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    Librem 5 - My Thoughts privacy kevq.uk

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    While I agree that the Librem is probably a miss, I think this guy misses the point. The person who buys something like the Librem 5 doesn’t want the Android or iOS ecosystems. They don’t trust Google, Apple, or anyone that has code running on their devices that they can’t see themselves. Which is, in general, a good thing to want and support. But really, it’s a holy war, not a practical one. Outside of a few extreme cases, the target market for the device is open source zealots. If you don’t have extreme privacy and security needs, and aren’t someone who gets off on having everything you use be open source, then the phone isn’t for you and it isn’t intended to be for you.

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      I’m exactly that person. I don’t trust Google or Apple, loathe Android as a platform, and value privacy and security greatly. I preordered the Librem 5 over 2 years ago and can’t wait to receive it.

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        That’s great! I hope the device works out for you. As for me, I think I’m going to experiment with a Pine Phone first. The price tag on the Librem is too high for me to justify it, but if the ecosystem takes off, I’d be more willing to pay for one.

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          Partly why I paid for a Librem5, not because I wanted privacy or whatever.

          I wanted an open source ecosystem of personal devices.

          If the price of the Librem 5 was I personally had to pay to kick start that future….

          …seems cheap to me.

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        (Author here) I totally get it - this is a niche phone that is designed to fill a gap for very technical people to use a device they can trust throughout the hardware and software stack. However, the way Librem are marketing this device as a phone with so much longevity that you will never need to buy another phone again, is ridiculous and a blatant lie.

        It’s over priced for what it is. Now, the PinePhone, that’s where it’s at for me. I decided not to mention that in the article though as I don’t think it’s a viable daily driver at this point.

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          I think the longevity marketing point is used to help justify the price tag. I don’t really agree from a hardware standpoint, but I think it’s perfectly valid from a software standpoint. The open nature means that the phone will have “support” (ie. software updates) for as long as the community is willing to provide them. I’m not optimistic that the community will be there long-term, but that remains to be seen.

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            It’s over priced for what it is.

            Did you consider that they are relative small company that still needs to be sustainable? They’ve been developing this piece for a few years now and they won’t expect too many sales (although I hope they sell more than well). It’s not just about hardware, it’s also about hardware/software development and so much more. Potentially it’s a new platform that needs to be carefully prepared - including pricing.

            I personally think they extremly carefully calculated the price for the Librem 5 and hope they can build that new mobile platform (including their Librem One).

            that you will never need to buy another phone again, is ridiculous and a blatant lie

            Don’t you think blatant lie is a bit strong worded? Could you please link a source where they said (exactly) that?

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            I doesn’t even have to be zealots. Just people voting with their wallet on a product with attributes they prefer. They know low volume equals higher cost. They might hope a new trend inspires more offerings and/or price cuts later.

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              It is not for me, at all, but I understand the desire for some pressure on the existing duopoly towards the principles of software freedom, so to speak. I do think that it would be nice if there were a measurable market being served by an “open” phone, less because I want Linux on my phone (I DO NOT) but more because it would help keep Apple and Google honest.

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              The expense of the Librem 5 is why I am waiting for the pinephone. I just want portable linux and personally don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars more for the special parts they use.

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                Over a 3 year period the Librem’s paltry 32GB of internal storage will fill up.

                So delete things or put in a microSD.

                Their 3,500 mAh battery will begin to fail

                The battery is trivially replaceable. Don’t even need tools to do so.

                and their hardware will become more outdated.

                Sure, since that’s unavoidable with hardware. But things like the modem & bt/wifi can be upgraded (although things like mmWave would require different antennas, which might not be trivially possible?) since they’re just socketed. And this is also so much less of a problem when the software you’re using doesn’t leave you behind just because you have a 4 year old CPU.

                Also LineageOS isn’t just as good, at least for me. It’s very much like the distinction between Firefox & Chromium in my mind. Sure they’re both open soruce and you can do whatever you want with either. But, in the end Google controls the direction that upstream will take & you’re fighting against momentum to not depend on Google services.

                I currently run Lineage, Google still knows a lot more about what I do on my phone than I’d like. I backed the Librem 5 because I want to be totally outside of Google’s garden.

                Also, I dislike developing in Java & the Librem allows me to develop GTK apps in Rust.

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                  I want to get away from Android. Once I get the time, I really want to look at PostmarketOS on older devices and getting KDE Plasma running.

                  I do have a Purism on order and my dream is to make a Plasma phone a daily driver; writing whatever I apps I can to fill in the gaps of what’s missing. Even Android + nanoG doesn’t get you out of that bullshit eco-system. I recently got a head unit that uses Android Auto; another thing that’s completely locked to Google (you cannot connect F-droid apps to the Android Auto API. They have to come from the Play Store).

