Blkbry dying looking for new phone have questions

I have owned the same BlackBerry 10 since 2013 and I am shopping for a new phone. Phone mind you not a had held computer. My computer level is above average and I own and help run two sites, both blogs. One of my laptops which I use primarily for digital amateur radio comms(FLDIGI) is Linux ubuntu.

A good friend and ham is a computer wiz suggests I look at the Librem 5 to replace my BlackBerry. She feels that the antitracking and encryption properties might be a good marriage with my needs. The full package at $99- monthly, looks appealing.

I have searched the archives here to answer some of my questions but my basic questions are not answered. I would appreciate any suggestions that this group might offer.

Current Phone Uses
Make / receive phone calls,
Send / receive text messages,
Browse the net when I need a question answered but do not have a computer handy, and
Receive / send emails. I have three email accounts;,, and

Based on my usage, can I do all of the above on the Librem 5? Do I need a cell phone provider to do all of the above? My current cell pone provider is Verizon as AT&T has poor coverage in my neck of the woods. Even with Verizon, I can not use the phone function (Voice) at my house as it is too remote - Text only.

Maybe the Librem 5 is not what I need. If I am shooting for something out of my skill set and needs - Suggestions?

I could just go with a android or iPhone however, I hate being used for my advertising value. I hate that my whereabouts always seem to be know. I hate receiving messages asking me to rate the restaurant I was just at. How did they know I was there?

Thank you folks in advance for your feedback and input.

73 & God Bless,

Since you rely on your phone for business I WOULD NOT switch to a librem 5 or a pinephone for that matter. The lack of proper lte support and its being resolved is a major cause for concern for anyone relying solely on one device or even for business purposes.
Its more of a niche market to geeks that want to play or help develop at the moment.
Besides even if you were to order a librem 5 today it could be three or four months before you get it.
If you get it at all.

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This FAQ might help you:

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Hi @JohnyMac, you sound similar to myself. I was a big fan of BB10, and when my old Z30 was looking like it would die, I jumped into the L5 bandwagon as an early supporter. I still haven’t gotten the phone yet, and my z30 did die, so I’m using a spare dtek50 phone (which is also looking like it might die, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed I get that magic email from purism that my L5 is ready :slight_smile:) . I’ve grown disillusioned with BB as a company so I’ll never go back to them.

So, I can attempt to answer your questions from my own interpretation of L5 press releases, info from these forums, etc.

Standard Phone: it sounds like your location is such that phone calls in general are hard. So, you may be asking more about wifi enabled calling. since those apps are usually unique to each cell carrier, I’m assuming that wifi enabled calling won’t be available out of the box with the L5. Hard to predict the future. But, alternatively, I look at “phone” differently these days, with things like Signal, skype, zoom, messanger apps, etc. It is getting more and more that typical “phone” isn’t what we used to envision it to be. If you really wanted to, apps such as skype and others can offer you normal “phone” calls for a monthly service. Just a question of if you trust them with privacy.

Hand held computer: this gets to your point though that you aren’t looking for a hand held computer but a phone. I do understand your desire there, but to me what makes the L5 appealing is that it is essentially a typical slab smartphone, but that takes off the constraints of the “phone” via the OS it provides. Of course, I’m saying all of these things and I still haven’t gotten the phone, but I’m trusting what I’m reading and gaining more confidence in hearing reports from people who have gotten the L5 in hand. It is this aspect that you are really getting 2 devices in one with the L5 that answers your other questions I believe.

Texts: The L5 does have a chat app so I don’t see / envisoin a problem sending / recieving texts. In the same vein, I’m really switching over to using Signal to ensure private and encrypted communications with family and friends.

Browsing the web / emails: I think this is something I don’t see a problem with also. Again, you do have a computer in that slab of a phone, so if the computer can do it, so can the L5 (as a phone).

for me what this really comes down to is privacy. I went with BB, because I was looking for privacy / security. the BB10 was a great phone but, it was abandoned. I see the L5 being even better in that regards that anything BB could offer. It may not be as smooth of a user experience out of the gate, but I’m willing to support what Purism is doing and also get privacy, etc. in return.

Since my dtek50 is looking to die, I am thinking about getting the pixel 4a (not 5g) and putting graphenOS on it, as an interim or alternative solution (while I wait for the L5). to me this is the only alternative to the L5 for now at least. Still not perfect, but a reasonably priced compromise.

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This is FUD. Purism always delivers on their promises, even if with delays.

In theory, it should fulfill your needs and if you know how to use Ubuntu, you’ll not have a steep learning curve ahead.
You don’t need AweSIM, you can also keep your current provider.

  • Email client (Geary) might need some improvements before it’ll work nicely
  • Standby is currently not good (will be improved by implementing suspend)
  • reception quality in comparison to your BB is unknown

If you order now, you’ll have to wait several months (3 to 6) I guess. During that time, software will improve a lot. You could also wait a bit longer and watch the progress.


Thank you for all the info. All good stuff! The quality of the information is like chatting with a group of ham radio operators.


Verizon is going to continue supporting 3G after all.

Time will tell. I dont believe anything purism says anymore. They have yet to show that they can be trustworthy in giving reliable transparent information. You call it fud, I call it a realistic view


Note, that the article says: " The company no longer allows customers to activate new 3G phones on its network (as of 2018), nor does it offer prepaid 3G service (as of 2019)." So, effectively the same, as far as any new customer is concerned.

Care to share anything apart from very reasonable delays that led you to such conclusion?

There are many very clear instances to see if one is not a kool-aid drinker. Purism has stated many things in the past as truth or fact when in reality what was stated was neither. Delays are not the issue, the issue is how it was handled. I’ll give you just one example and you can take your own time to see more:
The very first "shipping announcement " was a fraud, purism claimed to be shipping aspen devices when in reality only internal people got them and not one was delivered to the general public.

Don’t hijack the thread - use one of the several others for that topic.