Murena One, the privacy-first Android-based phone without the participation of Google, has been unveiled. The new smartphone has basic specs, including an IPS full-HD+ display, triple rear cameras, and an octa-core MediaTek SoC. However, the software side makes the Murena One a standout option in the market. The phone runs on an operating system called /e/OS, advertised as “deGoogled” Android. However, it is claimed to support most Android apps out of the box.
Murena A prize
The price of Murena One is set at $369 (about Rs. 28,600) in the US or EUR 349 (about Rs. 28,900) in Europe. The phone will go on sale in June in the US, UK, Canada, Europe, and Switzerland. The company said it will be available for purchase through the Murena.com website.
In addition to the Murena One, Murena has partnered with Fairphone to bring the Fairphone 4 and Fairphone 3+ based on /e/OS.
Murena One specifications, features
The Murena One runs /e/OS V1, based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). It does not include any Google apps or services to provide an enhanced privacy experience. However, the phone does have an App Lounge from which users can download and install new Android apps. The app store has a privacy score to rate apps from 0 to 10 based on how they collect personal data.
Since the Murena One excludes Google Services, users do not need to sign in to a Google account to download apps from the preloaded App Lounge. However, the company has provided Murena Cloud access to an ad-free search engine, email platform, secure online storage, document management, and calendar, among other online tools. The cloud also comes with 1 GB of free storage.
Murena is said to have implemented a compatibility layer for Google Services to provide support for the most popular Android apps. The new operating system also uses Mozilla Location Services and has maps powered by OpenStreetMap. In addition, Murena is working on its Google Assistant competitor Elivia-AI.
Dumping Google services means that, despite promoting more privacy, the Murena One is missing some of its key features. These include in-app payments and compatibility with apps that require access to Google Mobile Services. However, the company may find a solution to improve compatibility over time.
The /e/OS operating system also supports privacy-focused 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199 DNS and includes a special advanced privacy widget that allows users to hide their IP address and geolocation. Furthermore, Murena claims that it offers all ad-free apps on the phone to ensure that third-party activity tracking is not enabled.
As for hardware specs, the dual-SIM (Nano) Murena One comes with a 6.53-inch full-HD+ (1,080 x 2,242 pixels) IPS display with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and 395 ppi pixel density. The triple camera setup is on the back with a 48-megapixel primary sensor with an f/1.8 lens and 8- and 5-megapixel secondary sensors. The phone is powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio P60 SoC along with Mali-G72 GPU and 4GB of RAM.
The Murena One has a 25-megapixel selfie camera sensor with an f/2.0 lens on the front for selfies and video chats.
The Murena One comes with 128GB of onboard storage that supports expansion via microSD card (up to 128GB).
Connectivity options on the Murena One include 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS/A-GPS, NFC, USB, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Onboard sensors include an accelerometer, ambient light, gyroscope, magnetometer, and proximity sensor. There is also a side-mounted fingerprint sensor.
The Murena One has a battery of 4,500 mAh. The phone measures 161.8×76.9×8.9 mm and weighs 186 grams.