Librem 5 Disassembly and Reassembly with Purism CEO Todd Weaver and TLG Gardiner Bryant


#1

Here’s the video, if anyone is interested.

If the first link dies, here’s another instance.

If all else fails go to this thread that compiles all the media for Librem 5.

Edit: More links because things can go down.


#2

thank you (20…)


#3

It looks like replacing the battery can’t be easier. This is way better than what was initially announced


#4

Here is what I found notable:

  • There will be a plastic back cover held on with plastic pressure tabs and an internal plastic piece that will hold the antennas (in Birch and later) which will be held on with screws.
    Plastic pressure tabs on the back cover can wear out or break, so it would have been better to use screws on the back cover, but I assume that Purism was going for the nicer aesthetic of not having visible screw holes. If Purism (or a third party) sells replacement back covers, this won’t be much of an issue.
  • I wonder if the internal plastic piece was necessary, but it will make it easier to take off the back cover since you don’t have to fear breaking the antennas. It will also make it easier to replace the antennas.
  • It looks like to me that wireless charging could be added to the internal plastic piece. I hope that someone makes a mod for that.
  • I noticed that the camera is able to move, which I have seen in OIS cameras when disassembling other phones, but I really doubt that it is an OIS camera.
  • I have never seen such a thick battery before. It looks like a very custom shape, so Purism will likely be the only place to get replacements.
  • Replacing the battery, M.2 cards and motherboard will be very easy. Yeah! Currently the display is glued into the metal frame, so you basically have to take everything apart to replace the screen and it will be more expensive, since the metal frame is included. Todd said that he isn’t sure at this point whether future batches will allow replacing the screen without replacing the frame, which is the same thing that Nicole Faerber told us on the forum a couple months ago. Given that a cracked screen represents 60% of phone repairs, I really hope that Purism will be able to allow replacement of the screen without replacing the metal frame, but the metal frame probably doesn’t cost that much, so it might not be that significant.
  • There currently is no cooling on the phone, but Birch and later will add heat pipes.
    If Animatch is only running at 10 fps in Aspen (as Gardiner said in the other video), then throttling due to heat might be the cause, but this sounds to me more like an optimization issue in the software to get such a low frame rate on the game.
  • Todd says that he is currently charging the phone twice per day, but they are hoping to optimize the software, so it is only necessary to charge the phone once per day.

#5

Link went to nowhere as of now Monday, October 14, 2019 3:32 PM (America: New York)


#6

What are you referring to?


#7

link works for me as of 2 mins ago. just finished watching the 10 min video.

on another note … omg … did i just see the CEO of Purism doing a semi/review of the back-side of the Librem 5 and taking it apart bit-by-bit and putting it back together all in 10 mins ~ ? while beeing interrogated (no playback guys - live) :joy:

and best of all it looks like the battery will be semi-hot-swapable due to the plastic thingies holding the lid in place not permitting it to be as easily accessible as my q10 back-cover … but … holy crap it’s still WAY better than what i assumed it would be ! looks like q2-2020 is going to make it “hard” for me …

also the back-cover looks like it won’t be an issue for signal degradation since the frame appears to be slitted for the antennas to get proper reception.

so good ! thank you mr. Weaver !


#8

Same here Q2 seems much further now. Though, well worth the wait
All the hardware kinks are gonna be worked out. The most important one is the heat pipe. Of course the new antenna setup should provide better signal. The screen might be easier to replace as well, etc.
Swapping battery definitely way better than when announced.
Choosing plastic over metal back cover, solved all of initial concerns.
I don’t see what else they could have done better, so far. Except for this delayed release :slight_smile:


#9

The battery actually has the appearance of a Lithium Ion Battery that I have used for a Nikon Digital Camera with the same rough size and battery contact areas.
I expect that better cooling of the phone with the heat pipes will lower resistance and afford some extra life to the battery as the heat-based resistance probably represents energy consumption loss and the heat itself may alter the battery capacity to hold a charge properly.
Sim Card swapping, if it were needed is quite facile and even the M.2 card and motherboard replacement may be quite manageable, though perhaps the more tight fit may make maneuvering room somewhat limited. Given the way the phone is made some pouch or some Otter case like solution would be ideal to prevent having to go through the hassle of screen replacement. Screen replacement can generally be difficult with the film used for touch control which overlays the glass and the generally need for snug fit.
One thing which concerns me is the spring resistance about the insertion of the frame element near the camera as I hope that spring has durability and does not run afoul of repeated use by either breaking or losing its proper seating inside the phone.


#10

The initial posting’s first link. It worked for me now.


#11

I seem to remember someone posting a link in another thread to a website from which the chosen battery could be ordered, but I think that was a different kind of battery (a bare, silver-coloured battery with wires). Or am I getting it confused with something else? I can’t find that post now.

The battery in the disassembly video has text that reads “Sample” and what I assume is name of its manufacturer.

It also says “Standard: GB 31241-2014”, which seems to refer to a Chinese safety standard for Lithium ion cells and batteries.

Underneath the battery and the main board, the thing that says “Pulse Electronics” and “LTE” must be the cellular antenna, and the thing that says “WLAN 2G/5G” must be the Wi‑Fi antenna. (This was not obvious to me on first watching. The footage is very dark.)


#12

the battery seems to have no special connectors or anything funny going on so it should be fairly straight-forward to perform the “autopsy” of Libby-Doe …


#13

I had an idea and was noting the A137 shown on the label covering the battery and did a search on line coming up with the Samsung SGH-A137 Battery which perhaps may be a candidate for the battery. See the following on Ifixit: https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Samsung+SGH-A137+Battery+Replacement/49750


#14

I had the same thought, but I don’t think it’s the same battery. The Samsung one looks much smaller.


#15

Apparently one has nothing to do with another.
The shape is different, contact placement and It’s over 4 times smaller