Depressive Video Review

Continuing the discussion from Librem 5 media (photos and videos):

I agree with what has been said. But if you watch, don’t give up before minute 30, where, for a short period, he does not appear like a Covid-depressed Marvin (but clueless), who sounds even disappointed with the three things he notes to work as expected :grimacing:


Yes, it’s a real shame that so much was dropped, though maintaining a fork of GTK was probably not the best strategy even for a multinational.

Nokia bought Trolltech (not TrollTech) for reasons related to their services division, apparently. I heard that it was supposed to be used for their PC Suite product. Standardizing on Qt across the company came later. I guess it shows that standardization for its own sake, rather than interoperability, is fraught with problems. Why they switched to a RedHat-related distro instead of sticking with a Debian-based one is something I’ve never seen explained properly. And who knows why they felt the need to repeatedly throw out user interface designs and implementation. Nokia was a dysfunctional company with rival fiefdoms vying to compete to be the next big thing.

I don’t remember how the N900 was received when it was launched, though it was seen as a fairly niche product compared to the Symbian-based phones launched around the same time, but it was expected to have a Nokia level of build quality.

The point is that things have moved on. People expect that anything that is made now has either built upon whatever came before or learned the lessons from it, if they consider those things at all.

The problem is that nobody cares about the cost of developing software (or hardware). As an end user receiving a product, the nuances of how it was made are lost if it doesn’t function in the way you expect.

I don’t think that’s fair. I think it’s calmly-stated, matter-of-fact criticism from someone who seems genuinely disappointed with their phone. I don’t think it’s a reasonable response to assume bad faith just because the message contains something you don’t want to hear.

It’s an opportunity to learn – there will be people receiving this phone (and people who have already received it) who don’t have the technical skills to fix out-of-the-box issues. It’s important to recognize problems with the initial setup experience and general usage so that the next wave of devices don’t receive the same response from their users.


This is what I took away from it as well, and I valued his viewpoint since we (or from what I’ve seen in the forum and elsewhere) don’t really get that viewpoint expressed often.


Yeah, I also thought this could be turned in bug reports (or… even a roadmap)


The review raises valid points, the guy seems to be passionate with mobile linux [thrown money to a few of FLOSS mobile projects] development he’s just really disappointed because he hoped to find that target platform he dreamed about but it’s not there yet. And now he lost his faith it will ever be there.
The only issue I have with this review is that the guy tries to be technical while in reality he’s not (no ssh client - like wut?!) but he learns as he makes the review (date settings) so I’d say it’s not depressive, it reflects the general reception of the product by the target audience/market segment (passionate but not always too technical people) which didn’t closely followed the development and were still expecting their dream finally coming true after so many setbacks and delays.


Hmm 2,5GB seems to be good so far. It is a 4k video around 40min long. If you would like to watch on Librem 5 (720p), you would need 9 times less data. So you would have to download just less then 300MB. That is a common value.

If I record something in non-compressed 4k *.avi video format, it can take over 1GB in 10 seconds. Just to compare how much data is already compressed in this 40min video. A whole series at this compression rate in 720p and 25min x 12 videos would take 2,1GB.

The other question is: is it necessary to see his face in 4k? He also could upload this video in 720p and we wouldn’t miss any important detail. :sweat_smile:

Ah, but then we might not notice his smirking contempt. :roll_eyes:

I really don’t have any problem with the actual issues he raises. But he even seems annoyed by having to switch to a terminal keyboard layout manually - and that Chinese input is missing. SRSLY???
Also he somehow assumes Purism spent time implementing adding Google and Facebook accounts to Gnome. Even though he seems like a guy who should know better.
It’s full of inaccuracies. I don’t even wanna waste my time listing them all …


I mean his criticism lacks some finer knowledge for sure. I think he misses the point of the potential the L5 represents entirely. Like the fact that what he is holding is running the same desktop OS that the Librem laptops are shipped with just blows right past him. That’s never been done before. This very work is making the Pinephone useable.

Here is the thing, Purism needs to understand that the trust the company was given is quickly running out. If they wish to truly survive, more money needs to go into hiring more developers. I mean my own experiences with them have left me with this feeling of a company flying by the seat of their pants. The people in the middle. The ones we interface with, they are doing the best they can in the situation they are in.

However, I don’t get the impression it is sustainable. I feel like it is just Purism limping along until the next cash infusion occurs. Which may be necessary given the nature of the beast they are trying to tackle, but as someone looking for a new company to trust, it is not a good feeling.

As an established customer with several purchases made, I shouldn’t be made to question my loyalty several times during that timeframe.

I know full well that the software work being done here is massive, and the number of people working on it is pretty ridiculous. I applaud the efforts of all of them. Every last one. They are doing work that should be done by a team at least double to triple the size.

I’m still here because of them.

But I’m a unique customer in that regard.

In short, this guy misses the boat. But he isn’t wrong about some things, even if his motives can be questioned.


I don’t even question his motivation. I just feel he should ask questions and look for understanding instead of trying to give advice.
Well, there’s some hope. In the section 30 minutes in, he actually figured out a few things. Also he sounds like he’ll check for improvements in some weeks out months.


