While Freedom Phone has been around for some time, this evaluation will examine whether its promises of privacy and free speech have been fulfilled. “The major digital tyrants are compromising your privacy [and] restricting your expression… that’s why I built the Freedom Phone” — these were the combative words of Freedom Phone creator and self-described Bitcoin millionaire Erik Finman when describing his invention. Several bold claims were made about this phone, including that it was decidedly political, anti-big tech, designed from the ground up for privacy, and “equivalent to the best smartphones on the market.” Find out in this Freedom Phone review if these statements are still valid or have ever been valid!
What exactly is a Freedom Phone?
Before we begin our Freedom Phone review, let’s define exactly what it is. On its initial release date of July 14, 2021, the Freedom Phone was advertised to conservatives and Trump supporters. Its primary selling point and concept were straightforward: it was a phone “designed by conservatives for conservatives.” It promised to be a phone devoid of censorship and ad monitoring, granting its users complete privacy and freedom of expression. Due to these political selling elements, it is impossible to discuss the history of the Freedom Phone without diving into politics.
Concerns regarding social media censorship, tracking, and privacy increased as the 2020 presidential election season grew increasingly chaotic and divisive. The January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol brought this to a climax in particular. Before and during the attack, members of the pro-Trump mob utilized apps such as Parler and Rumble to spread information and coordinate with one another. Over time, these activities have repercussions, particularly on the political right. “Big tech” responded by censoring and silencing individuals and applications associated with the incident. These measures included the suspension of the former president’s Twitter account and the removal of Parler from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.
This is where the Freedom Phone comes in, filling the void for thousands of “woke” individuals who are dissatisfied with big tech. Due to their attitude on internet privacy, other individuals may also desire this phone. It distinguishes itself from “big tech” by utilizing its “homemade” FreedomOS. This reportedly eliminates the monitoring and surveillance capabilities of other iOS and Android devices. In addition, this phone supports ultimate freedom of speech with its “uncancelable app store” and comes pre-installed with Parler. Now that that is out of the way, let’s go on to the Freedom Phone review itself.
Freedom Phone Evaluation
- Resolution of 720 by 1560 pixels
- 2.4/5 GHz 802.11b,g,n / 802.11a,n,ac WiFi Connectivity
- Storage 64 GB (256 GB expandable)
- Mobile Networks Capable of 4G and 3G
- RAM 4 GB Cameras
- Front: 8MP; back: 13MP + 2MP + 2MP
- CPU 1.8 GHz, 8 Cores (3.5mm)
- 4000 mAh battery, 6.08-inch HD+IPS display
- Type-C USB Display Type Waterdrop
- Dual-nano Sim Card Weight: 160g
With a unit price of almost $500, we expect the Freedom Phone to have comparable hardware. Sadly, this is not the case. Not only does it fall well short of what you would expect from a $500 smartphone, but it also fails to compete with much older flagships such as the Google Pixel 4. Hardware-wise, it has a couple things going for it. These include a 3.5″ headphone jack, a Type-C connector, expandable SD-card storage, and a battery with a respectable 4000 mAh capacity. Its other characteristics are not particularly noteworthy. In neither 2021 nor 2022 is this device “equivalent to the top smartphones on the market.”
What else did the website and marketing for this phone state? This is where things become unclear, as there is not much information regarding the phone. We believe that was done on purpose, given the original advertisement was even less specific regarding the statistics. The offered data are the official specifications from the Freedom Phone website, but they do not reveal much about the device. You would not discover the precise chipset, CPU core manufacturer, or other crucial specifications. If you ask us if the Freedom Phone is likely a hoax, we’d have to say yes, but not in the sense you’re imagining.
Freedom Phone Warnings
From the very beginning of their advertising, the Freedom Phone has been plagued with many red flags. As stated previously, Erik Finman, a self-described bitcoin millionaire, designed the Freedom Phone. By creating his own phone, he intended to “fight back against the Big Tech firms.” This was a complete fabrication; the Freedom Phone is merely a rebranded phone. According to Finman, the Freedom phone is in fact an Umidigi phone. Due to the cosmetic and hardware similarities, it appears to be based on the Umidigi A9 Pro, a budget Chinese smartphone manufactured in 2020.
For us, one of the greatest red lights in this whole issue is the phone’s marketing. The Freedom Phone has been vigorously promoted by right-leaning media figures and influencers. Through the company’s affiliate network, these individuals receive a large commission on each sale.
In addition to the fact that he did not develop his own phone, the other exaggerated claims are also false. Included in these lies is the “Freedom OS” designed by Freedom Phone that the device is rumored to launch with. Instead, devices appear to be running the open-source Lineage OS, the same operating system as the A9 Pro.
Freedom Phone Compared to Similar Devices
Here are a few phones that are truly worth $500 in 2022, before we conclude this Freedom Phone Review. Those looking to save money could also consider refurbished smartphones, which provide great devices at lower costs.
Google Pixel 4
As previously described, the Google Pixel 4 and its larger brother, the Pixel 4 XL, are still excellent smartphones after three years. The Pixel 4 features a magnificent 6.3-inch display with a refresh rate of 90 Hz and a Qualcomm SM8150 Snapdragon 855 CPU. This octa-core configuration is complemented by its 6 GB of RAM. In addition to these functionalities, the device’s 12,2 MP and 16 MP rear cameras and 8 MP front camera are also included.
Huawei P40 Lite
The Huawei P40 Lite is an ideal device for evading Google’s tracking and spying because it does not have or utilize Google Play Services. The P40 Lite is superior to the Freedom Phone, despite having a comparable price point of $500. It features a Kirin 990 5G processor that ensures 5G operation and 6 to 8 GB of RAM. Additional benefits include a triple rear camera with 50, 8, and 16 MP and a 32 MP front camera.
The OnePlus 8T 5G is a fantastic smartphone and a member of our list of the greatest OnePlus phones. In addition to 5G capabilities, the 8T 5G has a few additional tricks up its sleeve. It boasts a 6.55-inch Fluid AMOLED screen with a 120 Hz refresh rate and is compatible with either Android 11 or Oxygen OS 11. It also contains 12 GB of RAM and the Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865 5G processor.
Freedom Phone Evaluation: Should Anyone Buy It?
So, does the Freedom Phone exist? Even with the various definitions of “legitimate,” the Freedom Phone is legitimate. It is a real phone, and you will receive a mediocre budget phone with the payment. In addition, it includes Clear OS and other open-source applications. As our conclusion for our Freedom Phone review, we must state that nobody should purchase this phone. Not only is it a rebranding of a $120 Chinese phone as an “American” phone, but it is also surrounded by dubious marketing.
While we were critical of the Freedom Phone, we recognize that people desire online privacy. We recommend studying how your phone operates, specifically its mobile operating system (mobile OS).