The German company Nitrokey has unveiled the NitroPhone 1 smartphone, which combines security, privacy and ease of use with state-of-the-art hardware. In addition, It is based on the Google Pixel 4a, on which the GrapheneOS operating system was installed, and it was it who turned the Google product into the safest Android smartphone.
So, Nitrokey is aiming all people who are concerned with protecting their personal data and fear that they may become the object of surveillance. Also, to present the device in a favorable light, the company’s website quotes former CIA officer Edward Snowden: “If I were setting up a smartphone today, I would use Daniel Micay’s GrapheneOS as the base operating system.”
In addition, NitroPhone specs are similar to those offered by the Pixel 4a: 5.81-inch FullHD + screen, Snapdragon 730G chip, 6GB of RAM, 128GB flash drive and 12.2MP main camera. Also, the smartphone can be ordered on the company’s website and, if desired, it can be deprived of microphones. In addition, they estimated it at 630 euros.
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What does the GrapheneOS operating system offer:
Physical Tamper Protection
- Strong encryption and Titan M security chip protects your device and data against sophisticated physical attacks.
- Verified boot ensures that your operating system has not been modified.
- Automatic kill switch: Automatically shutdown after inactivity of configured time period.
- PIN layout scrambling, together with privacy screen , allow entering PIN in public without fears of watching. Alternatively: integrated fingerprint sensor.
Protection From Spyware and Zero-Day Exploits
- Substantially hardened Android OS for high security demands (e.g. hardened stock apps, libc, malloc, compiler toolchain, kernel, filesystem access, WebView).
- All apps are sandboxed to protect against exploitable and malicious apps.
- Hardened browser, WebView and PDF viewer.
- Lightning fast distribution of security updates.
- Protection against over-the-air exploits by isolating the baseband radio processor using IOMMU and optional LTE-only mode to significantly reduce cellular radio attack surface.
- Optional: Physical removal of all microphones. A headset can be connected for voice communication.
Privacy Protection: No Tracking, No Google
- No cloud or Google Play Services integration by default, all under your control. If required, users can install original Google Play Services in the sandbox apps without special privileges. This novel approach leads to much better compatibility than incomplete reimplementations like microG while providing higher security. Note: This is work-in-progress and some apps may not work as expected.
- Tracking protection: Apps can’t access device IMEI and serial numbers, SIM card serial numbers, subscriber ID, MAC address etc.
- Per-connection MAC randomization prevents tracking by nearby WiFi scanners.
- Firewall: Granular network and sensors permissions (e.g. GPS) toggle for each app.
- In addition to default Indicators for active camera, microphone, and location.
Easy Usability for Everybody
- No bloatware. Minimal secure system with few apps by default. Users can install additional apps manually.
- End-to-end encrypted automatic backups to USB drive or to any cloud storage (e.g. Nextcloud).