Rob Braxman's review of the Librem 5

Continuing the discussion from Librem 5 media (photos and videos):

I generally respect Rob Braxman’s take on things, but he got quite a few details wrong in his review of the Librem 5, and he didn’t spend enough time with the PinePhone and Librem 5 to properly review them in my opinion. As someone who has used LineageOS on my Android phones since 2015 and owns both the PinePhone and Librem 5, I generally would agree with Rob that Linux phones are mostly for Linux enthusiasts at this point. Nonetheless, I found so many details to be wrong, that I decided to document them just in case anyone is relying on Rob to give them an informed opinion.

6:20 “Somebody actually gave me a Librem 5 a year ago I think and it ran for like one minute and then I was never able to run it again.”

If Rob had bothered to do a simple web search, he would have found out how to get the Librem 5 to boot. Usually it is just a matter of holding down the Power button for 20 seconds or taking out the battery briefly, but there is a more complicated procedure listed on the developer’s wiki.

7:15 “So I took a picture and the sucker hung.” 8:20 “The camera does not work”

People on the forum reported Millipixels hanging after having used it a while, but it usually didn’t happen immediately on the first picture. At any rate, Millipixels 0.22 released on May 9, 2023 should have fixed the problem. Again, Rob didn’t bother to keep trying to use the camera or do a web search to find out if the camera usually worked.

9:50 “It’s a Linux issue because Linux wasn’t made to handle power savings on mobile so Linux itself is not a mobile operating system”

While Google has done a lot of tuning to make Android more power efficient, like aggressively turning off background processes and limiting the background polling to keep the processor from having to constantly wake up, that doesn’t explain most of the difference in power consumption between Android and Linux phones. If we look at the Volla Phone, using a MediaTek Helio P23 processor, Notebookcheck reported that its battery life was 17 hours in a WLAN test when using VollaOS (an Android Open Source Project derivative) and 2-3 hours less with Ubuntu Touch. The Volla Phone with Ubuntu Touch uses the same Android kernel/drivers with libhybris as VollaOS, so it shows that the software stack above the kernel is not the biggest determiner of battery life.

Given that NXP wrote the drivers for both Android and Linux, I doubt that there is significant difference in the power consumption of the Android and Linux drivers for the i.MX 8M Quad. While I’m sure that the power consumption of Phosh and Plasma Mobile can be improved, and suspend needs to be improved in the Librem 5, the biggest difference in power consumption is caused by the hardware, not the software. The problem is that none of the makers of integrated mobile SoC’s (Qualcomm, MediaTek, UNISOC, Samsung, Apple and HiSilicon) support Linux, so Linux phones like the Librem 5, PinePhone and PinePhone Pro are using processors designed for SBCs and larger devices. Linux phones use 5 or 6 chips with larger planar node sizes in place of a single mobile SoC which has a cutting-edge FinFET node size (4 - 10 nm), and Linux phones have 1.5 - 3 times more electronic components than Android phones, which makes Linux phones less energy efficient.

[Holding up the Librem 5] “They haven’t changed the internals of this, as it was designed four years ago”

Purism has produced five hardware versions of Evergreen that I know about (1.0.2, 1.0.3,, 1.0.6, with the last revision in Feb. 2022, which improved the GNSS/GPS. In comparison, the PinePhone had 3 revisions (1.2, 1.2a, 1.2b) with the last revision in Q4 2020. PINE64 fixed the problem with data transfer not working in the USB-C port, but PINE64 has refused to fix the problem with the screen flickering when at lower brightness and has refused to change the eMMC’s voltage from 3.3 to 1.8 volts, which would have increased its sequential read speed from 55 to 125 MB/s. PINE64 doesn’t provide a way to report hardware bugs, and my attempts to get the errors in the PinePhone’s schematics fixed have been in vain.

11:35 [Holding up the Librem 5] “So it’s a very expensive phone, and it looks like it’s well made. Obviously we sell this for half that [holding up his BraX2 phone], so we’re selling these phones for $420 currently… I wish Linux were more successful, … Unfortunately there’s a problem with Linux succeeding in this space. They have a lot of work to do and nobody’s really investing in it.

