For years, Murena has been fighting the good fight, making its best effort to educate people about their online privacy. The company wants to help people gain better control of their digital profile, especially when it comes to smartphones. Murena has accomplished this so far by offering its services in the form of /e/OS, an operating system that is completely free of Google’s services. The company is now launching its very first smartphone, the Murena One, alongside /e/OS v1.
If this all sounds familiar, you’re right. We have seen companies attempt this before, offering devices that are devoid of Google’s intrusive services and apps. What makes this situation different is that Murena is choosing to shed Google by choice. Its operating system is built to protect its users while at the same time trying to offer the best of Android. Because Murena’s /e/OS operating system sheds so many of Google’s native services and apps, Murena is forced to build its own versions, like a messaging app, browser, maps, and more.
Murena is choosing to shed Google by choice.
The Murena One is a fairly mid-range offering, though it has the price tag to match. It’s powered by a Mediatek Helio P60 SoC and 4GB RAM, and has a pretty basic 6.53-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1080 x 2242. It also has 128GB of internal storage that can be expanded via microSD, with a quad camera array on the back. The first three sensors are comprised of a 48MP primary, an 8MP ultra-wide, and a 5MP sensor. The front-facing camera will accommodate a 25MP sensor. The phone will make use of a 4500mAh battery and will offer two years of warranty. While this isn’t the most impressive set of handset specifications we’ve seen, as stated before, the real selling point is the fact that the phone comes preloaded with /e/OS. The smartphone even has its own digital assistant and cloud service, along with an embedded app store.
While it does have its own walled garden, it does give users the ability to dip their toes into the Google pond. Those that absolutely need certain apps can download them from the App Lounge, and there’s nothing from stopping you sideloading an alternative app store such as Aurora Store. App Lounge gives users access to major Android apps that can be found on the Google Play Store. Of course, downloading and installing these apps will give companies access to your digital profile, but if they’re necessary, then that’s obviously more important. For some, this will be a necessary evil.
If you’re not fully convinced, you can give the OS a try as it has been given the green light this week with version 1 of /e/OS being made available to a wider range of devices. You can check out our dedicated forum or hit the link in the source down below. The Murena One is now available for purchase for €349, unfortunately, the smartphone is currently back-ordered.