I am adressing this to all of you being assigned to Evergreen. I am curious concerning your thoughts or already made decisions to postpone your choice from Evergreen to Fir.
Reasons to postpone to Fir could be various e.g. dimensions of the phone, battery life, weight of phone, usability as of now (camera, phone sound muffled, smart card not usable, missing matrix integration, etc.), you name it.
Reasons to go for Evergreen could be fear of not being delivered within next 2 years, or not being delivered at all, you name it.
Personally I am somewhere in between all of these thoughts. Evergreen is not usable as of now. Nobody can tell us when this will reach a point where this is the case. So why not waiting for Fir and maybe get a thinner, lighter and more mature phone? --> Because I do not know if Fir will be shipped in 2 years (coming from past experience) or shipped at all because the company then does not exist any more.
So I still did not make up my mind and I am curious on your thoughts or decisions.
Or will you even ask for a refund?
Important remark: Since this exchange of thoughts will most likely include a lot of personal assumptions and predictions, that cannot be verified, please avoid commenting on them if your only target is to highlight that this is speculation. Thank you.
I will stay with Evergreen. My Galaxy S3 neo is dying, and in many aspects, the L5 will be superior NOW.
You know… Privacy, HKS, faster web browsing, more storage, working volume control…
Due to… “circumstances” not leaving the house much anyway, so low standby time ain’t no problem.
I also think the improvements we see are quite good.
About Fir: I’ll probably order one and then have two in the family
It’s rather unlikely that Fir will be developed as slow as “zero to Evergreen”. Most of the hard- and software will be reused. I don’t see why the development would take a year or more.
The big unknown is: When can development start? The suspected CPU does not even exist.
About refund / uncertainty of the future:
As it seems you’d only get the refund when it’s your turn, I don’t see much advantage in that: If Purism will manage to ship or refund you, then it’s unlikely they’ll not survive. Know what I mean? After reaching shipping parity (all preorders shipped), why should anything happen?
They keep selling phones and laptops. And at this point, I’d rather expect them to grow.
I wouldn’t get a refund unless I really had to have the money. I think it is important to support this effort so that it can reach a maturity where the development goes more and more over to the community, and hopefully in the end to companies (Just like for Linux). At the moment it’s not there yet.
If you go for Evergreen you will have a usable phone that doesn’t steal personal information about you earlier. I chose Evergreen and I’ve received mine. It is a good solid build, a bit on the large side compared to my iPhone 5s. I’m going to try to change to the L5 as soon as I can, I’m not there at the moment.
My guess is that nearly all software considerations will be the same. By the time Fir comes out, a lot of the rough edges will have been smoothed in Evergreen and those that haven’t are likely to be the same in Fir.
So the main consideration is the hardware, which in turn will mostly be of interest in respect of time-between-charges.
I wouldn’t necessarily expect the dimensions or weight to be different.
The way technology is, you can always postpone in order to get something better. Maybe Fir will be 5G-ready. Maybe this. Maybe that.
The link provided in the previous post is also a comprehensive discussion, well worth reading.
I already have my Evergreen, so my comments are by necessity theoretical.
As far as I know, Purism is still accepting orders for Fi (if you write Purism and say that you want to change your order from Evergreen to Fir). On Nov. 21, 2020, Purism’s @joao.azevedoconfirmed that Purism is still planning to release Fir after Evergreen.
NXP still hasn’t started mass production of the i.MX 8M Plus or even published its data sheet, so I suspect that is the reason why Purism hasn’t said anything about Fir’s design and has not confirmed that it will use the Plus processor.
Given the delays from NXP in releasing the Plus and how long it will probably take to get mainline Linux support for the new features in the Plus, I think it likely that Fir will end up using the i.MX 8M Quad, but increase the RAM to 4GB and the eMMC to 64GB or 128GB. I would love to see other changes in the design, like moving the microSD and cellular modem to a USB 3.0 bus and the addition of a USB extension port in the back with pogo pins.
