Librem 5 A Privacy And Security Centric Linux Smartphone

librem a linux phone with purism os

While Google Continues to rule the Android market by spying on its Android users. Purism, the company that has always stood for user privacy,  has their latest offering ‘Librem 5’ which is a phone that focuses on the security and privacy of its users.
​Enjoying massive success from the last few offerings of Privacy based Laptops such as the Librem 11, Librem 13 & the Librem 15. The bars have been set really high for the upcoming ‘Librem 5’ phone.Let’s have a look at the proposed features that are expected in the ‘Librem 5’.

The Hardware

This is the current proposed hardware as the final design has not yet been finalized.

  • I.MX 8 chipset.
  • 5 inch Screen.
  • Front and rear cameras.
  • 3GB DDR3 RAM
  • 32GB eMMC backed storage.
  • WiFi and Bluetooth.
  • MicroSD slot.
  • 3.5 mm Microphone Jack.
  • USB Type-C support.
  • GPS, Accelerometer, Compass & Gyroscope, Ambient Light, and Proximity sensors.
  • KIll Switches for Camera, Mic, Network.

The I.MX.8 chipset is the most likely contender to be chosen to power the device.

As we see the Hardware is very similar to any mid-range Android smartphone, though it hasn’t been mentioned as to what camera they’ll be using we can be sure that it will be on par with any other device in the same range.
Nothing new there except for the presence of a kill switch for hardware items like the camera, mic, and networks like the carrier’s, Wi-Fi and even Bluetooth.

The 3 Gigs of RAM may look less on paper but since the device will be running on its own custom made based on Linux, the RAM management will be neat and it wouldn’t be a bottleneck at all.

The Software

‘PureOS‘ the OS developed by ‘Purism’ which was already made available with the Librem laptops will again be used as a base for the mobile operating system.
pure os linux phone

‘PureOS’ is based on Debian and it has been modified to fit the security and privacy needs that ‘Purism’ focuses on. It is also an ‘Open System’, so no unknown binary drivers. Every byte of code used will be reviewed by the PureOS team.The UI for the mobile version of PureOS is expected to be worked around using KDE’S Implementation of Plasma Mobile.

librem phone a linux phone

The most innovative and exciting module, in my opinion, is that you will be allowed to use HTML5 apps. This will be a great benefit since there are not many apps available for PureOS, An HTML5 container will allow for more apps being made faster for the platform.
librem supports html5

Even though ‘PureOS’ will be installed by default, you will be free to install any other Linux distribution of choice.

Crowdfunding

Since there is no commercial company behind the project, the phone is being crowdfunded and has received tremendous response from the public.A funding goal of 1.5 million dollars ($1,500,000) had been set up, out of which about $1,540,622 which is about more than 102.71% of the total goal has been generated at the time writing this article. So well done! There are still 13 days left and crowdfunding is on. If you love the idea, you can also take part in the crowdfunding.

librem 5 reaches its goal

There are several categories of funders which will later get some benefits once the device hits the market.

A detailed amount wise distribution can be found here.

Launch and Pricing

​The device is still in the funding phase and it will take at least 6 more months to finalize the hardware. The software will take the whole of 2018.Launch date is expected to be somewhere in the first quarter of 2019 but it will be made available only to the initial funders and testers.

A public release can be expected in the Second quarter of 2019. The Phone will be priced at $599.

My Impressions and Conclusion

​In a World where we are being spied on by Tech Giants, the Librem 5 seems like a sigh of relief in user privacy and security.

The Hardware is decent for a price of $599 but this phone will never be a mass seller.
It will appeal to only a particular sect of users who are willing to trade features offered by android or ios devices in exchange for a secure and privacy oriented mobile solution.Will You Buy this phone? What do you think about it? Let us know in the comment section below.

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