the Z-Fold 4 was to replace both my nearly 4-year-old OnePlus 6T and my 5-year-old iPad Pro. I used my iPad to listen to music and read with Kindle. The OnePlus was for listening to music as well, but it was showing its age during my last couple of months of using it.
As of now, I use Dex with my Z-Fold 4. It is also my music player and Kindle reader. With Dex, my Z-Fold 4 is essentially a tiny laptop.
I will do some more reviews on how I use my Z-Fold
Until my next Android phone.