The ‘Freedom Phone’ is here, but some experts claim it is nothing but a hyped-up, rebadged, Chinese smartphone running a Custom ROM

Freedom Phone
Pic credit: Official Website of Freedom Phone

The Freedom Phone launched in the United States of America this week. Touted as “private and secure”, the device appears to be nothing more than a rebranded Chinese smartphone running a Custom ROM.

Many prominent conservatives are hailing a new smartphone as the savior of ‘Freedom of Speech’. However, quite a few smartphone experts have examined the rather scanty details and strongly feel the device could be a marketing gimmick.

What is the Freedom Phone and why several Americans might want it?

Erik Finman, a self-proclaimed “Bitcoin millionaire,” announced the Freedom Phone yesterday. The device runs FreedomOS, which features a privacy tool called “Trust.”

The Freedom Phone costs $499 in the U.S. but Americans can buy the device at a $50 discount through its affiliate program. Needless to mention, many right-wing personalities and influencers in the U.S. are actively promoting the smartphone.

The device claims to offer a series of robust privacy features as well as an app store that no one censors. Essentially, the sellers are promoting the device that always protects ‘Freedom of Speech’.

In fact, the official website for the Freedom Phone claims it runs FreedomOS, which is supposed to be a “free-speech first operating system”. Additionally, the phone ships with conservative sites and apps pre-installed.

The phone appears to be made for Republican Party supporters in the U.S., several of whom are still upset about the U.S. Presidential Election results. Moreover, there is a growing concern about Big Tech supposedly censoring free speech.

According to the promoters of the Freedom Phone, the device will never censor free speech and not allow the “Big Tech” to interfere or hamper the ‘Freedom of Expression’.

The Freedom Phone could be a security concern that does not live up to any claims of ‘Security and Trust’:

It is important to note that the device hasn’t arrived at major tech or smartphone reviewers for deeper analysis. However, there are several indicators about the device, and how it could be a serious security concern.

In an interview, Finman confirmed that Umidigi, a Chinese smartphone brand headquartered in Shenzhen, manufactures the Freedom Phone.

Upon closer inspection, the device looks identical to the Umidigi A9 Pro. The device currently costs just $179.99 on Amazon. It is not clear if the Freedom Phone has significantly upgraded hardware to justify the lofty price tag.

 

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Interestingly, Candace Owens has posted a brief hands-on video of the device. The images strongly indicate the device’s “uncensorable app store” is a rebadged Aurora Store.

The Aurora Store is an open-source frontend for the Google Play Store. The Freedom Phone is supposed to have PatriApp Store.

If the device has a rebadged Aurora Store, then the company that makes the device won’t have any control over the app store’s content nor can it guarantee that apps will always remain uncensorable.

Coming to the Freedom Phone’s operating system, the device seems to be running a popular Custom ROM, called LineageOS. Moreover, the company’s “Trust” platform looks nearly identical to LineageOS Trust feature.

There are several questions that remain unanswered. Moreover, there’s no clarity on the device from any of the reliable and huge YouTube communities.

It is likely that the Freedom Phone could be trying to capitalize on the increasing prejudice against Big Tech. Hence, several experts are strongly advising against rushing out to buy the smartphone, regardless of what it is promising.

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