Librem 5 Daily Usage poll

[…] stuck with my attempt to debug because everyone says it is someone else’s fault.

I, too, had overestimated my chances to help improve the software.

I’m mostly waiting for the incorporation of @dos’s changes so I can use waydroid (there are a few android apps that I need for daily driving, mostly bank related).
I also hope that deep sleep gets better so I can stop worrying about the battery lasting me the whole day.
Finally, I’m also a bit worried about Signal, but hopefully a combination of Axolotl for the setup, then, signal-notify for notifications, gurk or Flare for messages, and the desktop app for calls should mostly work (I will most probably not be able to pick up incoming calls, but should get the notification quickly enough to call them back right away).

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I chose “I use the L5 as an additional mobile device”, but here’s how it looks like:

  • L5 has my sim card and I use it for calling and text messaging
  • Another android device without a sim card is used for practically everything else

My biggest issues with L5:

  • Battery life. Even though I enabled the experimental hibernation, the device is unable to go through the day on one charge.
  • Modem disappears once in a while ( This is very frustrating, especially for those who want to call me, but sometimes randomly they can’t.

I use it as my daily but I have more leeway than probably most. WIth the modem dropping 2 or three times a day it’s something LOTS of people can’t function with. Sometimes everything will look fine modem/network wise, then if I reboot I get messages from hours before. Stuff like that could really ruin lots of peoples day.

But there is good news. The last major update with the auto screen brightness and other changes, has also made modem drops less frequent. And I know everyone at Purism is doing everything they can for us. I’m really glad I have it and despite the critiques, as I said, it is my daily.


Btw I know this is hardy any relief, but my WiFi on my Sony Xperia is also dropping from time to time and needs an disable WiFi -> enable WiFi to get it up and running again. So such issues are not totally limited to Purism Librem 5.

Been daily driving the librem 5 since early 2021/late 2020. What a massive improvement the current software stack is compared to then. Sadly, I’ve (most likely) burned through the capacity of 1 battery, so that should probably be replaced, even though simultaneously battery life is much better than at the start of 2021.

The modem dropping is easily the worst part of the phone, but with a .desktop file that runs a script that restarts it (, it’s manageable. For on-call rotation/work stuff, I got an android from work that I can switch off during my off-time. And I built a signal-to-matrix ( bridge to stay connected with people who don’t want to use matrix directly (and make heavy use of So like this, I can manage.


I might be wrong about this but it when I use the Librem 5 in dock-mode, I was able to access the “Applications” setting in the Settings menu. In that settings you can access the settings for all individual applications. I turned off several apps (such as Pure Maps) from running in the background. That seems to have greatly improved battery life for me.

However, it may all be wishful thinking on my part. I turn the Wifi and Cellular off religiously too.

(Secondary issue: why can I only access that feature when docked and using a monitor? That seems very silly).

I’m living in Europe as well and I only use SMS for chatting.
Many friends of mine are using SMS as well (but also use other methods).
So it’s not only an US thing. :slightly_smiling_face:
So far I don’t experience any problems using SMS.

If anyone is interested I took the long way to figuring this out. feedbackd already has what I assume is max magnitude set here which matches the vibraperiodic number. I’m not sure how this effect functions but I assume it eases into it or something and just needed more time. Doubling the duration to 30 has a much better feel IMO.

Change: /usr/share/feedbackd/themes/default.json

          "event-name" : "button-pressed",
          "type"       : "VibraRumble",
          "duration"   : 30

Issues that made me drop the L5 USA as my Daily Driver:

  1. Outgoing and incoming calls sometimes didn’t work. I’m on T-Mobile USA, which started requiring VoLTE several months ago (and I had to get a new SIM even before I got the L5 USA in May 2022). Purism sent me a second modem with older firmware, because they said the newer firmware didn’t work with VoLTE. Not sure what’s happening, but I’ve missed calls. That has to be 100% solid or the device is unusable for me.

  2. Proton VPN gets dropped after a few minutes on mobile data, but so far has never gotten dropped on Wi-Fi. The L5 USA is a great Wi-Fi device, but VPN instability on mobile makes the device unusable for me.

  3. vvm (VisualVoiceMail) was a complete disaster; had to uninstall it. Never figured out what was wrong or found a replacement.

