Is Linux Always the Answer? (Librem 5 video)



Anthony from Linus Tech Tips takes a look at the Librem 5 Evergreen for their alternate channel ShortCircuit; Anthony normally helps/covers their linux videos/projects.


It’s brief but I was happy to see more coverage from a more “mainstream” Youtuber - even if it’s just based on first impressions this gets the products name out there as an option which is always nice. I don’t mind getting a “first take” without any prior research on the project, it’s valuable to know peoples first impressions.

It seems like their thoughts are summed up as “usable and fine” - which seems fair at this point in time (and since they cover the lifetime update promise as being readily believable).


It’s good to see it getting exposure, but just once I would like to see a reviewer who has actually been following the development, or who at least has read up on the L5… I don’t know… in the Purism wikis, the Purism forum, the Purism website…preferably before publishing a video and exhibiting frustration or confusion.

Still glad to see it reviewed. Or “unboxed.” Or cursorily tapped a few times. Whatever. :neutral_face:


Yeah, I was surprised when he just immediately gave up on installing Firefox when it didn’t show up in the store. It looked like he didn’t find the terminal keyboard layout either.


And Purism really needs to work on that fraction-of-a-second delay when OMG we don’t receive any notification about what’s happening after tapping a button. :rofl:


I was very surprised and excited when the review popped up, especially when I saw Anthony was the reviewer (let’s be honest, he’s the only who would have given it a chance).

But in the end I was disappointed. They kind of brushed over the huge privacy gains (they mentioned it, but very little), and didn’t seem to really acknowledge that even desktop Linux has taken years to get to the point of being remotely usable by an average user. There has only been a big push for Linux on a cell phone in the last couple years, it’s crazy that the Librem 5 is even comparable at all to be honest. iOS and Android have been around for over a decade!

I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised though, it’s a mainstream tech channel, of course they’re not going to care much about the privacy aspect or be very patient with it.


Based on what I value, the Librem 5 is already where I need it to be to be a daily driver and a great tool for several things that can’t be done on Android or Apple. This reviewer just doesn’t value privacy and access to a root bash prompt nearly as much as I do.


Oh, c’mon guys… That was a pretty good and fair review.
Of course he could have taken the time to figure out how to get Youtube videos working or that there might actually be a working file browser.

He even figured out why the USA edition is more expensive (mostly accurate), although admittedly failed to figure out that the development cost drives the price of the base version.
But then again, he figured that the uncommon hardware components are there for the reason to achieve the goal of this phone. Smart dude.

But watch it again. Especially the summary at the end. He basically said it needs polishing to be usable outside the nerd-niche, and it’s worth to keep an eye on this. I think that’s fair and accurate.


I agree he said some fair and justifiable things. I just think he could have done a tiny bit of reading first.

I know people who buy the latest Samsung/iPhone because it’s the latest model and don’t care about the specs or reading to see the changes. I value this style of “take” since there’s so many consumers who just buy items without looking through the spec sheet or reading the features and would like those people to be able to consider the Librem 5.

If I pointed a family member at the Purism site and the Librem 5 they’d expect it to act like a phone, and wouldnt go check here or the like first before assuming YouTube (for example) would work out of the box.

I too thought Anthony would dive in more (like his Raspberry Pi 4 video or a few of their build guides) and hope he does a followup after some usage, but I like that this wasnt prefaced with a lot of prior research.

Edit: That all being said I feel we could use a “deep dive” style video from someone soon showcasing their thoughts and usage after x-weeks, for some reason we still havent got one to fill that niche imo

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The short, snarky answer to the title is “yes, whenever it’s not *BSD”. :wink:


I will say, the delay on Phosh on the Pinephone between tapping on an app and the app opening is really significant, so I thought that was a fair point of the review. I just tested opening Settings from a fresh boot and it was 9-10 seconds of staring at a blank desktop background before the app displayed. Testing again after closing settings and allowing all the background services to start, the delay is more like 5-6 seconds.
When there’s nothing else open, the blank background is enough feedback that something is happening, but when there are other apps open, Phosh displays the most recently opened app before drawing the new one over it. That does lead to confusion about whether you’ve actually launched a new app or just fat-fingered it and reopened the last app.


Youtube works on epiphany it just needed to update the system.
Librem 5 needs GTK4.0.1 to work like a charm. Posh looks and work great with every updates.
L5 kernel better and better every day. :smiley:


send the L5-Evergreen to Wendel from Level1Techs … he’s got the skills with Linux …


Well, at least after tapping an app it doesn’t ask you to thread a tape our mount a different disk pack.


Anthony is at least a Linux user and can appreciate the Linux command line. However, unboxing videos are a really poor way to evaluate technology, and this review highlights the limitations of this kind of review format.

Initial impressions are often wrong, I expect a reviewer to actually take some time with a product to understand it and be able to tell me something about it. The Librem 5 introduces 6 innovations, and Anthony didn’t cover a single one of them. He also didn’t cover battery life or audio quality during phone calls, which are two of the phone’s biggest drawbacks right now.

At least he bothered to investigate why the cameras don’t yet work, but he really should have done more reading before reviewing the phone, because he failed to cover both its weak points and its strong points.


He hates Purism

I stopped watching this video when a shoe hijacked my screen …


I’ll see your “BSD” and raise with “42” :+1: :notebook_with_decorative_cover: :milky_way: (:dolphin: :fish: - :scarf::flying_saucer: :earth_africa: :boom: :alien: :robot: :recycle: :hammer_and_pick: :house:)

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all the better then xD