Librem 5 phone by Purism


hns

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Quote from the article: "The company has a long way to go to produce a competitive smartphone, but for an idea that started as a crowdsourced project two years ago, Purism has made an incredible amount of progress."
Well, the idea started in 2006 with the OpenMoko and Librem5 and PinePhone are the third wave of attempts to sustain it, after the two earlier ones failed.
(First wave: Neo1973, Neo Freerunner; second wave: GTA04, Neo900).
 

FBnil

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  • 3mm taller to fix the antenna problem
  • mold is now open (but can't find the files for it)
  • Release is, why not, in 2 months... (sounds familiar?) I kid you not:

    Based on current projections, we will start shipping Evergreen to customers mid-to-late November 2020
Based on this, it is still a mistery if the Librem comes before Pyra (although my bets are on Pyra)
 

λ the β-Redex Reducer

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Librem 5 seems pretty cool. It's even more libre than the Pyra.

I haven't followed PinePhone development but on the order page it says "Estimate dispatch in early November 2020". I guess in 2 months is the release date for all GNU/Linux devices. Just 2 more months and then every GNU/Linux device ever will be released. The problem is, 2 months in the future never comes because it always stays the present. But maybe there is a timeline where they're 2 months ahead of us and MS, Google, and Apple are dead; everyone uses GNU/Linux; and RMS looks like a greek sculpture of the ideal male physique.
 

Null

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From article said:
The Librem 5 has unique hardware features including a user-removable cellular modem, WiFi card, and battery.

Another unique feature of the Librem 5 is convergence: the ability to connect the Librem 5 to a monitor or laptop dock and use it as a desktop computer running the same full-sized desktop applications as on Librem laptops.
"Unique"
 

Null

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I was thinking more of the battery statement myself. Because as we all know no other device has had a user removable/replaceable battery. ;)
 

levi

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Well, yes, lots of laptops of old had removable wifi cards if you removed a plastic flap. It's only the cellular modem that I've never noticed being removable before on a phone.
 

Phlyra

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To be fair, I've never heard of a user removeable cellular modem before, but to be fair to myself, why would you need that on a phone?
For when one eventually (if ever) exists that’s open source?
For when travelling to the US, or Asia Pacific and wanting to get the best local signal with a local SIM on the local bands?
For when the handset will support 5G but with the infrastructure there to support it like there is for 4G now and you want to be able to purchase a compatible 5G modem rather than a whole new phone?
 

λ the β-Redex Reducer

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For when one eventually (if ever) exists that’s open source?
For when travelling to the US, or Asia Pacific and wanting to get the best local signal with a local SIM on the local bands?
For when the handset will support 5G but with the infrastructure there to support it like there is for 4G now and you want to be able to purchase a compatible 5G modem rather than a whole new phone?
To answer your questions, those are all possible use cases for that feature.
 

levi

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True, those are all good reasons for that kind of feature on a phone I guess. FWIW if you're counting China as asia pacific when I travelled there, my hosts bought my a local sim to put into my european phone and it worked fine. I didn't test data though, and that was all pre-4G so I don't know if that's changed.

But yeah, maybe I'm wrong that it might somehow occasionally be useful. But I've still never heard of it in a phone, which was my main point.
 

λ the β-Redex Reducer

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Can you add any others? It’s quite an interesting approach :)
I think this is about it. IIRC Purism was forced to use a non-libre modem due to a good libre modem not existing so they instead seperated the modem from memory so that unlike most phones it has no direct control over memory and they made it replaceable so that it can be swapper later on if a good modem becomes available. IIRC then that was the main reason. The modem is one of the few parts of the Librem 5 that's not libre.

Though I vaguely remember some talk about the modem not being allowed to upgrade formwire because upgrading with blobs would disqualify the Librem 5 for some FSF certification. So I guess that could count as another reason.
 

Phlyra

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I think this is about it. IIRC Purism was forced to use a non-libre modem due to a good libre modem not existing so they instead seperated the modem from memory so that unlike most phones it has no direct control over memory and they made it replaceable so that it can be swapper later on if a good modem becomes available. IIRC then that was the main reason. The modem is one of the few parts of the Librem 5 that's not libre.

Though I vaguely remember some talk about the modem not being allowed to upgrade formwire because upgrading with blobs would disqualify the Librem 5 for some FSF certification. So I guess that could count as another reason.
Yup and of course the socketable nature of it means that it can be disconnected by hardware switch, which is obviously one of the main selling points. Certainly looks a lot easier to manage than the equivalent switches in the PinePhone
 
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