New Post: Librem 5 and Librem 5 USA: What are the Differences?

[This is intended to be a discussion thread for this blog post. Please keep replies on topic with the themes discussed in the post]

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.

Read the rest of the post here:


Besides the engraving of “USA” on the side of the chassis of the Librem 5 USA, is there any indication on the printed circuit board that the board is of US origin, like “Made in USA” in a metallic trace, visible on inspection or on x-ray?

I’m not sure whether there will be a visual difference between the two PCBAs or not.

Besides other advantages, secure hardware supply chain is mentioned in contrast to China assembled models.
What exactly is more secure or to put it the other way round: What is insecure with chinese hardware supply chain?

It has to do with number of hops more than inherent distrust of China (although I imagine some customers have that sentiment). The fewer hops/shorter distance between manufacturing and shipping, the fewer risks of tampering. Each hop is an opportunity for tampering whether by a factory worker, government, shipping company, or criminal.

For instance, we manufacture our Librem Keys in the USA and I would say that results in a more secure supply chain compared to when Nitrokey initially manufactured them for us. This isn’t because Nitrokey is untrustworthy, but instead it’s because by having the electronics manufactured in our facility under our direct supervision next to fulfillment, the “hop” between manufacturing and shipping to a customer is absolutely minimal.


And the winner is: Twelve hundred bucks!

Is the PLS8 modem still the default modem for the USA model (if I remember correctly)? I expect that when the modems for the USA phones have been built, the extras will be available for the standard models. I am waiting to place an order when the PLS8 modem becomes an option for the standard phone.

According to the Librem 5 USA page, it still says that the modem module is made in Germany, so yes it is still planned that the Librem 5 USA will have the PLS8 modem (as far as we know).

Cool. That seems like it would have been worth mentioning, but getting into the different networks supported might have been too much of a rabbit hole for a small blog post. I think that someone mentioned that what is inside the chip is not that that different, but the firmware is, which may be why one can get VoLTE out of the box and the other one requires more work.