Librem 5: Phone Quality/Feature - Waterproofing?

Any possibility of having waterproof be a feature of the phone design out of the gate? I know this is asking a lot so I plan to get one either way but I figured now would be the time to throw it out there.

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Unfortunately no, waterproofing is far down the list of features to consider.


I figured, thanks for the response!

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There is always something like this:

Not that I specifically endorse the product itself as I have never used it, just an example of what’s out there.

For a DIY approach, you could first open the device up and put a thin, unbroken layer of silicone putty (I don’t have any kind of brand name examples, it’s something that you spread on and it cures on its own in the air; you can find it in most electronics shops) around any connectors which extend outside the case to seal any ingress points (eg. headphone jack, USB port), then close the case, plug in all your cables (so that you have a mould for how much space is necessary), put another thin unbroken smear of silicone around the join between the two case halves to seal it, then finally cut the silicone putty free from the cable connectors and remove them.

Assuming that everything worked right, you’ve added at least some water resistance to the phone… though it obviously won’t be as good as something which is actively engineered from the start to tolerate immersion.

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Thanks. I work in the forest all winter and need a phone that can handle rough conditions. Anyway I have ordered Librem 5 and hope that down the line there will be at tough model. The basic ideas are very good and I will support the project as much as I can.


I could use this too. I often go diving and I need a phone for taking selfies and for calling with my girlfriend while diving. My previous phone broken when I tried to pick up under water and since then my girlfriend is pretty angry because I failed to pick up the phone.

So now I need to make it up to her by posting selfies of me diving on while diving. She also demands that I put something romantic under it to prove that I love her or she won’t have sex with me. I think this should be pretty easy because I rarely go below 60 meters and I was easily able to find a selfie stick that is waterproof to depths that are far beyond 60 meters. So unless Purism’s Librem 5 lags far behind modern selfie stick technology, the Librem 5 should be waterproof to at least 60 meters depth.


Have an eye for that thing not being mistaken as a submarine-fishing-rod, mate… would be a pity…


I love the personal touch you put on this. This is exactly why we need water proofing!

Oh, the choices in life!
Librem 5 vs diving? Clearly you should give up your favorite hobby. Nothing is more important than your Linux phone.
Librem 5 vs Facebook? Clearly you should give up Facebook. Nothing is more important than your Linux phone.
Librem 5 vs girlfriend? Clearly you should give up… :thinking:


Amosbatto comes in with the science of life right there !! If you’re looking for a scuba steve phone you can whatsapp with at 50meters better get a spy brick .

take a plastic bag and put both girlfriend and L5 in there ! now they’re BOTH “waterproof” and you can ALSO scuba-steve-dive. it’s weird how PURE science can work … :wink:


Most phones are water resistant instead of water proof. Which means they are okay in the rain, but not good for submersion. Even if they were rated for submersion, I would not fell comfortable trusting a complex $700 device in water. I would get a floating/buoyant case and put it in that for intentional diving. After testing it with paper inside first. I would rather that the phone float to the top.

There are waterproof nano coating services that can be used to create a thin coating, but it still requires that you dry the phone before using it again. Also, I am unsure how using the ports after applying the coating affects the coating’s performance.

Having cracked open a few IP67 phones, I would rather have a phone that wasn’t water resistant. First of all, it takes heat guns, suction cups and plastic picks just to pry open the case. The battery is usually soldered, plus glued to the case. You have to scrape off all the sticky stuff and apply new sticky stuff before closing the case. Maybe it is possible to create a water-resistant phone which uses screws and reusuable rubber gaskets around all the seals, but I’ve never encountered one.

The way I see it, there is a 10% chance that I will drop my phone in the water, whereas there is a 60% chance that I will keep the phone long enough that the battery needs to be replaced and a 25% chance that I will need to replace the display because I cracked the front glass, so I would rather plan for the higher probability events.

In the case of the Librem 5, I think it highly likely that I will be able to resell the phone if I ever stop using it, since it will be supported forever, so being able to replace the battery will be very important for the next owner of the device.


#important-beeing-able-to-replace-the-battery :slight_smile: - “creating memes since 2015” (or was it 2014?)

I remain convinced we hit Peak Samsung back in 2014 and that everything has gone downhill from there. It had: a plastic body (which has the perfect combination of radio transparency and impact resistance), a replaceable battery, a headphone jack, decent bezels (so you can actually hold the damn thing without hitting the touchscreen), an IR LED on the top for use as a remote control, optional wireless charging by replacing the back cover with one which contains a charging coil (this is an official accessory, I have one) and was water resistant.


It strikes me that some reasonably watertight case of a similar sized phone may be considered. For the more bulky option there are envelope containers for cell phones which I have not tried and probably which are not too good, but they might be useful for short-term use.

I agree that today’s mobile phone design is producing anti-features that go against the interests of the consumer:

  • locked bootloader and not providing access code to unlock (Apple, Huawei, vivo, Oppo),
  • locked configuration (need root access or jailbreaking)
  • getting rid of replaceable batteries (started with original iPhone),
  • removing microSD slot (started by original iPhone),
  • sealed cases that are hard to open (started with original iPhone)
  • use of glass backs which are slippery and prone to crack (started with iPhone 4),
  • the removal of bezels to protect the display,
  • glass which is raised higher than the bezel so there is no protection,
  • displays that curve around edges so can’t be easily held or protected (started with Galaxy S6 Edge),
  • notches and bullet holes in screen (started with Essential, popularized by iPhone X)
  • motorized pop-up and swiveling cameras that can fail over time (started by vivo NEX S)

Because Apple started so many of the anti-features as trends in the industry, I boycott the company, but now all the phones on the market have anti-features. There hasn’t been a decent phone in my opinion since the LG V20, which is why I haven’t bought a phone since 2015.


Do not call them anti-features, call it innovation! Think different( than smart people do).

Did that domain go up for sale since you posted it?

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