News regarding Librem5 on Chaos Communication Camp 2019

I reckon you could go up a size and get some AAs in there.

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I got curious after @licryco commented. If the whole thickness is supposed to be 15mm, we have to reduce from that the back plate and screen, which would take about 3-5mm. (edit: not Circumference) Diameter of an AA is 14.5mm while AAA is only 10.5mm - so I accidentally got that right the first time. I think you can get that size in lithium also. A 18650 [which btw. is in the dev board, so @licryco wasn’t that far off] is whopping 18mm and would require a Nokia Pureview level hump on the back (not necessarily a dealbraker - some of us are planing to add a protective case on top of it). CR123a is 16mm. And an 3LR12 is 22x62x67mm. There also unfortunately isn’t space for this power source:

Maybe a hand crank for emergencies? And while we’re hoping for stuff, I wish it’d have 3 usb-ports, so for convenience I could use one of them for a QI adapter (which also would add to thickness), one for display/hub(keyboard+mouse) and one for other peripherals. Maybe I need to glue a hub on the end of the phone… Btw. wouldn’t Qi be an added security feature, as no possible data connection via malicious cable or powersource/comp?


For some reason I thought AAs were 12mm, but you’re right, they’re 14.5. When I compare it to an AA battery, a 15mm phone doesn’t seem very thick at all.


The talk was great. Thank you Nicole. For me it made clear, what a gigantic task it is to develop and produce the librem5.


@joadri, well of course they will have some kind of blog post with that stuff. They day of the presentation was only days after they received the PCBs, and it was a world-exclusive glimpse.
But the blog post still might only say “look we got PCBs, we’re getting there, currently testing / assembling” and not mention what the orientation of the board is.

It’s not like they are under any obligation to explain the positioning of each component to the critics. It’s just us nerdy geeks trying to figure out what they did. What matters more, is in how many weeks we can inspect it first hand and not rely on screen captures :wink:

By the way, I think a point that has not really been brought up is that the cessation of hardware updates seems to coincide with the announcement of the PinePhone (as I became aware by @amosbatto’s excellent spec comparison)
As open as they want to be, I can imagine that some clever details or chip choice they didn’t want to reveal too early to keep some advantage of their research.


Based on this, should we be more optimistic or sceptical for Q3 shipping?

I am giving up on that Q3 thing. It doesn’t seem like it’s going to be possible. I’m treating my iPhone 7 like if it was my partner for the rest of my life.


We don’t know if the boards are test samples or they are the production batch, but I suspect that it is a test board.
I think the bigger factor is the software, and Purism still has a lot of critical issues to solve (like overheating as shown by Faerber’s presentation). I think delivery in Q4 is more likely. Purism doesn’t have that many developers, compared to the size of the task that it has undertaken.


Yeah, Q4 seems more likely at this point given there’s only a month left and the case acoustic/heat issues I’ve seen with other FOSS projects that offsets actual launch (Turris MOX, Mycroft Mark 2) and the fact we haven’t seen a physical case prototype. Holding out hope for Q3, but it may be best to temper expectations at this point…

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Surely, them Q4 pessimists can’t be right…

Purism has been pretty consistent in communicating the planned shipping dates, as well as the delays. The last couple of months they have left no room for doubt: shipping starts in Q3.

If it would already be that obvious the Q3 deadline can not be met, either the people at Purism are not aware of this fact, or they are willingly misinforming us.

So, either they lack insight in their own production process, or they are not as open and honest as they say they are.

Frankly, neither option appears very plausible to me.


And latest update starts with " as we prepare to begin the shipping process of the first Librem 5s "

on one of the videos which is a change from " as we approach Q3 getting closer to "

on previous videos. So theres even a change in the language they are using . I think they’ll hit q3 it will just be the end of september .


In that case , my concern is that they won’t have enough time to test the actual phone - once this hardware is packed in the housing. If they are just getting everything in, you can’t just put it all together, test it quickly and ship. You need a lot of time for quality control.

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Apparently unnamed blogger just wrote about the talk on Purism site. No new info, I’m afraid (edit, correction: image of pcb is a bit better quality than the screencaps previously used ). And link to shop still takes to Q3 advertisement.

