Purism Librem 5 smartphone (upcoming)


Librem 5 is an alternative smartphone to iOS and Android and among the first to be 100% based off GNU/Linux.

It’s launch price is set to 600€ and set to ship in April 2019.


  • respectful of privacy
  • a whole new set of alternative apps. It will not be based on either the Apple AppStore or Google Play
  • Hardware kill-switches
  • many more, head to their website to check it out …


  • early users will probably have to be patient after launch before everything settles and works smoothly
  • pricetag (600€ can be a lot for some budgets)
  • Some mainstream medias might not be available (whatsapp,

This is where I’d be very interested in some feedback from the Ind.ie community and especially @aral or @laura if you can find a few minutes to give an opinion. What do you think of the Librem 5 ?

My (current) position, and a little history

At the very beginning of Ind.ie, some years back, there was talk of creating, one day, a phone empowering users with their privacy. Things leading elsewhere, Ind.ie had to follow different paths and when I asked @aral about it in 2015, the answer was that it was still your dream.

Incidently, it’s also mine, i’m just not capable of building it :slight_smile: and it’s clear that no one-person could achieve such a project anyways. It requires at least an experienced and qualified team. I don’t know Purism that much though there have been some topics about them on this forum. They do seem like good people.

I’ve had my mind fixed on this Librem 5 phone for a few months now. I’m thinking it could finally be a breakthrough.

To put it simply, I’m sick of Android. Even custom ROMS where you can root and fine tune your privacy settings. That’s what I did. And my smartphone is castrated because in Android, if you want something, you have to pass through Google Play, and you have to sign in your device with a google account. I’m not much of an Apple fan and I do not want to go to iOS as an alternative to Android.

In fact, I’m even more sickened by the fact that smartphone vendors and telecom firms today have nothing to offer apart from iOS or Android.

So I’m looking at purism and their Librem 5 project.

I would love to hear from you all on the topic.


i am tempted to get one. using a Samsung s3 with replicant. does the job. a better low light, faster, higher res camera would be nice. better dac too but is not too bad.

my biggest problem is most people want ot use whatsapp. some to my surprise, installed signal to chat with me :slight_smile: but signals call feature doesn’t work. i guess its part of signal thats designed for mainstream with non-free blob phones :(. the next problem is will they reinstall it on there next phone?

If i get librem 5 smartphone, i guess i can kinda run signal desktop app. not ideal for touch screen.

If i had used xmmp app with new friends then, using a non-andorid phone would be easier. my challenge is to get them to install something at all. half do the other half of friends i have ££, not private, not corporate but state profiled/farmed sms. :expressionless:

It seams some people dont really use sms anymore or if they not from Europe dont receive sms till they are home. :frowning:

only had limited experiences so far, not been out much all these years, until now :smiley:

With librem laptops they sold the dream but for a product they didnt have. a intel cpu does not make a total libre computer. they marketed what we wanted, yet other projects, that where more frank but with more or libre hardware didnt get the money :(. how ever librem i guess was going after high class biz people, that wanted something fancy and £££ that would get the approval of others at workplace for its looks. that worked without much stress (that part i like a lot). which meant status quo intel so existing x86 stuff worked. hmm

Anyway its -in a way- a shame that they got funded with millions when eoma68 didnt and has had to struggle with doing, innovating and make a lot from scratch on small budget. mostly by one person. wheres they throw money at getting the job done, hired a firm to do the hard work of designing customized laptop.
Better to have its success than not.

I guess most projects have aimed at products that are more affordable to most people like them, instead of high end class that wants bling and can pay for it and high markup to do it. like Tesla cars.


I backed the Librem 5. A few years ago I also backed the Unaphone, but that was a failure. This UK company says it was harassed by …and they demanded a backdoor which seems plausible because the British government ordered this in its latest spying laws.
My first smartphone was an iphone 3Gs. I already had a Mac. After appr. five years I got the idea that we were too much under control of a big company. I bought a Jolla. Struggled a lot with it, because I am not tech savvy. Had to abstain from all the iOS comfort and niceties. Then Jolla decided not to make phones anymore, only an OS. I was able to unlock the bootloader of a Sony, but could not flash the OS. Jolla did this for me, as an exception.
This is the situation now: you can flash lineageOS. e-foundation or Sailfish on an Android device. You can make use of alternative app stores like apkpure, openrepos and the open source F-Droid. All free apps. The derivates of Google Play still need the Playstore for paid apps and in-app purchases. So you can only install free apps with ads and almost only the older versions. That is my experience of five years daily Sailfish use.
(After a few years I bought a ipad mini for compensation of the ‘loss’)
There is plenty of enthousiasm in the alternative world. Yet, in order to be succesful you need to create a real business, with a ready made product, paid versions, paid apps and a proper app store. And here it gets stuck in the open source movement.
I reject ‘surveillance capitalism’ and I do not believe that open source can replace it. O.s. is best for governmental tech, but it will not be suitable for everything. Mass production of o.s. is not a guarantee for safety and privacy and if their are no incentives and rewards (payments) the quality and attractiveness will often be questionable.
I hope that the Librem 5 will be a good alternative, but, honestly, it is a bit of a gamble.


I’m quite happy with SailfishX on a Sonia Xperia X, but I do depend on its Android compatibility to run a bunch of apps that I could not do without. Sailfish is still receiving nice updates. I wish Jolla would be more successful in pushing it as a preinstalled OS (current efforts are usually local to some country).

The Librem 5 sounds interesting, but it’s way outside of my price range (I could buy the Xperia X second hand for just 169 €).