Rob misses the fundamental point that the higher price for the Librem 5 is paying for the software development of mobile Linux, whereas buying another Linux phone (PinePhone, PinePhone Pro, Volla Phone 22 and X23 or F(X)tec Pro1 X) does not pay for much software development. Purism’s new software projects for the Librem 5 contain 344k lines of code and libhandy, libadwaita, Calls and Chatty are now official GNOME projects, and Purism has added code to roughly 20 GNOME applications (GNOME Software, Nautilus, Contacts, Calculator, Geary, etc.) to make them mobile friendly. Thanks to Purism’s dev work, GNOME is becoming adaptive and touch friendly, so it will now work on mobile devices. Because Purism tries to work upstream as much as possible (~200 commits to Linux kernel, Coreboot, wlroots, GTK/GNOME, Debian), it is helping to improve FOSS in general.

The only other company investing in mobile Linux development is besides Purism is Jolla. Now that Plasma Mobile has stopped using Halium, libhybris and oFono, Jolla’s dev work on those projects has become less relevant to the community. Jolla’s dev work on the Halium platform used to be important, since it was shared by Sailfish OS, Ubuntu Touch, Plasma Mobile and WebOS/LuneOS. However, Sailfish OS has not been successful in attracting hardware sellers and will never be adopted by the wider community due to its proprietary Silica interface and its proprietary AlienDalvik library. Ubuntu Touch only has a tiny number of volunteers to maintain a mountain of siloed code and its Lomiri (Unity8) interface only had 7 commits in the last year. LG has stopped developing WebOS for mobile devices, and its community derivative LuneOS is little more than a reskin. Realistically the only Linux interfaces with enough developers to be sustainable in the long term are KDE’s Plasma Mobile and Phosh, which is developed by Purism and is based on GTK/GNOME.

33:55 [Talking about PINE64] “Everything that they do is open source. They open source the hardware. Who has seen that? Open source circuitry, circuit boards. That’s pretty awesome, so that’s a very legit company, and take the price. It’s a fraction. They are making these phones for hardly any money.”

PINE64 does NOT produce open source software or hardware, whereas Purism does both. Both PINE64 and Purism have released the schematics for their phones in PDF, but PINE64’s schematics are proprietary, whereas Purism’s schematics have a GPL 3.0 licenses, so any company can legally use or modify the Librem 5’s schematics. Purism released the original source files for its Librem 5 dev board and the files for its case, but it said that it would wait until it recovered its development costs for the Librem 5 before releasing its CAD/Gerber files. In addition, Purism has publicly released the wire drawing/board view of its circuit boards, so people can actually work on the circuit boards, whereas PINE64 doesn’t publicly release those files.

Purism pays for substantial free/open source development and upstreams its code as much as possible, whereas PINE64 doesn’t pay much for FOSS development. It offers a few DevZone bounties and it gives some money to Manjaro for each PinePhone that it sells, but Manjaro does mostly configuration and distribution maintenance, and doesn’t pay for actual software development. Most of PINE64’s support comes in the form of free hardware that it sends to volunteer developers. I think PINE64 is doing a great service for the Linux community by selling hardware at a small markup over cost, but PINE64 is not paying for much FOSS development and it is not taking a huge financial risk to develop mobile Linux like Purism. Purism says that it went way over budget developing the Librem 5, because it used a new processor in the i.MX 8M Quad that has required a lot of kernel dev work and it developed a new mobile Linux interface in Phoc+Phosh, which has required several million dollars of dev work. Rob calls Purism a “scammy company” without acknowledging how the development of the Librem 5 caused huge financial problems for the company, which resulted in dissastified customers who couldn’t get their money back when they cancelled their orders.

In contrast, PINE64 took existing processors (Allwinner A64 and Rockchip RK3399) which already had good Linux support and adapted existing boards that PINE64 was already selling in an SBC and laptop to add a cellular modem and sensors to make the PinePhone and PinePhone Pro. Then, they sold them with a 30-day hardware warranty and asked the community to develop the software. I think it’s great what PINE64 is doing, but there is very little financial risk for the company. Given that PINE64 has probably sold around 100,000 Pinephones, it has likely recovered any investment that it made in the development of the phone, whereas Purism has probably only sold around 5000 Librem 5’s and is unlikely to ever recover its investment in the Librem 5.