I agree. Maybe he had some valid points, but it seems like he didn’t even try to investigate anything before denouncing it. Granted, it would have been better if the phone had shipped without any issues whatsoever, but nobody should expect a Linux device built from scratch to have commercial OEM polish at launch time. One can argue that the marketing has been a little overzealous, but the L5 is an important milestone. I’m very happy with its continuing development and to have it in my hands now.



I worked for Sony Mobile for a long time, and at the peak I think we were about 8000 people working on the phones, then the number of people were constantly shrunk, until I think it was 1000-1500 working on the phones. We did 5-10 of phones per year, but still a lot of software work could be shared. This puts the work by Purism in perspective. When I heard about this crowd funding campaign I knew it could be done with few engineers, if you only get the right ones. I think Purism has done a great job! And if you compare the result with their resources I would call it a real feat!


Why is his reaction a surprise? It seems like an understandable response.

I’m actually surprised that more people haven’t commented on the supported account types. That feature highlights that there is more than one group of people who have backed/ordered the phone and that, while some of them want full interoperability with existing services, others are suspicious of built-in integration with those services. Also, many of these people don’t know how the software stack fits together and aren’t particularly interested in which component provides any given feature.

Again, we’re dealing with different groups of people. While a lot of people are excited about integration and convergence, some are just interested in the device as a phone. Also, if your first experience with Linux phones is 10+ years ago, it’s not as exciting to be told that your phone runs the same OS as your PC.

But that’s definitely something to aim for: a phone that works out of the box at least as well as any of the Librem laptops. I’m happy that you have been able to dig into the guts of your phone to get the most out of it, but many others are not going to be able to do that.

In the end, the reviewer is someone who wants the same thing as many of us here. Sure, not everyone who is disappointed with a product posts a review on YouTube about it, but it doesn’t mean that their motivations are questionable. There’s a difference between being critical and being negative, and I think the reviewer is more the former than the latter.


Year 2008, “the Commission has decided not to oppose the notified operation and to declare it compatible with the common market and with the EEA Agreement.

Year 2013, “If we accept an economic ecosystem of change where relentless innovation leads to disruptive and optimistic thinking, we can lay the foundations for lasting growth & prosperity.

P.S. Just looking back at “my” rear-window for a second, have nothing to comment here (neither of disruptive or optimistic character).

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My sentiments EXACTLY!

It is a real shame more people aren’t in a position to better appreciate this. Thanks for sharing!


I think that while there are several valid points, that the review is unfairly negative. I think that everyone here knows and agrees that the L5 is not yet ready as a daily driver and that Purism has not said that it is ready yet as a daily driver. It’s still a development phone. So the reviewer’s unhappiness about that fact is irrelevant. The reviewer seems partially informed/capable as a Linux user, while also displaying his own level of ignorance in the use of Linux. A part of the unfairness of the review is that he seems to be speaking to an audience of mostly people who just want a daily driver and who know nothing about Linux and who couldn’t care less about Linux. To those people he is saying something like “Trust me. I am an expert in the field and I wouldn’t recommend this”. Meanwhile the rest of us who are better informed are saying “who does this guy think he is?”.

While reviewing what I saw of the phone in the video (reviewers comments aside), it looks to me like Purism is on-track and there is a lot of work left to do. Who here who has ever worked on Engineering projects, hasn’t ever had a project schedule slip?

I do have a difference in opinion on how product features should be included in a software release. This doesn’t make Purism wrong. I would just do things differently myself. I wouldn’t allow non-functioning GUIs in to the release. If something is broken, no one would see it as an option. Purism should not try to compete with Samsung and LG by showing what their GUIs will look like once they eventually work, and how they fulfill the same functions as Samsung and LG GUIs, in an actual release where those features do not work yet. The interface should either work, or not be there. Granted, bugs happen and not everything is perfect. Things can break. But a lot of broken GUIs is a bad thing. The command prompt is different. When you go in to a command prompt, you’re usually on your own anyway. Let the more advanced users install anything they want to. If they choose to install a lot of things that leave broken GUIs in their system, that’s on them. They can always uninstall those same programs themselves. Perhaps Purism should have a daily-releases section of the software store that is labeled something like “Incomplete” or “Partially Broken”, where users can download and install partially flawed apps. But out of the box, I want a clean system where all or most of the GUIs work, even if the interface has to be meager in the beginning.


I just hope I’ll have the option to remove some of those vile companies’ logos someday. Lol!


I guess you might take a look, to start with, at gnome-initial-setup package role. Perhaps some kind of workaround might be something of your choice? Further info from GNOME is here under Online Services API keys page.

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If I only had some expertise. :no_mouth:

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I’ll give you a short analogy, there was a video of the pros and cons of living in Hampton, Virginia, ostensibly for those who would want to move there. Put on by a local real estate agent. Near the end he mentions Langley AFB, and NASA is co-located there, then he mentions CIA HQ is there too. Obviously he has Langley AFB and Langley VA mixed up.

All that effort, and all I can say is: “What an idiot.” Only because he didn’t do his research.

Now I have to call myself an idiot, because now whatever algorithm is in my Apple TV box, now intersperses real-estate pro and con videos with “Recommended”.

(The Apple TV box was a gift, I didn’t go out and buy it.)