  4. No Signal (the application) available. Yes, I’ve read about both the flatpak someone built and a complex procedure to recompile for ARM64, but I haven’t taken the time to dig into either. No up-to-date Jami, either, but it’s been a month since I’ve turned on the L5 USA. Maybe things have changed.

  5. Volume issues, with people saying they couldn’t hear me. Tried several things, but finally gave up.

That was the last straw, and I pulled the SIM and put it back in my Android phone. I got a 2nd phone number (and SIM) for the L5 USA while the bugs get worked out. Fortunately T-Mobile has a 2-line plan that saved me 60% on the 2nd line.

I tried hard to use the L5 USA as my daily driver but it failed on some critical areas. I spent far too much time on it. I’m very excited to be able to use the L5 USA someday, and I realize I’m an early adopter, but in this case I tried to adopt before the technology was ready. Maybe things are better now.


Using it daily since Birch times. With Birch I carried a (powered off) N900 as backup but stopped that when switching to an early Evergreen device.

I’m usually carrying a power bank (Mazer EnerG Duo 10C) when expecting to be outside for > 6h (the Evergreen battery lasts longer than that but this leaves me enough safety margin) and a Zendure Super Hub when travelling (instead of a charger) as it has a long connector cable to the hub so I can use about any power socket location and allows me to plug in a HDMI screen, TV or projector (used for giving presentations (e.g. Debconf, FroSCon). When using it as Laptop replacement (e.g. on shorter train rides) I use a Nexdock 360 (but the would like to switch to with a better touchpad).


Could you write a review on the performance?

  1. How stable is the HDMI video signal? For example can you watch a full length movie without experiencing flickering from time to time?
  2. What is the power supply performance? Does the L5 negotiates more than 0,5A @ 5V?

Sure, but it is some kind of “direct” approach (both charging and video function well over C1 port, but this is already tested/recommended anyway). Yet it is still like no other (and probably not even available any more) hub:

Wait, I recall now that received message from someone kindly sharing with me that original Steam Deck power supply is charging Librem 5 without any issues. And therefore, as somehow to your question related, let us consider that this hub might be usable as well:

P.S. Looks like I’m out of this thread topic here?

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Very interesting. Thank you!

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Regarding charging: see , regarding flickering: I don’t have that with any adapter I use. The videos linked above were redorded with the zendure hub (this is not a buying recommendation, just what I use).


Do you have an idea what could be the source of flickering?
I have experienced it with different USB-C docks, with 2 different HDMI-HDMI cables and with 2 different monitors.
My assumption was that the source of the problem are the USB-C docks, but if other people don’t experience it, then it might be the Librem 5.
The video signal works. But every several minutes short disruptions happen.

I simply can’t use it as a daily driver because the SIM isn’t recognized. I order a phone that supports EU SIMs and have tried multiple providers, but none of them work. Additionally, the battery life is simply not good enough. It lasts maybe 3-4 hours with the screen off. I haven’t even tried installing a signal client as there’s probably no hope of battery life being similar, so leaving the house with this chunky boi isn’t an option.

Finally, phosh isn’t my thing. Flashing KDE mobile seems like a quite involved and there simply isn’t any time for that at the moment. Maybe there’ll be software updates in a year or more that allow the phone to have a battery life of at least 24h with moderate usage, a UI that looks better than android in 2010, a signal client that doesn’t require a heavy browser, a camera that’s easier to use, … basically better software.

Did you reported/documented your tests for other users to know? Which operators in which countries were not working?
There are many users living in Europe that have no problems with the providers.


All PD chargers I happen to own are charging Librem 5 without any issues (Steam Deck, Nintendo Switch, Dell XPS 13, some generic 45W charger, several USB-C docks…). Issues only happen when the power supply doesn’t provide enough current at 5V, but according to PD specification every >=15W charger is supposed to provide 3A at 5V. In practice it’s rather docks that can actually be problematic, as quality of those varies a lot and some are outright misconfigured, in which case it’s mostly a matter of luck whether it negotiates something sensible.

It lasts around 3-4 hours of non-stop intensive use (gaming etc.), with the screen off (and no suspend) it’s more like 10-15 hours. I’m using it with European (Polish) providers just fine as well. Sounds like there may be something wrong with your unit.


If there’s a problem with my unit, then I’m SOL because there’s no warranty, no nothing. But I’m OK with that. A functional device was never expected, so this is better than nothing.