Man, I loves me some Openmoko Neo Freerunner. Sure, it’s not the prettiest thing on the planet. Sure, a completely open source mobile device may be a bit ahead of the times for all but the most dedicated gadget geeks amongst us. But man oh man, have I been drooling about this for a while.
For the uninitiated, Openmoko is a project aimed at creating a series of open source mobile phones. Don’t like the way the device looks? Blast out a new casing with a 3D printer and the provided CAD files. Bugs got you down? Pop open your compiler and code your own fix, or work with other developers to make things better for all. It’ll work just fine out of the box – but if you’re looking to change it up a bit, the sky’s the limit.
Following a limited release to select developers back in the beginning of this year, Openmoko has announced that they’re readying the release of the Linux-based Neo Freerunner for July 4th. At $399 (no contracts involved), it’s no economy phone – fortunately, the specs justify the price: tri-band GSM (850/1800/1900MHz or 900/1800/1900Mhz), aGPS, Bluetooth 2.0, multiple motion sensors, a 2.8″ VGA touchscreen, WiFi, and the freedom to do just about anything your technical knowledge and abilities allow.
I’ve put off picking one of these up until it was considered consumer-ready, but I’m achin’ to tear this thing apart.