Murena Kickstarter raises over $150K for new phone with built-in privacy switch.

The Murena 2, the follow-up to last year’s Google-eliminated, privacy-focused Murena One smartphone, is now available on Kickstarter and has raised more than $156,000, far surpassing its $26,437 goal.

The big update for this new model is a physical privacy switch that turns off the front and rear cameras as well as the microphones when turned on. (It’s kind of like the privacy switches we’ve seen on some laptops.) The Murena 2 also has a second physical switch that, when activated, turns on airplane mode to disconnect the phone from the network and put it in sleep mode. Turns on Do Not Disturb.

As for other hardware specs, the Murena 2 has a 6.43-inch 1080 x 2400 display, 128GB of storage, a 4000mAh battery, and a MediaTek Helio P70 chipset with 2.1GHz quad-core and 2GHz quad-core. For cameras, the Murena 2 has a 25-megapixel front camera and a 64-megapixel main camera, a 13-megapixel telephoto camera and a 5-megapixel 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 market. Apps come from Google Play, though if you don’t want to sign in to a Google Account to browse, you can access the Market anonymously to browse apps without being tracked. (However, if you look incognito, you can only access free apps, according to the /e/OS documentation.)

If you’re interested in supporting the Murena 2, you’re too late for the Super Early and Dual Early (two phones) tiers, which have estimated December delivery dates. But the standard early bird tiers (for $399 / about $425) and early bird three phones (three phones for $898 / about $957) are still open, also with December delivery dates, while the presale tier (for $449 / about 478 dollars) is estimated. Delivery date January 2024. (There are several more expensive tiers with December delivery dates and additional bonuses if interested.)

Nine days left in the Kickstarter.

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