                  We use to be able to just run Linux or FreeBSD on PC hardware. Mobile devices are a clusterfuck of broken architecture which is one of the reasons it’s been so difficult to get upstream Linux support on all this Internet-of-Trash mobile hardware.

                  Yes the Librem 5 is going to be expensive. Is it worth it per the hardware? Probably not. But I want to work with a community that builds a true alternative to Android and eyeProducts, that gives us back our privacy, control of our devices without sacrificing anything important.

                  I want the, “Woah .. what .. what are you running on that device? What Android is that?” .. “It’s not … let me tell you about what I run…”

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                    I got my iPhone SE’s battery replaced a few months ago for €30. I dropped it a few weeks ago and got the screen replaced for again, €30. Both times it took about an hour with no appointment/ordering of parts required.

                    I bet getting your Librem repaired will be a lot harder and more expensive because it’s such a rare/special product. I’m not especially fond of iPhones, but there’s quite some value in sticking to mainstream(ish) phones, especially if you don’t care much about your phone and want something that “just works” for many years.

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                      Well, while the Librem 5 is rare, it’s probably made using popular off the shelf parts for everything other than the mainboard and case. It could be like with laptop screens: people shoving random eBay panels into their Thinkpads.

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                        Did you subscribe to AppleCare+ or use a third party repair shop? Official rates are much higher.

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                          I just used a shop ’round the corner. I just got a second-hand iPhone SE for ~€120 last year. Spending a premium $130 to get the screen replaced makes no sense.

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                          Great comment. Would you be happy for me to quote this comment in the post please?

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                            Sure, do with it what you want. Go wild! :-)

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                          I’m rooting for librem, but all of this guys points are valid.

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                            I agree that the price of Librem is excessive. Yet, claiming that Lineage OS provides the same level of security and privacy is absurd.

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                              How so? PureOS offers zero sandboxing and full disk encryption is not present as I understand it. The security of Lineage (Android) is far superior to PureOS from what I’ve seen. With regards to privacy, if you run Lineage without any Google apps, then the device is completely de-Googled, so much more private. Finally, the Librem 5 contains binary blobs, so it isn’t completely open.

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                              Blu R1 HD - 80 bucks on amazon: Internal 16GB | 2GB RAM, MediaTek MT6580 Quad-core 1.3GHz Processor with MALI 400 GPU. I can buy 10 (ten!!) phones like this for a librem phone.

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                                Purism chose to build both the phone and the operating system, and that’s where the problems began. It takes quite a lot of effort to build a minimum viable smartphone OS. UbuntuTouch eventually failed, because they thought that it was as simple as slapping a Linux kernel and a couple utilities to have it up and running. (Did Purism also think “let’s slap a few open source things on it and we’re go”?)

                                Also, it takes quite a lot of money. Do you remember the $32 millions Ubuntu asked to boot the UbuntuEdge smartphone? (Did Purism actually have a serious business plan before it launched?)

                                SailfishOS has been out since 2013 (yesterday its latest update came out, and it still applies to the original Jolla phone as well as latest ones). It allows to install most Android apps, but it works just fine without them. You may open a terminal and kill com.android.whatsapp process if you don’t want it in the background. Also, SailfishOS comes from the very same people who did the Nokia N900 (before Nokia going “an hero” by means of suicidal WindowsPhone embrace), people who know pretty well “how to Linux on a cellphone”. Jolla survived its epic “tablet fiasco”. Would Purism survive a partial fiasco?

                                Thing is, you really need big money (UbuntuEdge was right) to get a reasonably featured cellphone shipped, and still fight with people boo’ing at you because you came 6-9-15 months late compared to competitors.

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                                  It seems to me that if you want a phone with longevity, a phone like Fairphone seems like a better bet. Fairphone seem to sell spare parts and LineageOS seems to already support Fairphone 2. There is a fair chance LineageOS will support the latest version (Fairphone 3) too.

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                                    As a happy user of SailfishOS on FairPhone2, I would still point out that not all spares have always been readily available. This was bad when I needed a new battery. Also the mic randomly died and I couldn’t talk on the phone, but that spare was available.

                                    Now this overheats and reboots a bit too often for comfort, and if it’s a hardware issue, the warranty’s run out and the baseboard is not available. If it’s a software issue, I should prove the situation with an officially supported OS.

                                    These are the reasons no sane person gives a shit. They want phones that actually do things and work(!)

                                    For the fellow insanes I recommend the FairPhone, but with the caveat that spares aren’t always there, and maybe stick to their own de-Googled android, or just suck it and use Google.

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                                    “I don’t want this phone and I don’t think anyone else does either, despite all the people who are lining up to buy it.”

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                                      Hardware last much longer when you take care of it. Don’t pull the phone from the charger plugged in! I am trolling… :P

                                      OTOH, I have a dumb phone that costed me $50 that still is working no problem today.