can haz convergence burger?
...or sundry ramblings surrounding the effect of hallium/android version, community interest, and my own ignorance on the future prospect of usb-c video out.
Having nothing to show for the $900 I burned a chasing the Fxtec Pro-1x convergence dream, and some amount of money coming in on the horizon, I find myself trying to decide where I will burn my next thousand dollars towards a usb-c pocket computer that also works untethered... on the road, and as a phone.
I understand that the fairphone 4 is currently the posterchild for european convergence, but that it does not work well in North America. Also, I kinda hate that they removed the headphone jack, but if it were just that I would probably dive into FP4 even now.
After some introspection, I think I have settled on the following pretentious list of requirements:
- unlockable bootloader (preferrably without diving into bootleg windows software from XDA forums)
- true wired usb-c video out (hdmi, displayport)
- sd card support
- north-american cellular frequencies
- votle-capable (any recent-ish phone)
- 3.5mm headphone port
So my first question would be to know of any more brands or phones that generally meet these requirements.
The closest hint I've got is that Sony hardware still has many of these vanishing features. So I started digging into Sony phones and stumbled across this list of sony phones that support video-out:
- Xperia 1
- Xperia 1 II
- Xperia 1 III
- Xperia 1 IV
- Xperia 5
- Xperia 5 II
- Xperia 5 III
- Xperia 5 IV
- Xperia PRO
- Xperia PRO-I
Given that the list is from sony, I suspect this to currently be a complete list of covergence-capable Sony smartphone hardware.
I found none of these in the hallium device repo.
I notice that two of them are currently supported by lineage os:
- Xperia 1 II
- Xperia 5 II
I know it's a long-shot to buy hardware in the hopes of future support, and unpredictable future, etc; but maybe it will even spur me to finally try porting a device myself, and subsequently inspire somebody else to continue the work for me
My secondary question is: would any of the above devices be more likely to be supported in the future than the others?
For example: the Xperia 1 & Xperia 5 originally shipped with Android 9, and I recall hearing in a Q&A that was a big deal. Is that still the case, or would the Hallium 9 barrier so likely to be broken in the next N years that it is not even worth considering?
Or perhaps... if there is a "moving target" effect, would the newest one be most likely (given a longer effective utility life)?
A related question might be: Is there anything that would make one or more of these devices easier to port?
Or is there any particular community interest in one of these devices over another? (e.g. maybe a lot of people have one of them already)
Or is the dream out of reach... is VoLTE still an issue? Perhaps it would be better just put the $1k from my next disappointing hardware purchase into a UBPorts donation? ... which, in hindsight, I wish I had done with the pro-1x money...
EDIT: Additionally, I have found that the Motorola Moto G100 might be the only Motorola phone that meets the above hardware requirements, with the added caveat that unlocking the bootloader requires registration with Motorola. However, it apparently comes with a proprietary covergence thing they call "ready for". So now I am wondering if I can have my proprietary convergence while the liberating one is incubating.
EDIT2: There may be some Samsung S10 phones that have proprietary convergence (samsung dex) AND already have some ubuntu touch porting work done... very promising.
would any of the above devices be more likely to be supported in the future than the others?
Only an Oracle could answer that question, and even then it would be shrouded in riddles.
What devices are ported tends to be random, depending on what device someone skilled or interested enough happens to have that they want to see UT running on.
The only way to avoid your fxtec pro experience is to buy a currently supported device that most closely matches your requirements, or as you have mentioned yourself, buying one that satisfies porting requirements and embark on that journey yourself.
@osndok Don't buy a device hoping it'll get a working port unless you intend/willing to do it yourself. You've already wasted money for the Pro1-X like me, don't do my other mistakes I have a Lenovo M10 FHD and a Samsung S10. Both have UT ports and I actually use them fine except their ports are stagnant or possibly dead (depending if someone continue its development). Xperia devices are interesting because they even have an open device initiative and Sailfish OS use them basically exclusively. But I guess they don't have much users so no one really made a UT port for many of them. Samsung flagship phones would be great candidate too but I only know the S10 series to have a relatively working port. Samsung phones are also tricky because apparently, only Exynos variants have unlockable bootloader
I would say the Fairphone 4 is the best bet right now but unfortunately, it seems like you have deal breakers there. If only the Fxtec decided to use FP4's SOC instead of 662......
@osndok - to be clear, there is currently nothing that fulfills all those requirements that runs UT - OR that is expected or in the works to fulfill all those requirements in the next year.
Regarding VoLTE: the only option that currently works for that for both calling / receiving is the PinePhone (and once ported, the PinePhone Pro as well). Otherwise Pixel 2XL, 3a or OnePlus 5, 5t, 6,6t have all been reported to be able to receive calls via VoLTE, but none of those devices can send calls via VoLTE when running UT. There are efforts being made to try and solve this, but whether and when they will show any results is unknown.
and once ported, the PinePhone Pro as well
Seems there is already a working port for the pro, even on 20.04
https://gitlab.com/ook37/pinephone-pro-debos/-/releases (if from morph open link in new tab, i don't know why i get a blank screen with direct clicking)
@keneda many things work, but there are some regressions compared to 16.04 still. And also no OTA updates possible as yet.
Yes, i know, but there already IS a working port for the pro, that's all i said (did not say perfect).