‘Librem 5’, Purism plans to develop Linux-based security-focused smartphones

‘Librem 5’, the World’s First Encrypted, Open Smartphone by Purism

Purism, the social purpose corporation which is known for manufacturing the Librem personal computing devices with a focus on software freedom, computer security and Internet privacy, has revealed its plan to enter the smartphone market.

The company is crowdfunding a security focussed “Librem 5” Linux smartphone, which according to Purism, will be the world’s first ever IP-native mobile handset, using end-to-end encrypted decentralized communication in its dialer and messaging app via Matrix. Matrix offers an open ecosystem for interoperable encrypted communication that supports over 2 million users with VoIP and Slack-style messaging.

The privacy-focused company shares, “As increasing concern among Android and iOS users grow around personal data they give up through WiFi connections, application installations and basic location services, Purism hopes to address those concerns by manufacturing phones that will operate with free/libre and open source software within the kernel, the operating system, and all software applications. Purism has built a strong reputation within the GNU/Linux community by delivering laptops designed to specifically meet user concern about digital privacy, chip-by-chip, line-by-line, to respect our common rights to privacy, security, and freedom.”

Some of the planned highlighted features and specs of Librem 5 are:

• 5-inch touchscreen display
• 3GB LPDDR3 of system memory
• 32GB eMMC storage and a microSD slot
• Allows to make encrypted calls that mask your phone number
• Encrypts texts and emails
• Allows to set up VPN services for enhanced web browsing protection
• Runs PureOS by default, or most GNU+Linux distributions with open source code on the NXP i.MX6 or i.MX8 with Vivante GPU
• Works with 2G/3G/4G, GSM, UMTS, and LTE networks
• CPU separate from Baseband
• Hardware kill switches for camera, microphone, baseband, WiFi, Bluetooth
• Provides 802.11 WiFi, Bluetooth 4, GPS, and SIM slot
• 3.5mm headphone and microphone jack, microphone, speaker, and volume controls
• Camera – Front and back
• USB – USB Host, USB Type-C
• Sensors include accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, ambient light, and proximity

Todd Weaver, founder & CEO at Purism said that, “I believe digital rights should mirror physical rights. Our Librem 5 phone will get humanity closer to that goal by giving people choices about how they want to protect or share their digital identity”.

The first version of the phone will be capable of messaging, voice calling, email, video, camera, and web browsing. The stack will “expand quickly to include the thousands of productivity, gaming, graphics, and photography applications already in PureOS,” says Purism.

“Purism has been doing genuine and important work around making truly free yet desirable laptops. The communities I work with would very much like to see the same philosophy replicated in a phone that runs a GNOME based stack where community members can participate in equal terms and that ensures respect for the users’ privacy and security,” said Alberto Ruiz, GNOME & Fedora Laptop Enablement. “While pulling this off is hard, Todd seems like someone who sincerely cares about these issues and has a great track record executing. I think the efforts of Purism deserve the support of the free software community.”

Purism says it expects the Librem 5 to launch in early 2019 with a retail price of around $599. For more information on the Librem 5, you can go to the Purism website and from there head to their crowdfunding page.


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Kavita Iyer
Kavita Iyerhttps://www.techworm.net
An individual, optimist, homemaker, foodie, a die hard cricket fan and most importantly one who believes in Being Human!!!


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