/e/ Rolls Out A Privacy-Focused Android Smartphone Line That Isn’t All Googled Up

Smart devices are necessary and ubiquitous in 2019, but it can be difficult to find a operating system or service that fully respects your privacy. Many users are concerned that major tech companies like Google are stealing and sharing your data. Now you do not need to choose between security and convenience. The e Foundation or /e/ will soon offer refurbished smartphones with its own /e/ operating system.

The e Foundation, or /e/, is a non-profit organization that was incorporated in 2018. Their mission is to provide an open-source OS and other mobile services that respect user privacy and are easy to use. They launched their own OS beta this past September and many people enjoyed it. The non-profit now plans to release refurbished smartphones with the /e/OS pre-installed. They argue that refurbished devices are the more economical and environmentally-friendly option. 

Samsung S7 edge e os
/e/OS on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Interested customers will be able to choose a refurbished Samsung Galaxy S7 32GB for 279€ ($313.47 USD), Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge 32 GB for 299€ ($335.94), Samsung Galaxy S9 64Gb for 499€ ($560.65), or a Samsung Galaxy S9+ for 549€ ($667.39). All devices will be Grade A or the best quality refurbished product. They will also include a one year warranty and be unlocked for all carriers.

Interested users can register for a device and they will be notified when it is available. Customers will not need to make any payments until the devices are available. At the moment, there is not a release date.

e foundation os devices

The /e/OS only includes trusted apps that encourage a “privacy-enabled internal environment for mobile phones”. The OS is essentially a fork of Android and includes features like the default Android contact apps, clock, file manager, calculator, and keyboard. Other features include an “ungoogled fork of Chromium” and a “fork of K9 mail”. Most of the pre-installed apps are open-source with a few exceptions like the Map and Weather apps. All of the apps are unrelated to Google or other major data-sharing companies.

The /e/OS can also be installed on a variety of devices like the Pixel 2 XL and Moto Z2 Play. The developers plan on adding support for Android Pie, the ability to uninstall most pre-installed apps, several user profiles, and progressive web apps. They also hope to add more privacy features like VPNs.

For more information, you can check out their site here.