I'm giving up on the Librem 5

Today I switched my SIM card from my Librem 5 back into my aging Galaxy S4, despite half its hardware buttons having fallen off and its battery life being even worse than the L5’s. At least I can use it to call people without worrying about the call dropping halfway through.

The fundamental problem with the L5 is that it just isn’t a reliable phone. The modem resets and doesn’t come back online without rebooting, it drops more calls than it doesn’t, and it randomly refuses to send SMS. I have a second phone for work, and over the past few months even my private contacts have taken to calling my work phone over my private phone, since the latter isn’t a reliable way to reach me anymore.

I wish it were different. But I need a phone that works. So bye-bye L5, at least for now. I hope I will be able to come back to it in a year or so and find it actually usable. Best of luck, Purism.


Send it to silent.org.pl !

Maybe he can program it to run Floppotron 4.0!

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Exactly. I had to do the same thing a little over a month ago because it’s not a reliable phone. I put the SIM card back into my Android phone and bought a new # (and SIM card) from T-Mobile for the L5 USA. They have a 2-line plan that saved me 60% on the 2nd line. I wanted a live # for the L5 so I could test new software, but I actually haven’t turned it on in a month. Guess I need to do that to see if anything is better. For sure I’d love for the L5 to get reliable so I could dump the Android phone.

More reasons to get a refund.


Well, I don’t want a refund because I believe in the Purism mission, so I’m going to stick with the L5 until it gets reliable or goes down in flames. I have Librem 15 and Librem 14 laptops and they’ve been great. Based on my experience, a friend bought a Librem Mini and loves it. Whether the L5 project succeeds or fails, I’m hoping they’ll bring back the Librem tablet because my iPad Air is not going to last forever.


Well, I like my Librem Mini but the power on the motherboard died after about a year. Got it fixed quickly enough, but it cost me. Maybe the version 2 is more robust?

Right now I’ve been looking for suggested docking stations. Many of the ones on the community wiki page for this are no longer available. The last thing I saw Purism suggest in one of their emails was very expensive. Is there no page curated by the makers of the L5 that says, “Hey, these work great.”?

My friend has version 1 of the Librem Mini and so far so good. I bought my Librem 15v3 in March 2018 and in January 2019 the motherboard died. It was under warranty, so Purism actually sent me a Librem 15v4 as a replacement, and it’s been fine for over 3 years. Well, the battery died in June 2021, Purism and almost everyone were out of stock, but I finally found one in China. It’s dead now, so now I need a new one. One nice thing is that the laptop runs fine without a battery. I wish someone would make a battery that lasts more than a year or two. I have an Apple iPad Air from 2013 whose battery is still fine after 9 years.

I agree that it would be really nice to have an easy-to-find page listing all hardware that’s known to work with the L5.

It would also be really nice for Purism to spend some resources making the documentation better so we don’t have to spend forever sifting through these forums to find stuff out.

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In the old days when the battery died, you could always run it off the external power supply. Whatever happened to that? Sometimes I’d live with it for months or years even removing the battery so it doesn’t fuzz, treating it like a tower or desktop. Shutting it down at night and booting it up in the morning. Have circuit standards changed so they don’t allow that anymore?


Seems to be a thing: https://proxy.vulpes.one/gemini/duncan.bayne.id.au/gemlog/back-to-android/

Ne lâche rien, ya’ll. We’ll get there.

… and you should be able to do that with the Librem 5 - but that doesn’t really work as a use case for a mobile phone.

Possibly you could use it as a mobile phone via the use of an external power bank.

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Previous 3 posters mentioned their 14, 15, & mini, I fell into their trap and forgot about the subject line.


My story is from different angle. Firstly due to the manual nature of my work (workshop, phone in pocket) I found myself being super afraid of the possibility of braking the screen on this expensive phone (as I did on all my previous phones regardless of casings) with nightmare of getting spares from US etc… This is phone for an office job, to be happily plugged in spare monitor for 8 hours. :wink:
Also, with the years I found myself distrusting Purism as company. They way of communication is not fully inline with the idea they are promoting - or I imagine it should be. I wish them best of luck as it is important job they are doing and I’m glad I have participated on it by supporting them by purchase. Now for sale

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I also wish Purism the best. But after receiving the phone and it not working, and after several attempts at typing in codes,with suggestions from Purism personnel,it still wouldnt work. I sent it back April 1st 2022 and they signed for it on April 4th. Ive not recieved my money back as of yet. After a few emails saying as much and replies that things are a little slow right now that I would receive money back towards the end of the year. If and when I do receive money back ,I`ll post that fact that they were true to their word.


If you don’t want to press Purism to get your money back right away, that’s up to you. Just don’t be under the illusion that there is some valid reason why you are not getting a prompt refund now. Six months or more wait is unacceptable. Eventually, you will find that getting your refund is not a function of how long you wait. It’s about how hard you push. Purism is banking that your resolve and your legal rights will diminish over time. Get your Attorney involved or just resolve that what you paid to Purism was a charitable donation.


Sometime it is easier to convince a clerk to grant a store credit instead of a refund. Then you can use it towards buying some other product. A 14, server, or mini? You can corner the market on screws and rubber feet!

Well…I honestly feel Purism has good customer service values but may be in a pinch financially,hence the delay, and the patience on my behalf. I really wanted to keep the Lib5. It is a stout good looking phone. But for a 65 year old dude who is not Linux literate and trying to make a phone work properly by having to type code in “terminal”…then it still not working only to try some other code with no results is beyond good business sense. Why would a company send out phones that dont work properly? That is what blows me away. If they would want to send me a phone that actually works like they advertise.....Id be satisfied.


6 months wait? I thought I ordered this in 2017? 2019? A long time ago for sure. June 2018 it says.

This just goes to show that “evil” companies like Microsoft and Google are still the best option when it comes to OS creation. Like it or not, these privacy violating corporations end up producing the most bug free, stable operating systems out of all the OSs in existence. In the end, I would say that open source is a failed experiment. Closed source is the way to go.

The human will always eventually finds a way. When I was seven years old, I saw a man (on TV) walk on the moon for the first time. Back then, only the US government and Russia could finance space flight at all. Just a few years ago Elon Musk started his own space flight company that quite frankly overshadows NASA now. But fifty years passed in the meantime.

Eventually, the ability to design and FAB a new computer chip could become as common as sending a print job out to a neighborhood printer. You can’t make a new phone without a good SoC as at the phone’s core. Maybe it’ll take fifty years to get there. Probably not. Either way, it’s a question of “when” not “if” it happens. The government and more-so the markets can not maintain total control of thought itself indefinitely. Someone will find a way to free-up the technology.