More and more smartphones focusing on privacy are being launched, fact that suggests that some tech companies really care about this aspect of our lives. FreedomPop’s Privacy Phone is only one of the most recent examples.
As something literally called the Snowden Phone would never have gotten the green light for manufacture, FreedomPop sticked to keeping that only as an affectionate nickname. Eventually, this company’s product will be known under the official name of Privacy Phone.
FreedomPop CEO Steven Sesar stated that “In light of recent violations in consumer’s privacy across social networks and mobile devices, privacy is becoming increasingly important to many Americans and we all have a right to communicate anonymously. Large carriers don’t have the flexibility, desire, or creativity to invest in privacy. We don’t agree with this approach and felt it was up to us to create a truly private mobile phone service at an affordable price.”
The device is in fact a Samsung Galaxy S2 that has been heavily modified to allow encryption of voice calls and data. Privacy Phone‘s 128-bit encryption may not be enough to keep NSA at bay, but it’s still better than nothing. In terms of hardware, FreedomPop’s device features a 1.2GHz Samsung Exynos C210 processor, a 4.3-inch screen, 16GB of internal storage, and an 8 MP camera.
The Privacy Phone is now available for $189, and FreedomPop is even kind enough to throw in the mix 50MB of data for each of the first three months. The same (ridiculous, if I may say) amount of Internet traffic is also offered as a subscription-based service costing $10 per month after that. If you want to make the transaction completely anonymous, you have the option of paying with Bitcoin. That’s indeed one aspect other companies haven’t considered, so FreedomPop definitely gets some point for that.
If you’re concerned about your privacy, the Snowden Phone may be one of the possible solutions for you. Those who care a lot about the technical specs of smartphones will surely claim that the Privacy Phone is outdated, but I can confirm that with a proper ROM (not Samsung’s stock, which is full of bloatware) the SGS2 is a very good device, capable of running all sorts of apps, its only disadvantage being the low amount of RAM (only 1GB). Also, if you compare FreedomPop’s solution to the $629 Blackphone, you can definitely see who the winner is.
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