They were the Linux smartphone startup that could.

Last week, we covered the Purism Librem 5, a Linux smartphone concept by security-conscious US-based Linux laptop manufacturer Purism. They were looking to crowdfund $1.5 Million USD in order to make their vision of the Librem 5, a privacy and security-focused Linux smartphone, a reality. Now, only 4 days on from the original story, we can happily report that they have reached their target, with 2 weeks to spare; a very impressive feat for such a startup.

As we covered last week, this phone is being marketed primarily towards enthusiasts and privacy-minded folk, with Purism describing it as "the world's first ever IP-native mobile handset". It features end-to-end encrypted, decentralized communications via Matrix, the CPU will be completely separate from the baseband, and users will have access to dedicated hardware kill switches for the camera, the microphone, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular connectivity.

If you're interested in backing the project then don't wail in despair just yet; the campaign is still going until October 22, until which anyone can still back the project. However, the road until their first rollout in 2019 is still a long one. Component choices, software development and optimisation, gaining support from third-party developers; developing a smartphone and an operating system isn't easy, as Microsoft have proven. However, as this is an open-source device based off of a Debian Linux distribution, we can safely say that there's no lack of apps if you want to go looking.

A list of the phone's features includes:

  • Runs PureOS

  • Can run most GNU/Linux distributions

  • ‎5″ screen

  • Security focused by design

  • Privacy protection by default

  • Works with 2G/3G/4G, GSM, UMTS, and LTE networks

  • CPU separate from Baseband

  • Hardware Kill Switches for Camera, Microphone, WiFi/Bluetooth, and Baseband

What do you guys think? Are you amazed that this smartphone made it this far? Do you think it will outperform the Blackphone and Windows Phone? Let us know what you think: drop a comment below or post over in the forums.