Pyra why ?


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Oct 24, 2008
Germany,, Saarland, at home
How do you explain to others why you spend up to 760 € on this 2 x 1,4 ghz ARM Brick instead of a "normal" Notebook for less whit more power?
my reason was just because i liked my Pandora (which was a frustration purchase), had a lot of great time in the community, and wantet a "New Pandora" + something i could use as a Notebook..
Also i tend to carry my stuff every day whit me, so the Pandora/Pyra still fits in my Pockets..
Yeah, I guess you guys have a point. We don't have to justify our decision to anybody.
I wouldn't persuade anybody into buying the Pyra, because I think it is an expensive device with an outdated processor. But I don't regret my order (even though I don't have my Pyra yet).

It's nice to have a small, portable general purpose device, which gives me more software freedom than android or iOS smartphones (or Nintendo handhelds).

Also a reason for me choosing Pyra over GPD or something like that: The Pyra has components from china (which I guess is impossible to avoid), but it's at least not completely made there.
To update the Pyra, you have to force the Update by using the Terminal, so if someone port the Gameboy Emulator, you can play tetris whyle you wait on the barbier, on GPD you have forced Updates, this was the Reason why i put the Pandora back in my Pocket later this day ^^

I think whe matures dont have to justify our purchase that often, but i can remember, back in the days of the Pandora, Screeny was around 16 , (but he made his own Pandora Blog) so it might be that he had to justify it to his parents..
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Originally, I was just searching for a phone with keyboard and FOSS support. Back then, the only candidate I knew of was the jolla phone with keyboard attachement (wich sadly had availability issues). Back then, I was vaguely aware of the Pandora, although I did not really see the point of it. An ultra-portable PC is great, but why cram gaming controls into such a small thing when you could use the space for bigger keys? By the time the Pyra was anounced, my opinion kinda changed; even though blackberry phones have an excellent keyboard, gaming on it is not much fun, as you can still easily miss keys on fast-paced games. So even for occasional gaming, dedicated controls are clearly beneficial.

It is clear that the pyra is not meant to be a phone replacement, so some sort of companion device would still be nice. Alas, I don't really see a candidate for it. All Open phones with keyboards (that I am aware of) are even bigger than the pyra in at least one dimension. So I probably have to stick to old blackberries by now. Or maybe I will even end up having a small t9 or touch device, in case I will realise that I rarely use a phone anymore, once my pyra arrives.
@Blue Shadow have you checked the PinePhone ? They are working on a keyboard... Not sure the dimensions would suit you though, but it runs Linux too, and the community seems to be nice, from what I have heard :)
A Psion Series 5mx replacement.

If I could get a new Psion*, I'd jump at it. But a market of one isn't getting manufacturers in a tizzy. The Pyra has most of the good attributes of the Psion Series 5mx. The Planet Gemini looked good for a while, but I've seen such bad reviews of it, I decided to wait for the Pyra. On the other hand, my Psion is so close to literally falling apart, I may be forced to buy a Gemini to get a semi-decent PDA before I get to the top of the stack for the Pyra.

I specifically do not want a mobile phone modem chipset in the device.

*I can dream of a Psion 5mx-alike, with the same marvellous keyboard, and with an e-ink display, SD-card slots, and USB connectivity. Unfortunately, getting a month's work out of 2 AA cells won't be possible, because the obvious thing to do is to use Linux as the OS, and succumb to the temptation to give it network connectivity (USB Ethernet and maybe one or both of WiFi/Bluetooth) and the ability to run a web-browser. As soon as you do that, you'll want a colour screen and the abiity to watch videos and play games...and, Tadaa!, suddenly you have the Pyra. See?
Actually I drooled over the psion in shopwindows when I couldnt afford it ( in ~1998), then I wanted a squeezbox then I found out about the pandora which made me think I could combine the two, and now Im just hooked. Recently I just showed my coworker the pandora and told him I played colin mcrea rally while waiting on the train and the things the pandora could do, he then wanted one and I told him he couldnt but that a "new one" was being developed, and then he ordered a pyra. So I guess I naturally explain the reason for a pandora :D (in other words, I talk about the pandora too much)
@Blue Shadow have you checked the PinePhone ? They are working on a keyboard... Not sure the dimensions would suit you though, but it runs Linux too, and the community seems to be nice, from what I have heard :)
I have. About 160mm, compared to about 140 on the pyra. So it has the same issue as the f(x)tec or the Gemini phone. The concept of a small, or midsized smartphone seems to be pretty old-fashioned nowadays.
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I fully agree, chocolate digestives are better than rich tea biscuits.
The Droid 4 can be had for around $25-30. Has 1GB Ram and Omap4. Runs devuan linux with maemo-leste gui. Plenty of horsepower. Working hdmi out. Gps and phone radio works. No camera.
Sadly unless it's new enough to support VoLTE, it won't work as a phone in the US anymore in a year.
Because the Pyra is like a Hybrid of a Gaming Device and a Laptop.
And you can Upgrade it because its Upgradeable...
..unlike Phones and Laptops when they become older and slower.

