Depressive Video Review

I won’t comment if this is a good idea but I think “experimental” could be the right term for this.

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Don’t forget “abandonware”. I’ve said it before, just because it is no longer supported doesn’t mean it no longer works. “It’s a feature.”

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First of all, thanks a lot to Caliga for putting this review up for discussion on the forum.

There is no such thing as a purely objective review, but this review was the most comprehensive and the least biased one I have seen yet - and I have tried to get my hands on every review on the librem5.

It’s a bit sad, that reviewers who are not praising the librem5 as the best invention since sliced bread are being perceived as a threat and are subsequently being discredited as inferior beings who should educate themselves first to see the light and be worthy of the phone. I tried to exaggerate, but sometimes these discussions remind me a lot of religious organizations where unbelivers are to be persecuted and you simply have to believe everything you are being told. I just hope that this is not the intention, as to me, freedom of opinion is just as important as the free software movement.

I preordered my Librem5 two years ago, as I like the concept and the principles that Purism propagates. But another major reason was my understanding that I will get a phone that will just work as a daily driver - based on the marketing that I saw back then - and the track record of Purism supported that impression.

I don’t mind all the delays, (well, at least I try not to :wink: even though I had to buy another phone to bridge the gap, as my old one broke down some months ago - but I do expect to receive upon delivery what has been promised and ordered.

And if the reviewer is being accused as being unfair, then I would like to point out that the official communication towards potential buyers is not that fair and open as well:
The homepage and the news section suggest that right now the team focuses on extending the app portfolio towards multimedia and gaming and that one even spents time to test the installation of other OSes like postmarketOS.
As a normal (i.e. non-geek) customer I would think “Great, the phone is in mass production and ready to be used as a daily driver”. But my impressions so far are that at least on the software side the phone is still in an early beta phase, as basic things are not working yet and there are no recent statements at all regarding the status of official requirements like FCC / CE certifications.

This guy has put in a considerable effort to provide an honest feedback that could really help the Purism team to turn the phone into a great product for a lager target group.

So I really hope that the Purism team takes a good and long look at this review. After solving them, Purism could also do a marketing video that takes these pain points into consideration and shows potential buyers that it works!

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Follow-Up:

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I think many commenters - here, at least - said we actually do agree with many of his points, but personally, I don’t think that he put such a considerable effort into his investigating issues, or into his feedback. You, and he, are probably right about the marketing aspect, though, and that will lead to disappointment and bitterness, I’m sure. (He seemed pretty bitter about the whole thing.)

In the wider online world, your analogy about religious persecution is spot on. There is always a lot of entrenching and shouting down, even among camps that theoretically should be united in purpose and appreciation, such as the various FOSS crowds. There’s a lot of ugliness out there, especially online!

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It was uncertain to me if Purism would deliver. And it was uncertain what I really could expect. So I monitored until 2019 and ordered when shipping was prospected. The blog posts in 2020 gave me a much better picture of what’s going on and what to expect. Maybe I missed something but I would have loved to see such information much earlier.

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I don’t think he understood Sebastian K’s explanation for why the Librem 5 was shutting down. Sebastian said that the Librem 5 was misreading the battery charge level and it was shutting down automatically because it thought that there was no charge left in the battery. Then, on reboot, the battery will show that there is still charge left, which is what he was observing. He should have upgraded the phone to the latest kernel and told us whether improved battery charge measurement fixed the problem for him or not.

On the question of the marketing, Purism is marketing the phone as it will be in a year’s time, not as it is today. That is problematic when people see the marketing and buy the phone expecting the phone to immediately replace their current Android or iOS phone.

However, as I pointed out in my YouTube comments to his video, anyone buying the phone today won’t get the phone in the state which he got it and that the phone will have lifetime software updates, so this isn’t like buying an Android phone where the capabilities at the time of purchase usually don’t change much after purchase. You don’t evaluate a phone with a 5+ year lifespan the same way that you evaluate a phone with a 2 year lifespan, so you do have to consider where the phone will be in the future, and not just its current state.

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The analogy of religious persecution goes both ways. It’s like someone says “I don’t like your religion” to which the religious person says “that’s because you’re a sinner”.