34:40 [talking about the PinePhone vs Librem 5] “You don’t feel bad doing a project phone for under 300 bucks. You do feel bad spending 800 bucks and really getting nothing usable.”
38:30 “The Librem 5 is almost a matching spec with the original PinePhone, so they’re very similar”

Rob looked at the amount of RAM and eMMC and the four Cortex-A53 processors and assumed that the Librem 5 and PinePhone Convergence are roughly equivalent, but using the Librem 5 feels nothing like using the PinePhone in my opinion. I benchmarked the Librem 5 to have 30% better integer performance, 35% better floating point performance and 150% better graphics performance than the PinePhone. According to my tests with Sysbench, the Librem 5’s RAM is 4.8 times faster than the PinePhone and the Librem 5’s eMMC sequential file reads are 5 times faster and its random file reads are 3 times faster than on the PinePhone.

I played around a lot with the PinePhone when I first got it, but I rarely use it any more and it mostly sits in a drawer in my desk nowadays. In contrast, I have kept using the Librem 5 due to its better hardware. For example, it takes 11.2 seconds to load Firefox on the PinePhone with Mobian, whereas it takes 3.8 seconds on the Librem 5 with PureOS. Over time the Librem 5 has gotten more usable, because Purism is paying developers to work on it, whereas I don’t think that I will ever use the PinePhone on a regular basis, because its GPU, RAM and eMMC is simply too slow in my opinion.

This isn’t to say that the i.MX 8M Quad in the Librem 5 is a good processor–it runs too hot, it sucks too much energy and it will probably never do good video recording at a high resolution–but it is good enough for most tasks and it isn’t hampered by extremely slow RAM and eMMC like the PinePhone. I also don’t feel bad investing in the Librem 5 due to the fact that it has helped finance a lot of good software dev work.

I feel more ambivalent about the PinePhone, since I haven’t gotten much personal use out of it. At first I was more positive about the PinePhone, but its software development seems to have stalled over the last 1.5 years in my opinion compared to the Librem 5.

I’m overjoyed that the PinePhone has attracted so many volunteers to work on Plasma Mobile and Phosh, and given 20+ different distros hardware where they can run their flavor of mobile Linux. The PinePhone was a shot in the arm for postmarketOS and Ubuntu Touch and led to the creation of the Mobian and Danctnix distros to make mobile versions of Debian and Arch. It inspired Ubuntu Touch to add support for Linux drivers (rather than using Android drivers with libhybris), Mobian to build the telephony stack via their eg25-manager project, Martijn Braam at postmarketOS to create the Megapixels camera app, Megi to work on the kernel support for the hardware, and Biktors to work on free/open source firmware for the EG25-G modem.

I think that the PinePhone has been a fantastic community project, but I haven’t gotten much use out of the hardware, and it looks like many of the volunteer developers that made the PinePhone a success haven’t stayed around for the PinePhone Pro and PineNote, so it is unclear how sustainable these community-based projects are. Rob assumes that the PinePhone Pro will become a usable device like the PinePhone, but I am less certain after seeing the lack of progress over the last year.

Personally, I think that PINE64 should have charged $50 more per device and used that money to pay developers to develop the drivers for the hardware and work on fundamental components like libcamera. It doesn’t make much sense to pay a distro like Manjaro when it isn’t doing much software development and not helping the other distros. The focus should have been on kernel development and the guts of Plasma Mobile, rather than distro development in my opinion, because that is putting the cart before the horse. Another problem is that much of the kernel development for the PinePhone hasn’t made it into the standard Linux kernel, which would have happened if PINE64 had paid developers in the same way that Purism did.

38:40 "Now let me talk to you about the BraX2 phone. The BraX2 phone was first sold in April of last year, so that was a year ago, and I’m definitely going to be out of BraX2 phones around June.

This to me is one of the fundamental drawbacks of Android phones and Linux phones like the Volla Phone which rely on Android drivers. Their chipsets are often only manufactured for 1.5 to 2.5 years, and then they generally only get two years of security updates after that (although credit to Apple and now Google for providing 5 years of support for their phones). By choosing a MediaTek processor, Rob is helping to promote planned obsolescence and a device that will quickly become insecure because its major kernel version is locked and it will stop getting security updates within a couple years. I don’t really disagree with Rob in his general assessment that AOSP phones are more usable than Linux phones, but I wish that he would clearly explain their drawbacks as well. Rob’s web site sells the Pixel 3a with LineageOS and the Pixel 4a with CalyxOS, but those phones are no longer getting security updates from Google, whereas NXP promises to sell the i.MX 8M Quad till Jan 2033 and will probably provide security updates for several more years after that.


