Man Builds Own Phone Using Raspberry Pi For $158

/ 2 years ago


The Raspberry Pi computer is small, cheap and incredibly diverse in its range of applications. While the little Linux computer, which is small enough to fix in a cigarette packet, has been on the market for some time now, it’s still making headlines and users find new ways of using it. David Hunt decided to use his to build a smartphone, the PiPhone cost him $158 to build and while it may look like a pile of crud, it’s actually pretty awesome.

The phone boots up to Raspbian then (eventually) displays a numeric keypad. Hunt is a Linux software engineer, so he’s in a great position to know how to bend the OS to his needs. Check out the video below where you can see him hook up a microphone and headset via the dual 3.5mm jacks, allowing him to make a phonecall from the PiPhone.

  • Raspberry Pi Model B – $40
  • PiTFT Touchscreen 320×240 – $35
  • 2500mAh LiPo battery – $15
  • SIM900 GSM/GPRS module – $48
  • DC-DC boost converter 3.3V – 5V 1A – $10
  • Cables, connectors, switch, etc. – $10

The phone operates on a low resolution touch screen and has a few hours battery life, David said the devices does get a little warm, but has so far been pretty stable in terms of performance. It doesn’t look too great, but it’s still a fun little project, almost as fun as David’s last project which involved using another Raspberry Pi to construct a bark-activated door opener for dogs.

Thank you Arstechnica for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Arstechnica.

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  • Wayne

    Very ingenious. Who needs Apple? Raspberry is where it’s at.

    • Mark Smith

      Oh yeah Raspberry all the way, right back to time of the brick phones…