Upcoming Product: PinePhone Case Design Approved and More
With the case selected and approved, the phone’s PCB was commissioned a couple of weeks ago and submitted to the design house with detailed instructions on the required feature set. The first of the things we settled on was the battery capacity and physical dimensions; the battery will be the same capacity as the Samsung J7 SM-J700H/ BJ700BU (3000-3400 mAh), which can be had for under $10 from amazon and eBay. So in the event you need replacement or spare batteries, getting hold of them will be easy and affordable. We also settled on the number, and the implementation of, privacy switches on the phone – there will be 4 switches in total: for the i) BT/Wifi module, ii) the modem, iii) cameras (front/back) and iv) lastly for the microphone. They will be located on the PCB, under the back-cover, to prevent them from being toggled by accident, e.g. in your pocket or purse.
After a chat with developers, we also came up with a way to expose I2C using 6 pogo pins. These pogo pins will be located directly on the PCB. The idea behind this implementation is that entire back-covers with add-on components can be created (even 3D-printed) with additional functionality to enrich the phone’s functionality. The implementation only requires that the custom back-cover with additional hardware has the same dimensions and position of plastic latches as the original – and obviously that the component in question uses I2C (contact pads). I expect that a back-cover with a keyboard – perhaps one similar to that found on the Nokia N900 – will be something a considerable number of people may be interested in creating. To this end, we’ll make sure to have detailed documentation on this feature. I really hope that the hackers and tinkerers among you will embrace and make use of I2C for new cool implementations.