Librem 5 — painpoint assessment 2021

It can make calls and has been making calls for a long time. Your issue is with the carriers, not purism. I don’t understand why you people always find some new way to argue with me about why you should be allowed to continue to be angry/discontent/impatient/something negative when all I’m trying to do is make you feel better.

And speaking to that, if you can’t be bothered to suffer the mild inconvenience of setting up a SIP account, why did you opt to purchase a new device that’s never been made before? Find peace with a device that already works!


Very good, so if we tell carriers to reactivate soon-to-be-phased-out network technology, will this happen? Don’t think so. In such a case L5 without VoLTE might become “A Security and Privacy Focused Not-Anymore-Phone” :slightly_smiling_face:

And if by any chance you feel offended by anything I wrote with a more or less agreeable humor, I am sorry; please tell me what to do to make you feel better as well :slightly_smiling_face: I fear the issue is not about feelings, and in particular not about yours, my fellow human.

I for myself did pre-fund a device because I read the description and advertisement and thought it would fit me well. If after 4y, many all-too-optimistic statements and promises, a pandemic and major industry disruptions, I still think what was (and still is) promised should be delivered, you might excuse me on this topic, but I don’t feel I’ll change my opinion on this.

EDIT: In any case, I am confident in the development team, and that VoLTE support will be reached; if not for other reasons, because people will keep bothering about it :slightly_smiling_face:

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If you guys want to continue this VoLTE vs SIP-whatever discussion, could you pretty please do that in a separate topic? It does not contribute much in improving the pain point list. Thanks :slight_smile:


I’m quite finished, sorry @Caliga.

Though one of my pain points in regards to this device is the impatience of its customers.

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Major Improvements Needed

  • time between charges
  • (daylight second) :slight_smile:
  • usability of camera app - want point-and-click
  • emergency functionality - call without SIM, call with SIM for wrong network, Advanced Mobile Location (AML), receive emergency alerts
  • web browser performance

Less Major / Near Term Fixes Needed

  • GPS working and integrated out of the box
  • WiFi hotspot (it’s on the GUI - unsure of current state - I think not out-of-the-box last time I tried it)
  • VoLTE
  • convergence to work more seamlessly and with more hardware
  • Files app needs work on adaptiveness - including using a better image viewer (and/or thumbnails)

Minor Annoyances

  • fix calculator app adaptiveness
  • show battery percentage on lock screen
  • give some kind of change log when updates come through
  • SIM unlock to default to numeric keyboard
  • some GUI way of clearing the call log
  • call log to have some way of showing the number that was used (not just the contact name)
  • if a string search in man fails then man exits immediately with Pattern not found - this doesn’t happen on my desktop or on other Linux computers that I use
  • very pedestrian uSD card read and write speeds - 10 MB/s approx - for a card that I know can achieve much higher speeds

Longer Term

  • need Anbox (or other solution) for those Android apps that are impossible to avoid, mostly government and banking authenticators for me

Important Note: I’m still on amber. Some of these may already have been addressed.

Edited to add the item regarding emergency functionality. @caliga

Edited to add the item about man on the Librem 5, which has been bugging me for months.


A fair comment but I think that would need to be configurable i.e. some users might legitimately want to prevent anyone seeing or messing with an alarm unless “authenticated” by unlocking e.g.

Erectile Disfunction Clinic Appointment 4pm :slight_smile:

might not be something that you would want to share with your work colleagues.

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I don’t know that this is necessarily very secure. For the time being at least, you are more or less forced to have a numeric and insecure password. Given an unsophisticated attacker armed only with a midrange Intel CPU, your 4 digit password is gone in under a minute and your 6 digit password is gone in an hour or two. (A sophisticated attacker would be armed with one or more GPUs and you can divide those times by 100 or 1000.)

So if your “PIN” is gone, would you want to unlock a keyring and expose all the keys within the keyring automatically?

Still, your phone, your rules. :wink:

I would rather that the keyring unlock using the smartcard (and have the hassle of entering a PIN for the smartcard after a PIN for the phone). Is this currently possible???

Things might change once full partition encryption is available.

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I think storage encryption is around the corner, but yes of course many things might need to be configurable.
For the alarms, it could also be that you only see that there is one and maybe silence/snooze it.

Mainly, the list is about perceived shortcomings, not judging the feasibility to solve them. (Although a helpful addition)

Btw, I didn’t understand daylight second :thinking:

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Apologies. I was using overly idiomatic English, and Australian idiom in particular.


Another painpoint item, arising out of the “Estimate your Librem 5 shipping” topic: there should be a basic Help app pre-installed that gives a cheat-sheet for basic functions i.e. where they are in the user interface and how to carry them out.

Somewhat related, I made it a habit to bookmark comments of @dos and other staffers along the lines of “oh yeah, that actually works, just do xyz”, with the goal of possibly adding them to some documentation at some point. :grin:


Useful information is available at:

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Provide a help application for new users.

It’s already there - new phones ship encrypted. I’m not sure whether changing the encryption key after reflashing is documented somewhere (as otherwise you get the same key as everyone after flashing the same image), and ideally we would like to have it automated anyway, but all the pieces are there now in byzantium (which is already the default when reflashing).

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One more thing … I always get annoyed that the screen comes on when you plug it into a dock or power cord. You intuitively press the power button to deactivate the screen, but then it comes on again … I am not allowed to press the button - that wears me out: D

Please add the option … “Show display on connect - on/off” under power settings


Forgot to mention on thing that bugs me daily. Lack of auto-brightness. You can turn it on, but it seems to sway around somewhat randomly. At present it’s not useful that I can tell.

This is mainly an issue as, I spend a lot of time inside and keep the phone brightness low when doing so. If I forget to turn up the brightness before going outside it can be really hard to see enough to login and do things


Yes. To do things like … adjust the brightness. I got caught out by that the first time I took the Librem 5 with me when I went out (mid-summer Oz, blinding sun). In situations like that, voice control would be nice. Maybe Librem 5 v2 for voice control and in the meantime better auto-brightness. Or maybe overload the function of the volume control in some way??

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  • the heating problem isnt solved during decrypt password entry, which is especially dangerous because the l5 switches on on plugin; not giving the password should switch the phone off after a while
  • the status bar on top doesnt come down on swipe but on click; same thing with the arrow
  • typing is terrible cause the spacebar is near the up arrow; space doesnt end number entry which would be helpful; setting the cursor pos in the url entry is near to impossible
  • the screen scrolling is still not smooth
  • i didnt find a way to switch off the lock screen - during testing this gets anoying
  • i cannot mark text in the browser instead a menue pos up but i cant choose something
  • in the calculator the kbd os up while the calculator already has one
  • manuy dialog arent designed for the screen and sometimes i m stuck becuse i cannot close it

This is written on the L5 :smiley:


Touch the globe icon and then “Terminal” in the keyboard to switch to the terminal keyboard layout and it has arrow keys for moving backwards and forwards?

I wish it defaulted to “Terminal”. I guess that’s another minor gripe.

Probably not the answer you want, but it is possible for you to alter existing keyboard layouts and/or add new keyboard layouts. That’s the beauty of open source. You aren’t stuck with someone else’s design choices.


i tab where i want the cursor which works most of the times but not in that bar. i dont want to change layout, navigate and so on. i just wonder what happens there: the balloon is in the text, if i drag it it jumps like hell…

altering the kbd layout isnt an option cause i like the spacebar exactly there

the arrow should move but i doubt i can do so in limited time :wink: