The Murena 2 – A Privacy-Focused Smartphone
You might not be familiar with Murena in the mobile industry unless you own a modular Fairphone 4 from the US. Murena partnered with Fairphone 4 to create a version of the smartphone that ditches Google apps and instead includes Murena’s Cloud apps like email, calendar, and cloud storage.
Interestingly, Murena recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for “the first smartphone for everyone with a privacy switch to prevent any snooping.” Surprisingly, the funding goal was set at a mere $27,000, a small sum compared to what major handset manufacturers spend on their products.
With about 9 days left in the campaign, Murena 2 has already raised over $160,000, making it an incredibly successful project. Nearly 350 supporters have backed the campaign by pre-purchasing at least one phone.
Designed for the masses, Murena claims that the upcoming Murena 2 is the world’s first privacy-focused smartphone. The device features two physical switches: a privacy switch to disconnect the cameras and microphones, and a disconnection switch to turn off connectivity.
The disconnection switch activates airplane mode and mutes your phone. Additionally, the Murena 2 smartphone comes with an open-source operating system called /e/OS, the same one found on the Fairphone 4. /e/OS is renowned as the most privacy-friendly operating system and stands out for its advanced privacy and anti-tracking features, including VPN location spoofing, IP address hiding, and app tracker monitoring.
What sets /e/OS apart is its compatibility with Android’s app ecosystem, allowing users to install any Android apps on their Murena 2 phone. Users can even check the privacy scores of apps before installing them.
In addition to the phone, customers will gain access to Murena Cloud, a private online vault that lets them sync their media, notes, and documents securely from anywhere. However, the free online storage is limited to 1GB, with additional storage options up to 2TB available for purchase starting at $2 per month.
Moving on to the hardware specifications, the Murena 2 is not a flagship device, as its price reflects. It is equipped with a 2.1GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P70 chipset, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage (expandable up to 512GB via microSD).
The phone features a 6.43-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display, a triple camera setup (64MP + 13MP + 5MP), and a 25-megapixel front-facing selfie camera. It is powered by a 4,000mAh battery with 18W fast charging support.
It’s worth noting that Murena states their phone is only compatible with T-Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile, Simple Mobile, Speedtalk Mobile, Ultra Mobile, Red Pocket Mobile, and Ting in the United States. They specifically recommend using the phone on T-Mobile and its MVNOs, ruling out Verizon compatibility.
As for pricing, the “Super Early Bird” and “Duo Early Bird” tiers, offering the Murena 2 for $320, are no longer available. The current options are $960 for three phones or $430 for one. To learn more about pricing or support the campaign for additional perks, visit the Kickstarter page.
The Murena 2 presents an exciting option for those seeking a privacy-focused smartphone with robust features and a user-friendly experience. Stay tuned for further updates as Murena continues its journey to redefine smartphone privacy.