Librem 5: Is It The Ultimate Open Source Phone?

By on September 30, 2017
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As an ardent Linux user, you might have longed for a real Linux based operating system on your phone. Seems like your dream may come true.

Purism, a company known for making high-end Linux laptop with the focus on privacy and free software, has just launched a crowdfunding campaign for a brand new smartphone called Librem 5.

They aim to raise $1.5M to start manufacturing a 5 inches privacy-focused smartphone running on Purism’s PureOS Linux distribution. Pricing starts at $599 putting it among the high-end smartphones.

Here are some of the highlights of Librem 5:

  • Runs PureOS or another Linux distribution of choice. This means you can get to use Ubuntu, SUSE, Fedora and even Arch Linux on your phone.
  • Privacy protection by default. Your data is secured and not shared by third parties.
  • No tracking. Your phone is completely owned and controlled by you not your Big Brother.
  • World’s first ever IP-native mobile handset
  • End-to-end decentralized communications via Matrix
  • Security focused by design
  • Works with 2G/3G/4G, GSM, UMTS, and LTE networks
  • CPU separate from Baseband
  • Hardware Kill Switches for Camera, Microphone, WiFi/Bluetooth, and Baseband
  • HTML 5 apps

Since it is in early phases, specifications may change over the time. At present, this is the proposed specification:

  • 5″ touchscreen
  • MX6/i.MX8 CPU
  • Vivante GPU (Etnaviv free software accelerated driver)
  • Separate mobile baseband
  • 32GB eMMC
  • MicroSD slot
  • Front and back camera
  • Headphone and Microphone Jack (some elite smartphones don’t have this feature)
  • WiFi 802.11
  • Bluetooth 4
  • USB Type-C
  • Sensors: GPS, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass, Ambient Light and Proximity
  • Hardware kill switches for Camera, Microphone, Baseband, WiFi/Bluetooth

For Sure it’s a great challenge for Purism, but if you like their project you have to know that the first smartphone will not ship until January 2019.

About Luca Ruggeri

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