Take the phone or ask for a refund?

Hi everyone,

after almost 4 years I finally got the email asking to confirm my shipping address.

What does that email really mean in terms of schedule? After answering it - can I expect to receive the phone in days or few weeks or is this just the beginning of yet another months-long waiting period?

I really wanted this phone badly 4 years ago, but now that it’s in sight I’m wondering if I should take it or ask for a refund instead. Apart from the money - I’d like to avoid wasting that much money for something that doesn’t leave my desk drawer because it’s unusable.

I might add that I’m really just fine with any issues that can be solved by software updates.

But my primary points of concern are:

  • The thought of carrying a device that is that bulky and heavy is kind of weird. What’s your impression? I had hoped for it to be shrinked about in the last badge as that was said to be a possibility.
  • The other thing is the battery life. I have my doubts that they will be able to optimize it that much that it can get me through a day like other stock phones. Is the “suspend” topic that’s discussed here a possible game changer?
  • CPU and RAM are sized like 4 years ago. My current phone has more than twice that amount. And judging from desktop Linux - its needs seem to develop with newer hardware, too… so how much future does that hardware configuration have?

Hoping for your input.

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Hi @jens.
I would advise you to just browse all of the most recent Librem5 threads. I’m sure you will find answers to your questions and concerns, as these things have been discussed ad nauseum.

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If you ask me, just take the phone :wink:

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I struggled with this same question and finally decided to take the phone. It’s be a couple weeks since I received Purism’s address confirmation but, I think it is because I ordered a SIMple sim card I’ve not heard back from them.
I decided to take the phone because it is the best choice for privacy and security and also because of convergence to use as a desktop device (I’m retired and home 99% of the time).
If you have these same concerns -privacy, security, convergence, and love to tinker with your devices, then, yes take the phone. On the other hand, if these are not your concerns and/or you use many apps and need a “standard”, “normal” phone then go for the refund.


It was a couple weeks between that email and delivery of the phone for me (I’m in the US). If you don’t want the phone after all, I think you’ll have better luck selling it versus asking for a refund.


happy to tell you that the first issue is a non issue for me. never bothered me how thick the device was- shocking at first but feels nice and solid, well built

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In person you might find it bulkier and heavier than you would expect. So, if you have not seen it in person, then expect it even bulkier and heavier than you imagine. This is not necessarily something bad, it is just that it is definitely different than other mainstream smartphones.

Battery life:
With 4500 mA, the battery has actually larger capacity than most smartphones on the market. For comparison iPhone 14 has a 3279 mA battery.
The problem is that the Librem 5 is very power hungry. Maybe this will improve with time. The suspend is still experimental. I have not tried it yet and intend to wait until it is declared as stable. At the moment there are people who experience problems with the experimental suspend (for example not always waking up upon receiving a phone call).
The battery life is possibly one of the weakest points of Librem 5 at the moment.

Don’t expect an Android / iPhone experience.
The great benefit of Librem 5 lies in you having control over the device instead of Google or Apple having control over the device. The question is how much comfort you are willing to sacrifice in order to get this freedom. If RAM and battery life matter to you more than freedom, then maybe this is not the smartphone for you.

We are all looking forward to a Waydroid release in the following weeks that would allow to emulate Android inside Librem 5 and this would be mega cool as this would be real sandboxing of mainstream apps with doubtful trustworthiness like for example Whatsapp.

I am happy with my Librem 5 but this obviously a device that will not suit everyone and it is up to your individual priorities. If you don’t need the money, you could always carry 2 smartphones with 2 sim cards with you and try to use as many functions as possible on the Librem 5 and gradually see what will be left on a regular phone. I think at the moment the second phone would be useful in the following areas:

  1. Popular messenger apps that have no release for ARM Linux (will be solved to a large degree with Waydroid).
  2. Banking apps.
  3. Video calls in popular messengers (can be solved, but it might take years).
  4. Autofocus on the camera.

autofocus, auto white balance, auto brightness, apply auto filters based on composition theme such as bleach bypass when high dynamic contrast is needed (think photographing a dark forest with the bright cloudy sky above)

First of all - thanks a lot for your impressions! I’m happy to read even more.

I don’t care about convergence, but privacy and security do matter a lot to me. It’s just that I think alternative Android distributions like Lineage OS variants or in my case iode have come a very long way. Without Google services or their apps installed and a stack of two different firewalls I don’t really feel spied apon anymore.

I was afraid that might be a possibility…

Because Purism will try to refuse a refund or because you think I could sell it for more than my 599$ price?

Not very encouraging :sweat_smile:
Reminds me of my old HTC Tytn: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTC_TyTN
But at least its thickness came with a physical keyboard.

No, don’t at all. As I said I can live with practically every downside that can be solved by updates in the future. That’s why size, weight, RAM and battery life made me consider it twice. Battery life will probably the only one of those which could be solved.

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Based on what I’ve read on these forums, it will be a bigger pain to get the refund than the phone. If it was me, I’d just take it and sell it if you don’t want it, or keep it just in case. I’m glad I got mine, even though it’s not daily driver ready for me. The software is constantly improving and having an Apple/Google free phone is quite satisfying.

Also, You might change your mind and regret not accepting it. Your money was long spent, so it’s not costing you extra to receive.

My 2 cents

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Well, that is the thing. Do you really trust the hardware on which the AOSP Fork runs?
Librem 5 is potentially a different animal. If you don’t trust the 2 biggest sources of risk - the LTE module or the WiFi/BT module, you could physically remove them.


InShort: Librem 5 it is not for you, go for Apple,Google,Windows,Whatever.

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They won’t refuse it, but there’s no telling when you’d get it. And you’d probably get more than $599 if you sold it.

Take the phone and save it for Antiques Roadshow!


I can tell you about my experience with Librem 5.
Today I’m really disappointed for it.
I loved the ‘idea’ and I dind’t expected a ‘super phone’. But a phone a least with a battery management that would allow me to use it for some days. This is impossible; it doesn’t reach the 24 hours (after years of development). This is the biggest issue of the phone. There are others like GPS, bluetooth connection, updates with repository. I put it on the desk, hoping one day to download a software update that will fix at least the battery management. Now I’m using a Vollaphone22 with a dual boot: Android (without Google) and Ubuntu Touch. the battery is removable by the user. Really more a affordable and easy for a person that is not a software technician. To solve many issue with Librem5, you need to have software knowledge. This is a fact.


I would say since for me at least suspend works and the last kernel updates have significantly lowered the operating temperature of the phone and increased overall run times. 5-6 hours is what i get with normal use and maybe 7 hours 100% -> 55% when just suspended. So in theory from 100% -> 5% it should maybe be around 10-11 hours. Before it didnt last 2-3 hours so i call that a huge improvement.


With suspend, mine went from 98% to 14% over 12 hours, with no apps running, just screen off the whole time.


and wifi, mobile data on?

Wifi connected only (I don’t have a SIM installed and won’t until VoLTE is functioning).

Wow! 4 years? I ordered the Librem 14 laptop in April 2021 and i asked for a refund after 10 months and i haven’t heard from anyone sense. I hope I don’t have to wait 4 years to get my money back. I end up buying another computer. It seems these people don’t care about there reputation.

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