Neo Freerunner: first impressions

Posted on

I finally got my hands on my Neo Freerunner two weeks ago and have been playing with it when time allows (so much so that I haven't given myself time to blog about it).

Overall, the hardware is great. The first thing you notice is that the unit feels very solid and the quality of the display is excellent; bright and high resolution. I've had success with wifi, GPS, the SD card slot and basic GSM usage. I haven't had a change to try out the accelerometers yet, mainly due to a (surprising) lack of software that uses them.

The Freerunner is a fantastic device but the software is still very much a work in progress. I wouldn't advise anyone to get one unless they're a developer or a Linux geek. This will change though as the software (rapidly) matures. Things get better each day as updates are released.

Perhaps best of all, Python is readily installed and there's Python API's to access the hardware and GUI toolkits. Python also forms a crucial part of the in-development FreeSmartphone.Org (FSO) software stack which will one day form the standard base system for Openmoko phones. I'll be presenting a talk on Python and Openmoko at PyCon UK in September.

The Neo Freerunner is uber exciting and reeks of potential. I'm really looking forward to seeing where the community takes it and contributing where I can. Watch this space.

ps. SSHing to your phone is neat.
pps. Setting up your phone to dual boot between different images while waiting in the doctor's waiting room is really really neat :)