OpenMoko’s Neo FreeRunner pushed out the door early

There could be no better way than to release a cell phone that could epitomize “freedom” on Independence Day but it looks like OpenMoko couldn’t contain itself for just a few more hours till dawn. Given that the project has been dragging on for almost two years, we sure can understand OpenMoko’s rush to get it out the door, even if it’s a few hours premature than previously announced.

OpenMoko is now taking orders for the unlocked version of Neo FreeRunner, a followup to the original “open source” cell phone, the Neo 1973, and will start shipping on July 7th.

Here’s what you will get for $399:

  • Works on triband 850/1900 MHz and 900/1900 MHz networks with GPRS data speeds
  • 2.8-inch VGA (that’s right!) touchscreen display with 480×640 resolution
  • ARM9 400 MHz processor (contrary to the 500 Mhz processor announced during CES 2008) with 128MB RAM, 256MB onboard memory, and microSD expansion
  • 2D/3D graphics acceleration
  • Removable 1200 mAh battery
  • aGPS
  • WiFi 802.11b/g
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • 3-axis motion sensor for automatic screen orientation
  • OpenMoko Linux OS
  • 2.5 mm audio jack

While the $399 price tag may sound steep to many, it may not be a huge price to pay given that the Neo FreeRunner has all the base components needed for any interested developer to build applications of their own with the Linux developer tools that accompany the device. Let’s hope this spurs some other bigwigs in the mobile industry to go more open in the future.


Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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