I have an L5 ordered (Sept 2019), so its still a while away I’d reckon. I now need a new phone having lasted as long as I could. So I’ve pretty much written the L5 out of my life. In a few years I will most likely return and see what that current batch is and get that one, if there is stock.
My quandry is that up until the last month or so I thought that I’d put my L5 money to a V14 laptop as I have been thinking about a new laptop for ages. The trouble is that there is now what appears to be an avalanche of people coming out of the woodwork with V14 hardware issues, software glitches that shouldn’t be there (which are worse sometimes), and most concerningly, shithouse customer service (I have also experienced this on another matter…yes, it can be very bad).
On top of the above, and regardless of what the Purism website says, I’m totally unclear of how long it would take to get a V14. The website says pretty much in stock, yet people saying they have been waiting for months.
I would love to be able to get a fully working V14, but I don’t think I’m game enough for a laptop that may give me problems that will set me back more than $2500 AUD. Being in Australia makes returning it for whatever reason a nightmare.
I am aware that the complaints may only represent a small proportion of V14s sold. Or does it? The worry is that people are complaining across multiple platforms now. Not just here. To me it speaks to either poor manufacture or poor quality control. Or both. The latter maybe due to stretched staff.
Regardless of whatever the real problem rate is, I feel that the climate is worsening. Before I regarded it as the weather, but now it seems to be more systemic than I realised.
One option is to resell the Librem 5 when you get it. Due to its price increase, you can probably resell it for more than you paid for it. Since the L5 will get lifetime software updates and its software is getting better over time, I don’t think that it will lose its resale value. Of course that isn’t a good option if you want your money back now, but it is an option if you are willing to wait.
You have misconstrued what I am saying. I have zero issue with the cost. Absolutely zero. I do have a problem with something that is going to give me problems. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing else. The cost represents a premium product, and I buy premium products and I expect something for the outlay. I also want something that doesn’t spy hence why I am still waiting patiently for my L5 and why the V14 is on the radar.
I also have a problem with bad customer service. Say what you will, Purism do not excel here. I know, first hand.
I am glad your V14 works well. Good for you. And there is no doubt that there are some V14s that do what they’re supposed to.
But, please, do not bring things like slave labour into a comment that I make that is TOTALLY unrelated to what I am saying. If you want, start another thread. Its got nothing to do with my comments.
I guess that’s freedom of speech. You don’t have to like what other people say but they still have the right to say it.
I think the easy solution is not to sell it on this forum. Then the zealots on this forum will never know about it - and even if they do, your “ebay” identity need not be associated with your Purism forum identity.
I think that if privacy is that important enough to you, then you have no other practical choice except to take a chance on a Purism product and you get what you get. Plan ahead of time to manage any future disappointments accordingly.
Most of us have sold our respective souls to Google long ago. If Purism ran their business as well as Samsung and LG and Lenovo and Google run their businesses, then I would have already purchased a few Librem Mini’s, at least one Librem laptop, and at least two phones from Purism by now. As it is, I am making those purchases elsewhere while awaiting my first purchase from Purism, a Librem 5 that I pre-ordered in 2019.
I might buy a Pine Phone while waiting for my Librem 5. By reading the list of flaws in the latest version of the Pine Phone, it looks like the Pine Phone might be more impaired right now than the Librem 5 is. But maybe privacy sooner than later is worth the affect of having an impaired phone.
So to resolve your quandary, there is no obvious answer and you should make that be okay. If you purchase a Purism laptop, you may be one of the lucky ones to find no issues with it. But plan ahead to have problems and then be pleasantly surprised if there are no problems. That’s as good as it gets now if you care enough about privacy.
Without a real production ramp, the defects on the Librem 5 can’t be measured in parts per million. It’s more like parts per hand-built batches. Real Quality controls can’t even begin until the phone is fully built and tested by robotics. Humans can’t be as perfect. So just plan on finding flaws at this stage. Maybe you’ll be lucky and get no flaws.
