Why does the Librem 5 cost so much more than the Pinephone?

I know others might feel differently but I am actually glad it isn’t 1080p. I would rather better performance and battery life.


I generally agree that high resolution doesn’t matter that much (although I notice the difference when I compare 1440p and 720p screens next to each other). The more important difference in my opinion is how bright a phone can get in the sunlight, and cheaper LCD screens are generally hard to use when outdoors.

I just went phone shopping to help my girlfriend decide what phone to buy. We ended up with a Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 that costs $175 with:

  • Snapdragon 660, 2.2GHz 4x Kryo 260 Gold (Cortex-A72), 1.8GHz 4x Kryo Silver (Cortex-A53), 14nm LPP
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB Flash
  • 6.3" screen, 1080x2340 IPS LCD, 479 nits, 1338:1 contrast ratio
  • 48/5 MP front camera, PDAF
  • 13 MP back camera
  • 4000 mAh battery
  • Android 9 (and can run LineageOS 16.0)

I value freedom and digital rights far more than specs and benchmarks, but when my girlfriend asked how her new phone compared to the Librem 5, I had to tell her, “Well, the CPU on your new phone is about 4 times more powerful than mine, it has twice as much storage, 25% more RAM, 4 times more resolution in the camera, and it is 1/4 the price of my phone.”

Then, she asked, “Why are you paying so much for a phone that isn’t that good?”

In response, I launched into a long explanation about why more processing power doesn’t matter after a certain point, and why a Linux phone will consume less RAM and processing cycles than an Android phone, and why digital rights are so important to the future of humanity, and how governments and corporations can use our information to spy on us and repress our civil liberties, and why Google and Apple are evil, how I’m helping to finance the development of an alternative mobile OS, why a Linux phone is better for the environment because it will be supported forever, etc.

Then she asked me sweetly, “So when you need to take a photo, you are going to want to use my phone?”

I nodded glumly.


You can also get her L5 and keep that phone as mp3 player and camera :slight_smile:

sounds like your girlfriend has someone she can listen to.

Then you asked her sweetly, "So when you need to use Vim and GHC, you are going to want to use my phone?”

She nodded glumly.


If she ever asked me to use my phone to run vim, I would drop down on my knees and propose to her on the spot!


Then you asked her sweetly, “So when you need to communicate with someone privately, without being surveilled by X Corporation or Y government, you are going to want to use my phone?”

She nodded glumly.



The iPhone 4, which introduced the “Retina Display,” had a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch. I have enjoyed crisp, pixel free text since 2010. The Librem 5 will have 282. A slight step back, but hopefully still high enough to hide pixelation. The iPhone 3 had 163, so at least it will still be better than that.

Linux had high DPI capability years before the retina display (such as KDE), but there where some applications that did not. Maybe this will give some Linux applications time to update, if they have not already.

Hopefully our support for Librem 5 version 1 means that there will be a better version 2 in the future.

In another thread, someone posted a video that mentions that the screen will be like the Nintendo Switch, and that device has a good screen. This part of the discussion starts at 10:40 into the video:


Every time I hear a principal getting compromised, the school board fires him.

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While Librem 5’s specs are v̶e̶r̶y low end specs.

I added an FAQ question to explain this:
1.7. Why does the Librem 5 cost so much compared to the PinePhone?

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also it’s ‘than the Pinephone’ instead of ‘then the Pinephone’ for the title.

I changed the title of this forum thread to fix that.

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Techietalk aside , if you’ve ever owned a recent(PostmarketOS like mine) then you’d know why it costs less than an L5. It’s cheap quality and unless you’re a developer/programmer/etc it’s like a plastic toy. Low grade cameras etc and every bimonthly edition come loaded with a very beta OS version. Furthest cheap thing from a daily driver. To me was a waste of money. i traded mine to a electronic wizard friend for an older panasonic toughbook with Mint 20 installed. I think I got the better end of the trade. Like comparing a pedal car to a camaro. What’s on the menu at texas Roadhouse makes more sense to discus

I would probably be a little more generous when describing the build quality of my Pinephone, but if the videos everyone is sharing are anything to go by, the Librem 5 is going to have a significantly better user experience from its more powerful hardware. For one thing, Firefox takes a split second to load in some videos of the Librem 5, while it takes several seconds of displaying a blank screen before it loads on a Pinephone.


Sorry I was so mean in my assessment. I’m getting so darn anxious about getting my Librem 5 real soon I hope!

Pine64 understood well what you wrote :hugs:. Link to “Replacing the main PCB in a PinePhone” is here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GbMoZ_zuZs


The reason to buy the PinePhone is the ability to tinker with its hardware and easily fix it, as shown in that video.

I hope that Purism will sell parts for the Librem 5 just like PINE64 does for the PinePhone. SHIFT made upgradeable phones, and I would like to see Purism do the same, by making it possible to put Fir’s PCB into an Evergreen body.

However, I also want Purism to focus on making Fir thinner and lighter, and to do that, Fir can’t be backward compatible. Given that the i.MX 8M Plus isn’t a good chip for convergence and gaming, maybe Purism should split the Librem 5 into two lines in the future. One model would be like Evergreen, but with 4GB RAM and 256GB storage, which focuses on people who want convergence, two M.2 cards, and a better GPU. The other would be a model with the i.MX 8M Plus that has a soldered down cellular baseband and WiFi/BT, so it has the dimensions and weight of a normal smartphone. It wouldn’t provide convergence or smart card, but it would be more energy efficient and only cost $400 in order to aim for the mass market.

Offering a mid-priced phone with better battery life and normal dimensions and weight would answer many of the criticisms that I’m sure that Evergreen is going to receive. Of course, being able to offer two phone models means Purism will need to have a lot more phone orders per year. Oh well, we can dream.


Hi…in my case things were working out in a good way for first use. However, I saw the dated chipset made the CPU maximize with straightforward applications being opened. Kind of irritating to need to delay and trust that the machine will prevent from securing while applications were stacking or some running typically (mail applications, Python contents, and so on) Be that as it may, I just acknowledged the evil execution.

Linux friend just sent me this-