Given the delays and issues they are experiencing with the L 14 I wouldn’t expect Fir to be shipping this year and it’s difficult to even guess if next year is feasible. So plenty of time for changes and reconfiguring hardware, design, etc. on that model.
Either way they won’t be getting my money for Fir until they have reached shipping parity for Fir, and orders are being shipped within a week or two of placing an order. I just can’t afford to shell out that kind of money and not have a phone, that I would need, for that long.
More likely that I would buy a pine phone or something else cheap in the meantime to replace my aging spyphone.
When Purism announced the Librem 5 in Aug. 2017, 3GB RAM and 32GB eMMC were standard specs for a mid-range phone, but in 2022 when I assume Purism will start crowdfunding for Fir, those will be bottom-of-the-barrel specs. Only 16 out of the 157 new phone models in 2021 have 32GB of storage or less, according to the gsmarena.com database. Purism told us in late 2019 that it had gone way over budget with the Librem 5, so I don’t think that it could afford to increase the specs of the Librem 5 v1 when it announced price increases.
However, if Purism wants to market Fir as a convergent PC and to charge a premium price for it, it is going to be hard to sell the phone if it doesn’t provide the max amount of RAM (which is 4GB with the i.MX 8M Quad or 8GB with the i.MX 8M Plus) and provide an adequate amount of storage for a convergent PC. Plus, there is the simple fact that the price per GB has fallen a lot since 2017, so providing more RAM and storage shouldn’t cost that much in 2022 (assuming that the current shortages and price hikes are a short-term phenomenon). Once the PinePhone v2 comes out with the RK3566, it is going to be hard for Purism to sell the Librem 5, so it is going to have to drop the price or provide better specs.
While you may be on point regarding your citation for gsmarena’s database, Purism prioritizes very differently from other phone manufacturers. They focus on freedom, not specifications, and are unwilling to compromise on that. While it may seem that Purism has incentive to provide other configurations in the future due to competition, there is one major limiting factor against that, which is availability of hardware from manufacturers, as Purism, among other companies, source their hardware elsewhere.
As for Fir being difficult to sell marketed as a convergence device without maximizing RAM, or increasing storage configurations, I argue that GNU/Linux distributions has always had low hardware requirements, and more so in the case of mobile Linux distributions. PureOS Hephaestus 9.0 requirements, for example, are this list:
A 64-bit processor
At least 1GB of RAM
At least 15GB of disk space
While more RAM is better for usability, I do not see how that point alone would determine the ability for Fir to sell or not. The point of convergence is to be able to use the phone like a desktop (and vice versa), but that does not necessarily mean to replace all desktops use cases. That is why Purism offers other products, like the Librem 14, Librem Mini, and Librem Server. For a low-powered, power-efficient convergence device, that meets all of the requirements to use PureOS and various other operating systems, Evergreen is already more than enough for convergence, and if your prediction of the i.MX 8M Plus is correct, so will Fir as well, even if Purism decided to regress and reduce the amount of RAM (assuming PureOS requirements have not increased since).
Also, your argument for storage can be easily challenged by one lone fact, which is the microSD slot. If you need to increase the amount of storage available, you can easily expand it by placing a microSD/HC/XC card into the side tray. Unlike many other phones on the market, which have already removed that option, the Librem 5 preserves that choice.
Even if the PinePhone v2 does come out with the RK3566, that is not going to necessarily mean it will be difficult for Purism to sell the Librem 5, as they target different audiences. Purism has made several videos demonstrating convergence and how accessible it can be to the average consumer, whereas Pine64 has hardly done anything similar. Accessibility, and thus convenience, are huge selling points for consumers, and with that point, I would argue that it would be more difficult to sell the PinePhone solely as a convergence device due to the learning curve, whereas the Librem 5 already has it handled because it already works out-of-the-box without any configuration needed, even if it may cost more for that convenience.