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Notkia is a Nokia 1680 converted into a mini-PC with Linux

Notkia is a Nokia 1680 converted into a mini-PC with Linux

There are hackers and techies who spend their time transforming devices into amazing things. That is the case of a person who calls himself Remu NotMoe, who has taken a Nokia 1680 mobile to turn it into a mini Linux PC called Notkia.

The Nokia 1680 was released in 2008 and is a fairly basic mobile with support for calls, sending and receiving text messages and support for 2G networks. Like a classic device, the screen is small and it has a physical number pad. Its conversion to Notkia has not only involved changing the software, but also all or almost all its “guts”.

To turn the Nokia 1680 into a Notkia, Remu NotMoe has removed the original innards of the phone to replace it with a custom PCB and other components. Of course, the casing, the numeric keypad and other buttons have been preserved, so the experiment has an aspect that has not changed compared to when it was a “pure” mobile.

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The custom PCB features an Ingenic X100E Processor, which is MIPS, single core, and 1GHz. At the memory level, it incorporates 64 MB of RAM, 32 MB of NOR flash memory and 4 GB of SLC NAND flash memory. The screen itself has been replaced, since the original was TFT and worked at a resolution of 128×160 pixels, while the new one is IPS LCD with a native resolution of 240×320 pixels. Obviously, to fit the new screen, both have a size of 2 inches.

Other features of Notkia are a USB Type-C port (although it is not known if it is 2.0 or third generation), a Waveshare OV5640 5-megapixel camera with autofocus, a Yamaha MA-3 music synthesizer with ringtone support, an analog MEMS microphone (Micro Electromechanical Systems), an AMPAK module with Wi-Fi 4 and Bluetooth 4.0 LE support, a Semtech SX126x LoRa transceiver, plus a BL-5C battery.

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Notkia runs on standard Linux, more specifically Diana from Debian 11, but Remu NotMoe hasn’t been able to find a 4G LTE module small enough to fit in the device, so, at least for now, it can’t make phone calls or use mobile internet. For headphone support, you have to connect wirelessly or use a USB Type-C to 3.5mm jack adapter, since models that go directly via USB Type-C are not as widespread. The mini PC has a GNSS module, but it has not been tested.

All Notkia details are posted by Remu NotMoe on Hacker & HackADay. The project has been submitted to the Crowd Supply fundraising service, dedicated to funding open source hardware. If it goes ahead, Notkia will likely end up being marketed in some way in the future, though it’s not expected to be a mass product.