Android smartphones have always come pre-installed with Google services. However, US users can now get Android phones that do not come with Google experience.
The eFoundation which normally offers refurbished Android smartphones “deGoogled” the phones since 2019. Due to the small number of available phones for refurbishment, the company focused its supply to Europe. However, it seems the stocks have now risen and the Google-free handsets will be available for US consumers.
“We have removed many pieces of code that send your personal data to remote servers without your consent. We don’t scan your data in your phone or in your cloud space, and we don’t track your location a hundred times a day or collect what you’re doing with your apps.” the company explained with regards to de-googling the smartphones.
Although you will not have access to Google’s playstore, the Android OS supports comes with a host of open-source apps “to cover most of your needs: browser, email, calendar, maps, camera …. And because /e/OS runs on Android, you can still run most of your favorite Android apps.”
“It has an open-source Android OS core, with no Google apps or Google services accessing your personal data. It is compatible with all your favorite Android apps.”
Android has about 60,000 open-source apps available for users.
Two sets of handsets will initially be available. The refurbished Samsung Galaxy S9 will go for $380 (Sh41,000) while Galaxy S9+ will go for $430 (Sh47,000) in the US. These are categorized as “premium refurbished” smartphones meaning they are fully functional with tested batteries and perfectly-working cameras.
The phones are not locked to any carrier and come with a one-year warranty. Included in the box are a headset, sim tray pin, and a quick start guide.