Librem5 Alternative

I have been waiting for the Librem5 production, but release dates keep going back and I need a short term alternative.
I now need to replace a dead LG G4 which I managed to use Google-free without rooting it, but this now seems much more difficult with the latest Android releases.
I want a phone with a reasonable camera, web access, no social media, but a few apps like HERE maps a reasonable firewall if possible, as much privacy and security as I can get given the limitations of Android, and as Google-free as possible.
I am still considering Oneplus6, but dubious about all the privacy/security past haistory.
I don’t believe there is an alternative to Android, Jolla is mostly dead, Fairphone is a joke, Replicant is ancient and I don’t know any other serious Linux offerings.
Any suggestions on a short term option, including easy privacy/security fixes for Android without warranty voiding a new phone?

Does it need to be new? A second-hand phone might serve your purposes perfectly well. Go to and take a look at the list of supported phones. Your first step when you get your “new” phone will be to wipe it completely and install Lineage instead of the original OS. You’re also going to want to install the separate root access enabling package as well, since some software (from your list: firewall, also SnoopSnitch) needs it.

I personally use a Samsung Galaxy S5, which as far as I’m concerned is the best phone they’ve ever made: user-replaceable battery, the body is made of plastic (and therefore is both impact-resistant and radio-transparent) and waterproof). If you care more about modem-CPU isolation, the older S4 is their last model to have the modem as a separate chip from the CPU.

There’s no Google crap at all in Lineage - if you want it, you need to explicitly seek out and install it. All of my software comes from F-Droid (, which contains only FOSS software. I have no idea what HERE maps requires in order to run, but it’s quite possible that it contains hard dependencies on Google libraries (which is not uncommon if built for stock Android).

Note that the below links aren’t necessary - the F-Droid repository has its own package manager application which you can install and use to obtain all the software. I personally install the firewall software first while offline and only then connect once it’s configured, but that’s most likely not necessary on LineageOS which I believe doesn’t contain any phone-home code unless you explicitly go and turn on update checks.

Maps: I use OsmAnd ( I have no idea how it compares to any other phone map software, since I’ve never actually used anything else.
Firewall: AFWall is what I use (

Privacy and security: if you don’t know about it already, there’s a very interesting piece of software called SnoopSnitch (, also available on F-Droid) which can detect IMSI catchers if you have a Qualcomm modem and a kernel build which enables the diagnostic device. It’s basically Wireshark for mobile networks attached to some heuristics, but it will devour your battery life even if you leave the phone in airplane mode.

EDIT: admittedly, I am not the best person to give phone advice. I barely even switch mine on, let alone use it for day to day life.

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Another second-hand option would be UBPorts - check out the list on .

My phone was also on the brink of death, with an almost fully black screen due to water damage, so I’ve made a lot of research on what my options are before the Librem 5 becomes viable to switch over to/or at least buy and develop for in a usable state.

If you want Android/Linux dualboot, the cosmo communicator might interest you:

I personally have gone with the Xiaomi Pocophone F1, which has a very active developer scene already, and seems like will support LineageOS for a while to come, and is really cheap (around €300 for me) for the great battery (and overall unnecessary but still not bad specs, and a cheap to replace screen).

Best of luck <3

We have decided to go for a OnePlus6 for now, and if necessary install LineageOS.

Does anyone know of secure privacy oriented router that can be bought off the shelf? I know I can install Linux on an old PC etc, but I want something self contained with wireless switches etc. I don’t think they exist for now.
I asked Purism if they considered such a product and they said it could be a possible for future.

For wireless routers there’s the TPE-R1100 or WNDR-3800. The latter of which is still waiting for RYF certification but uses LibreCMC, same as the former. I have both.

The TPE-R1100 is very small. You could fit it anywhere. It requires an external switch if you want to connect more than one device to it through ethernet. You can order a nice 8-port switch along with it. Has 802.11n but lacks 5Ghz N.

The WNDR3800 is more like your standard wireless router with a WAN port and 4 LAN ports. Has 5Ghz N; I’m using this one currently for that reason.

If you have the equipment (Pomona clip, wires, and SBC with right headers) you could find a cheap second-hand device and flash it with LibreCMC if it’s supported. I haven’t been brave enough to go that route myself, yet.

No libre devices with 802.11ac that I know of.


Turris Omnia may be of interest to you, runs a variant of Openwrt. Also supports ac: “Turris Omnia has dual band Wi-Fi with 802.11ac and 802.11b/g/n.” They’re in the process of releasing a modular router, the Turris Mox, but it’ll probably be another 2 months before it’s publicly sold.

I’ve got a Turris Omnia and am pretty pleased with it. It is pretty easy to setup things like OpenVPN and Nextcloud on it, too, which is pretty convenient.