Librem 5 final specs released

Image shared by Bryan Lunduke in Purism’s official announcement. Image Copyright Purism.

Well, a few hours ago released the final specifications of the Librem 5 smartpone. At long last. Except the post does not disclose the final dimensions for case designing.

To be fair, I have not been able to scour the whole release yet; those essential final dimensions may be hidden away somewhere. If so, I am sure the good case design cabal will dig them out and put them to near-instantaneous use.

The final details being filled in were things I really had no concerns about, and there are no real surprises there. There will be 3MB of RAM, more than should be necessary, less than could be hacked into the system using some probably not-very-professional methods.

Yes, the USB-C is set up to handle power in and video out, so indeed you can use it as a workstation computer[24, 30]. This is not reasonable. But no doubt some people are going to try it, and likely be disappointed.

The camera is a bit of a surprise – I was expecting pretty much minimal because, well, there’s always version 2.0. On a third hand,  for all I know the mega-pixels may be high but the quality crap. On a fourth hand, is there good camera software to run it? Not sure linux has had much development with built-in cameras yet.

The screen resolution is also no surprise – 720×1440. The focus was on quality at an affordable price, and this one is expected to last extremely well. And to be honest, who really needs 4k on their phone? My biggest problem is the size – 5.7″ is at least an inch larger than I prefer. This is not going to be a comfortable pocket phone for me, especially as it is predicted to be thicker than many even before the extra thickness of a 3d-printed case.

But one surprise, for me, was learning there is a third modem option – in addition to the Eu and US Gemalto PLS8 3G/4G[Faq], they mention a China-built Broadmobi BM818[O], about which I know nothing.

Another is that the phone has a separate slot for a GPG card, and one [probably?] comes with the device. This device contains a minimal processor to generate and process cryptographic problems completely independently from the phone’s processor, allowing it to verify the integrity of the device at boot, to monitor the operating system, and of course to generate and verify cryptographic keys. I was kind of aware of this, but was not clear how it was a part of the device before.

All in all this specification release offers some reassurances, but no grand surprises (except, maybe, those cameras…) and gifties. Nothing here was utterly unexpected (except maybe that modem), unlikely, or unreasonable. But it is very appreciated.