If you are super serious about digital privacy, like paranoia-level kind of serious, you shouldn’t be using “conventional” laptop and smartphone. You should be looking at devices that are built from the ground up to safeguard your digital lifestyle and safeguarding your digital lifestyle is exactly what Purism Librem laptops and smartphone do.

Purism is not a mainstream company. It is relatively young company which we first heard back in 2015 when it introduces Librem 13 secure laptop. Fast forward to today, the brand has grown to include new models of laptop, plus a smartphone called Librem 5.

Purism Librem 5 Smartphone
The prettiest aesthetically, but pretty in the privacy department.

Like its laptops, Librem 5 smartphone is a minimalistic looking device, but looks is not its focus, security is. Librem 5 wants you to take control of your digital privacy, prevents digital exploitation and more. As such, it is NOT Android-based, nor has it got anything to do with iOS.

It runs on an auditable, open source operating system known as PureOS. Moreover, it is the first-ever Matrix-power smartphone that natively uses end-to-end encrypted decentralized communication in its dialer and messaging app to keep Big Brother or any potential hackers or business rivals out of your digital life.

Purism Librem 5 Smartphone
It has Courage Jack.

It is also designed to be use for as long as you want to and having a user-replaceable 3,500 mAh battery is one of the many ways Purism aims to make the phone lasts.

In addition to its native applications, Librem 5 is able to run HTML5 web apps. This means common apps you use everyday can be access through web browser. Purism is working to isolate theses apps from the OS, so these apps will not have visibility of other running apps or have access to areas which you do not explicitly allow.

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Another important standout feature of Librem 5 smartphone is, it has 3 kill switches to let you ‘kill’ the wireless, cameras and microphone, and the GPS. Here’s a rundown of its spec-sheet:

  • Display: 5.7″ IPS TFT screen @ 720×1440
  • Processor: i.MX8M (Quad Core) max. 1.5GHz
  • Memory: 3GB
  • Storage: 32 GB eMMC internal storage
  • Wireless: 802.11a/b/g/n 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz + Bluetooth 4.0
  • Baseband: Option 1: Gemalto PLS8; Option 2: Broadmobi BM818; w/ single nanosim tray on replaceable M.2 card
  • GPS: Teseo LIV3F GNSS
  • Smartcard: Reader with 2FF card slot (SIM card size)
  • Sound: 1 earpiece speaker, 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • External Storage: microSD storage expansion
  • Accelerometer: 9-axis IMU (gyro, accelerometer, magnetometer)
  • Front Camera: 8 MP
  • Rear Camera: 13 MP w/ LED flash
  • Vibration Motor: Yes
  • USB Type C: USB 3.0 data, Charging (Dual-Role Port), Video out
  • Battery: User replaceable – 3,500 mAh

Purism Librem 5 started to ship this month in scheduled batches. If you want one, you will have to prepare to drop $699 for one. Also, you will have reserve it by backordering it on Purism website.

Purism Librem 5 Smartphone
You will be able to get your Instagram fix, among others, with HTML5 web app.

Images: Purism.

Published by Mike chua

Avid tech enthusiast, gadget lover, marketing critic and most importantly, love to reason and talk.

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