To me, he sometimes misses the mark in his content…

It seems to be common that bloggers talking about the L5 give it only a very superficial and brief look-over, without reading up on the latest information or investigating how it works. Then they dismiss it as faulty, and not like Android or iOS.

It’s natural for a consumer to expect a device to work perfectly out of the box, I know, but the L5 is a completely new experience, unlike devices from phone manufacturers that have had years, and huge budgets, to work on their proprietary operating systems.


I looked at the list of what he supposedly got wrong. I don’t think he got them all wrong. Incomplete information does not mean wrong. Similarly a large wall of text doesn’t mean you are right.


What he says is true. He was never able to run it again. You clearly took his statement as an expression of “it’s not possible”. That’s not what he said. And what he said is valuable to all but the most persistent enthusiasts.

True. It locked up and he had to reboot. I don’t care if, as you say, “it usually didn’t happen immediately on the first picture” or if it would be fixed if he manually updated his phone. The phone, as received by him, had major issues with the camera.

It depends on what means by “internals of this”. In context, he’s talking about the chipset and major.minor design. The fact there were sub-minor revisions to fix bugs 1.0.* is not relevant. Why do you waste so much space in that off-topic bluster.

Also, you say:

The only other company investing in mobile Linux development is besides Purism is Jolla.

I’ve talked to you about this before. You’ve ignored “Google”. If you don’t want to include “Google” in regard to “mobile Linux development”, you should specify “GNU/Linux” instead of “Linux”.

Their chipsets are often only manufactured for 1.5 to 2.5 years, and then they generally only get two years of security updates after that (although credit to Apple and now Google for providing 5 years of support for their phones).

You’re providing out-of-date and inaccurate info … with the slightly more accurate comment being a parenthetical. Google has moved to 5 years support (from “first sale of that model” … not on chipset release) on the recent Pixel phones. Samsung has 4 years of OS Upgrades and an additional 2 years of security updates (4+2) [again, based on the “first sale of that model”]. OnePlus similarly has 4 + 1 support. Even Motorola has moved to 3+1.

You also fail to mention that Fairphone has provided 7 years of security update support for Android on their versions 2, 3 (and possibly their version 4?).

That is not correct in regard to the Pixel 4a. The Pixel 4a is still getting security updates from Google according to CalyxOS (updated July 2023). July 2023 Security update

… whereas NXP promises to sell the i.MX 8M Quad till Jan 2033 and will probably provide security updates for several more years after that.

You ignore the fact that NXP reserves the right to mitigate some vulnerabilities at the HW level instead of the SW level. It could be there is a showstopper vulnerability that NXP does not support via a software fix. Specifically NXP says as part of their “Product Longevity Program”:

  • NXP may require customers to migrate to a product that is form, fit and function compatible with the participating product.
  • NXP may make modifications to maintain security features, mitigate vulnerabilities, or both.

How long do you want to call something “Linux” that came from Linux long time ago and changed the way how it works? Is Android still Linux in 50 years, because once it came from? Even if there are just 5% original code (some day in future)? The funny thing: nobody was ever saying “my Samsung Galaxy XYZ runs Linux” until people spoke about “we have Linux phones right now”. From this point people started to say “but Android is Linux, because Google forked it decades ago”. It gets less and less important where Android came from. I don’t see any reason to stick on “Android is Linux”.

As I said in the previous thread, Braxman made a promotion video to his own product. That was no review at all. That was to show “hey look at those devices that does not work at all, buy my phone instead”. He had the phone in the hand, said “there is an in construction icon for camera, so it doesn’t work” instead of trying to run that app and that on a time where auto focus etc was already shipped. He just didn’t care to make a minimum neutral video, he just wanted to blame this device. And that was just one of those moments in the video.

Sorry people, but even if he said one or two true points, that doesn’t make it a valid review. 50% of the video was about his phone - the whole last part was just advertising his phone. It’s clear, he is a business man and not the friendly guy that tries to enlighten privacy topics. Those failures were no mistakes. Speaking about privacy and in additional selling his phone is his business (at least one … don’t know what he’s also doing). Read comments and you see it works:

Thank you for sharing your vast and deep knowledge and for your illuminating videos in this rough time.

And there are even people who said they would like to buy his “Braxx2”, because his videos are so “informative”.


