Librem 5 review

Review of day 1 and having very deep pm…
What did we pay for makes me wonder and how that product did pass through QA or did it? Some people are exceptionally polite saying this is not for general user.
The user paid very premium price tag for something that is incapable to perform basic functions.

Maps and navigation - whoever did spatial on that open source product did very very bad job. Application unusable
Missing addresses for whole cities in US, layers messed up, every problem imaginable is there. Verdict if you want to get lost or be very off that’s the formula for getting there.

There is messed up firefox on that phone. Possible to try to use navigation there, well it did not manage to get geo location. This is the basic navigation function. If it is not present the maps are unusable.
That phone was re-imaged today in case if someone decides to comment not the latest version.
Not tracking geo location is appreciated, that’s the main marketing. Making geo location not work is not appreciated. it does not work in maps app, it does not even try to request geo location.

Developer’s UI/UX people have some interesting ideas. Having the community of alpha testers makes me wonder do the developers and UI/UX take any usability feedbackThis thing is more behind then 15+ years. How was that possible to make that from Linux and what does one do to firefox to make it do this. I was honestly looking for Brave. Well… that’s not available.

App store. The performance engineers were entertained making that app I guess. No more comment on that, I was tired waiting for that to actually load, did someone know about paging I wonder.

Whoever was the wonderful person making ‘video’ about file transfer would that team please make effort and review some youtube tutorials other unix people do put out there in order to learn how to present their own OS information and create usable documentation.
Documentation is It’s not about the author being cute and cool and using slang because many non native English speaking people have no idea what is ‘reboo’ slang would possibly mean, what kind of boo-boo and more importantly how did you get there to that screen before that and what did you install. Your video resolution is so bad and documentation is missing.

Basic functions would be:
making phone call, that one it actually did manage to do
Getting contacts and messages and data imported from prev phone. Instructions are very substandard to put it polite.
Getting messages restored - well… even with community help… how do I do that again so it actually does work…
Connecting that thing to ubuntu 20… That is buggy to extent of conversation with QA on that so at least that is put into the working state.
The only file transfer method that did work so far is usb stick. How many years back does that put us?

Email - do I even want to test that now.

For the money it’s very substandard product. Even for people who badly wanted it.

Battery live - are developers running OS in debug mode I wonder, 4h life for phone now days… what is your team thinking of performance of your product. Do I need to have it on charger most of the time having modern battery technology?

And by the way, that buggy service of your account activation is still sending something to gmail free email. I dig I do not like google them much either. Is that an excuse do not test your releases so ?. Cause that’s basic unit test thing, robot running at nigh, does not cost much.

The amount of bugs in that software makes me wonder what QA and about of tech-debt in that product.


Is that a web site bug to put 15 char min into the subject? That’s new in UI/UX. Was that intentional or a typical bug goes into production? Ubuntu 20, Brave. in case if you need test case.

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Email works for me (using Geary mail client).

This forum uses the Discourse forum software, which is used by many other web sites. I don’t know what the default value is for this parameter, or whether the setting has been changed for this site. It is certainly not a bug.

Yes, sometimes the minimum length restrictions are annoying but I guess it is hoping to encourage you to describe well what the content of your topic is.


librem5 review. that’s the context. I still wonder what did we buy and how did that make it to market in this state


took 10 sec to find even not knowing the answer

that value is set by the developers of this web site to 15 char min

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wait a second, reboo… are you saying that developers of that OS had such an interesting idea about security that they actually reboot OS to share files with the trusted device. Is that what that thing is doing?
Are you really saying that I have to reboot the phone to copy files or backup, I still hope it was just a misunderstanding


Here is information from this forum about tech support response times.
Well, that needs to be corrected to no response/ghosting
This device does not come with tech support because tech support does not respond. At all

Technical Support

What: Any hardware or software related problem with Purism products and services
Subject: [order number] short problem description
Usual response time: under 6 hours


Usual response time” is the average response time during during work week days (and outside holidays). Delays can happen due to high volumes of email or information needing to be researched.


The Librem 5 may not be a very good product right now, but at least it’s better than any other phone that is commercially available.

Librem 5 stands above every other phone by combining a lack of anti-features together with functionality. In my opinion, no other phone does better.

Freedomware operating system, removable battery, and hardware (maybe just software?) switches are a great combination.

Other contenders? The pinephone has much worse performance and functionality. SHIFT6mq? More performant, but it’s not for sale in USA and some features don’t work with GNU/Linux, such as camera.

Getting used to the freedom I have when I use my Librem 5 has spoiled me. Now I hate using Android or iPhone because of how little freedom they have.


7 posts were split to a new topic: Transfer files to/from phone - not Librem 5 / PureOS

so sorry, that is not our case. tech support is not existential, and life time tech support is a joke. and it has being like so for years. No improvement in any shape or form at all. Unacceptable level of tech support or customer service


I locked down androids for years. this phone - so sorry, hardware is old, tech support unacceptable, migration - nonsense. battery life 4h and overheating phone that is 5y old hardware. There is no excuse for price-service ratio. And waiting for this joke for years at the price. It’s not daily phone, it does not perform.
I need people to hear me properly in meetings, device that does not need shutdown for data copy and glitches half of time because it heats up.
It produces ultimate freedom from service. That’s not what I require for work or daily use

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TalkingAboutSun: As far i know the unique Device capable mechanically to directly recording Sun or Eclipse it is Nokia N8 so i not sure if there are other devices with this capabilities, if someone know other devices please let me know. Maybe Nokia 808, i not sure.


