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Author Topic: /e/ plans to sell refurbished smartphones with Google-free Android  (Read 271 times)
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« on: May 27, 2019, 10:42:44 PM »

Most phones that ship with Googleís Android operating system also come with a bunch of Google apps and services installed. But Android is open source software, so independent developers have been finding ways to de-Google Android for years.

One of the more recent options comes from developer GaŽl Duval and the /e/ Foundation. The /e/ operating system is an Android-based OS for folks that donít want to share their data with Google. Key Google apps and services have been replaced with alternatives such as MicroG, Signal, and Telegram.

Last year Duval released the first public beta of the operating system. Itís currently available for dozens of phonesÖ if youíre comfortable unlocking your device and installing custom ROMs.

Prefer to just buy a phone that comes pre-loaded with /e/? Thatís coming soon.

The foundation has announced that it will soon begin selling refurbished smartphones with /e/ for 279Ä (~$310) and up.

Each phone will come with a 1-year warranty, support all major wireless carriers, and the /e/ Foundation says it will only sell ďGrade A (best-refurbished quality)Ē phones.

At launch, the plan is to offer four smartphone models:

■ Samsung Galaxy S7 w/32GB for 279Ä

■ Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge w/32GB for 299Ä

■ Samsung Galaxy S9 w/64GB for 499Ä

■ Samsung Galaxy S9+ w/64GB for 549Ä

By selling refurbished phones, the folks at /e/ donít have to sink money into research, development, and manufacturing of original hardware. The organization also helps extend the lifespan of existing hardware, which makes this a win/win for folks that value both privacy and environmental sustainability.

That said, the selection of smartphones is rather limited and you are paying for previous-gen hardware. And /e/ isnít actually selling phones yet. The organization is asking folks who are interested in buying one of the phones to click the ďIím interestedĒ button to register their interest. The foundation says itíll notify potential customers when the phones are actually available for purchase.

Still, if youíve been looking for an Android-like operating system without the Google and donít feel like going through the trouble of manually replacing all the Google apps and services on your phone or installing a custom ROM, this does seem like an interesting new alternative.


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