Purism Librem 5 SmartPhone Now Shipping Its Development Kit

Purism Librem 5 SmartPhone Now Shipping Its Development Kit


Purism Librem 5 Smartphone is a mobile phone that promises full control by it’s user. Privacy has always been a thing of concern for many users and with the supposed “Free Country” we live in, we never really have freedom. There are always eyes and ears monitoring us in all forms, for analytics or security as some proclaimed.

Some people are already saying Privacy is dead, well San Francisco-based freedom-focused computer manufacturer Purism is hoping to change that narrative in 2019 with the expected release of its much anticipated Librem 5 smartphone, that focuses on security by design and privacy protection by default. Purism believes they can put “complete” control of your phone into your hands, both hardware and software, with the Librem 5 smartphone, which they tout as being “the only smartphone you can truly own.”

The Purism Librem 5

Purism which already crowdfunded the Librem 5 smartphone and has a reported availability date of April 2019, also provide developers the avenue to order a development kit in earlier 2018. Purism announced that the Librem 5 dev kit’s hardware is “done and shipping” for the backers.

The Librem which features an upgraded NXP i.MX 8M quad-core Cortex-A53 processor as compared to the initial i.MX 6M and house a 3Gb of LPDDR4 RAM, 32GB onboard storage, 16Gb of eMMC Flash, a 5.7-inch LCD touchscreen display (18:9 720 X 1440), micro SD slot, mini HDMI, microphone/speaker/3.5mm jack, and a USB-C port. It will also provide network connectivity as seen in top ended phones featuring an M.2 low-power Wi-Fi/Bluetooth, a SIM7100E cellular base-band card (3G/4G networks plus SIM card slot), and an Ethernet port for data transfer and debugging.

The Librem 5 Development Kit
The Librem 5 Development Kit

The DevKit features a host of sensors as they are found on the main product. It comes with a 9-axis inertial IMU sensor, ambient light sensor, and proximity sensor and support for both GPS and GNSS are builtin. Power is supplied via USB-C or 18650 Li-poly rechargeable battery.

The Librem 5 is a phone built on PureOS, an entirely free, ethical and open-source operating system that is not based on Android or iOS and built on the GNU/Linux system. It will also include other range of Debian Linux OS like Ubuntu, Fedora, and others. Purism is currently offering the Librem 5 in kit form for developers looking to provide feedback to the Purism engineering team, and the community before the end product is shipped in April, next year.

Purism is backing on its community to help in the final sprint to the finish line and will be taking help with testing, feature requests, and of course code! The Purism Librem 5 is available for pre-order now through January 7 for $599, and price will go to $699 after that date. More information about the dev kit is available on the announcement page here.

Hi, I'm software, a hardware guy, and a technical writer. Have had a stint with the EdTech industries, but mostly interested in the space of deploying AI for edge computing. Otherwise, I am writing or coding about some technology pieces covering IoT, GPU computing, LoraWAN, PCB, Machine Learning, Precision Agriculture, Open Electronics, and related fields. Got a tip, freebies, launch, gig or leak? Contact me on Twitter, or via email: charlesayibiowuAThotmail.com. I don't bite.

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