Comparing specs of upcoming Linux phones

Who needs customers that cancel orders based on rumors? Especially in the beginning.

If I were Purism I would be very proud to say that I built 1, or 2, or 20 Aspen devices, 40 Birch, etc… very proud of my work and my partners, and I would let anybody know about it.
Again, I’m taking here about what’s happened already, not what’s coming. I pre-ordered 2 years ago… I know how to wait. And I’m happy for every progress Purism has. Hope they share it more with us. Ok, enough with me going off-topic. I rest my case.

It ultimately boils down to impatience. The phones will come, and there’s no evidence to the contrary because a lack of evidence is not itself evidence. Sometimes, you’re just gonna have to wait.

Agree, and by the way I enjoy this process where I feel connected to the dev process on this forum. I learn new things every time and my expectations are raising. Of course I cannot wait to have the real phone in my hands, but the road to it is also a lot of fun.


I think another “reason to buy” Librem 5 should be that Purism develops both hardware and software. Therefore the users should expect a better, smoother experience, more reliable device as well as better safety.

P.S. I don’t think it is necessary to list the updates in the main post. It’s already very long. Comments explaining what’s updated should be enough in my opinion.

What do you make of the obvious security risk of Chinese designed and manufactured chips?

This is offtopic here (we are comparing GNU/Linux phones). I suggest to start a new topic with this question.


Something interesting: A secure linux phone with blobless hardware, run by i.MX…

Well, only i.MX6 with 1GB RAM, 8 GB (eMMC), a 3500mAh battery, 5" screen, Wifi and a wired 100Mbit/s ethernet. No killswitches, no cellphone connectivity - similar to Necunos. Similiar size to L5. The phone is called PrivecallTX (Proteusdevice is dev version, see git faq) from XXLSEC. Released last December. Couldn’t find price for it and assume they’re avoiding consumer market. Seems to be using MMP protocol for connectivity (didn’t have time to dig too deep on pros/cons). The say they use vanilla kernel 5.4.3 in their PriveOS linux. Claims to be made in Finland (assembly maybe?).

Beyond the specs comparison, I smell “strategic opportunity” and “synergy” and other dirty words when I look at this tech but doubt anything like that would actually happen.

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This looks even less useful than the Necunos NC1. I guess some companies might need it for secure communications, but I can’t figure out why it has a custom 12 pin connector when they could have just put the Ethernet port in the phone. It looks like the USB-C port is only for charging. The lack of a microSD card slot makes it even less useful. I’m not a big fan of using a custom communications protocol (MMP), but it might be good for security through obscurity because who is going to bother cracking something that is used by only a handful of companies.

I’m guessing that you only buy the phone if you are buying their other products as well, so it is all sold as part of a package deal to companies.


The NC1 is over 1k in euros and has 1GB RAM. What!?

Who is paying for that?

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I think Necunos’ real goal was to make phones for companies that needed customized security solutions and IP-only phones. The NC_1 was a community version to demonstrate what Necunos would offer to businesses.

The NC_1 was scheduled to do an initial production run of 500 units, so I think it could have worked if it had released back in 2019 before the PinePhone and Librem 5. The NC_1 had supply chain problems, and now it doesn’t look like it will ever be produced. No real loss since it would have done little to promote mobile Linux at that price with ancient hardware, but it’s still sad when a Linux company fails.


If the Librem 5 didn’t exist the best choice would be a Planet Computer Cosmo (proven already) or put your hopes into the Astro Slider. Seeing as how they have crowd funded all of their products, you should be able to have very high confidence in them producing and shipping the Astro Slider. They are pretty experienced at all of this now.

However, I think the Librem 5 represents more things that are pushing mobile convergence forward that I want to see.

The ultimate dream of mine is to find someway to stuff an i7 and 16gb of RAM into a smart phone size device with a touch screen, and have it operate on only one core at a reduced clock to converse power, and then when docked, and perhaps a custom heat solution (perhaps part of the dock), the device could be used with all the power of a traditional laptop.

To me this would be true convergence. I have never liked the need to switch to ARM to accomplish the power savings. Granted what Apple has done with ARM and performance is impressive. I do think Intel is working to counter this, and while they might not be successful yet, they have the coffers and the experience to eventually get something out that makes more sense.

The way Windows is working to get x86 emulation on ARM is also a good idea, provided performance is good and it doesn’t eat battery life (something I’m not convinced of).

I think we are eventually going to get there, and perhaps what will really happen is that your cpu and guts will all be in a case similar to a portable battery in shape and size, and it will tether wirelessly with a set of AR glasses. Then your screen could be in your hand, or on a wall.

Imagine an empty desk with only a chair and a set of glasses on it. With the glasses on it is a massive 70" monitor that curves perfectly with the users eye sight. Only visible with the glasses on.

This is the future and that example barely touches the service of what is possible with that technology. Scary that Facebook is one of the chief companies pushing the development on that technology.

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and what nVidia will do from now on …

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The ZTE nubia Red Magic 5s is getting pretty close to what you want in a phone, (except the i7 processor):
Snapdragon 865, 16GB RAM, 256GB storage, USB 3.0, cooling fan + vapor transfer cooling, 9.8mm thick, 220 g, 580 euros.

It is interesting to imagine what would have happened if Microsoft hadn’t abandoned Windows 10 Mobile in 2017, because it is possible that Intel would have designed Core chips for ultra-low-power modes that could be used on phones and tablets. As it is, a couple more iterations of the Snadragon 8cx and Apple A-series, and there won’t be much reason to want a power-hungry i7 processor. The big question is whether Android and iOS will evolve to become decent desktop interfaces.

I’m hoping that Purism will release a future model with the i.MX 8M Quad, 4GB RAM and 128GB storage for people who want convergence. To me, it seems like convergence without a proprietary dock is the “killer feature” that can make Linux phones really stand out compared to Android and iOS phones.

Yeah pretty impressive, but Android based. To be the dream it has to be a desktop class OS on it. Thanks for linking it for me. I don’t know how I feel about ZTE either.

Let’s just put it this way, I’d love more, but I’m good with what I’m getting in the L5.

I think Microsoft was on the right track, and it failed because of their board chickening out. It was going to require a lot of risk on their part, and they needed to be ok with loosing a lot. They weren’t and gave up a great thing they were uniquely positioned to do well at.

Still nice to see Purism picking up the reins and moving forward with it all.


Recommended by Snowden:

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As I was looking through old posts on this topic, I saw something about the PureOS Store. I didn’t even realize that was thing, but it makes sense, so I decided to browse. It’s nice to see how many apps are out there already. Now, I’m even more excited for Evergreen. For video and audio playback, I’m normally a VLC guy, but I’m sure mplayer will do just fine. I want to see what it’s like on a handheld device. The only thing I might miss is my EV charging app, ChargePoint, but I’m sure I can learn to live without it.


And underpowered to the max. I don’t know about others, but I like my security with a side of modern compute. I don’t like it to mean I’m back in the stone age.

But, different strokes for different folks.

only for that particular device … the device in question seems to be purpose built for 100% digital-transparency and not much else …

the idea is you get to pick one: modern compute, or security.

@amosbatto the T1 modem will be available:

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Thanks @joao.azevedo. I updated the table to add the new modem.