I see in the Future with a new CPU Board for the Pyra even Playstation2 will be no Problem.

Let us see what the Future brings :)

And its realy Fun to get Things working on this Device which others never Thought like:

-Use the Pyra as an Remote with an IR Dongle,
-Controlling your flying Drones with the good Gaming controlls.
-Cut your Videos,
-Use the Pyra as Tricorder with that many Sensors we have,
-watch TV with a DVB-T2/ATSC Dongle without stressing your Internet Connection
-you can have Terrabytes on Data/Movies/Games with the right USB Dongles/SD-Cards in the Future
-UNBRICKABLE from Software Fear for Experiments
-fully modable for Hardware Mods because you can Buy simply a new Case @DragonboxShop
-Linux Compiling in Bed/Couch or Underway

and many other Things.

With the Pyra i can make more Things than many other People.:)

....and dont forget the Hardware Keyboard for Messaging :)
The Pyra modem supports 4G, it's not clear to me yet whether VoLTE will be possible. But not all of us are planning to use our Pyras for phone calls, and even if it can't do VoLTE it can still do data.
Does this apply to the Pyra as well?
Yes and no. The Pyra will still work on a data only SIM. The phone companies think it's a tablet, so they'll still let you sign it up, but it won't do calls or SMS that way. Once ED runs out of modems, he'll have to get more and those will support VoLTE.
Yes and no. The Pyra will still work on a data only SIM. The phone companies think it's a tablet, so they'll still let you sign it up, but it won't do calls or SMS that way. Once ED runs out of modems, he'll have to get more and those will support VoLTE.
So... this reads like... transfer IP network data over LTE, unless its Voice(data) over IP. Meaning VoIP. Meaning VoIP/VoLTE. VoLTE being the Voice over LTE data network option to alleviate load on traditional cell signals.

I get that its a rabbit hole with the modem and its firmware. Just spitballing
To continue the derail about mobile connectivity, if the Pyra can make use of the same modem as the PinePhone, then there is the faint possibility that the modem could run mostly FLOSS software, with the exception of the ADSP..

Details in the Pine64 blog. Search for the character string 'Biktor' on the pages to get to the general area.

The #PinePhone modem (yes, the modem) can now run Linux kernel 5.10 (@postmarketOS)... we're sure many of you know where this is heading:)

We currently have: i) An open-source bootloader, allowing us to flash and boot custom software; ii) A temporary, open 3.18.140 kernel with minimal patches, that gives the same functionality as stock with less vulnerabilities and the chance of debugging drivers while moving to 5.x. iii) Open userspace options, with or without blobs, giving varying degrees of functionality, based on Yocto 3.2, or postmarketOS. iv) Modem SDK which serves as a playground for anyone who wants to build his or her own firmware based on Yocto. v) Initial support from the postmarketOS team that allows to create flashable pmOS images for the modem.
The end goal has always been the same, to have the modem as open source as possible. We aren’t touching the modem’s ADSP firmware, because in addition to the inherent difficulties that come with it, modifying the ADSP firmware could lead to problems with RF regulations or certifications.
I think all of you replying to @matzesu's OP are right that as adults (unless someone is eg. persecuted for big some fraud and owes his former employees money, that is) we don't need to justify what we do with our money. However the question is right to ask, because the answers might be very helpful to help spread the good word around. Like with many things, there is a subset of people interested who are early adopters, like us, but there surely is another one of people who just need to have their doubts cleared (so not having anything forced on them either).

For me it's a lot of things about using it, but the two biggest ones are about it's manufacturing:
1) often from a 100 consumer devices there turns out a lot of them that are decent, but only a couple may gain the reputation of "indestructible", "evergreen", "cult following" (perhaps for things other than electronics also "timeless"), but that's not just a product of the practicality, form and build quality- it's a coincidence of many good decisions and/or market following, third-party tinkering etc.; for the pyra, being a very long distance runner is a design decision, and I want to pay big not only to own it, but to promote the idea.
2) most (or let's say "a considerable part of it" if you don't agree!) of it is sourced in Europe, and I wish more things for the European market were made in Europe in the most clean and fair way possible