Librem 5 Will Begin Shipping In The Weeks Ahead, But Varying Quality Over Months Ahead
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 5 September 2019 at 11:00 AM EDT. 102 Comments
HARDWARE --
As we approach the end of Q3, Purism has been quiet whether they will make their revised target of shipping the Librem 5 Linux smartphone this quarter after passing their original plan to ship at the start of 2019. Well, Purism has just published an update and they will begin shipping the phones in batches beginning at the end of the month but the quality isn't yet up to scratch.

Purism will begin shipping the Librem 5 at the end of the month and it will be done in a number of batches over the months to come. The earlier you pre-ordered, the earlier you are slotted to receive your phone, but you can opt for a later batch if desired as with the early runs the build quality isn't yet ideal.


Purism has shared new pictures of the Librem 5 in its latest form.


With the initial batch of phones at the end of September and early October, the hardware quality is said to be "Individually milled case, loose fit, varying alignment, unfinished switch caps. (Hand crafted)" On the software side there is their initial release of mobile software on PureOS while software updates will have to be done from the terminal. Their shipping window for this first batch is 24 September to 22 October.


Version 1 of the Librem 5 is going to be a thick phone.


The second batch will bring a "tighter fit, improved alignment" for manufacturing and that will begin at the end of October through the end of November. That will also iterate the software stack for this phone. With their batch in December is when all of the switches will be properly capped as well as bringing better power management and other software improvements.


Unfortunately no complete/hands-on pictures/videos of the current chassis/assembly of the phone in action at this time.


From January through March will be their next batch with various hardware refinements, a graphical PureOS store, and other improvements. In Q2'2020 is when there will be a molded case and long-term support software support, or rather the phone should be in good standing for early adopters.

Purism is planning for a "Version 2" of the phone with a "14nm Next Generation CPU" at the end of 2020 that is when the Librem 5 they anticipate to be ready for wider-scale adoption.

With the advanced announcement, they didn't indicate whether each of the batches are sized similarly or the size of the initial batch. Pictures of their slated phone design are also said to be forthcoming. Pricing on the Librem 5 remains at $699 USD for the 5.7-inch 720x1440 smartphone with NXP i.MX8M quad-core CPU, 3GB RAM, 32GB eMMC, 802.11n + Bluetooth 4, and 3500 mAh battery.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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