Rob Braxman's review of the Librem 5

It might be best if you remember that this thread started with @amosbatto insulting Rob Braxman. I found his criticism inaccurate, insulting, and also containing errors. That is why I pointed out some of amosbatto’s inaccuracies and errors (as well as his unsupported assertions). As expected, amosbatto doesn’t deal well with criticism about his own errors. Perhaps you haven’t seen it before, but I’ve seen and dealt with it repeatedly.

No, there is no insult of Rob Braxman in the original post.

Perhaps the original post (fairly or not) portrays Braxman’s review of the L5 in a poor light, but that is different than name-calling, which you have done in this thread. I think it is not too much to ask to be more respectful than that.

  1. insult = speak to or treat with disrespect. Here are some examples of amosbatto being insulting to Rob.

a. “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.”

b. “If Rob had bothered to do a simple web search, …”

c. …

  1. You’ve changed goalposts from “insulting” to “namecalling”. For the most part “insulting” is basically implied name-calling. e.g. Here is the implied name-calling of the examples I gave in 1.a. (he’s basically saying Rob is “uninformed”) and 1.b. (he’s basically saying Rob is “lazy”). Similarly anyplace where I’ve been insulting is, IMO, simply implied name-calling. But since you might find them different, please provide quotes from me where I said anything about amosbatto beyond the truth of how I feel about him and why (e.g. that I find him to be irritating — which describes how I feel when interacting with him).

Why is this kind of garbage necessary? Can we stay classy? Does insulting someone really help the conversation?

Repeated as it is needed.

I’m also not going to argue with you about the differences here. You want to quarrel? Have fun with that without me. My guess is that in person, none of this bickering would have even started.

The point of this thread should be the truth of the matter and the enlightment of those participating. Not name calling and childish antics.


Yes. But I don’t know if that’s going to happen.

For example, amosbatto said “My point is that Android is incompatible with Linux because they can’t share drivers, so it isn’t correct to say that the Android kernel is Linux.” Once I pointed out that the whole point of libhybris is to allow mainline Linux (with the same version) to use Android drivers … I haven’t heard anything substantive from anyone.

Perhaps I should point out that amosbatto had asserted similar things when he interacted with GrapheneOS devs (?Micay). This was from two years ago on Aug 28:

[amosbatto] First of all, the Librem 5 is using Linux drivers and a Linux kernel, but GrapheneOS is designed to run on Android drivers and an Android kernel.

[graphenos] GrapheneOS uses the Linux kernel and Linux kernel drivers, like AOSP. AOSP also works fine with mainline kernels.

[amosbatto] NXP supports Android on the i.MX 8M Quad, and I think it likely that there are Android drivers for all the hardware in the L5 (RS9116 WiFi, BM818 modem, Teseo-LIV3F GNSS, VCNL4040M3OE-H5 light sensor, WM8962 audio DAC, STM32L432KC Cortex-M4, etc.), but it would be a lot of work to get all of it working in Android.

[grapheneos] It needs a proper HAL (Treble) implementing the appropriate APIs not new drivers.

[My aside: when he says HAL or Treble … the core of these is libhybris. i.e. the drivers can and should be shared because they are using the same underlying kernel.]

And in a different exchange on the same thread:

[amosbatto] The chip manufacturers (NXP, Rockchip, etc.) provide separate drivers for Android and Linux, because there are differences in things like power management and low-level graphics, and Google’s patches to the Linux kernel have introduced some differences from the Linux API.

[grapheneos] Android is a Linux distribution. The distinction you’re trying to make doesn’t exist. Android works fine with mainline kernels and drivers. It doesn’t require any Android-specific patches. It’s optional to use the Android common kernels as the base instead of the LTS releases. The advantage of the Android common kernel is that they backport far more bug fixes and also security, performance and other features while maintaining the same kernel ABI through the LTS branch.

When someone continues to say the same things after being told by an expert where he was wrong two years ago, I’m going to say that it’s hopeless. Yes, I hope others learn, but I haven’t seen anyone else giving substantive comments or questions.

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Is SuperClear. Thanks @Privacy2 for the research.
But also technically speaking the Librem 5 it is not a Linux phone but a Gnu phone, why? Librem 5 it is not using Linux driver but Gnu-Linux-driver, so that is why i calling Gnu phone to Librem 5 and that is why i support Librem5 and Purism because Gnu.the-true-os-freedom. :wink:

The bad calling Linux instead Gnu/Linux most come from Linux Enterprise through Opensource, etc.

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Are you referring to hardware drivers?


People might believe Braxmans review is relevant to todays L5. Braxmans review is totally not relevant. Braxman may as well have reviewed L5 Birch. I use my L5 daily. Everything works.
Yes there are times I run commands from Terminal under sudo which I suspect is beyond a lot of people but they can stick to Google or Apple. I love the privacy afforded by my Librem 5.


