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So I bought the Librem5... Alternating between excitation and disapointment, here is my review.

purism@pureos:~$ grep PRETTY /etc/os-release

PRETTY_NAME="PureOS 10 (Byzantium)"

The Network

I had to make a bit of research to make sure the modem I picked match the frequency of my network carrier. I inserted the sim card and it worked immediately. So all good then? eerr, well, no. As soon as I entered the metro, no network. Also no network in a densely populated area where I visit my friend. I opened a support request with purism and will provide an update here with the outcome.

The Keyboard

well, i'm a canadian french, so my keyboard should be querty AND I should have accented letters àéï etc. creating my own keyboard layout and recompiling squeekboard was not fun. all was good, but then I upgraded to crimson(pureos version 11) and it replaced my keyboard binary! tryring to recompile again, your version of rust is too low, sorry. rename current rust files with .bak, so the rust installer don't freak out, install rust 1.75, recompile my ?&%!@*?&* keyboard. remove rust 1.75, rename original rust files. I made a merge request to squeekboard (the librem5 keyboard) so no other french canadian have to go through this.

The Battery

not great... 4 to 7 hours?

The Camera

not on par with what you are used to in terms of quality of picture... it is still in dev, but with the right amount of light, you can take pictures.



Here is a brief overview of the software that is either pre-installed/default/unavoidable or that I installed, tried and genuinely enjoyed, props to the devs.

PureOS store :

frankly... not great. it is slow, glitchy and buggy. My prefered way to install apps is to ssh in the phone and install programs with the apt or the flatpak command.

the default terminal :

source : pureos, deb package, default installation

Finally! no need to install some apps you trust more or less, you just have a terminal by default, it works just fine. excellent software.

Geary (email) :

source : pureos, deb package, default installation

One minor annoyance with it is that you cannot select a part of the text in the body the email you are currently reading (must select all the text), other than that, it works pretty well. I decided to install rainloop locally on my phone instead, I prefer the battle tested rainloop web interface. good software.

Flare (signal messenger alternative) :

source : pureos or flathub repo, flatpak

Works with some limitations : you cannot take pictures/video, no video calls, no audio calls, you can read vocal messages but not send them. So it is good to text and send files to your signal contacts. A weird bug with libsecret forced me to install seahorse and duplicate my keyring, good software.

Nheko (matrix client) :

source : pureos store, deb package

Works with some limitations : no video calls, no audio calls, good to text and send files to your matrix contacts. good software.

Nextcloud Integration :

source : in settings by default

Just entered the url of my nextcloud server, and it synced my contacts and my calendar right away, neat.

Tuba (mastodon client) :

source : flathub repo, flatpak

A bit slow when you scroll, but you can read your feed and reply to people good software.

Feeds (rss reader) :

source : flathub repo, flatpack

A bit slow, but it nicely display your feeds with pictures. good software.

Audacity (audio player) :

source : flathub repo, flatpack

Good and simple player, you can still control your music when the screen is locked... unlike some android media player... good software.

Maps :

source : pureos or flathub repo, flatpak

still a long way to go before it can rival some other maps, zoom is slow, no direction with public transport... some progress have been done though...


I am not sure this phone will make it, but I sure hope it does. A phone that belongs to you, not meant to track you and where you can replace parts with ease.