There are privacy-oriented smartphones you may have not heard of. Then again, there is a small chance you have one of the phones we are going to talk about because they are far from being mass-market devices.
To put that into perspective, have you ever heard of these brands?; Blackphone, Sirin Labs, Bittium, Purism, or Sirin? Exactly, you probably haven’t because these are the de facto Swiss-army knives of smartphones, the niche privacy phones for privacy enthusiasts (and security enthusiasts too).
This is not to say that common phones like offerings from market leaders Apple and Samsung (or Google) are not privacy-conscious, not at all, all modern smartphones have a healthy measure of privacy and security built-in these days, because, well they have to. But, the phones we are going to look at are on another level of privacy consciousness.
Not only that, but these top five are also security powerhouses, and come packed with cutting-edge technology as well as unique features that tech-savvy users will love. These devices may not exactly be cheap, but you are getting a slice of custom-manufactured cutting-edge privacy and protection while having a device that few people have even heard of. They don’t look too shabby either!
In today’s world, online privacy is becoming more important by the day. It is now well understood that your data and, on a broader level, your entire internet traffic is subject to everything from surveillance to hacking. Between those two you will also find data collection without user consent, and the tracking of users that is practically inescapable these days.
What is Privacy?
When we say privacy, we mean the online version of what is understood as privacy in real life. Privacy in real life, one of the fundamentals that we teach our children, for instance, is something like not listening in on others’ conversations, drawing your curtains, and closing the door when you visit the bathroom. However, some companies have taken surveillance and data collection to a whole new level by selling harvested user data without gaining consent, and even spying on people. As such, privacy is a big deal and the smartphones we are going to talk about embody these values perfectly.
Top Privacy Smartphones
The top five smartphones do share quite a few fundamental features and hardware with the most well-known phones out there, but that is where the similarities end. Before we get into that, here are the top five privacy phones;
- Blackphone Privy 2.0
- Siring Labs Finney U1
- Bittium Tough Mobile 2C
- Purism Librem 5
- Sirin Solarin
We mentioned that these phones, available now for purchase, share some features with their mainstream counterparts. What this means, in this case, is that these devices comprise either elements of a base operating system (OS) such as Android, a hardware component used in mainstream phones, or both.
The trick is that these components have been heavily modified by these brands for maximum privacy and security. For instance, the Privy 2.0, Sirin Solarin, and Tough Mobile 2C use a modified Android operating system. Meanwhile, Librem 5 and Finney U1 are different. The Librem 5 uses a Linux-adapted system while the Finney U1 uses its proprietary OS.
All of these phones have great encryption, other security features relevant to today’s era as well as unique USPs (unique selling points). However, one has to come out the winner, and that is the Blackphone Privy 2.0. This phone came out on top because of a combination of great attributes.
The Privy 2.0 uses legendary ZRTP encryption, does not log user information, and comes preloaded with Silent Circle’s Phone application. It also comes with bespoke applications for secure communications and file storage, while ensuring that everything is end-to-end encrypted. You also get good battery life, and a tough phone, in general, that is resistant to the elements.
Now, it is not right to exclude the other phones from the list. For instance, the Sirin Labs Finney U1 is highly regarded for its focus on the privacy and security of cryptocurrency transactions, while the Bittium Tough Mobile 2C is lauded for its key management and physical kill switch. The Purism Librem 5, in fourth place, is a beauty to behold and comes with great security features by default, while the Sirin Solarin comes out on top in threat prevention in the last (but certainly not least) place.
Overall, whether you are a superspy, a dictator, a billionaire or the average Jane or Joe who simply wants to be secure and private, you won’t go wrong with any of the top five privacy smartphones in 2022.