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Librem 5 or PinePhone

Hello everyone. This is a complete off topic and kind of advice I need. I've been trying to have a more private life since last year so so. I've been worry about privacy. For example I've been changing google services as I can.

Anyway. I've been reading about Linux phones and I'm interested on Librem5 and Pinephone. I don't know if anyone of you have one of these phones and share the experience.

About Librem5 looks more interesting for me because it tries to be open as it can but all the reviews I read are bad, maybe unfair. I think many of these post haven't realized that the aim for Librem5 is for users who cares about privacy and many people think the phone must have "WhatsApp". I don't give a sh** about the apps, but I do care if the phone cannot make calls for example (Many reviews I've read said that) or battery drains. The other problem is the price, this phone looks like too expensive and I don't know if it worth if.

On the other hand there is the Pinephone looks less "open" than Librem but It's much cheaper, I've seen that is trickier to be ready use but it's a very good tool for developers.

I could be quite crazy but I want a phone for ready use  :D  :D, I would be happy if the phone can run Tutanota, have a matrix.org client and decent browser. I've been using Linux since 2007 so I am used to swimming against a river current (This phrase may be a very bad translation from my language)
Artix Linux Colombia

Re: Librem 5 or PinePhone

Reply #1
Greetings,


To be frank, I don't think there is any phone in the market that can provide you any acceptable degree of privacy. Same as laptops and PCs. Even if the software that they run are free, they usually tend to run on hardware that have non-free blobs in them that we can have little to no control over.


The closest thing that makes sense to your stated use case is Pinephone, probably, but it would be even better if you used it after removing the internal microphone and cameras. But I believe the best thing to do if you are fully a privacy freak like Stallman is to follow his advice and not use a phone. That might sound inconvenient but it is probably the best decision you could take with regards to privacy (and also mental health). I personally gave up using phones about a year ago and my life has been significantly better ever since.


#FreeHongKong

Re: Librem 5 or PinePhone

Reply #2
Hello @Anaximenes thank you for your reply. I thought this post would be dead without any answer hehehehe.

I finally bought the Pinephone, because it's cheaper but I want Librem 5 to success, mainly  because they try to be as "free" as they can despite I cannot afford it at the moment.

About the freedom I think it's impossible to have 100% of privacy, mainly because when you need to do a simple buy with your debit or credit card they identify you in some way. I also know that it's impossible to have 100% privacy even if your software is 100% free for the blobs in hardware but I respect Librem 5 because they are trying to have 100% hardware free. It's a hard way to walk but at least they are trying.

I also though about stay without phone like Stallman but I just can't, because of work I must have a phone, and also more important for me because of my family. I live in other country and the main way to communicate with them is via phone.
Artix Linux Colombia

Re: Librem 5 or PinePhone

Reply #3
Privacy and Security are currently top selling buzzwords. There's a hefty group of people heavily attracted by corporate products marketed this way. IMHO scams like Librem and Pine are prime examples of this sheep logic. It's impossible to have privacy nor security with a cellphone simply because the whole technology has a long technical debt and is full of known security issues and weakness ranging from communication protocols through encryption-decryption algorithms to modem hardware flaws, that are now impossible to fix for compatibility reasons, or at least would be very costly to fix, and no telecommunications company is exactly a charity fund. So basically you have three options:
  • Don't use a cellphone.
  • Use a basic cellphone running on dedicated firmware, no android/ios/other-os BS.
  • Use a smartphone running without proprietary software or in case of android at least without google services.

Re: Librem 5 or PinePhone

Reply #4
Privacy and Security are currently top selling buzzwords. There's a hefty group of people heavily attracted by corporate products marketed this way. IMHO scams like Librem and Pine are prime examples of this sheep logic.

I think its a bit unfair to call them scams.  Yes, no phone is the best answer here from a privacy view, but they do provide a more private experience than something like an iOS/Android device.  The PinePhone also seems to be largely marketed more as a tinkerer's device than a privacy enhancing one by Pine64, its really others that are looking at it as a privacy/security tool.

Re: Librem 5 or PinePhone

Reply #5
A lot of those non-free OS phones have a very limited update support life, not many years on, you have an obsolete piece of junk and a lot of the software features stop working. I'd guess something using Linux might fare better.

 

Re: Librem 5 or PinePhone

Reply #6
A lot of those non-free OS phones have a very limited update support life, not many years on, you have an obsolete piece of junk and a lot of the software features stop working. I'd guess something using Linux might fare better.

