The Freedom Phone Project: How you can get your own degoogled smartphone

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The Freedom Phone. It received a lot of press and hype a few months back in 2021, and it brought the idea of a degoogled smartphone to the mainstream. The problem with the actual Freedom Phone itself is the price you pay for the hardware you get.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

The phone itself is manufactured by a Chinese company that makes phones for just about anyone and brands them how you like. The software on the Freedom Phone is a custom-built Android ROM similar to LineageOS or GrapheneOS. The makers of the phone take the existing open-source ROM and add a few of their elements to it.

The company also says it has created an app store, which I’m not entirely sure how that works. But what we do know is apps not installed through the Play Store are generally riper for malware or other problems.

The Freedom Phone will cost you US$499, and that is a lot of money for a phone that probably should only cost US$149.

So we thought of an alternative to purchasing one of these phones, and we’ve been working on our own Freedom Phone Project for many months. In July 2021, I bought a Google Pixel 2 XL and did an unboxing calling it the Freedom Phone; you can watch that video below.

Well, while I was preparing the Pixel 2 XL for flashing, I somehow got the damn thing stuck in fastboot mode. I spent months trying different ways of recovering the phone, but it never worked out. I intended to install LineageOS on the Pixel 2 XL and to show you that anyone could do it. Well, that failed horribly, LOL. It has been several years since I’ve messed with custom ROMs, and I overestimated my ability to remember everything.

So I spent several months trying to fix the Pixel 2 XL and finally gave up and started searching for a replacement. I found a Pixel 3 XL and decided to give the Freedom Phone Project another go. This time, while preparing to install LineageOS, I found another degoogled ROM called CalyxOS. I discovered that CalyxOS was a far better alternative to LineageOS or GrapheneOS for the average user.

CalyxOS operates with a layer called microG. microG is software that spoofs your phone identifier and allows you to download genuine Android apps using the Aurora Store. The Aurora Store downloads the app from the Play Store using a spoofed ID, and then it sends it to your device for the download. Watch my full video below for a better understanding.

You can find more information on CalyxOS and MicroG at the links below:

Feel free to ask us any questions on social media or Rumble, and we will try and answer them as best we can. In the meantime. What do you think of this Freedom Phone alternative? Please share your thoughts on any of the social media pages listed below. You can also comment on our MeWe page by joining the MeWe social network.


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