A new “freedom of speech and privacy first” phone unveiled this week is raising red flags, with a report suggesting It’s just a rebrand of a cheap Chinese phone.
The $ 500 Freedom Phone was launched Wednesday by Erik Finman, a self-proclaimed “bitcoin millionaire, “as an alternative to popular devices from Google, Apple, and other Big Tech companies. The Freedom Phone website lacks the usual technical specifications, but says the device works with all major US carriers and is compatible with an “uncensored” app. Store.
The phone apparently runs FreedomOS, an operating system that Finman said in a tweet it was “our own combination of AOSP, LineageOS, GrapheneOS and also our personal development.” All three operating systems are based on Google’s Android operating system, which powers nearly nine out of 10 smartphones in the world.
While it’s understandable that people are drawn to a phone that prioritizes privacy and freedom of expression, various reports I have raised security concerns and questioned whether Freedom Phone is being frank with customers.
The Freedom Phone appears to be a rebrand from the Umidigi A9 Pro, a roughly $ 120 phone made by Chinese tech company Umidigi, according to a report Thursday from The Daily Beast. Finman reportedly confirmed to The Daily Beast that the Freedom Phone is made by Umidigi, but did not say which model it was based on.
Finman did not explain to The Daily Beast how the Freedom Phone justified its apparent dial-up, but apparently suggested that it features custom hardware and improved memory.
There are also concerns about phone security. Finman reportedly confirmed to The Daily Beast that Freedom OS is based on Google’s Android operating system, but custom versions carry risks as they may not get the latest security patches and updates. The Freedom Phone website also did not detail how it plans to keep malicious apps out of its “uncensored app store,” dubbed PatriApp.
Freedom Phone and Finman did not immediately respond to requests for more information.