That's Another reason I bought a Linux phone. Pinephone promised to have better support. Also Librem would. I am going to be someone like a beta tester because os for mobiles are quite immature. Thanks everybody for their reply. Your opinion is important so I can see another points of view.
Artix Linux Colombia

Re: Librem 5 or PinePhone

Reply #7
In this thread there are people talking about the Pine phone who have not looked into it. It is hard to read so many people chiming in when they haven't even performed a cursory search.

Remove the microphone and camera? That is why there are dip switches controlling, among other things, the microphone and camera.

Proprietary blobs? Yes. There is one in a pine-phone, and it is behind a kill switch and runs it it's own contained OS with no access to system data/files. Except what you choose to push through it, obviously.

Another person in this thread says to avoid using a phone unless it is running closed source software like ancient NOKIA, or is running totally libre android without google play services... The second is a good idea, I suppose this is why the pine runs exclusively on FOSS.


Now, to answer OP. The pine-phone seems pretty wide open to me, (i.e. no boot loader signing). I plan on purchasing one here soon and trying it out. That is if they are ever back in stock. The only problem I foresee running the phone is UI issues. Obviously many programs exist for *nix systems, but I'm really not sure how many will compile for ARM, and if even more so, how the UI will look for those applications.

That being said, if you have less than $200 to burn, I think it would make a fun toy at the least, and a daily driver at best. I think supporting the pine-phone or even the librem 5 (not a huge fan personally) will show the market that there is room for privacy focused devices.

Re: Librem 5 or PinePhone

Reply #8
Privacy and Security are currently top selling buzzwords.

Yup, I find it ironic that people talk about privacy while carrying a tracking device with them which gives beautiful profiling data, behavioral data such as movement.

Re: Librem 5 or PinePhone

Reply #9
Obviously many programs exist for *nix systems, but I'm really not sure how many will compile for ARM, and if even more so, how the UI will look for those applications.
A lot, everything for basic needs works: text editors, pdf/djvu viewers, libreoffice, browsers etc. UI however could be bad for mobile
However, speaking about pinephone it uses Mali-400 GPU which is rather weak and i don't know if it is supported well. I still wonder why did they choose A64 SoC instead of for example Allwinner H6
ARMtix

Re: Librem 5 or PinePhone

Reply #10
This may be off-topic to this thread, but I've recently been enamored by the idea of creating a rpi4 "phone". Get a case for it, touchscreen, and some kind of nice gui that works well with touchscreen. I don't know how I would get phone service with it, but maybe that would be possible with some kind of hardware addition. Then, if you don't want it to be a phone, take the component that makes it a phone out. How cool would that be? (I just want to carry a back-pocket rpi4 to tinker with while I'm out, whenever I get to go back out again). :D

Re: Librem 5 or PinePhone

Reply #11
Yup, I find it ironic that people talk about privacy while carrying a tracking device with them which gives beautiful profiling data, behavioral data such as movement.

We cannot achieve 100% of privacy because is impossible, is the same as security. But we can work the hardest as we can to be the closest to that 100%. I really appreciate Librem job. I really hope they success.
Artix Linux Colombia

Re: Librem 5 or PinePhone

Reply #12
A lot, everything for basic needs works: text editors, pdf/djvu viewers, libreoffice, browsers etc. UI however could be bad for mobile
However, speaking about pinephone it uses Mali-400 GPU which is rather weak and i don't know if it is supported well. I still wonder why did they choose A64 SoC instead of for example Allwinner H6

Librem with posh is doing a great job, in theory all of gtk programs could be adapted to UI with "little modifications" in code and it would be easier to get the the yearned convergence.
Artix Linux Colombia

Re: Librem 5 or PinePhone

Reply #13
This may be off-topic to this thread, but I've recently been enamored by the idea of creating a rpi4 "phone". Get a case for it, touchscreen, and some kind of nice gui that works well with touchscreen. I don't know how I would get phone service with it, but maybe that would be possible with some kind of hardware addition. Then, if you don't want it to be a phone, take the component that makes it a phone out. How cool would that be? (I just want to carry a back-pocket rpi4 to tinker with while I'm out, whenever I get to go back out again). :D

Pinephone runs any ARM distro, so I think when distros get enough mature you can port to RPi4, at least in theory.
Artix Linux Colombia