Librem 5 backers have begun receiving their Linux phones

When Ars spoke to Purism founder and CEO Todd Weaver two weeks ago, the Librem 5 had been “shipping” for a month but not to backers—only to Purism employees and inside developers. Weaver talked a little about the unexpected hardware issues the company had been experiencing late in the game, including a batch of phone boards missing a 10kOhm resistor, and he gave us an updated schedule for when the phones would resume shipping. More importantly, Weaver said backers would begin receiving their phones by the first week of December.

Thankfully, the company met this latest deadline on time. On November 27, Ars reader Azdle posted a comment to the thread—”Just because I can, hello from my freshly-received Librem 5 phone! (And, no, I don’t work for Purism, I’m just an early backer.” Azdle was also kind enough to share some unboxing pictures and some commentary about what, exactly, a Librem 5 phone from the Birch shipment is—and what it’s not.

What the Librem 5 isn’t (yet)

First of all, it’s not really a “phone” yet. There’s no audio when attempting to place a phone call. The cameras also don’t appear to work yet. Azdle reports “installing and opening up Cheese”—Cheese is a very basic Linux video application, installed by default in many distros—”I just get a message saying ‘no device found.'” There’s also effectively no power management yet, so the Librem doesn’t last long on battery. It takes a long time to charge as well.

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