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.
I just got a Freedom Phone. It has no app tracking, no keyboard tracking and no location tracking. It comes preloaded with some of the most popular banned conservative sites & apps. Let's break the power of Big Tech together.
Use code: EMERALD at checkout for a 10% discount. https://t.co/OC4dOpv6xy
— Emerald Robinson ✝️ (@EmeraldRobinson) July 16, 2021
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.
Candace Owens and other pro-Trump media figures have told their fans to pay $500 for the Freedom Phone, billed as the "best phone in the world."
In reality, it's a budget Chinese phone that sells elsewhere for a fraction of that price. https://t.co/P4OSmQDMSu
— Will Sommer (@willsommer) July 15, 2021
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.
BIG TECH censors Trump..
Trump sues BIG TECH..
What if the answer was create your own TECH PLATFORM?
What would you say if I told you SOMEONE DID?
TAP HERE for $50.00 DOLLARS OFF..
Use Code: FREEDOMPHONE
— Chuck Callesto (@ChuckCallesto) July 16, 2021
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.
HAHAHAHAHA. The so-called "uncensorable app store" called "PatriApp Store" on the FreedomPhone is literally just a rebranded Aurora Store (an OOS front-end for the Google Play Store). pic.twitter.com/QQL1lmKIHf
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) July 15, 2021
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.
This person has a Freedom Phone and it's definitely Lineage OS. They also showed off Google apps in the app store lol. pic.twitter.com/cKNz9EFuPf
— Ron Amadeo (@RonAmadeo) July 16, 2021
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.