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NitroPhone 1: The 'safest Android smartphone in the world' is a Google Pixel 4a with a third-party ROM installed

The NitroPhone 1 is a Pixel 4a running GrapheneOS. (Image source: Daniel Romero)
The NitroPhone 1 is a Pixel 4a running GrapheneOS. (Image source: Daniel Romero)
The German company Nitrokey has announced its first smartphone, the NitroPhone 1. Billed as the world's safest Android smartphone, the NitroPhone 1 is nothing more than a Google Pixel 4a running a custom ROM for a lot of money.

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Nitrokey may be known for selling encrypted USB sticks and the like, but the company has turned its hands to smartphones. According to the company's promotional material, it believes that the NitroPhone 1 combines security, privacy and a simple user experience with modern hardware. While that may be true, the NitroPhone 1 is less exciting than at first glance.

Unfortunately, the device is nothing more than a Pixel 4a with GrapheneOS installed, formerly know as CopperheadOS. In short, GrapheneOS is an Android fork without Google Mobile Services (GMS), although you can install them should you wish to do so. Google will continue supporting the Pixel 4a for two years, so the NitroPhone 1 will not have the longest shelf life.

GrapheneOS is free to install, so we are struggling to see what value Nitrokey is offering here for its €630 asking price. By contrast, the Pixel 4a costs US$349. Nitrokey will remove the device's microphone for an additional layer of security, but that does not cover the €200+ difference between the NitroPhone 1 and the Pixel 4a.

If you are interested in purchasing the NitroPhone 1, you can do so via Nitrokey's website. The company accepts SEPA bank transfers, PayPal, Bitcoin and credit cards, for reference.

Purchase the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G on Amazon

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The NitroPhone 1 running GrapheneOS. (Image source: Nitrokey)
The NitroPhone 1 running GrapheneOS. (Image source: Nitrokey)

Source(s)

Nitrokey via LiliputingDaniel Romero - Image credit

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Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - Senior Tech Writer - 4103 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.
contact me via: @aldersonaj
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 09 > NitroPhone 1: The 'safest Android smartphone in the world' is a Google Pixel 4a with a third-party ROM installed
Alex Alderson, 2021-09- 4 (Update: 2021-09- 4)