Plenty of time, 4,5 weeks to go (0,5 to solve and 4 to test, for HW)… Starting shipments on the evening of the 30th is still technically within Q3 timeframe - even if it’s just one. And then SW updates to follow.
Should we start getting odds and bet on it - either on eventual delivery date or when announcement of it (q3 or q4) will come or when phone is finally “finished” (“updated enough”)?


Sure. Good quality control should be a priority. Totally agree there.
I am just saying that the tone of their communications suggests they are on track in this respect.


Sometime after next January, when all phones have been delivered, a couple of rounds of updates have gone through without a hitch, we have convergence working and all have had some holiday, I’d like to hear the real stories behind the curtains as when deadline approached. The last minute snafus and crises and saves and heroic engineering etc.


Depends on to what extend this is done and warranted by the phone manufacturer. Testing of prototypes and samples is hopefully getting completed.

Hello all, is the is the thickness officially confirmed ?
I am really afraid of 15mm, I have found my LG G6 a bit thick with its 8mm… I can understand the M.2 module (and I can understand it’s not a problem for some people here) but on my side, I just can’t consider having this ‘double’ thickness. Thank you

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Nicole Faerber said that the dimensions are preliminary in her presentation, but there is no way that Purism can make a thin phone and still use 100% free software. You have to separate the cellular baseband, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth and GNSS from the CPU/GPU, and access them over a serial bus if you want to use free drivers.

A Snapdragon can combine all these functions in a 153.8 mm2 package, but the Librem 5 will need 1453.7 mm2 of chips to provide the same functionality, which means that the Librem needs a huge circuit board. The i.MX 8M (which is the best SoC for 100% free software) is a power hog compared to a modern mobile SoC, and all those other chips require more power, so Purism can’t cut down the size of the battery to make the Librem 5 slimmer.

The other problem is that there is no cellular modem that runs on free drivers that provides global coverage. Either Purism produces four different models with soldered modems that don’t cover all regions or it provides an M.2 slot so that people can change the modems (and insert their own modems that require proprietary drivers). Producing 4 different models with soldered modems is hard to justify economically when only producing 10k of phones.

The replaceable Wi-Fi/BT wasn’t necessary, but it allows Purism to sell to radio hobbyists, so it is an important market. The cellular M.2 card already adds extra space on top of the board, so Purism isn’t making the Librem 5 any thicker by adding a second M.2 card.

The PCB already has 10 layers, so it would be difficult to make the PCB smaller and with 0201-sized parts, you are hitting the limits of what can be manufactured economically. Huge companies like Samsung and Apple can do extraordinary things to shrink their PCB’s but Librem can’t.

Purism can lose a couple mm by soldering down the cellular baseband and Wi-Fi/BT, but then you get a phone that only supports a limited number of bands. The only way that you can get a 8mm thick phone is to give up 100% free software and the hardware kill switches.
If that is an acceptable tradeoff for you, then you might want to consider the PinePhone or buy another phone and install LineageOS or UBports.


It’s all about perspective. If you gonna compare this with modern slim phones , don’t even bother buying. Anything over 10 is gonna be disappointing for you.
I got no problem with thickness, as long as the style and feel are right. I bought the very first CAT phone for my friend and I loved using it z before he picked it up. Then, I got the Casio GZone for my dad. Loved it even more. Even now , that is retired (terrible support for OS) and sitting in my drawer I still enjoy playing with it. Would trade it for any of the new phones in a heartbeat , if it ran adequate OS. Both of these rugged rigs are just a hair below 14mm .
Just thought about another trade I was “proud of” :slight_smile: selling iPhone 3gs (hated it for closed OS) just after 3 months and getting HTC Tylt II, which was 19mm thick.
So, if you use these phones as references than L5 is like an upgrade :slight_smile:
Seriously, I would suggest for anyone concerned about the tickness , to find somewhere these rugged phones and see how they feel in hand or pocket and then decide. I think CAT and Sonim can be found in some stores.
Apparently, Fry’s electronics still has CATs in stock and on display.


Anyone holding hope for slimmer than 15mm should give up and look for a different phone. Best case, it’s gonna be 13.5-14mm and that won’t make a big difference for those who are dreading it now

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