A German-based smartphone OEM has launched a new Android smartphone, namely NitroPhone 1, and the company claims the smartphone to be the world’s safest Android smartphone. With the NitroPhone 1, Nitrokey aims to combine security, privacy, and simplicity of use with the latest technology. It is built on top of an Android smartphone made safer by GrapheneOS, an operating system that has been put on the Google Pixel 4a since it was first released.
The company further says on the product that “We are very excited to introduce the NitroPhone! The NitroPhone combines security, privacy and ease of use with modern hardware. It is based on the high-quality Pixel 4a and GrapheneOS, the most hardened Android for professionals. Gain full control of your smartphone without Google and Apple!”
As a result, Nitrokey is aimed at anyone worried about the security of their data or concerned about being a target of monitoring. On the company’s website, former CIA operative Edward Snowden says, “If I were building up a smartphone today, I would utilize Daniel Micay’s GrapheneOS as the base operating system.”
NitroPhone 1 Specifications
NitroPhone 1 specifications are identical to the Pixel 4a’s: 5.81-inch FullHD + screen, Snapdragon 730G processor, 6GB of RAM, 128GB flash drive, and 12.2MP primary camera. The smartphone may also be bought through the company’s website, and microphones can be removed if desired. Furthermore, they judged it to be worth 630 euros. In short, it’s a Google Pixel 4a smartphone with the company’s so-called GrapheneOS installed on it. We already know the hardware as it’s nothing but a Google Pixel 4a smartphone. Let’s see what the GrapheneOS has to offer-
PROTECTION FROM SPYWARE AND ZERO-DAY EXPLOITS
- For high-security standards, Android OS has been significantly toughened (e.g., hardened stock apps, libc, malloc, compiler toolchain, kernel, filesystem access, WebView).
- To defend against vulnerable and dangerous applications, all apps are sandboxed.
- WebView, a hardened browser and a PDF reader
- Security updates are distributed at breakneck speed.
- To considerably decrease the cellular radio attack surface, the baseband radio processor is isolated by utilizing IOMMU and optional LTE-only mode to protect against over-the-air vulnerabilities.
- Physical removal of all microphones is an option. For voice communication, a headset can be attached.
PHYSICAL TAMPER PROTECTION
- Your device and data are protected against sophisticated physical attacks thanks to strong encryption and the Titan M security chip.
- Verified boot guarantees that your operating system hasn’t been tampered with.
- Automatic kill switch: Shuts off when a set amount of time has passed with no activity.
- The scrambling of the PIN arrangement, along with the privacy screen, allows you to enter your PIN in public without worrying about being seen. Alternatively, you may use a fingerprint sensor built into the device.
PRIVACY PROTECTION: NO TRACKING, NO GOOGLE
- By default, there is no cloud or Google Play Services integration; everything is under your control. Users can install original Google Play Services in sandbox apps without specific permissions if necessary. This new technique provides considerably greater compatibility and security than partial reimplementations like microG. This is a work in progress, so certain apps may not function properly.
- Protection against tracking: Apps cannot access device IMEI and serial numbers, SIM card serial numbers, subscriber ID, and MAC addresses, among other information.
- Per-connection MAC randomization prevents WiFi scanners from monitoring your connection.
- Firewall: Each app has granular network and sensor permissions (e.g., GPS).
- There are also indicators for the active camera, microphone, and location in addition to the default indicators.
EASY USABILITY FOR EVERYBODY
- There is no bloatware. By default, the system is simple and safe, with only a few programs. Users can manually install additional programs.
- Automatic end-to-end encrypted backups to a USB device or cloud storage (e.g., Nextcloud).