From its very name, you can discern something unique about the Librem 5 USA. It stands out in the crowd of smartphones as the sole model fashioned entirely within the United States, up to January 2023. The 'USA' tag distinguishes it from the global version of Librem 5, evoking its American lineage. A rare domestic breed in the global smartphone ecosystem, indeed.
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.
Emphasising User Privacy: A Key Selling Point of the Librem 5 USA
At the heart of the Librem 5 USA is a commitment to user privacy. The vision of Purism was to engineer a smartphone that cherishes user data and doesn't give it away to big tech behemoths like Google or Apple, or even to third-party app developers. Taking this road less travelled meant parting ways with Android and iOS. An independent Operating System, PureOS, was thus conceived, embedding privacy at its core.
What operating system is in Librem 5 USA?
Wrapped in intrigue is the Librem 5 USA's operating system choice. One might wonder, is it iOS? Assuredly not, for that remains Apple's sole reserve. Could it be Android OS? Or possibly Ubuntu Mobile? Surprisingly, neither. The Librem 5 USA marches to the beat of its own drum, running on the PureOS operating system. PureOS, firmly grounded on Debian GNU/Linux and chaired by the GNU/Linux-libre kernel, is a departure from the norm. Consequently, Android apps and Google Mobile Services (GMS) find no footing here. An unorthodox approach indeed, further reinforcing the phone's staunch focus on a privacy-centric user experience.
Hardware Kill Switches
The Librem 5 USA holds user privacy and security paramount. A feature few may be aware of is that typical smartphones continue to stealthily gather tracking information even when Bluetooth, location services, and the device itself have ostensibly been switched off. This persistent surveillance is due to the absence of a true power disconnect. To counteract this privacy breach, the Librem 5 USA introduces dedicated hardware kill switches that ensure a complete shutdown of the camera, microphone, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and wireless network connectivity. Activating a kill switch guarantees a full cessation of component or service operation, preventing any snooping activities from skulking in the background.
Imagine you're immersed in a project on your Librem 5 USA during your commute. Upon arriving home, you desire a more comfortable workspace. No worries. Just connect your device to an external display, keyboard, and mouse, and voila, your smartphone has transformed into a full-blown desktop computer. This seamless transition between diverse computing environments is precisely the essence of convergence, a concept the Librem 5 USA fully embraces.
Librem 5 USA specs
- Powered by PureOS, a privacy-focused Operating System, a unique creation of Purism, underpinned by Debian GNU/Linux.
- 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?
Indeed, at a glance, the Librem 5 USA might seem routine, with specifications that include a humble 32GB storage, absence of NFC, and a processor that doesn't flaunt premium flagship credentials. Yet, it bears a hefty price tag of at least $1,999. The seemingly premium asking is a testament to its emphasis on privacy, security, and the cachet of being fashioned entirely in the USA. A niche offering for the privacy-conscious, the Librem 5 USA can be procured from the Purism website at puri.sm.