This environmentally conscious smartphone is finally coming to the US

The Murena Fairphone 4 is available for $599 and runs on a Google-free /e/ operating system instead of the standard Android OS.

The Fairphone 4 — a user-repairable smartphone built using ethically sourced materials — is finally coming to the US, almost two years after it first debuted back in September 2021. Well, sort of anyway. Fairphone is partnering with Murena, a company best known for de-Googling Android phones, to launch the US pilot of the Murena Fairphone 4 — a variant of the handset that runs on a privacy-oriented Android-based operating system: /e/OS.

There are two configurations available: one with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for $599 and another with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage for $679. The storage of both models can be expanded via microSD, and the phone features a modular design that can be easily disassembled using a standard Phillips #00 screwdriver to replace broken components. It also has an IP54 rating, meaning the device is protected against dust and water sprays.

The Murena Fairphone 4 will ship to US customers with 5G and dual SIM support, a removable 3905mAh battery, a 48-megapixel main camera, a 48-megapixel ultrawide, and a 25-megapixel selfie camera. The phones will be available to order exclusively from Murena’s webstore starting today.

The Murena Fairphone 4 also comes with the /e/ operating system preinstalled, which is described as a privacy-focused, Google-free mobile ecosystem for folks who want to avoid handing any data over to the search giant. Instead of the usual Google apps, the Fairphone 4 will come with a range of default Murena Cloud apps for things like email, calendar, and cloud storage as well as a dedicated app store that highlights the privacy ratings of each app to help users monitor how their online activity is being tracked.

We should note, however, that /e/OS isn’t entirely Google-free. The Murena “App Lounge” technically does allow you to install major Android apps, including those made by Google, but Murena claims that it fetches apps directly from the Play Store without giving Google any of your private information.

The Fairphone comes unlocked, but the press release mentions that T-Mobile and other operators based on T-Mobile’s network are the only US carriers recommended to be used with the device. Fairphone is also providing an extended five-year warranty for the hardware, and /e/OS is similarly committed to fixing bugs and supporting security and feature updates for five years.

The Murena version is the only Fairphone 4 model being introduced to the US, and there’s no mention of the standard Android OS model joining it anytime soon. “We know based on feedback we have received that there are many people interested in Fairphone in the US. However, currently our main focus is on the European market,” said Fairphone CEO Eva Gouwens in a press release. “This collaboration with e/OS/ is a great opportunity for us to pilot selling devices in the US market with a longstanding partner and learn more about the American market.”

This article was published in The Verge

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