Murena Kickstarter pulls in more than $150K for new phone with a built-in privacy switch


The Murena 2, the follow-up to last year’s de-Googled and privacy-focused Murena One smartphone, is now available to back on Kickstarter and has pulled in more than $156,000, far exceeding its $26,437 goal.

The big update for this new model is a physical privacy switch that, when toggled on, disconnects the front and back cameras as well as the microphones. (It’s kind of like the privacy switches we’ve seen for some laptops.) The Murena 2 also has a second physical switch that, when activated, flips on airplane mode to disconnect the phone from networks and turns on do not disturb mode.

As for other hardware specs, the Murena 2 has a 6.43-inch screen with a 1080 x 2400 resolution, 128GB of storage, a 4,000mAh battery, and a MediaTek Helio P70 chip with four 2.1GHz cores and four 2GHz cores. For cameras, the Murena 2 has a 25MP front camera and a 64MP main camera, a 13MP telephoto camera, and a 5MP wide-angle camera on the back.

Like the Murena One, the Murena 2 runs /e/OS, a fork of Android that doesn’t come with any Google apps, meaning the phone has custom apps for things like messaging and email. However, you can download Android apps from the App Lounge marketplace. The apps do come from Google Play, though if you don’t want to log in to a Google account to browse, you can access the marketplace anonymously to browse apps without tracking. (However, if you look anonymously, you can only access free apps, according to /e/OS documentation.)

If you’re interested in backing Murena 2, you’re already too late for the “super early bird” and “duo early bird” (two phones) tiers that have estimated delivery dates of December. But the standard “early bird” (for €399 / about $425) and “trio early bird” (three phones for €898 / about $957) tiers are still open, also with December delivery dates, while the presale tier (for €449 / about $478) offers an estimated delivery date of January 2024. (There are a handful of more expensive tiers with December delivery dates and additional rewards if those are of interest, too.)

There are nine days left on the Kickstarter.


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