The French company Murena has been “googleing” Androids for several years. In other words, the company offers its own operating system / e / OS, which is actually Android without any traces of Google. The company focuses on the greatest possible mobile security, and has previously released its own operating system for Fairphone and Teracube phones. At the beginning of June, however, Murena announced its own “safe” smartphone with Android, which you will also be able to buy in the Czech Republic. But how is it different from commonly sold phones?
The idea of a safe smartphone is nothing new under the sun. In addition to the aforementioned Fairphone 4, we will recently recall an initiative from Slovakia, thanks to which a secure Android with software from Romania will be created. The demand for secure smartphones is obviously there, users do not like collecting data and handling it, so they are increasingly willing to invest in phones where data collection is minimized. This is also the case with the smartphone Murena One. But is its price justified?
This is a secure smartphone without Google – Murena One
The phone measuring 162 × 77 × 8.9 mm weighs 186 grams, the display is provided by a 6.53 “IPS display with a resolution of 2,242 × 1,080 pixels. Its refresh rate is of course 60 Hz. Users have a 48Mpx camera on their backs (F1 According to press photos, there are two more sensors on the back, but the specifications are silent, and we dare to say that it will be an “unusable” 5Mpx macro and a 2Mpx depth lens.
Brief introduction of the / e / OS system
Murena One uses a modified version of Android called / e / OS. It is a system in which all the “threads” leading to Google have been removed. Therefore, the GMS service package is missing, on the other hand, the system does not store any user logs or monitor user activity, which it would then send to remote servers. Google has been excluded from all communication protocols, using available alternatives or software layers to maintain compatibility. The site spot.murena.io serves as the main search engine instead of Google.
The phone is powered by a Helio P60 chipset complete with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which you can double up with microSD cards. On the body of the phone you will find a slot for two nanoSIM cards (the second slot is shared), a USB-C connector and a headphone jack. LTE networks are the maximum of mobile connectivity, Wi-Fi Bluetooth 4.2 or NFC is available locally. The non-replaceable battery has a capacity of 4,500 mAh.
However, the main one revolves around the / e / OS system, which is based on the older Android 10. However, the manufacturer removed hundreds to thousands of lines of code from the source code, which were used to send user data to remote servers, without your explicit permission. Thanks to that, it was clear that the basic set of applications from Google had to disappear. It has been replaced by open-source applications that cover the basic needs of the phone. However, the launcher itself is quite reminiscent of the iOS system …
Gmail is not used to log in to the phone, but the newly created account, which ends in “@ murena.io”. This synchronized account includes 1GB of storage, which can be used for easy backups of emails, contacts, calendars, tasks and notes. You can install “verified and secure” applications directly from the pre-installed store. In addition to user ratings during installation, you will also see security scores from zero to ten. In addition, you can, of course, install other Android applications or alternative application stores on the system.
Introducing the Murena One secure smartphone:
And what do you find in the basic box? Phone and user guides only. You must use the cable, AC adapter, and headphones from your older device. And the price? Murena One will cost 352 EUR in Europe at the end of June, which at the current exchange rate is almost nine thousand crowns. However, you will find significantly better equipped smartphones at a similar price level. Well, it turns out that more privacy on Android phones is definitely not free …