Why do you say that? He was reviewing a recently shipped L5 that was shipped to him, apparently, April 2023. As is common, he reviewed the phone “as shipped” (which included the camera app being an “under construction” release).

Did you watch the whole review? What did you disagree with?

He was showing the shipped phone, but he was not reviewing this. As I said earlier in this discussion, he was speaking about his outdated knowledge without testing the device of April 2023 and without researching for new information.

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He was showing and using the shipped phone. Was he tainted by earlier experiences (e.g. “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.”)? Probably. Was he tainted by having alternatives he wanted to sell? Probably.

However, the comments and review were for the phone as he received it. What did he say about the phone he received that wasn’t relevant? For example, on the phone as he received it, he “took a picture and the sucker hung”. It needed a reboot before it would work. For most people that’s just a “no go”. For others, they would expect him to do an update and upgrade before judging.

I’m not fond of Braxman (I haven’t seen any video from him that left me with any confidence that he really knows what he’s talking about), but I do find his review relevant for those who are deciding between something like LineageOS, CalyxOS, or GrapheneOS on a modern device and a Librem 5. Does he have a few errors? Sure. But I do think that a lot of what he says is relevant.

Woah really? I even made a long post here to show that he is just speaking about the past. I got my device 2 weeks before he was live-streaming his content and that’s why I know exactly what was working and what was not at this time. He would never speak such amount of bullshit if he would made a real review of the device he got at this time!

With “he was showing” I included that he also booted the device … but what he did was nothing more than logging into Phosh. Saying “that does not work” without trying those apps or “Librem 5 is slow” while doing nothing more than smoothly scrolling the app grid at the fingers speed (wtf) …

Stop telling he’s speaking about the current device if he does not. That’s a fact, no opinion!

I have no problem if people say “Librem 5 is slower compared to Android” and show real use cases like app starts or how bad it perform on games like SuperTuxCart compared to other devices (also available for Android) etc. It is also okay if he showed camera app and wouldn’t be happy with the auto settings or what ever. There is no issue with fair critics … but the whole “review” was not even close to be fair.


Can’t we just conclude that comparing an L5 to those other ones, is like comparing a real electric guitar to guitar hero interface ‘guitars’?

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As I previously replied: He made one comment about his experience with an earlier phone. AFAIU, all the rest was his experience with the phone he received in Apr 2023 (presumably) and reviewed May 2023.

Did you do an apt update and apt upgrade? He didn’t. He reviewed it as received. It’s fair and it might provide a different experience than you had, don’t you think?

When a phone and OS is glitchy, one must presume that someone else’s experience might be different than your own. Some people have had issues with antennae not being connected. Even phones from the same batch might behave differently. When you acknowledge that, you might reconsider saying "He would never speak such amount of bullshit … ".

It’s quite clear that his camera app locked up on his new phone (received in April). That may not happen to everyone, but he says it happened to him and I believe him.

Stop telling he’s speaking about the current device if he does not. That’s a fact, no opinion!

As I’ve pointed out before, the phone he received a year ago is not the one he is currently reviewing. One doesn’t review a phone now that ran for one minute a year ago and he can’t get to turn back on. That’s not what he’s doing. He’s reviewing the phone that he says he received “a couple weeks ago” (presumably April 2023). It’s the phone he’s holding up when he talks about the camera.

“This is not the first Librem 5 I’ve handled. Someone actually gave me a Librem 5. A year ago? I think? It ran for like, I don’t know, one minute. And then I was never able to run it again. I don’t know how to run it. I plugged it in. And other than that I don’t know how to run it. So, I don’t know if I was doing something wrong …”.

That old phone is not the phone he’s reviewing. It’s clear. He says he is reviewing the device he received in April and holds it up several times to reflect which phone he is reviewing. Stop calling him a liar if you don’t have any proof.

“So this one (holding up the one he received a few weeks ago), I was able to turn it on. It’s very hard to turn it on. There’s quite a few steps. And it’s just the way they’ve configured it to use Linux on mobile … and I’ll get into that in a second here. There’s limited functionality here really. I was kind of angry when I first got it. Just playing around with it. … What do most people do with a phone? OK, let me take a picture. And then I take a picture. (Holding up the phone he just received). The sucker hung. I couldn’t log in. And I had to wait for it to discharge for me to reboot it. …”

To me, and I wager most native English speakers, it’s completely clear that the review is for the phone he’s holding up and the one he received “a couple weeks ago”. Perhaps you’re confused about the “when I first got it”. There I’m pretty sure he was talking about “a couple weeks ago”. But look at the camera app. It’s still got a “under construction” banner. He points that out and says “true enough … it doesn’t work”.

