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Librem 5 Birch Shipping Announcement

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We are delighted to share that early yesterday we shipped the first Librem 5 Birch devices to backers. US backers should start receiving their devices throughout the day and international backers can expect theirs within a few days. The Librem 5 is just one part of our mission to give the world ethical alternatives to Big Tech products and services that respect your privacy and security. From myself and the rest of the Purism team we would like to thank you for your support and your belief in us, by doing so you’ve made it your mission too.

We made a number of hardware improvements from the Librem 5 Aspen to the Librem 5 Birch batch. We have a much improved antennae design, shield protectors across all components on the PCBA, rubber bumpers to help tighten up the fit of component placement, strong clips to secure the WiFi and Cellular cards, shorter cables to clean-up the cable routing, tighter overall tolerance, improved thermal dissipation into the case. To say that we are proud of what the team was able to accomplish in the short time since our last batch does not do them enough justice.

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Also: Librem 5 "Birch" Linux Smartphones Begin Shipping To Consumers

Breaking Ground

  • Breaking Ground

    We are often asked, why does the Librem 5 cost that much? Well, there are several reasons and I will try to explain the most important ones.

    First of all, the design of the Librem 5 is unique in many ways. Most importantly the hardware is designed from the ground up by us and for us. The Librem 5 is a complete custom design, not based on any reference design, specifically designed with all the goals we all want to achieve – open, safe, secure, respecting your privacy and digital rights. This rules out existing mobile phone reference designs, like from MTK, Qualcomm and the others. When we first approached hardware manufacturers almost two years ago with this project most of them instantly said “No, sorry, impossible, we can not help you.”. Others warned us, that it could never work, that it was too complicated, “the industry does not do that” and so forth.

    And yet here we are, later than we wanted, but we are actually shipping first hardware! It is possible but it comes at a price.

Librem 5 Begins Shipping to Backers — For Real This Time

  • Librem 5 Begins Shipping to Backers — For Real This Time

    Those opting to get a handset from the early ‘Birch’ batch (several iterative batches are planned) will receive a Linux phone that eats through battery pretty fast, can’t play audio in calls (though it can make them), and is currently not able to use the included cameras.

    But that’s part of the whole early-adopter fun, right?

    And future software updates will, Purism add, fix many of the phone’s early flaws, with software support for more hardware planned for the coming weeks and months.

    In fact, Purism are regular contributors to the Linux kernel.

Librem 5 phones finally finding homes

  • Librem 5 phones finally finding homes

    As we reported in our article, the Librem 5 Birch phone is the first smartphone to focus on privacy and security since it neither exploits nor tracks the user’s digital footprint. It’s hardware kill switches, layered security protection, decentralized and IP-native communication, user-controlled sourced code, and hardware encryption aids in this effort.

    One early recipient reporting into interested users at was impressed that his phone came with a hand-written thank you noted and noted that the build quality of the Librem 5 Birch phone was much more excellent than anticipated. Also pointed out by the user was the aesthetics of the screen.

Librem 5 backers have begun receiving their Linux phones

  • Librem 5 backers have begun receiving their Linux phones

    When Ars spoke to Purism founder and CEO Todd Weaver two weeks ago, the Librem 5 had been "shipping" for a month but not to backers—only to Purism employees and inside developers. Weaver talked a little about the unexpected hardware issues the company had been experiencing late in the game, including a batch of phone boards missing a 10kOhm resistor, and he gave us an updated schedule for when the phones would resume shipping. More importantly, Weaver said backers would begin receiving their phones by the first week of December.

Purism Librem 5 Linux smartphone user reviews starting to come

  • Purism Librem 5 Linux smartphone user reviews starting to come in (it’s a mixed, if optimistic bag)

    The Librem 5 is the first smartphone from Linux laptop maker Purism. First announced more than two years ago, the Librem 5 still isn’t quite ready for prime time. But folks willing to pay $699 for pre-production hardware have started to receive devices from the Librem 5 Birch batch that began shipping last week.

    That means the first real-world unboxing videos, user impressions, and hands-on reviews from people who don’t work for Purism are here.

    The good news? The Librem 5 is a real thing that mostly works the way it’s supposed to. The bad news? The software is quite clearly still a work in progress.

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