You can tell from its name. How many smartphones have you come across with “USA” in their name? The Librem 5 USA is so-called because it is made in America. Yes; this is the only smartphone that is manufactured in the United States as at January 2023. There is a normal Librem 5 that is targeted at the rest of the world, which is why this one that is made in America has the “USA” tag in its name.
The Librem 5 USA is manufactured Purism, a US-based technology company. Purism says that the electronic components of the device are made in the United States and that it “sources its components via a controlled and secure US supply chain, with full electronics manufacturing done at the Purism operations headquarters in the United States. The new Librem 5 USA adheres to strict US labor, environmental, and materials laws with US-based staff. It brings together trusted hardware and secure software—all in one phone.” So, if you have been in search of a made in America smartphone, this is it. As a matter of fact, this is the only one at this time.
User Privacy on the Librem 5 USA
The main selling point of Librem 5 USA is user privacy. Purism set out to create a smartphone that does not snitch on your to Google or Apple, or even to 3rd party mobile app developers. To do that, they had to cut off Android and iOS, and so they developed their own OS called PureOS.
What operating system is in Librem 5 USA?
The Librem 5 USA is an intriguing device. You will be definitely interested in what operating system it uses? Definitely not iOS, as only Apple uses that. is it Android OS? No. Ubuntu Mobile? No. It runs an operating system called PureOS. PureOS is based on Debian GNU/Linux, and uses the GNU/Linux-libre kernel. So, your Android apps will not run on this phone. It does not support Google Mobile Services (GMS) either. What? Yes; you read that right. And that leads me to the subject of privacy.
Hardware Kill Switches
Librem 5 USA is big on user privacy and security. If you know anything about that, you already know then that even when you turn off things like Bluetooth, location services, or even switch off your regular smartphone, it still gathers tracking information behind the scenes because there was no physical disconnection of power. Which is why Librem 5 USA includes hardware kill switches for properly shutting down the camera, microphone, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and wireless network connectivity. Using a kill switch to shut off a component or service means that thing is properly shut down. It cannot run any activities or snitch on you in the background.
The ability to use a device for multiple computing scenarios is what convergence is all about. And Librem 5 USA is all about that. You can use it as a regular smartphone, and also as a desktop computer when you connect it to an external display, keyboard, and mouse. Yes; the best of both worlds – a smartphone and a full-blown PC.
Librem 5 USA specs
- PureOS operating system
- 5.71-inch, 720×1440 pixels, TFT IPS display,
- NXP i.MX 8M chipset at 1.5GHz
- 8 MP selfie camera
- 13 MP rear camera
- 3 GB RAM
- 32 GB internal memory
- MicroSD card slot, supporting up to 2TB cards
- 4500 mAh removable/replaceable battery.
- PowerDelivery charging
- 3 kill switches – WiFi, Cellular, Microphone/Cameras. Switching off all three will turn off the phone’s GPS too.
- Notification LED
- Smartcard reader
- Accelerometer, Ambient Light Senor, proximity Sensor
- USB-C/USB 3.0 data, PowerDelivery (Dual-Role Port), video out (DisplayPort)
How much is Librem 5 USA?
While this phone has mostly basic specifications (the built-in storage is a measly 32GB, there is no NFC, and the processor is not premium flagship grade), the phone comes at a steep price. Buying one will set you back by at least $1,999. Privacy and security comes at a price. Where can you find it to buy? Head over to the Purism website at puri.sm.