Many of our hackers have a desire for a numpad-equipped mobile phone. We also have a shared understanding that, nowadays, such phones need to be open and Linux-powered. Today’s project, Notkia, is the most promising and practical effort to create a keypad phone that fits our needs. Notkia is a replacement board for Nokia 168x series phones, equipped with an advanced display, USB-C, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and LoRa. [Reimu NotMoe] Of [SudoMaker] Tell us the detailed story of this project.
Natkia’s efforts began two years ago [Reimu]His growing dislike of modern smartphones – something every hacker is familiar with. His first-hand experience with privacy breaches and hackability restrictions on Android phones has been described in detail, leading to a strong belief that there are fundamental issues with the phones available today. Creating new hardware from the ground up seems to be the way forward. Two years later, this is exactly what we got!
When it comes to the physical form-factor of this phone, reusing an existing shell is the most profitable solution, and the Hackaday.io page describes a journey towards finding a suitable shell. In the end, Nokia 1680 series phones have become the perfect candidate. These phones are small and fit easily in your hand, have plenty of space inside the shell and replacement shells and batteries are easy to find nowadays – at least, the type of phone you want to get, however.
This replacement motherboard packs several features. The older and later 128 × 160 displays have been replaced with an IPS screen with a visible area of 220 × 280 pixels. They couldn’t find a small enough 4G module, but using a Notkia one LoRa module Instead. There WiFi, Bluetooth, A Yamaha MA-3 music synthesizer, a USB Type-C port for charging and OtG, an RGB LED, a SHT20 sensor and the 1680 version supports a 5MP camera. Such a feature set makes Natkia’s ambitious goal of making usable phones quite achievable.
Like the X1501 project we covered, the Ingenic X1000 CPU contains freely available and open datasheets. This phone already runs Linux – from here, software support is in progress, with an easy way of features like full disk encryption. Demo has a series: Keypad input, LCD backlight dimming, LVGL Listening instruments, And of course, Bad milk – With a USB audio adapter via USB-OtG. Drop tested, Interested in getting a Notkia board too? [Reimu] The goal is to launch it in CrowdSupply – until then, there’s an email signup list to get project updates. If you are interested in helping one of the software priorities, it seems possible to get it soon.
Reassuring to see a Linux phone with so much production potential. Plans to reuse old phone shells to get an effective feature phone are constantly appearing. There are some good ideas for borrowing this Nokia 3310 and 3210 rebuild and WiPhone has successfully delivered the ESP32 front via SIP call. And if you want to do more DIY, you can always try a Pie Zero sandwich between a few boards, or make an ATMega-powered phone with a PCB case!