The ZeroPhone is somewhat different to a lot of the previous efforts we’ve seen before, though, most of which were built around AVR microcontrollers. Instead with this Raspberry Pi Zero device, you have the core of, not just an cell phone, but an open source smartphone running Linux.
“ZeroPhone is an open source, Linux-powered, $50 smartphone. It has no carrier locks, bloated apps, or data mining, and it doesn’t depend on big companies — instead, its open source hardware and software give you as much control over your phone as possible.”—Arsenij Pichugin
Based around a Raspberry Pi Zero, the ZeroPhone uses an Espressif ESP8266 module to provide WiFi connectivity. The phone is currently 2G, but support for 3G is coming soon and will hopefully arrive before the phone begins to raise on Crowd Supply.
The phone has an HDMI jack, along with a full-size USB port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and out of the box comes with a 1.3-inch 128×63 pixel screen—although the onboard software stack written in Python can support up to 1280×1024 pixel display.
However if you have ideas around the development of the phone, and you’re interested in contributing, you might even be able to pick up a free kit before the crowdfunding even starts. Or, of course, you could just build your own. It’s all open source.