Some months after a failed Kickstarter campaign with an ambitious €350k goal, German startup Volla has managed to raise more than €20k in a new campaign (still open for the next few hours) for their first Volla Phone.
This new smartphone aims at several niches, promising a minimal UI to reduce distractions and screen time, some privacy features such as a built-in (free) VPN, and out-of-the-box support for community builds of Ubuntu Touch and Sailfish OS.
Technical specifications are quite interesting for this kind of device, as the MediaTek Helio P24 SoC is not one of the most easily hackable, and its Taiwanese manufacturer is not exactly famous for releasing kernel sources. In this case, however, Volla told us that its kernel sources should be publicly available. Alternative OS are still listed as "stretch goals", but Volla has already invested resources in the Sailfish and Ubuntu ports (and organized a hackathon for it), which will be offered as options when buying the device. The 5000mAh battery should give more than enough battery life, and 4GB memory + 64GB expandable storage are solid midrange specifications.
The device will be entirely assembled by (Siemens) Gigaset factories in Germany. The price of €359 inside Europe or €309 outside (plus any import taxes) make the device potentially interesting especially on the Linux side (more powerful than a PinePhone, less expensive than a Librem 5). But it's still early to judge how far the Linux community will work on it, and if it'll ever arrive to the point of running a stable, fully featured "mainline" Linux kernel.
Pictures from volla.online