Thanks Thanks @Privacy2 you are absolute right, android is Linux too. I just got tired of peoples here talking too much wrong on linux or foss or whatever. Yes amosbatto make a lot of human mistake about.

I want to say too that i really thanksful to amosbatto for all the research on Librem 5 to librem5wiki. Amosbatto it is a piece of gold for Librem 5 and community.
Amosbatto te voy a invitar un almuerzo.


It seems like the fundamental problem is that the review is wildly out of date. Basing on a phone from “a year ago” means missing out on a whole year’s worth of bug fixes and software improvements.

A review that is so out of date is not fit for purpose. Has anyone suggested to “Rob Braxman” that he redo his review?


Haven’t seen anything on comments, but I may missed some. Since I have no Google account, I can’t (but would have done otherwise).

You can use an Invidious instance to view YouTube-related content, including comments.

No. The “year ago” comment was a note about the first time he got the phone (where he turned on the phone and it died within a minute). The linked review was from May 2023 and he states:

Streamed live on May 11, 2023

Finally after ordering the year before COVID, the Purism made Librem 5, which is a Linux phone arrived a couple of weeks ago. I will show it to you and talk about it.

i.e. The review, when given, was current. In terms of “old software” … that’s only because he didn’t do an update. He reviewed the phone as he received it (approximately at the end of April).

I think you are confused. Linux is the kernel. Don’t confuse the kernel with the OS. That confusion is exactly what Stallings was referring to when he harped on calling various distros GNU/Linux distros.

Each version of Android is based on a fixed and relatively recent (at the time the Android version was constructed) Linux kernel from and is patched to help accommodate Android features. Details are here: Android common kernels  |  Android Open Source Project . For example, Android 13 was released Aug 2022 and is currently based on Linux kernel 5.15 (released Nov 1, 2021).

Make no mistake: Android currently uses the Linux kernel. Does its userland resemble what people think of in terms of their distros? No. Well that’s the difference between an OS and a kernel. The fact is that people often don’t, but should, understand how things like “kernel” + init + OS + Filesystems + DE/WM all fit together if they really want to understand the core technology. For a long while Debian distributed a version of its distro that ran on a FreeBSD kernel and a GNU userland (Debian GNU/kFreeBSD). I’ll bet you probably would have mistakenly called it Linux … because to most users it was indistinguishable.


@amosbatto Braxman reviews competing products, what could go wrong? :rofl:


No I knew that. But in fact, I didn’t knew:

I thought Google just took it once and made their own thing from that point. In this case: sorry for my misinformation and thanks for your explanation! It doesn’t happen often that I am that kind of wrong.

PS: yes, I mixed the words with Android above - so it was not clear that I know the first part, sorry also for this.

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Librem 5 = Linux 6.3

Both claims are correct. Google took the mainline Linux kernel and made it their own thing. Nowadays, they keep their changes in a long-lived branch called android-mainline.

It’s also true that Google keeps merging newer mainline Linux releases into android-mainline from time to time. That, however, doesn’t change the fact that it’s a modified version of the Linux kernel.


When a respected tech commentator who is an expert on security phones reviews a phone and says “then I was never able to run it again” and “the camera does not work”, most people assume that he took the time to investigate and verify the problems that he sees. They assume that he tried the obvious things like holding down the power button for 20 seconds when booting and checking the status LED to make sure the battery had a charge and that he bothered to try using the camera software several times to check whether it always crashed. When I have a problem with a device, I always do an internet search to check the status of the problem and see if there is a solution, but it doesn’t appear that Braxman bothered to even spend 30 seconds doing a Google search about the problems he found.

What Braxman did is not “valuable to all but the most persistent enthusiasts,” because it provides an inaccurate representation of the state of the L5 and its usefulness for anyone who might be thinking of buying it. There is a huge difference between occasionally having to hold down the Power button for 20 seconds to start the phone and a power failure in the hardware or a firmware bug that prevents it from booting. Likewise, there is a huge difference between a camera app occasionally crashing and phone whose camera can’t be used, yet Braxman made no effort to investigate, so people don’t know what he encountered, which is sloppy and irresponsible journalism in my opinion.

I am simply following the standard convention of using “Linux” to refer to the OS and “Linux kernel” to talk about the kernel. I wish that RMS had stuck to his initial position and called it “Lignux” since that might have caught on, but few people use the term “GNU/Linux”, and it is becoming even less common now that GTK and GNOME are no longer part of GNU.

