Ars Technica reports on the Librem 5 smartphone from Purism, which has begun shipping. The article provides an initial review of the phone, with pictures of the interface and hardware inside the case. “The Librem 5 is unlike anything else on the market. Not only is it one of the only smartphones on Earth that doesn’t ship with Android, a fork of Android, or iOS—Purism’s commitment to 100% open software, with no binary blobs, puts severe restrictions on what hardware it can use. Android’s core might be open source, but it was always built for wide adoption above all else, with provisions for manufacturers to include as much proprietary code as they want. Purism’s demand that everything be open means most of the major component manufacturers were out of the question.
Perhaps because of the limited hardware options, the internal construction of the Librem 5 is absolutely wild. While smartphones today are mostly a single mainboard with every component integrated into it, the Librem 5 actually has a pair of M.2 slots that house full-size, off-the-shelf LTE and Wi-Fi cards for connectivity, just like what you would find in an old laptop. The M.2 sockets look massive on top of the tiny phone motherboard, but you could probably replace or upgrade the cards if you wanted.”