In attempts to be objective, it does look like Purism has issues that need to improve with respect to honesty and more full of disclosures. The reviewer is correct about many of those issues and they do matter. There is nothing wrong with Purism, when in the early stages of marketing and development, painting their most optimistic picture of what they want to create going forward. But they’re not so good when it comes to admitting the details when and where there are challenges and unkept promises. On the other hand, to look at a pre-development marketing piece and use it now as a broken promise doesn’t seem fair either since most of us knew that the product didn’t yet exist when we paid for it. But the most recent marketing pieces from Purism create expectations that set the bar very high for Purism, and that continues to raise that bar, even as many of us have not yet received their product and we know that it probably will not be fully developed yet, even when we do get it. Meanwhile, I just saw an ad on TV for a $499.00 5G, Pixil 5. Time is a ticking and technology is moving quickly. I hope that Purism can keep up. The reviewer’s second review places way too much trust in Apple’s walled garden when we all know that Apple’s walled garden is also a prison wall as much as it is a security measure. Probably more than half of the value I place in the L5 comes in having root access and a real Linux environment. The reviewer didn’t seem to value those things much. His religion (in this metaphor), is to trust Apple and Google. If you’re a true believer in the benefits of Linux, that makes him (in this metaphor), the sinner.

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The fix for that isn’t in the released kernel yet. However, I took a closer look at those videos and it turns out that there’s actually a simpler explanation: a compositor crash that restarts the user session. Which is still embarrassing, but my main point was that it’s just a software issue and doesn’t indicate anything being wrong with the hardware.

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I don’t think it helps to assign motivations to people, especially using religion as a metaphor. The reviewer demonstrated that he had a history of supporting GNU/Linux phones and is exactly the sort of individual that this project needs to win over.

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Totally agree. They pulled off a high wire act producing a phone from scratch without an army of engineers and developers. Keep that in perspective. We’re here because we want tech privacy to be honoured by companies developing our tech and not selling out our data to the highest bidder. Stay the course, this thing will get more and more polished over time. Think about how crappy the first android phones were and they were developed by huge teams.

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Yep, same here. Been following since the kickstarter, but due to a lack of information and confidence, I didn’t order until just before the November shipping announcement this year.

At first it was just working demo (not intentionally made :lying_face:, trust me :money_mouth_face:) with his brand new OM-D E-M1X camera, perhaps just coincidence of receiving both within the same month. Notta Pro even repeated several times: “I don’t understand”, therefore I see this “review” as was well documented walk through, first reaction, nothing bad :sleeping:. I’d say no motivation at all (but reaction), just kind of honest approach of how he “understands” world around himself, nothing worth to spend my time analyzing Safari Apple app (as recommended from his side), or that he cannot Reset this Linux phone, or apt install less prior to (without) “update && upgrade”, for example. But still, he confirmed that Librem 5 makes phone calls and many other things (we’ve been there already). Just another old, looking back chapter (still important one), high quality camera-lens perspective, nothing bothering (just a bit content questionable). Anyway, @maximilian, Notta Pro is keeping this, as presented, Librem 5 Evergreen for himself, and this is what counts, isn’t it? … although said he is disappointed with … And, @amarok, may I guess you’re getting (or have already) brand new follower?

Honestly, only YouTube review that I might be looking forward is the one coming from Rob Braxman Tech “studio” (but you’d newer know for sure).

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I don’t understand…

Someone well qualified to learn from (that was my thought behind what I wrote).

EDIT (let me explain): If less isn’t part of PureOS arm64 distro, I cannot see this! I can only see that less package is dependency to phosh under Mobian. I just hope that I understood what Notta Pro said (or wanted to install), but I didn’t ask for any further explanation.

Not sure if you really wanted to highlight me. In the video he says he will keep it, which I can comprehend. I think this also shows what this review is about. It’s not about bashing Purism or to destroy their campaign (haters will probably not watch such a lengthy video).
I think the reviewer has points that need to be addressed and if not done already escalated to the CEO in order to plan further mitigations.

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Yes! I think you’re spot on!
:white_check_mark: Honest first impression, showing (mostly understandable) disappointment
:x: a balanced, unbiased review, listing features and bugs, pros and cons

I think that’s what annoyed me that a reaction video (with several facts wrong) was called an unbiased review.

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