Given that chip makers have to make separate drivers for Android and Linux and none of the leading-edge mobile SoCs support Linux, we can safely say that the Android kernel is not the same as the Linux kernel. I wish that they were the same, since it would eliminate the enormous performance gap between Android and Linux phones.

1.5 - 2.5 years of manufacturing plus 2 years afterwards equals 3.5 - 4.5 years of support. Most low-end and mid-range phones are not getting longer support than that. The situation has gotten better for the flagships, but Samsung is only offering 4+2 for its high-end S and Z lines and few A models. Likewise, Motorola is offering 3+1 support for its high-end Edge+ (2023), but not for the lower-range models that form the vast majority of its sales.

The other thing to keep in mind is that almost none of the Android phones that get OS upgrades will ever get a kernel upgrade, because the chipset manufacturers generally don’t release new drivers for later kernels. An Android phone that gets 3 OS upgrades and 2 additional years of security updates is going to be using a patched kernel that is 6 years old. The standard practice is for each version of Android to support only support 3 years of LTS kernels, so maybe Samsung will offer kernel upgrades in the future in order to support 4 years of OS upgrades or maybe Google has committed to supporting 4 years of LTS kernels in future versions of Android.

The Pixel 4a was only supported by Google for 3 years from 20 Aug 2020 to 19 Aug 2023. CalyxOS says that it will support the Pixel 4a until Feb 2024, but I doubt that it will be able to provide security updates for the specific hardware in the Pixel 4a if Google isn’t providing it.

In his comments, Braxman was comparing how PINE64 was updating its phone, whereas Purism wasn’t. I wanted to point out that Purism was fixing the hardware problems in the L5, whereas PINE64 hadn’t fixed the hardware problems that the community has been complaining about in the PinePhone. (Also worth pointing out that the Librem Liberty is a hardware upgrade in terms of RAM and eMMC, although it was announced after Braxman did his review.) At any rate, the PinePhone Pro still isn’t a usable device, so Braxman’s comments about upgrading to it didn’t make much sense.


I forgot to answer:
I’m already using Invidious to watch YouTube and I can read comments (read the post #5 where I quote such comment). I just tried to say I didn’t find a comment that tells Braxman, that he’s wrong when I have read comments.

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Another wall of text!

The short answer is that the standard should be whether what he said was “true” or “false”. Most of what he said was true. The only two errors you mentioned that I agree with was his assertion about the camera not working [ 8:20 “The camera does not work” ] and the assertion about whether schematics were FOSS in regard to Pine64 vs. Purism.

It’s a common misuse, but that doesn’t mean it’s correct. Linux is not an OS; it’s a kernel. That is not just RMS’s view, it’s the view of the FSF. One can talk about a Linux-based OS … but that is simply an OS with a Linux kernel and you would need to include Android. Also, the Linux Foundation explicitly says that Android is a Linux Distribution. Since the LF controls the TM for Linux, they are the arbiter of what is meant by Linux and so you are just wrong.

My main point is that no Android phone vendor bases support on “chipset release”. It’s based on phone release date. Many, if not most (Samsung is the largest seller), Android phones sold today have 5+ years support.

You have the burden of proof for that statement. I believe it’s incorrect. It’s not my experience and Quora also disagrees:

Your introduction indicated that you were documenting where Braxman was wrong ( You said: " I found so many details to be wrong, that I decided to document them …"). The fact is that Purism hasn’t done anything except bugfix sub-minor revisions to the HW. i.e. Braxman’s statement was true.

The context was the comparison with Pine64 where they have released the Pinephone Pro that uses a completely different chipset.

  1. The Librem Liberty hadn’t been released at the time of the stream (May 2023).

  2. The Librem Liberty has the same chipset. I don’t think that anyone would characterize the different RAM options for the original pinephone as “changed internals”. That’s similarly true for the Liberty. Braxmann clearly talking about chipsets and is probably referring to Purism’s promise of Fir. Recall that Weaver announced Fir in Sept 2019 as “Hardware: 14nm Next Generation CPU”, “Mechanical Design: Version 2” and “Shipping Window: Q4 2020”. The shipping window for Fir is 3 years late!!!


