New Post: The Real Speed of the Librem 5

The core CPU in the Librem 5 and Liberty phone sounds slow at 1.5 GHz. Especially compared to the new phones just coming out with a speed of twice that. But the number of operations per second the CPU can handle is just the story’s start; it’s not a direct correlation to user experience.


In my perception, the L5 is slow. Eg browsing and using the camera are much slower than on old (5yrs+) Android or iOS devices. Maybe that can be improved though.


The tracking free link:

Even if that’s just the half of the truth with “fast browsing” etc, there is another core message. Software for Linux (and therefor PureOS) ist usually free of tracking and other malicious parts of the software. It’s like running a website with 50 tracking scripts or advertise and block all of them. The page gets much faster loaded.

The phone was planed in 2017 and even at this time it was never a flagship device. So yeah, the raw power is kinda out dated. But it’s also true that our needs depend on the software that we’re using. And for most important tasks it’s totally fine what we have.


The Librem 5 and Libery phone feels blazing fast for all normal phone operations such as Phone Calls, Texting, and Web browsing.

Regarding the web browsing part, I disagree.
Web browsing feels laggy, sometimes excruciatingly slow, and certainly not blazingly fast.


Instead of forcibly lowering CPU speed on old phones to “help protect aging batteries”.

Apple “has to” do this because in more recent iPhones the battery is not even user-replaceable!

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I don’t feel like it’s fast. That initial app scroll is choppy. Pretty sure my apps don’t open that fast either, even compared to that video. Web browsing is certainly slow as well, much slower then a modern phone. It’s fine, but I don’t agree with the characterization that it’s blazing fast.


You and I have VERY different definitions of polished. I have mms messages that will get stuck on receiving and need to be deleted via the command line to get messages working again.

GPS is FAR from polished.

The camera is functional but definitely not polished.

Also most of this article is repeating old marketing points and not even talking about the stated topic of the speed of the Librem 5.

Will this thread be the return of Purism engaging in the community response to these posts as @Kyle_Rankin once did, or is Purism continuing to just make a post on the forum and not actually engage? The lack of engagement lately is discouraging.


Based on recent history between @david.hamner and @rexmlee, it is the latter. This is largely the reason why I have not bothered to respond to any of the threads I have created regarding their blog posts.

That being said, considering the threads @Kyle_Rankin has created and responses within them given by the Purism community themselves, it is clear that replying back to them is a lot of work. There were also thread derailments with increasingly frequent occurrence, which grew into a severe issue post-pandemic. People wanted to know about the status of their Librem 5 order, and used Kyle for that purpose instead of focusing on the thread instead. Then Kyle was used as the main correspondent for every issue they have ever had of Purism.


I’m confident that, in about one year, most of common apps will be optimised and most of us will be, finally, able to use our L5 as daily driver!


I don’t think that things will change that fast. There are too many construction sites to solve all those in just a year. But I don’t see it as something negative. The progress is visible (right now less because of the work towards to Crimson) and the goals are clear in many points.

I just think that people who can contribute to the core functionalities could speed up things a bit and maybe fix the most wanted features to make it for more people daily drivable. I have not such skills, else I would. But I found another way to support.


Do I remember wrong or the UI on the L5 is still being rendered by CPU only? I ask because I think I read something about it, some time ago, but I can’t find it anymore anywhere.

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I feel like it is fast enough. I daily drive it and I dig it.


I already use it as daily driver. But I hope that Clocks will soon work as a proper alarm during suspension. From what I’ve read it’s already possible to time a resume via RTC but it’s not fully implemented in the software stack up to application level.

Otherwise the next ideal thing would be open firmware for the modem because that might allow to clock it lower and get more battery life out of it. But I’m not sure whether that will ever happen since it’s quite difficult to pull off. ^^’


The main problem with Open Firmware is that the Librem 5 Modem does not have enough RAM so it is impossible to run it. However i see Purism working in this in the pass, so yeah Purism is aware of this.


This should change for the better, as I’m stepping up to hopefully help bridge the gap.


Yeah, everything in this blog post rings true except the performance claim. Web browsing is my #3 utility on the L5, and especially important with so many platforms only accessible via the web (e.g. no native app). It takes > 8s to open Firefox on my L5. It takes <1s to open Firefox in WayDroid on my L5. That speaks very plainly to it not being a hardware problem, but a software problem, and I sincerely hope that at some point the Purism dev team will be able to start working on addressing the performance gap between PureOS and Android (even when emulated on top of PureOS).


Are you comparing firefox-esr vs firefox-esr? There are definitely software differences between firefox and firefox-esr.

While I agree Firefox-esr and Firefox are different and Firefox on Android is even more different. Purism choosing to default with Firefox-esr is the correct thing to compare against other devices defaults.

And FWIW there is effectively 0 performance difference between Firefox and Firefox-esr on my librem5 so at this time it’s a moot point.


Well, Epiphany is the default browser on the desktop version of PureOS, or rather, it is the only browser installed. As far as I know, only the Librem 5 image has both browsers installed by default.

And both are slow on the Librem 5 as was pointed out and the context of this conversation. Being as this whole conversation has been in the context of the Librem5 I see no value in muddying the waters by pointing out that Purism is inconsistent regarding what is included in PureOS across release types, that is a different topic for its own thread.

Also, from what I recall, purism announced that Firefox-ESR is now the official browser of PureOS…