Hardware kill switches are physical buttons that can be used to disconnect a device from the mobile network, Bluetooth, power supply, etc. I have advocated that all privacy smartphones should have one. I have followed the progress of /e/OS for a few years now and I am ecstatic that they have now released Murena 2, a privacy smartphone that has not one but two hardware kill switches.
The first hardware kill switch on Murena 2 is a Privacy Switch button, allowing you to easily and instantly shut down your microphone and camera. The second hardware kill switch is a Disconnection Switch, that disconnects all network activity (calls, text messages, data) and also silencing all sounds to provide a distraction-free environment. Let’s look at the detailed specs of the device.
Table of Contents
CPU: 4 X 2.1 Ghz & 4 X 2 Ghz
Operating System: /e/OS
Dimensions: 159.7mm, 73.3mm, 7.8mm
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (4 nm)
Max Storage Expansion: 512GB microSD
SIM Card Type: Dual, nanoSIM+nanoSIM or nanoSIM+microSD
Main Display: 6.43″ (SUPER AMOLED)
Screen Resolution: 1080 x 2400 pixels FHD+
Rear Camera: 64MP main lens + 13MP + 5MP
Front Camera: 25MP
Battery Capacity: 4000mAh
Charging: 18W Fast Charge
Wi-Fi: 2.4Ghz/5Ghz 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Additional connectivity: VoWiFi/VOLTE, GPRS, EGSM, WAP, EDGE
2G Bands: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 – CDMA 800
3G Bands: HSDPA 800/850/1900/2100
4G Bands: B1, B3, B4, B5, B7, B8, B12, B17, B19, B20, B26, B28A+B, B34, B38, B39, B40, B41
Cable Connector: USB TYPE-C
Sensors: 360° Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, E Compass, Accelerometer, Gyroscope,
Others: Side-mounted Fingerprint Scanner, NFC
The specs of Murena 2 are quite good. I have seen a few other privacy smartphones that sacrifice up-to-date specs for privacy and it is good to see that Murena 2 does not tow that line. While E Foundation did not inclide the processor in the list of specs they published, a source of mine revealed that it uses the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which is a highly capable flagship rocessor from 2022. That is an excellent choice, if you ask me.
Murena 2 works with carriers in the USA, Canada, Europe, UK and many more countries
In the USA, the manufacturer recommends using Murena 2 on T-Mobile and its MVNOS i.e. T-Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile, Simple Mobile, Speedtalk Mobile, Ultra Mobile, Red Pocket Mobile, Ting. Murena 2 isn’t compatible with Verizon network.
In Canada, Murena 2 works with Rogers, Telus, Shaw, BCE. Virgin Mobile, Fido, Freedom, Koodo.
In Europe and in the UK, Murena 2 works with all 40 carriers like Deutsche Telekom, O2, Vodafone, Orange, Bouygues, SFR, TIM, WINDTRE, Movistar, EE, Three.
Murena 2 is available for $499 in the USA, C$679 in Canada, £429 in the United Kingdom, €499 in the European Union, and AUS$829 in Australia.
Can You Run Android Apps on Murena 2?
If you are new to /e/OS, it is an open source, fully deGoogled software based on Android, with no Google apps or Google services accessing your personal data.
- Google Apps have been entirely replaced by a suite of corresponding open source apps developed by the E Foundation and partners.
- Google default search engine has been removed from the OS everywhere.
- Google Services have been replaced by microG
- Connectivity checks do not use Google servers
- It does not use Google’s Network Time Protocol servers
- It does not use Google’s Domain Name System servers
- Geo-location uses Mozilla Location Services in addition to GPS.
Because its core is open-source Android OS, /e/OS is compatible with Android apps. This means you can install and run your favourite apps on Murena 2.
/e/OS is also sometimes simply called /e/ and was originally called Eelo (see Eelo is a Google-free Android OS from the past).