Since the inception of smartphones (well, and a little bit before that), there has been a movement to try to create a phone that actually protects the privacy of its user and the people around it. This need has only grown more pressing over time as the companies making these phones solidify into a duopoly: iOS (Apple) and Android (Google).
For the most part, iOS is what it is, which is what Apple provides. It is very locked down and almost completely unfragmented. On the other hand, Android has massive fragmentation with Google's stock version (AOSP), Google's proprietary version for their Pixel line, Samsung's variant, LG's variant, etc., and those don't even include the cell provider-specific modifications included in the vendor-specific modification's of Google's modifications. I think with that many hands in the black box that is your smartphone, the privacy and security implications are myriad.
Many projects, such as CyanogenMod and LineageOS to name two of the biggest were started to try to address the bloatware, security, dropped vendor support, and general poor design that yielded poor battery life. But they only addressed security and privacy from a software perspective. The firmware and hardware still could not be trusted.
Even fewer organizations have attempted to tackle security from a software, a firmware, and a hardware perspective. Purism's Librem 5 does just that, for the most part.
The Librem 5 is a smark phone that runs Linux... like... true Linux. It's UI is a variant of Gnome; its default package manager is apt; it comes with a terminal and root privileges; it's software is fully open source. The hardware is also partially open source in that if you want, you can acquire some of the circutry schematics.
So, if you haven't heard of the Purism Librem 5 and you care about digital privacy, you should go check it out.
For the folks who also ordered and are wanting some details on when theirs might ship, here is my personal timeline.
2019-07-06: Ordered my Librem 5 (prior to the pre-order window closing)
2019-09-18: Request to select top 3 preferred shipping batchers
I requested 1. Aspen, 2. Chestnut, 3. Dogwood
2019-11-13: Received confirmation of estimated shipping batch Dogwood
2020-08-12: Received notification of significant hardware problem with Dogwood, with the option to be prioritized in the Evergreen batch should I want to pass on Dogwood. I did.
2020-11-12: Request to confirm shipping address for my Evergreen phone, and amend my order with any additional accessories I want.
2020-11-13: Confirmation from Purism support to bundle in the same shipment my additional accessories with my phone.
2020-12-17: Received confirmation that my Librem 5 would ship today! 🎉
2020-12-22: Received my Librem 5!
Total turnaround time: 18 months
I will post further updates and video content so folks can follow my experience with it, since I know there are a lot of people out there with a lot of questions. To be frank, I'm still one of them!
Last edited: 2020-12-28 04:16:44 UTC