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well there you go. now imagine granny setting up secure ssh on the phone to copy her photos. good luck on that one. ends at 4h heating battery so. usability wise ‘and what do I do with that’. Also hardware is newer. For all the competitors, what is stopping these guys and why they use old hardware beats me. iOS I do not prefer, locking down androids is easier.
I would rather get phone that works where company actually can handle software and hardware properly and proved customer service and tech support.
I never hear from these guys. They have no phone support, they have no phone or address per say, they are running as physical entity, like ghosts. They do not respond on emails. They ghost customers on normal bases. If you think I’m like only case, well not.
Pull public data, that’s their normal no customer service. Reviews are not in this company favor by any means. Tech support wise its ruined reputation. They never responded to our issues and we are just one customer, plenty more like that. Even on this exceptionally highly watched by this company forum which I find mostly useless, picking breadcrumbs and wasting time on overpriced device that does not perform I do not have time for this sort of thing I need to do work work instead of playing with half-bakes software-hardware old thing.


I’m sorry to hear that from you, its clear that you dont know whats going on with the Librem 5, i also see that users in this thread have not explained it well to you.
All the problems you mentioned above have an answer, sure.

I will tell you that the Librem 5 has everything to work Fancy.

Distinguised @FranklyFlawless do you know how enable MTP to get file transfer on L5 i just not remember atm how to for @lllibrem5 ?

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Previous comment from me on this: I believe that MTP already works in Linux with Linux as the host, so it is not a huge stretch to think that there is interest and knowledge to make it work with Linux as the media device.

And response from dos: It even works as a device and you can set it up on your phone if you really want to, it’s just that having it integrated out-of-box was not something that was being worked on.

So I would think that it is beyond granny to set up MTP. SSH is easier because it is already integrated into the Settings GUI.

If the host computer is Linux, there really is no reason to use MTP on the Librem 5.

If the host computer is something else (e.g. Microsoft Windows), there may be reason to use MTP on the Librem 5.


Or if people want it incredible easy: install KDE Connect on devices that should share files (including Android, iOS and Windows).

Also 4h battery? I reach more than 4 times that amount. 4h is more like the active phone that never goes into suspend mode or even turn screen off. Keep in mind, this is a fully desktop OS. How long are laptops running with bigger batteries? Android and iOS are just super polished about battery saving behaviors. That’s no easy task and huge steps are already taken with the experimental suspend feature.

You say software is not polished. That’s correct. UI/UX is as bad as 15 years old phones … but do you know that Android and iOS put billions of Dollars into their systems for over 15 years, while our systems just ate some millions on the lower end? You can’t blame Purism and the active developing community for being not as good as the giants of big tech. That takes time and was clear from beginning. Android devices are so cheap because they can sell billions of phones with just a little fee for Googles Android while Purism has not even sold 10.000 devices (I think) and has to take the little income to develop such a huge project. So of course they have to sell it for a premium price, otherwise they would act like Pine64 and do nearly no software development (task for community only).

Geo location also works. Did you turn off all hardware killswitches? If yes, you have to turn on at least one, otherwise sensor is deactivated. Did you turn on privacy settings for geo glue? Did you calibrate your geo correctly (sadly initializing process is not intuitive enough - I guess software can improve this). Maps are working in Europe … I don’t know how well or bad they’re in USA. I guess other US-citizens can tell you more about.

Firefox issues? Are you speaking about GUI? Community (mostly Emma) has improved it. You can fix it easily now and this in the way you like Firefox GUI most. Still questions? Ask in this thread.

So what issues left? Support → Can’t argue against your points.
Slow hardware? On one hand true, on the other one it’s the best hardware everyone could get hands on with all the other requirements in mind. It just shows how broken our “free market” is behind the shiny gate and is not Purisms fault at all. If you want to blame something, than blame the capitalism that forces black-box devices/components. In a cooperative market we would already have perfect GNU/Linux phones for 15 years with high end hardware and perfect UI/UX.

All the things have their reason why they’re as they’re (at least phone related). I hope you understand it at least a little bit better now. I know not every point will make you happy and the entire phone isn’t maybe something for you in its current stage. But someone has to begin with and I’m happy to be a little part of it. Using it already daily for over one year.


Well that has being 4+ years to make it there today. It’s not rocket science to develop this. Why it’s not there today would be question not to me but to that company. I’m the customer with malfunctioning phone who can not get tech support from the vendor

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Would that kill someone/something to produce documentation for problem so and so here is step by stem and copy that script to terminal. Plenty examples of this online for many debian based systems, in fact they have doc for debian and other Linux on same page stating script for Debian to install or update so and so. Instead there is ‘cute’ vizheo that is useless for the customer. How that supposed to be good customer service or supposed to reduce my time troubleshooting beats me.
Tech support does not respond that’s the fact.
And if these people do not know if someone buys android the generated account to download basic additional software would be from That would be software to transfer sms and contacts for example. If they do not like google I can see that, if they ghost and do not respond customer email because it’s generated gmail from android phone and I have to explain this now days to someone from that company all that does it raises the question how qualified are they to be in this business if they want to onboard customers from other platforms and have them use their phone.
They do not respond to email from secure encrypted providers either. I see no excuse for this at all


it does not take long to see that in this thread I profile 2 accounts affiliated with the company as alt account of ex or current stuff/affiliate.
IT show where the priorities are and how they work with the customer base. Outlook like so is … they would do well focusing their efforts in right places if they want to be in this business and do well. Sadly it is what it is and they do not get the message not only from me but from others for years and make excuses why things are the way they are instead of owning it and addressing it
That does not paint the bright future. As a result the reputation is well deserved. It is also clear that this company stuff is disinfecting this forum heavy handed and monitors feedback same day.
Put that effort into managing your customer that already paid you, see the point?
If not, good luck then. It means my time is spent more productively on locking down more modern android and investing into someone else where I can get the results and not chit-chat

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