Purism’s Privacy-Focused Librem 5 Smartphone's On Track For A Jan '19 Release

Purism announced that its community-driven security and privacy-focused Librem 5 smartphone, which raised $2.5 million in a crowdfunding campaign in 2017, is on track to ship in January 2019.

Giving “Complete Control” To Users

Purism, the makers of privacy-focused Librem laptops, believe that phones shouldn’t track or exploit your digital life. As such, the Librem 5 smartphone will not be running the Google-developed Android operating system, and will instead rely on the company’s own PureOS. Alternatively, the Librem 5 will also be able to run any GNU/Linux distribution where the complete source of the OS is available to the public.

The Librem 5 will also come with features such as:

  • Encrypted calling
  • Native VoIP capabilities
  • End-to-end encryption of texts and emails via a partnership with decentralized communications provider Matrix
  • Convenient pre-configured VPN services for enhanced web browsing protection
  • Compatibility with 3G/4G, GSM, UMTS, or LTE networks
  • Edit or develop on the source code, which will be made publicly available
  • Enable hardware kill switches for the camera, microphone, WiFi/Bluetooth and baseband
  • Utilize a slot for an encryption smartcard such as Purism’s upcoming Librem Key developed in partnership with Nitrokey

Manufacturing On Track

Purism founder and CEO Todd Weaver said that the smartphone is now on track to be manufactured this year and delivered to consumers by January 2019:

“The progress we’ve made over the last seven months is exciting, and it is a thrill to see the Librem 5 that much closer to getting into users’ hands. We have an extremely qualified team of engineers and designers building the Librem 5 according to schedule, as well as our proven manufacturing capabilities to meet our delivery goals.”

The company said that it’s still accepting pre-orders from those interested in buying the security and privacy-focused Librem 5 smartphone at the Purism online store for $599.

Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.