I backed the crowdfunding campaign for the L5 back in the days with $500 or $600 or what it was, which was a gamble. It’s not uncommon that the crowdfunded projects never succeed in delivering the actual product and your money is gone - which is ok. Purism got the product out, which is really is an accomplishment! When I received the L5 in 2021, my iPhone SE (v2016) was already dying (camera sometimes not recognized, battery failing). I had the option to upgrade to a newer iPhone or a recent Nokia Android phone.
However, I did not like how the iPhone (with google Apps) manipulated me for years and decided to give the L5 a shot - with the option to switch back to one of the standard phones if it did not work out. Until now I did not make the switch back, despite of the problems of the L5. I just have more calmness in my life with a phone that is not designed to grab as much of my attention as possible. Of course I would like to see some things to work better, and the camera module could have better specifications, but the peace of mind is worth it - at least for me.
If money is not an issue, I would give the L14 a shot and switch back to another device if it does not work out. Don’t do it if you have no experience with Linux. Keep in mind that those who do not have problems with their device are usually silent.
Thanks for this suggestion. It has a lot of merit. Being in Australia could present as a major issue if things need to be returned and that is my chief concern I suppose. I really want to support Purism and my procrastination which is really driven by currently insane work may see the L5 come to fruition yet if things accelerate with Purism.
My intention had always been to let the V14 get a bit more mature so to speak and get bugs ironed out. This may yet turn out to be my best tactic. And I do care about the privacy aspect very much so, as you say, this is probably as good as it gets.
As a quick aside. To sate my Linux Phone itch I bought a Pinephone about six months ago. Its not the current Pro version, but probably the one before. Unless you want to tinker, save your money. I found it not really usable despite using 3 or 4 distros. I found that I had too many people who just couldn’t understand me. I mucked around for months but gave it away as the phone became a chore. There were also MANY other annoying glitches that made it a struggle. It may be better now, but I wish I’d saved the money really. From what I see the L5 is a far more advanced product and more likely to be a daily phone.
Sure, it’s nice for people to resell the L5 at the same price that they paid for it, but there is time involved in looking for a buyer and shipping it, plus there is the loss from inflation and the opportunity cost of tying up money for ~4 years (which could have been invested in something else), so I don’t think that we should criticize people who choose to resell at a higher price.
What’s more important in my opinion is that the person who pre-ordered gave Purism the funds to do the dev work for the L5, and for that, I would say “thank you”.
The resale value of a current phone queue position is interesting. I did try and do this some time back but the procrastinating from Purism to inquiries such as changing delivery addresses for the purchaser made it unworkable. It appears that they have made this process possible now so people can do it more easily. At that time I was going to straight sell it for $699. Now I’d probably add $100 to it purely due to the time factor and the need to finance something that would have gone up in the meantime. For $799 someone still gets a great deal and I don’t think that its excessive. If I were buying from me I’d be happy with that small increase.
Of course people will pay what they think that its worth. But implicit in your remark is one of two things. Firstly, my position in the queue is just that. A point in a line of others that cost me $699 and may remain forever a point and not blossom into a phone as the worldwide shortage of components continues into that later part of this decade. Or, secondly, that Purism as as company never deliver it despite their assurances because they go under. I think realistically either of these are possible. Or the positive version that the phone does arrive in late 2022, early 2023 (my guesses).
Uncertainty rules. But someone may decide that if they bought it for say $799 then the saving this represents, which is substantial, is worth it, plus they get it earlier than paying the asking retail price. How much of a gamble this represents is anyone’s guess at the moment.
Well making some of my considerations explicit then …
The commonality between the two scenarios is that when you buy something from a random on the internet, it may be a scam, the seller may be dishonest, the seller may fail to deliver for other reasons, … There’s always a risk from the seller.
That risk is lower when selling a queue position, since it should be possible to verify the legitimacy of the seller before committing money, assuming that Purism is prepared to cooperate.
Of course you are right that there is significant uncertainty about the timing for the buyer if buying a queue position. I think there is low uncertainty about eventual delivery but it would be impossible to argue that the risk is zero.
On the other hand, if buying an actual phone there are risks that the phone has been pre-compromised by the seller (and the seller may be smarter at inserting a compromise than the buyer is at removing the compromise). When you buy a queue position, you know you are getting a clean phone direct from Purism.