Librem 5 Screen Polarization

Convenient use of a mobile phone while driving is important to me. I’m still waiting for my Librem 5, so in the meantime I’m trying to make my Pinephone/Mobian/Phosh a usable daily driver.

:white_check_mark: Podcasts via Bluetooth

:white_check_mark: Music from SD card via Bluetooth

:woman_shrugging: Navigation

:poop: Phone call via Bluetooth

:white_check_mark: Non-Polarized Screen

I expect that the first four behave the same on the Librem 5.

Screen polarization? Let me explain… I wear horizontally-polarized glasses to cut the glare when I drive. My phone is magnet-mounted on the dash to the right of my steering wheel. To get the best view of my phone, I have to cock my head slightly to the right. Pinephone? No problem; the screen is not polarized, so there is no light attenuation. My Stinking Android has a polarized screen, about 20 degrees from horizontal, so there is some attenuation. When I cock my head (about another 20 degrees), the attenuation doubles and the screen becomes unreadable – even at full brightness.

Q: Is the Librem 5 screen polarized? If so, how far from horizontal?

Is the Librem 5 screen polarized? If so, how far from horizontal?

I just put polarized glasses on and looked at my phones, and yes, it is at 90° - so perfectly readable in portrait, but attenuated at landscape. It’s not affecting phones with screen protector on though, they stay bright regardless of orientation and to my eye appear brighter than a PinePhone (also with screen protector on) does.


Left: PinePhone Braveheart at full brightness; right: Librem 5 Dogwood at full brightness. Both with screen protectors on. Both looked pretty much the same with glasses turned 90°.

Librem 5 Evergreen without screen protector via the same glasses. At around 90° it was almost completely dark.

For the record, another Evergreen that I have with screen protector on looks similar to a Dogwood on the first photo.


Thank you for the informative posts. I never considered how a screen protector might affect things. I have the Pine64 glass screen protector on the Pinephone. I had a third-party glass screen protector on the Spydroid, but recently removed it when some moisture got underneath it. That’s about when I became particularly annoyed with the polarization issue, but I had not connected the events until now.

Has anyone evaluated polarization on the Librem 5 or Pinephone before installing a screen protector? This is just a point of curiosity, since it seems a glass screen protector will fix things regardless. I don’t want to spend money on the Spydroid or sacrifice the Pinephone screen protector to satisfy my curiosity! :grimacing:

Mine still has the original plastic screen protector. Viewing the screen with my sunglasses oriented at various angles, and with the brightness cranked all the way up, I don’t detect much of a difference in the display.

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In case I wasn’t clear: my second photo shows a Librem 5 Evergreen with no screen protector on. I have a few Librem 5s around here and most of them have screen protectors on, but this one does not - that’s why I was able to tell that the screen itself attenuates at 90°. I have only one PinePhone and it has screen protector on though, so can’t tell more about it.


You were quite clear. My eyes? Not so much!

@Photon just to make sure you are aware of it LCD displays work by changing the polarization of the light within the Liquid Crystal.
Not sure how you expect to get non-polarized Light out of them.

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