Murena One, the privacy-first phone based on Android sans Google’s participation, has been unveiled. The new smartphone carries basic specifications that include an IPS full-HD+ display, triple rear cameras, and an octa-core MediaTek SoC. However, it is the software side of things that is making the Murena One a distinct option in the market. The phone runs on an operating system called /e/OS that is touted to be “deGoogled” Android. It is, though, claimed to support most Android apps out-of-the-box.
Murena One price
Murena One price has been set at $369 (roughly Rs. 28,600) in the US or EUR 349 (roughly Rs. 28,900) in Europe. The phone will go on sale in June in the US, UK, Canada, Europe, and Switzerland. It will be available for purchase through the Murena.com website, the company said.
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 that is based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). It doesn’t include Google apps or services — to deliver an enhanced privacy experience. However, the phone does have an App Lounge from where users can download and install new Android apps. The app store carries a privacy score to rate apps between 0–10 on the basis of how they collect personal data.
Since the Murena One excludes Google Services, it doesn’t require users to sign in to a Google account to download apps from the preloaded App Lounge. The company has, however, provided Murena Cloud that includes access to an ad-free search engine, an email platform, online secure storage, document management, and calendar, among other online tools. The cloud also comes with 1GB of free storage.
Murena is claimed to have implemented a Google Services compatibility layer to provide support for most of the popular Android apps. The new operating system also uses Mozilla Location Services and has maps powered by OpenStreetMap. Additionally, Murena is working on its Google Assistant competitor Elivia-AI.
Ditching Google Services means that despite promoting greater privacy, the Murena One lacks some of the key features. These include in-app payments and compatibility with apps that require access to Google Mobile Services. The company may, though, find a solution to enhance compatibility over time.
The /e/OS operating system also brings support for privacy-focussed 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206 DNS and includes a dedicated Advanced Privacy widget that lets users hide their IP address and geolocation. Further, Murena claims that it offers all ad-free apps on the phone to make sure that it’s not enabling activity tracking for any third parties.
In terms of hardware specifications, the dual-SIM (Nano) Murena One comes with a 6.53-inch full-HD+ (1,080×2,242 pixels) IPS display with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and 395ppi of pixel density. The phone is powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio P60 SoC, along with Mali-G72 GPU and 4GB of RAM. There is the triple rear camera setup that includes a 48-megapixel primary sensor with an f/1.8 lens, along with 8- and 5-megapixel secondary sensors.
For selfies and video chats, the Murena One carries a 25-megapixel selfie camera sensor at the front, with an f/2.0 lens.
The Murena One comes with 128GB of onboard storage that supports expansion via a 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. Sensors on board include an accelerometer, ambient light, gyroscope, magnetometer, and a proximity sensor. There is also a side-mounted fingerprint sensor.
The Murena One packs a 4,500mAh battery. The phone measures 161.8×76.9×8.9mm and weighs 186 grams.