So it has shipped. Where are the reviews?

The librem 5 is out. Has anyone reviewed it or said anything about it yet? How many have actually been put out there into the real world??




this is not even a hands on video :slight_smile:

As if we shouldn’t see it all. Kinda disappointing.

we should see a full review soon.

I expect reviews are still about a month away.
But you can have a look at the software on my channel.

</shameless plug>

It was a great video up until he ended with

For some who may mistakenly think this is a phone that will fully replace your iPhone or Android on day 1 the Librem 5 may feel like a step backward but in reality it’s a giant leap forward… Get this phone.

This was a really weak ending to an otherwise good sales pitch. It’s essentially saying “some people think X, but they’re wrong.” Any high schooler tasked with writing a persuasive essay can tell you this is not a particularly compelling argument.


@Jt0 I’ll take “genuine” and “transparent” over “compelling” any day. Marketing BS from literally every other company is the main reason this product has my interest. I’m 100% okay with them making that statement at the end!!! And I know it to be true. I, for example, need watsap for my work (sadly) and I know this isn’t going to be overcome any time early.

BUT I don’t think reviews should be 1 month away (as said above by @hackersgame) . And if they are, I feel perhaps Purism hasn’t been as transparent as they pretended to be. Suppose they didn’t meet their Q3 deadline. Instead they pretend to, send out about 5 or 10 phones and call it “the first batch Aspen”. That’s hardly genuine. I’m not suggesting they did that? But if no-one answers my question about how many have been sent out, and then no reviews hit the internet, I’m going to be awfully suspicious.


No reason to wait that long.
For detailed review it usually takes around 7-10 days of use - as a daily driver.
For a detailed hands-on takes 1 day. Or rather day of delivery.

And for a comment on the quality of the case, the feel of the buttons, the responsiveness of the screen etc it takes about 1 second. So if that doesn’t hit the internet like today or tomorrow…well…that probably wont be consistent with what we’ve been told…

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In that case, it means that they just shipped a very small number to associates and trying to use that time to test ir. Regular consumer, wouldbe all over this phone - video, showing every little thing. This guy diesn look like one .
It should have been a prototype unit anyway - if it wasn’t for this deadline pressure.
I’m OK with that too. Just wish , it was communicated differently.
As long as it gets the basic job done , we should be all happy :slight_smile:


It could very well be that so far only a hand full are out the door. Nothing wrong with that. Rather have good QA than rush it.
Keep in mind, the Aspen window is one month. Clearly they will ship several hundreds. Give 'em some time :grinning:

Two things I’m certain of:

  • the usual suspects for reviews were not Aspen backers
  • Purism has little reason to give out testing samples right now
    • they have enough pre-orders to ship until Q2/Q3 2020
    • every week the prouct gets better - why now review something that new customers will never see?

It could be less than a month, but they do have a window here. Even if they send out one phone on September 30th it “shipped” Q3. Even so, the last thing purism said was Aspen would ship September 24th – October 22nd. I’m guessing most Aspen phones will be sent out near the end of that window. People close to the project are getting them now. (At least the chairperson… So jealous)


Because customers can interpret the review in the context of this fact. And also because when reviews hit the internet, a lot more money is going to flow into purism. The fact that they have defined which aspects of the product will improve with time is great. But I still want a review to tell me where the project is really up to. So far all I have is information from purism, who appear to be honest and transparent and have impressed me so far. But I still want information from an external independent source before I place an order at all. I know I wont be the only person waiting for this - there will be an influx of orders once the internet has this.


I’ll give you genuine, but Purism has been anything but transparent these past few months. I’m happy at the progress they’ve made, but we had almost no updates on the hardware development after April until July or August. I bought the phone in January under the impression that it would be shipping within the month, then shipping was delayed until April, and then shipping was delayed by “one quarter” which ended up meaning prototype versions of the phone were given to the chairman of the board and various Purism employees, but none of the backers outside of Purism, days before the end of Q3. The “runs on Librem 5” video series was supposed to “look at something new running on the Librem 5 dev kit every single day” which proceeded to skip several days at a time until it was quietly retired before August was halfway through. The video series never gave any more insight into shipping than “in Q3,” which was strange considering the entire series took place in Q3.

