My Linux Phones (from 2005 - present)

Dec 8, 2018

Edited on Dec. 7, 2018:

It is common knowledge amongst my friends that I am a Linux gadget freak, especially in regards to mobile phones.  I have been 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 tends to be a favorite of many Linux phone users).

For me, a mobile phone must be able to take good 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

Below are all the Linux phones I have owned.

1. Motorola e680i

Motorola e680i Linux Phone

The Motorola e680i was my first Linux-based phone running Montavista Linux back in July, 2006.  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 was able to purchase the phone at one of the mobile shop vendors.

By far, the e680i was one of my most favorite phones.  At the time, 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 for this blog with this phone.  I kept the phone for newly two years before upgrading to the Motoroka Rokr e6.  I then sold the phone and have regretted it since.

2. Motorola Rokr e2


The Motorola Rokr e2 was my second Linux phone which I was able to buy in Vietnam.  It was my spare phone that I purchased in 2006.  Unfortunately, the only thing it was really good for was listening to music.  It was my least favorite Linux phone.  I kept this phone for a very short time before selling it.  I knew several Vietnamese friends that actually liked this phone.

3. Motorola Rokr e6

Motorola Rokr e6

The Motorola Rokr e6 replaced it’s predecessor, the Motorola e680i in 2007.  I found this phone in Vietnam.  It took some great pictures for my blog and for the first, I started to use mobile phones to send and receive emails.  Like the e680i, it was a very reliable phone. At the time, I had owned an iPhone but in the end, I preferred the Rokr e6 over the Apple product.

I would still be using it today as my spare if I had not dropped this phone back in 2009.  It now just sits in one of my desk drawers since it could not be repaired.

4. HTC Magic/G1

HTC Dream/G1

The G1 phone became my first Android phone.  I bought it through my Vietnamese student back in October, 2008.  It replaced my Rokr e6 as my main phone.  With the G1, I was able to 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.

5. Nokia N900

Nokia N900 Linux phone

The Nokia N900, like the Motorola e680i, was one of the most anticipated Linux phones that I looked forward too.  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 great pictures, was everything the reviews called this phone.  In the end, the phone was a huge 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 at the time.  Finally, I got fed up sold the phone and replaced it with the Milestone.

6. Motorola Milestone (Droid)

Motorola Milestone

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 great pictures and I was still able to update my blog periodically.  I found work arounds 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 got really tired of Motorola’s late updates and lack of support for the Droid/Milestone community.

7. HTC Desire HD

HTC Desire HD

A phone has got to be a great phone if I am to buy it after only using another predecessor 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 then 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

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Note 3
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Note 3

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

OnePlus 3
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 did serve 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 tended to use 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 will get replaced next week by the OnePlus 6T.

9. OnePlus 6T

OnePlus 6T
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 will actually get this phone late next week so I am getting excited. With Linux phones, I tend to be more active in blogging.

Expect a review of the OnePlus 6T in the future.

Kevin Miller

A Japanese Amerasian's Journey from the Caspian Sea to Vietnam heading to Japan. I am a RPCV Kazakhstan and a former US Marine. I am also the Tech, Social Media & Marketing guy for Baba's Kitchen.

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