We sometimes get questions from customers who are trying to decide between the Librem 5 and Librem 5 USA, such as whether someone living in the USA must buy a Librem 5 USA (Answer: both Librem 5 and Librem 5 USA work in the US) or whether the Librem 5 is $1999 (Answer: the Librem 5 is $799, the Librem 5 USA is $1999). If you are trying to decide between the two phones and want to understand what makes the Librem 5 USA a premium product, in this post we’ll highlight the differences between the two.
Librem 5 and Librem 5 USA have the same Purism authored schematics, Industrial Design (ID), and Mechanical Design (MD), they both run the same firmware, kernel (Linux), operating system (PureOS), and applications from the PureOS Store. Both products are from Purism, a US-based Social Purpose Company. Both phones work in all the regions of the world by using a removable region-specific modem module included and installed in the phone.
Both the Librem 5 and Librem 5 USA have public schematics (they’re the same schematics, since they’re our schematics) for public verification. They both have X-rays released after manufacturing of the PCBAs to verify hardware chips and placement. Both phones are fully Purism designs top-to-bottom. Both phones have all source code released for reproducible verification of no tampering and public verification.
The core differences between the products are based on the Librem 5 being contract manufactured in China while the Librem 5 USA is manufactured at our facility in Carlsbad, California.
The Librem 5 PCBAs (the two boards inside the chassis) are manufactured in China. The PCBAs are then assembled into the Librem 5 Chassis, and imported to our facility in the USA for final assembly, flashing, testing, and fulfillment.
The Librem 5 USA PCBAs are manufactured in our facility in Carlsbad, California—therefore are Made in the USA Electronics—for a secure hardware supply chain in the USA. The PCBAs are then assembled into the Librem 5 Chassis (engraved with ‘USA’ on its side), and have final assembly, flashing, testing, and fulfillment all done at our Purism facility.
The immediate benefits of the Librem 5 USA are to support US labor laws, Made in USA Electronics, secure hardware supply chain, and US manufacturing.
Regardless of which product you choose, you will end up with a phone that’s on your side, designed from the bottom up to respect your freedom and protect your privacy and security.