In a forum post in August, Nicole implied that the mechanical design of the phone wasn’t yet complete, then went silent when asked if the design was complete yet. Now Purism is claiming that phones are shipping, but apparently nobody who doesn’t work for Purism has even been asked which modem they would like. I’m keeping my preorder because I want the phone and I believe in what Purism is trying to accomplish, but as far as I’m concerned Purism has failed to meet a third shipping deadline for all practical purposes, and I’ll hold that opinion unless someone gets an email with a tracking number for shipment on Monday.


If all the Librem 5 does is to make calls, browse the internet, give me a working bash prompt, and lock those bastards at google and verizon out of my private business, I’ll be happy. I think we can expect a lot more than that from the Librem 5 in the long run. A lot of people are going to expect a lot more in the early stages, no matter what it does. If I were Purism, I would be careful about everything I said too, given these conditions and some people’s unrealistic expectations. I believe that what Purism has told us is more likely to be true than not true. Purism is taking big risks and are accomplishing great things. I figure that I’ll know a lot more about this phone, long before my deadline to refute the credit card charges expires. But in fairness to Purism, I think the bar to measure their success needs to be measured based more on privacy and freedom, and possibly less on the features we have come to expect on our Android or Apple phones that we use now. I expect modest reports on the technical front and a revolutionary breakthrough on privacy and autonomy features, and still a huge increase in demand when these modest features are reviewed and reported on. That’s pretty much all they have claimed so far. We might be pleasantly surprised.


Several hundreds in the Aspen batch? What makes you think that, have Purism said anything about the number of Aspen phones?

I agree that it’s quite possible no package to an “external backer” is shipped before the end of Q3. We don’t know. But obviously it exists and works. Sure, more transparency would be nice.
But honestly, after two years I don’t really care about a week more or less.
That’s a drip of water on the grand scheme of things.
(Also, as I ordered in Oct 2017, I’ll not get an Aspen anyway :wink: )

Besides, those who assume the batch must be very small,
somehow overlook that the Aspen shipping window continues until Oct. 22nd.
So, the assumption they made like a dozen Aspen and gave it to their employees puzzles me.
If they only manage to assemble 10 a day, it would be easily 200+ Aspen devices, but that seems a low estimate.

Certainly, something is holding them back, maybe a pending bugfix. I’d rather have them do it right than caving in to the pressure.

It makes total sense that they don’t tell the batch size yet. First, they didn’t know beforehand how many really want it. But the main point is, I guess, scaling up assembly.
And QA!
Maybe they got 50 assembled in the first week. Maybe it’ll be 100 in the second week.
Due to those effects, Aspen might be less than 1000, but in general they have to ship about 1000 a month to clear the preorders in the envisiond timeframe.


For some it could be the last drip of patience tbh. There’s nothing wrong at being honest and say smth alike ‘we just want to make sure the HW is at state it won’t require RMA in the future and it takes us longer than anticipated due to this and that issue, here’s tracker, bear with us, stay tuned.’
I understand RMA (replacement) is what killed many startups but concealing it may actualy cause more RMA (refunds) and thus same consequences.


I think exactly the same thing


My point was, it is unreasonable to expect all of Aspen to be shipped within the first 4 of 20 business days in the shipping window.
For a batch size of 200…1000, they should push out 10…50 per day on average, and likely considerably less in the first days.
Maybe they shipped a handful, and maybe some are already delivered, but only in CA.
Certainly the first ones (or rather all of Aspen) go to the earliest and most faithful of backers and not to reviewers. I also don’t expect many of the privacy minded early backers to put unbox videos on YouTube…

I backed this not because I desperately want to hold it in my hands, but because it needs to exist, so that in a few years RYF phones are available to everyone.


If this was meant to be a prototype (had to be :)) which under the deadline pressure turned into “consumer - early backer device” , they could still treat it as such. All big OEMs even when the final hardware is ready and OS is 99.9 polished, still won’t allow reviewers to go public , until they are sure all bugs they find important are ironed out.
They basically have a legally enforced ban, lifted on a specific date.
That’s something Purism overlooked. Perhaps, they should have made this “ban” as a condition for all of the impatient backers , willing to deal with bugs in the first place. You can’t assume that all of the enthusiasts gonna be careful what they publish. Even with best intentions in mind, they can cause serious PR damage.
To me, this was a rushed decision.