Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Librem 5 Linux Smartphone hits its Crowfunding Goal $1.5 Million

Last month, Purism a company known for creating laptops which are focused on security and privacy, announced they wanted to create a smartphone that runs free and open source GNU/Linux software. A smartphone that will have hardware kill switches and is geared towards giving users more control over their privacy and security settings. But to build this super awesome GNU/Linux smartphone, they would need a huge sum of $1.5 million. Despite the fact that the Librem 5 crowdfunding campaign got off to a slow start and looked like it was going to fizzle out like other ambitious phone projects that came before, they finally came through.
Librem 5 Linux Smartphone hits its  Crowfunding Goal $1.5 Million
In recent weeks, the crowdfunding picked up at a good pace, following Purism's partnership with KDE and GNOME, and today Purism has hit their goal of $1.5 million and above needed to produce Librem 5 free and open source GNU/Linux smartphone. With this new found success at Purism and if everything goes according to plan, the first developer kits should ship in June next year while their first phones could go out in January 2019.

The Librem 5 smartphone will have the same basic features of previously produced device by Purism which include the recently released Librem 13 v2 laptop mention only but few are;
  •     Will boot a free and open source GNU/Linux operating system software and Coreboot instead of a proprietary BIOS.
  •     Hardware kill switches that let you physically disconnect the camera and wireless components rather than just turning them off with software
  • A hardware kill switch for the baseband and as well for the camera, mic, WiFi and Bluetooth features.
A few differences between the Librem 5, when compared with other devices that were earlier designed by Purism, will be;
  •     The operating system will need to be customized so as to work on a small touchscreen display devices.
  • Will ship NXP i.MX6 or i.MX8 processor
Other features and specs of Librem 5 include every other awesome feature you'd expect from a modern day Android smartphone, expect the Android OS that will boot the smartphone. Because in this case Librem 5 will boot a PureOS Linux distribution. It will also be customized in a way that will allow users to install different operating systems on the phone.

The phone is expected to be a 5-inch display smartphone with 3GB RAM for processes and running apps, 32GB internal storage space that can be expected with a microSD. Selfie and rear cameras are to be expected together with a headphone jack.

I have reason to believe that Purism will create series of smartphones after Librem 5 that will compete with the likes of iOS and Android in the near future. However, it is still too early to say whether this is a recipe for a good phone will be popular and widely used by many. But I’m cautiously more optimistic especially now that Purism has met their fundraising campaign goal for Librem 5. This really shows that the phone will actually exist.





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