He put out the phone, said he had no time to test it. His experience is from a device he got one year before in his hands … which he could not use after a minute. But he knows that “it’s very hard to turn it off” or that “the functionality is very limited” [6:50 both]. After that he spoke about camera - you already agreed.

Next he argued the last version could stay alive for 8 hours without charging and even if he didn’t say something wrong on the next sentence, he made a bias. He thinks the “current version” is not even better on battery life. He didn’t lie, because he didn’t know and because he did not take one or two minutes to search for it. At that point (I got my phone 1 or 2 weeks before this video) my phone stayed awake even much longer without suspend enabled. A quick research and he wouldn’t speak about “thoughts” that are one year old.

Btw, he is also saying “this is Android (shows Braxx device) and this is Linix (shows L5)”. Just a side node. :yum:

Then he’s speaking about “Android is really fast, L5 is really slow” (which is correct for current gens) and then he wanted to show this by swiping app grid up and down and said “look how slow L5 is”… all he changed was swiping fingers much slower. I mean I cannot see any difference in speed on swiping a scrolled-window-box element. I may see it on app start times or heavy processing stuff. But not on that what he showed.

“So many bugs here” (not totally wrong) … “I crashed camera, I crashed settings, you probably crash everything here” … like all the phone can do is crashing. Yeah, settings can hang if you go out of settings and do something like enable suspend. Yeah suspend is still experimental (but he didn’t know it even exists). But how much crashs do we really have? Most of the bugs are minor issues.

“You can use it only in a very minimum way … browsing, texting, calling … and you always have to keep it plugged in”. We all know that we have no Android apps that runs without a bit additional effort, but we have the whole desktop Debian stuff we can use. Music, taking pictures and videos, watching videos, coding, painting, gaming (at least a little amount - I know not much compared to Android) and even more “crazy” stuff. I don’t feel limited.

I’m now at 15min of 90min of the video. To make not a total wall of text and also save my own time, I make a cut right here. I just wanted to show that these are many little things. Nobody cares if he was wrong in one or two points. But it’s a mass of such points and the way he is talking about. Not one minute time to research anything, but a huge opinion.


Funny enough, the Linux Foundation also says “Linux kernel” to specify when it is talking about just the kernel and says “Linux operating system” when it wants to talk about the OS, so the LF doesn’t assume that people know that “Linux” means just the kernel. For example see this article on the LF’s web site:

The Linux Foundation: It’s not just the Linux operating system
Jason Perlow | 02 March 2020
In April of 1991, while as an undergraduate student at the University of Helsinki, Linus Torvalds began a personal project to create a free operating system. In August of that year, he announced the project to the comp.os.minix newsgroup requesting input on features.
The rest, of course, is history. In the past 30 years, the Linux kernel and its surrounding userspace tools have become the most popular open source operating system in the entire world.

This is hard to verify without getting your hands on a phone and checking with uname -a what kernel is running, because most phone manufacturers don’t publicize this info. However, I have upgraded half a dozen phones with LineageOS since 2015, and not a single one of them changed their major version number in the kernel. The Fairphone 2 got 7.5 years of support, which is longer than any other smartphone. It used Android kernel 3.4.0 for Android 5.1 - 7.1 and kernel 3.4.113 for Android 10 - 11.

I conducted a workshop for how to install LineageOS a couple years ago. Before we did the installation, I told everyone to install a terminal to check what version of the kernel they had installed and asked them how many OS upgrades they had on their phones. There were about 30 phones in the workshop which had had OS upgrades and not a single one was running the latest LTS kernel supported by their version of Android.

The Pixel 5 with Android 13 is using kernel 4.19 (which was originally released on 22 Oct 2018 by As I pointed out to strcat (aka Daniel Micay), GrapheneOS isn’t upgrading the kernel for the Pixel 3a:

I downloaded the Pixel 3a’s “bonito” kernel (GitHub - GrapheneOS-Archive/device_google_bonito-kernel: Pixel 3a and 3a XL kernel prebuilts.) and I see that it is using kernel version 4.9.292. Mainline Linux 4.9.292 was released on 2021-12-08 and 4.9.0 was released on 2016-12-11. Call me crazy but I prefer to use an up-to-date mainline kernel rather than one that is over 5 years old and takes 3 months to get the latest security patches from

So far I haven’t been able to find a single Android phone which has had a major number upgrade of its kernel by the manufacturer.