Librem 5 Screen size; Is the screen size too big?


Now this may add to the discussion


That is interesting. After looking at that, I think I must hold my phone differently from most people. I don’t really grip my phone. I rest it on my fingers, and change the angle my fingers make with the side of the phone to reach different parts of the screen. For example, when using the lower portion of the screen (say for typing), my fingers make a ~45 degree angle with the side of the phone, but then when reaching towards the top (say to pull down the notification bar), my fingers pivot and become basically perpendicular to the side.


As a phone it is too large but so is 4 inch also. The perfect PHONE for me is a small stupid flip phone. On the other hand I need a rather big display for some applications (GPS and maps for example). I think I would like two different phones: One small stupid phone and one smart Linux phone with big display. It is difficult to combine these.


Reading the latest blog post on the dev kit: Is the screen resolution mentioned there going to be the final one? Stuff like 4K on a phone is totally unnecessary but 5,7" at 720x1440 does sound like an odd and bad resolution.


But is the screen too big to use for the average person? That’s the question.


I can only assume your hands are very small. I have a 4 inch screen in which I can use single handed with ease. Is that not possible for you?


I never use my phones with one hand - I always use both. But I like a small phone in my pocket - not a terribly big one. For some applications like GPS in the tractor or car I like a rather big display.

(I belong to a different generation - started to work with computers when they were as big as a room before Linus was even born …)


Just to throw in my opinion as well: I would prefer a screen between 4" and 5". I doubt I would carry around a phone with a 5.7" screen, seeing as I’m currently carrying a Samsung flip phone that’s 95mm (3.7") long when closed.


I’d prefer a smaller phone, too. However, I understand the argument that in this special situation, the different hardware requirements + expectancy in battery make a larger screen preferable.


Then I suppose that is one of the main issues as many people do prefer using the phone with one hand. I use just one hand. I use two hands for my tablet. Like you I come from an older generation when programming languages like Cobal were being taught. I’m sure that would take you back as well. However I have no use for 2 phones, I do not find that practical at all. I just want one phone to do all the work and one that can be manipulated easily. This is why I mention the below. You find that many people prefer smaller.


I just hope we get screen options for future versions. Earlier in this post it was stated that indeed is the goal. So I can be very content knowing that.


I’m in the same boat with a few others where once you go larger screen, you can’t go back. Oneplus One (5.5") nailed it in terms of large screen size matched with good form factor. The curved sandstone back allowed to cradle perfectly and securely in your hand and easily reach across anywhere on the screen. Similar sized iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones are much harder to reach around due to the edges and flat back. Hard to explain. Needs to be experienced. (Unfortunately, future Oneplus models completely changed direction.) So there are ways to do it.


Smaller phones is better for me. I want a phone, not a computer. I have a laptop already. I have an iPhone 6 the smaller one, since I wanted a phone, not a tablet, so totally agree with you.


Hi Seven,

I am not a mod or something, but following the discussion I am getting a bit annoyed that anytime someone posts that he for himself doesn’t care or likes bigger phones you post that he’s a minority and that as posted in your initial post there was a poll where a majority prefered smaller phones.

I mean I also use only 5" phones and I don’t know how I would experience a phone slightly larger, but repeating the ever same argument again and again doesn’t help the discussion. I think that one poll should also not be the argument to post over and over again. If so - why discuss anyway - the poll already says it all…

I think purism had things like one or two handed usage in mind (as seen in the UI / UX posts) and they won’t have taken a decision to make the screen larger without thinking about side effects. It’s valid to also tell them here that you have arguments against it and I personally think that it’s good to double check decisions.

In a nutshell: Thank you for the post, but I would prefer if you don’t reply to anyone who posts something against your opinion with the poll. We have all read the initial post :slight_smile:

Kind regards


Hi I also got a bit annoyed by the 5.7 inch size as i use an iphone se which i choose for the small size. For me its okay to trade the perfect size for better security but this trade of has a limit for me. I thought that might be at 5" phones size. But display diagonally doesn’t say that much, especially if the aspect ratio isn’t the same. For me this is ture as i’m more used to 16:9 in contrast to librems 18:9. As i had a Nexus 5 on my desk to toy around with ubuntu touch and Plasma mobile I made comparison images for the phones. It seams that the Librem 5 will be nearly the size of a nexus 5, which only has a 5" display. The librem is 0.15" (4mm) longer and 0.1" (3mm) less wide. This surprised me and i though i might share this with you. Or maybe i made a mistake and some one corrects me. The images i made are scaled to 1" = 100px.

I estimated this size form the librem 5 renderings:

phone hight: 585px = 5,57" = 141,4mm
phone width: 276px = 2,63" = 66,7mm

top bazle 44px = 0,41" = 10,6mm
bottom bazle 41px = 0,39" = 9,9mm

This is smaller than the fairphone, galaxy s8/s9, oneplus 5/6 and a bit longer but less wider than the iphone 8.

Edit: Hit Enter accidentally.
Edit2: Add iPhone SE comparison.
Edit3: Estimated size and comparison to more recent phones.


Hello Maximilian,

I can respect that is how you feel. However my responses are directed to those persons. Just like any discussion about any topic sometimes things maybe need to be reiterated. When some readers made specific points, restating the initial poll or other references are in fact brought up to reassert the facts at hand. This is done to remind the person of ceetain points along with additional thoughts from me to them. Discussions are back and forth, not one way. In all honesty the persons I responded to seem to have no issue with it. On that note I will continue to voice my opinion and enjoy the exchange with those persons. If my responses annoying you then feel free to skip them. I have done the same with some responses myself. Thank you for reading the initial post. :sunglasses:




Thank you so much for sharing! I really appreciate what you have done with the visual comparisons here. It really hits home on the dimensions as I currently have an SE. If this is to scale then I may well reconsider. If anyone else is willing to verify these dimensions and comparison that would be helpful too. As I think many who worry about the size would want to know. Again, thanks for sharing. It is much appreciated.


Screen resolution Librem 5

To answer the initial question: yes.

I saw this project and was intrigued - then saw it was 5"+ screen size and lost all interest.

Keep the phone size under 135x70mm.


I write only because it always strikes me a way of thinking different from mine and I try to understand. I respect all the ideas of others but some logical processes do not understand them. I do not want to make controversy and, I repeat, I write only because certain logical processes strike me. So, I read, you decide not to buy a phone because it has a slightly different measure than you want, beyond the fact that this phone is something absolutely innovative because the first with open source software and respect for privacy (which are the reasons for which I buy it and I do not care about the measures - only it is not too small). If it is the only motivation I do not understand it but … the world is beautiful because it is varied.


So the librem 5 misses your criteria by just 6mm in length and it is 4mm less wide. 141.4mm x 66.7mm
I think the width is much more important for handling. So you might wont to reconsider. Don’t be scared by the 5.7" 18:9 it is not comparable with other 16:9 phones. I made a comparison to other phones here Size comparison to other phones