No. Why should we conclude that?

  1. The device is shipped up to date.
  2. He knows more about Linux than I do, but he is not able to update it via GUI (store app) or via terminal?
  3. If he’s true with all his “experience”, why did he avoid it to show us? It’s not clear that the camera app locked up when he didn’t show that this happens. And as he said the app icon he was really surprised how it looks … he looked like it was the first time he started the device (also said something similar if I remember correctly).

Also answer the question: Why he was speaking more about Braxx 2 on a Librem 5 review than about Librem 5? That title was not “Librem 5 vs Braxx 2” or similar. Don’t be naive. This was a video on his own interests.

I didn’t say in last 2 posts his knowledge come from that device one year ago. I said his knowledge is very much outdated at that point. And I said I got my device on same time and knew that a lot of things worked out of the box without updating. The only important thing that changed was the auto settings on camera app and the disabled auto rotation on lock screen. But taking photos was working long time before.

I’m not confused. I just make a difference between what he’s saying “got it couple weeks ago” and what he is arguing (all that really really outdated stuff).

And maybe another important point:
He is not just a private customer who made a video about his first thoughts like this guy. He is creating 2 videos each week (one common video, one live stream) with a company behind. He’s a professional and has to keep higher standards. I mean at least higher standards than what he actually does on that specific video. In past he actually did much better. He also said sentence like “don’t get the Librem 5 - you hate it”, but in a context that was well researched. He knows how to research well if he wants to…


Then why is there a “under construction” listed on the camera application? My impression was that an update in May 2023 would have fixed that. If so, then the phone was not sent with up-to-date software.

Who says he knows more about Linux that you do?

I’m going to let this pass since you are probably not a native English speaker. Clearly you read my comment wrong. Either way, I don’t appreciate the passive-aggressive response.

To “experience” something is to have “practical contact with and observation of facts or events.” To say that someone had a “different experience” is to say that they had “different outcomes”. You interpreted my comment to imply he was “more experienced”. That’s not what I said.

I already did. As I said earlier in this thread:

OK. Because I took your text to be confused about whether he was reviewing the phone he got recently, vs. the one he got a year previous.

His camera app crashed and required a reboot. Do you expect a reviewer to ignore that? I don’t. Not only that, I think that such issues on a $1200 phone is horrible. I expect him to say that the camera app doesn’t work like it should and to warn people. His Librem 5 was warm/hot and was not going to have Android level battery life. That’s just true. The SoC isn’t very efficient and suspend is/was “experimental”. [Aside: I have a 3000mAh battery in my Android phone … and with one 5000mAh battery pack I get amazing battery life. I used it backpacking and I got more than 6 days of use of the GPS+maps, Camera (over 100 photos), and periodic text messaging when cell service was available. ]

Or maybe you just don’t like what he said and are judging the quality based on your own prejudices???

It never has changed. My current up-to-date phone still has that “under construction” icon he was speaking about.

Did you check his other videos? I am a Linux beginner and haven’t used Linux for 8 years and learned more about Linux on Librem 5 than I learned all my life before.

Sorry for that, but it makes me angry that someone tells bullshit (with kinda purpose) and other people defend it. I’m trying to be more friendly.

No, I got you right. I’m just sure he is more experienced after watching his channel and that he is even able to create an own product I’m not able to do. But I understood that you was speaking about the user experience with this product. I just can’t agree that he took time playing with it - not after such review.

I know user experience can be different. He can have bugs I never run into. But again, why he didn’t show us? And why he didn’t even took 1 or 2 minutes to research some points? The video I linked in last post was so well researched - where he took a lot of time with less information online. Here it looks like he did nothing.

Again, I would demonstrate it. What’s the point of a live review, but not live demonstrating bugs? Sorry, but I can’t trust him the way he build up the whole video. At the end he may just forgot to switch on HKS for camera and tells “app is not working”. But I don’t think that he would even care with all that self advertisement in this video.

I mean the start with thickness comparison was totally fine. It’s totally fine that he also speaks about his phone, so don’t get me wrong. And it’s also not about a single wrong point or that he spoke a bit too much about his phone. It’s everything together. You can have an excuse for every single thing he’s speaking about. But it’s not trustworthy in the whole.

Btw, I watched again and he said “I got my phone 2 weeks ago” - exactly the same week I got my device (checked my mail). So at least software was on same state without updating. He paid 650$ btw.

Don’t even try to speak in this way, you will loose that fight. The bold part above is the main reason, nothing else. And there is nothing further away from my personality than being something like a fan girl/boy of any product.


If you want to buy the Rob Braxman phone, watch the Rob Braxman review. If you want a neutral review, free of self-interest, look elsewhere :slight_smile: