Is Linux always the answer? – Librem 5 Smartphone
And people are like quotWell. Why don’t you have an Androidquot And I’m, just like I don’t really want to have to mess around with my phone. All the time., The last Android phone I had was pretty terrible., So I just kind of been sticking with Apple.. If you know me, you know that I use Windows on my VR machine Mac OS on my laptop and Linux, on my desktop.. So basically, I am the definition of the anti fanboy. That might change with this.. This is the Purism Librem 5 phone.. This phone doesn’t run Android., It doesn’t run iOS.. It runs Linux just straight up, Linux. From what I understand: it’s a stripped down version of Purism’s PureOS, which they ship on their laptops., Which, from the look of things, is kind of just a relatively standard NOMEGNOME.. I don’t like calling it GNOME because that’s weird., But yeah it’s kind of a standardish Linux desktop., But the big thing is that it’s always been geared for privacy.. I don’t know what this is going to be like, but if it’s anything like regular Linux, then you should be able to install and run pretty much anything you want on it, which is kind of mind. Blowing., So let’s take a look at the phone itself. There’s. Really nothing on the box here.. It just says: Librem 5 version 1.. This box can be recycled. Cool. Couple of certifications. And yeah it’s, a very plain box. And there.
Right off the bat we’ve got a quick start guide, which most people probably will need from what I understand. Enjoy your Librem 5 from Todd. Todd Weaver is the CEO.. Next, we have the phone itself which that that feels very substantial.. I don’t want to look too closely at it right now.. I want to dig deeper into the box., But, as you can see, it is a thick boy. Jono, Oh jeez., laughs, Let’s see what we’ve got here.. This is a USB type C to C cable.. What is this? Oh international plugs., Cool., Semi jack tool, just kind of hanging out down there.. Oh man, it’s been a while, since I’ve had earbuds included in a phone. Actually they’re in ears., These might be okay. And the charger that’s it. That’s the unboxing. Thanks for watching. No.. Oh, I don’t know if you can see that or not, but there are like three slider switches on the side of this thing., The one on the far right here towards the top of the device. This one is to disconnect physically the cellular modem., The one in the middle physically disconnects, Bluetooth and wifi. Towards the bottom of the device is microphone and webcam cutoff., So that’s really cool.. I don’t think you can do that in pretty much any other phone that I am aware. Of. Tiny camera on the back there though. With a flash, looks like a dual flash. Headphone jack. That’s, how you know that they’re lacking courage.
, Supposedly the battery, is replaceable in this thing. I’m, not sure how to get the back off though.. Just like that., Oh okay. It’s got a micro SD card slot as well. It’s under the battery though.. So you need to pull the battery in order to get at it., Very cool. Okay., So let’s just power. This back off then, because I don’t have any real desire to talk about the operating system until I’ve talked to you about Vessi. Vessi footwear is known for being waterproof, while also being lightweight and comfortable.. The Dyma Tex material makes it breathable too. So it’ll keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. With everyday styling. You can keep your feet dry for the wet future. Months. Save 25. With our offer code ShortCircuit at vessi.comshortcircuit., Let’s fire it up.. Oh it’s got a notification LED.. So this is Linux. On a smartphone., Interestingly, it looks a lot like old school Android., But we have a terminal.. You don’t get that in Android by default., One moment., Oh we’re, not connected to the network., So I will need to do that., No Bluetooth. Found.! Oh, did I not Oh they’re all turned off. Ha ha. Jono laughs The switches work.. They do work. There’s, wifi. That’s. Why wifi, wasn’t, there. There’s, also yeah mobile, showed up too.. Oh, is there a way to like gesture the up arrow now? Ah whatever.? Okay, so laughs, just like any other Linux machine, I managed to install a piece of software.
, Add Neofetch.. It has no idea what this is. Jono laughing Yep PureOS it’s got. Bash. It’s straight up using the Adwaita GTK 3 theme. Terminal is KGX.. We’Ve got a quad core CPU of 1.5 gigahertz., So we’ve got an NXP quad core Cortex A53 processor.. The GPU is a Vivante GC7000 Lite, three gigs of RAM yep. 32 gigabytes of EMMC and internal storage., a micro SD card slot. We saw that with two terabytes max.. The screen is a 5.7 inch IPS at 720 by 1440, which frankly looks perfectly fine.. So a lot of companies that I don’t really recognize as far as chip manufacturers go, but that kind of makes sense. Purism would have sought out companies that are willing to work with them as far as like firmware and drivers go to make it as open as Possible and to enable things like this here, hardware, shutoff switch. One thing: that’s kinda missing in this UI – is launch feedback. Like if I were to say, launch the calculator. It takes a second and that’s fine, but there’s no feedback that it’s doing anything.. So you’re kind of guessing as to whether or not it’s, actually gon na launch. Let’s check out the app store. Let’s go shopping for things that are going to be pretty much free because that’s how this works., I don’t think they ever claimed that this was going To be the fastest phone in the world., The point of the phone is that it’s very privacy focused, and you can do what you want with it.
And yeah. The email client is even Geary.. If you want something to tinker with, then this is going to be amazing.. However, it is not without compromise. It isn’t very fast from what we’ve seen. The software it’s fine. It’s a lot better than I would have expected out of a Linux smartphone. To be honest, with you., But it’s still got like some clunk to it. So like. If I were to change to a different application, you can see that it’s. Oh, it doesn’t seem to be focused right now., But if I touch it, it’s focused. Kind of a weird blend. From that perspective, it’s really difficult to recommend to somebody who’s not either willing to put in the time and effort to learn it for, for example, privacy Reasons or for someone who doesn’t mind it because they’re going to tinker with it anyway and they want to run whatever apps they want to run., I mean it is just straight up: Debian base., So yeah like it doesn’t, really have that many limitations. It’s just clunky. One thing that I’m noticing is as I’m scrolling. I don’t think this is hardware accelerated at all., So this is like software rendered scrolling.. So, like think, Android Froyo. Like it feels like there are still things that need to be done to really make this experience whole. You know They say that this is going to have lifetime updates. And since it’s just running a Linux distro.
I have no reason to doubt that.. So, as time goes on, the Librem 5 is going to have updates that you know, improve the UI and make it so that it’s a lot smoother and make it so that you know you don’t have like a long wait between opening the clock and actually seeing You know your clocks.. What I do want to see is if there’s like a YouTube, app., No, not really.. What about like Firefox laughs, IceWeasel.? Of course it would be IceWeasel., Yeah let’s, look at this smartphone with a hidden camera.. Your browser does not currently recognize any of the video formats available. Jono laughing, And this is a problem. Too. See video formats generally speaking, have patents. Open source and free software in general, aren’t, really fans of patents. Part of what they say to do with this is if you need an app that you don’t have like access to here, but has a web version, you Can pin a web version as an app. Jono? This is actually the perfect example of what you sacrifice for privacy. Yeah. It’s, always a trade off.. Oh hey, SuperTuxKart, installed., Your graphics driver appears to be very old.. Oh man, it’s got on screen. Controls.. Is this actually gon na work Jono laughing? Oh, no! These controls are terrible. Let’s test these out then., Not a good seal.. These actually aren’t bad., Jono laughs. Oh really Like these – are actually legitimately not terrible.
. Like they’ve got good bass, they’re clear. They go loud.. Actually wait: wait! Wait.! I need to know, I need to know. If I open up TuxKart.. Oh no, the task switcher is like not happy. Either. mellow rock music It’s, like it’s not doing too bad. CPU, is not pegged or anything. sighs. This is kind of what you get when you try to take a full fat desktop operating system and squeeze it down into a phone.. The experience is not great. It’s usable for sure., Like I could use this.. I don’t know if I’d want to. The keyboard’s fine.. The interface is fine for the most part.. The hardware itself is fine. The especially the toggle switches back here, although it is getting kind of warm. Yeah like it’s fine., But at the same time it’s held together by like twigs and glue., Oh yeah, the price.. How much is this thing Holy shbeep, Jono, laughs, That’s, expensive., It’s 799, U.S. Jono? They have a Librem, 5 USA version for 2000. Yup, they sure do., Jono laughing Librem, 5 USA, a premium version of the Librem 5 phone that focuses on security by design and privacy protection by default with a secure supply chain and electronics made in the USA.. I don’t see what’s different about it., Oh, oh, I get it.. The Librem 5 USA is fully made in the USA.. That is the cost of Made in USA.. Meanwhile, this one is made somewhere else.
Presumably China and costs 799. Whoa did I just change shirts Yeah it’s a different day.. We kind of forgot to test the camera. And there’s, not a camera, app installed by default. One moment. Um, hmm uh hmm.. As far as I can tell the camera both front and rear, actually the cameras – plural they don’t work., Like they just straight up – are not implemented yet.. Apparently, this is a problem with documentation from the SOC’s vendor NXP., So that’s, where we’re at. They released the phone. It’s. I guess still a beta product. It’s been over a year.. I hope I’m wrong about that, but everything I’m reading seems to suggest exactly that.. Maybe the microphone will work. Get something out of this., But there’s no audio, recording app built in so I’ll have to do something with that.. Can I really install Audacity? I really don’t think I can. Let’s. Do it anyway.? Did that launch at all? Oh yeah there? It is. That’s a full desktop app right, there. All right. Let’s record. Some audio. We’ll see see how that works. Out. It looks like it’s like working. We’ll, see see how that works. Out.. It looks like it’s like working. Let’s, just export as WAV. Interesting. That’s. How the full desktop app works. That’s? Actually this is how I expected the experience of a Linux based phone to be.. So the fact that the rest of the UI is actually fine – and this is this – is usable.
That’s, actually astounding – to me. All right now. I need to ingest this somehow.. Oh man, I want to like it so much. It’s got a lot of really good ideas.. As for the usability, though, I feel like, unless you know, Linux and you’re like willing to I dunno, get a little dock or something to set up with a keyboard and mouse, maybe like the touch interface, just isn’t there yet., So I don’t know if I’d buy One today, but it is definitely something that I would keep an eye on. Just like.