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Librem 5: Is It The Ultimate Open Source Phone?
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
- 3GB LPDDR3 RAM
- 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.