What is the most secure smartphone that won't compromise my security and steal my data?
If you're searching for a smartphone with bulletproof security and privacy, you'll love GrapheneOS.
If you're an iPhone user and you're happy with it, this solution won't apply to you, but this phone could be a good secondary or backup for when you want to stay off the grid or engage in secure communications and web browsing.
If you're an Android user but dependent on Google apps or use the maximum capabilities of the camera, this solution may not be of interest to you either, yet still an excellent secondary secure privacy phone.
If you're willing to give up Google services and use open source alternatives as a trade off to not being tracked, and to have confidence that your personal identity and data is extremely secure, you'll love this phone.
This solution is an open-source operating system (OS) called GrapheneOS, and it's for someone looking for an alternative to smartphones constricted to Google (Android) and Apple (iPhone) devices that are horribly unsecure and purposed specifically for collecting your personal data and tracking your locations and habits.
This solution re-purposes an Android phone to the most secure phone on the market; specifically, at the time of this writing, a Google Pixel 5 or Pixel 4a phone.
The first question one might ask is if it's an OS that runs on a Google Pixel Android, doesn't that mean it's dependent on Google?
The answer is no. Google releases an open source OS project called the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). The GrapheneOS engineers take AOSP and perform deep modifications to it, gutting it of all Google services and code responsible for tracking and leaking your personal information.
The engineers remove known vulnerabilities and further improve security by providing more secure components of the OS (like how memory is allocated and managed). Here's a snippet from the GrapheneOS web page:
GrapheneOS improves the privacy and security of the OS from the bottom up. It deploys technologies to mitigate whole classes of vulnerabilities and make exploiting the most common sources of vulnerabilities substantially more difficult. It improves the security of both the OS and the apps running on it. The app sandbox and other security boundaries are fortified. GrapheneOS tries to avoid impacting the user experience with the privacy and security features. Ideally, the features can be designed so that they're always enabled with no impact on the user experience and no additional complexity like configuration options. It's not always feasible, and GrapheneOS does add various toggles for features like the Network permission, Sensors permission, restrictions when the device is locked (USB peripherals, camera, quick tiles), etc. along with more complex user-facing privacy and security features with their own UX.
The features of GrapheneOS are impressive, and are a breath of fresh air for anyone looking to detach from the surveillance state of Silicon Valley and remain "off grid" while enjoying the functionality of a smartphone.
If you're interested in GrapheneOS, we recommend you watch the following short review video on the pros and cons of this solution. If you have any questions, we're more than happy to answer them.