While cell phones may seem like special devices, both in terms of ease of use and their ubiquity in modern culture, they are essentially nothing more than small form factor computers with an extra radio and several specific pieces of software to work with. In theory, as long as you can find this software (and pay for some kind of service plan), you can make any computer work like a phone. So naturally the Raspberry Pi was turned into one.
[asherdundas], the phone’s creator, actually found a previous Raspberry Pi-based build before starting this one. The problem was that it was built nearly a decade ago and hadn’t been updated since. This build brings some modernization to the aging Pi phone and starts with a 3D printed case. It also has a touchscreen and a GSM antenna for connecting to the cellular network. With some other options, such as a speaker and microphone, plus a battery and software to tie it all together, a modern functional Raspberry Pi phone was created, with some additional details available on the project page.
The phone has the expected features – including calling, messaging and even a camera. A small WiFi USB dongle allows it to connect to the internet as well, allowing it to do all the web browsing a modern smartphone could ask for. The only thing that can be quite difficult to do is install Android apps, and while there are ways to get Android apps running on Linux, it’s not always strictly necessary to have this functionality.