HomeReviewsPurism Librem 5: A Linux-Based Smartphone With Kill Switch For Privacy Lovers 

Purism Librem 5: A Linux-Based Smartphone With Kill Switch For Privacy Lovers 

Obsolescence and digital surveillance have been a concern for Linux smartphone users for a long time. A leading innovator in the Linux phone space, Purism, claimed to find an answer to these concerns and introduced Librem 5 smartphone. Equipped with kill switches and other privacy-enhancing measures, Purism Librem 5 appeals to privacy and security-conscious users. However, the smartphone has room for future software updates and successive hardware revisions.  Let’s find out what this smartphone includes. 


Well, the “kill switches” feature makes it feel like an assassination codeword. The phone has these switches, which can be used to turn some capabilities off to protect privacy. As much as Purism is concerned about user privacy and safety, it also looks concerned about mother nature and has come up with a user-replaceable battery. In case the battery is not performing well, instead of throwing the phone away, the user can replace the battery with a new one, contributing to electronic waste reduction. 

Rating – 7.5/10 


The trio of kill switches is at the core of Librem 5’s design. Each switch disables mobile internet, camera & microphone, and Wi-Fi, respectively. When these three features are killed, the GPS gets automatically disabled. There is a smartcard reading slot along with the kill switches. On the opposite side, users will find power and volume buttons. Though Purism Librem 5 is easy to hold, it might be unmanageable for smaller hands.  

Rating – 7/10 


The overall performance of Purism Librem 5 is decidedly average since, besides having a crisp display and outstanding hardware specifications, the processor is sluggish, and some essential features have room for improvement. The boot time of Librem 5 is impressive; however, the connectivity with external devices is less compelling. Since it is a Linux phone, there is no standard way to measure the performance of Purism Librem 5, and it would be unfair to benchmark it. 

Rating -6.5/10

Software & Features 

With the ability to block browser trackers and kill switches, Librem 5’s has some vital security features. Usually, kill switches work well, but the phone scrabbles to cope if kill switches are turned on and off in quick succession. Then only a full reboot can resolve the issue. One of the key selling features of Purism Librem 5 is the ability to use the phone like a PC. Purism promises lifetime updates to prolong the handset’s life which is a powerful standalone feature, while the phone lacks essential features like camera software. 

Rating – 6/10 

Battery Life 

Instead of hardware modesty, Librem 5’s battery loses its power with a considerable speed, so with the existing setup, the battery can last three to five hours. After a successful boot, the phone tends to lose charge quickly, and after several days of charging, the phone may refuse to charge while the charger is plugged in. Moreover, the battery emits a substantial amount of heat. However, not as much that can melt anything, certainly higher than any phone should be. 

Rating – 5/10

Being outdated and no longer usable is neither good for the user nor the environment, and Librem 5 seems to be an answer to this. Users prefer handsets that last longer and have more stable operating systems, and Librem 5 wins much respect in this regard. 

Purism Librem 5

Processor – 6.5% 

Display – 7% 

Display : 5.7″ IPS TFT screen @ 720×1440

Processor: i.MX8M (Quad Core) max. 1.5GHz

Memory: 3GB RAM

Storage: 32 GB eMMC internal storage

Camera: 8 MPixel front camera and 13 MPixel w/LED flash back camera 

Battery: User replaceable – 3,500 mAh

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Jyoti Singh
Jyoti Singh
Jyoti is a passionate digital marketer with years of experience in crafting content, social media marketing and advertising. Her core interest lies in field of marketing, business, technology, travel, and entertainment. Highly creative and her expertise lies in observation and detailing make her a perfect marketer.

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