If you’ve been online at all for the past week, you’ve probably seen some of your favorite conservative figures hawking something called the Freedom Phone. It’s being billed as a free-speech phone that doesn’t track your whereabouts and doesn’t rely on the Big Tech companies for anything. That sounds nice on the surface. But is it true?
The Freedom Phone sells for $500 and will start shipping out to buyers in August. Before you run out and buy one of these, there are a few things you should know, so keep reading.
The Freedom Phone seemingly came out of nowhere, and it’s being promoted by a bunch of big-name conservatives. Roger Stone, Candace Owens, Ali Alexander, Dinesh D’Souza and even the Gateway Pundit are giving it glowing reviews. The creator of the phone is another out-of-nowhere phenom: A kid named Erik Finman.
Finman was named one of Time Magazine’s “Most Influential Teenagers of 2014” and is supposedly one of the world’s first Bitcoin millionaires. Beyond that, I don’t know much about this kid. But I do know this: Anytime a “conservative” figure or product enjoys a sudden meteoric rise to fame, it always turns out to be a set-up or a huge disappointment. (See Trump-hating and gun-grabbing Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), who was billed as the new conservative thought leader in America a few years ago.)
Anyway, about the Freedom Phone. It runs on an Android operating system, and it comes pre-loaded with several apps. These include Parler, DuckDuckGo, MeWe, Rumble, One America News and Newsmax. Some of you probably raised an eyebrow at that.
DuckDuckGo is a great search engine, but it is still entirely reliant on Google to carry out searches. DuckDuckGo simply pulls searches from Google after masking the tracking cookies and geolocation services on your phone or PC.
And the Android operating system on the Freedom Phone? Android is literally Google’s open-source phone software. So much for Erik Finman’s claim that he’s finally “taking back control” from Big Tech.
Perhaps the most concerning thing about the Freedom Phone is that it is made in Communist China. It’s not manufactured in Hong Kong, as Finman claimed in one interview. The phone is manufactured in Shenzhen. It’s made by a company called Umidigi, which builds the cheapest Android phones on the planet.
One of Umidigi’s big claims to fame is that it buys back its own phones from people who steal them in China – and then resells them! You can purchase an Umidigi phone on Amazon, but as soon as the new user activates it with their number, the phone goes dark because it’s been blacklisted after the original owner reported it stolen. (Don’t you just love China’s business practices?)
It’s especially telling that if you go to the Freedom Phone website, they don’t list any technical specs for the phone. Why is that? Don’t they want their buyers to know that it’s being manufactured in the land of freedom known as Communist China?
And why is the phone $500? You can purchase the exact same phone directly from Umidigi for $120 on Amazon if you want to. It comes pre-loaded with apps that are totally free in the Google Play Store. Sure, you could spend 15 minutes of your own time and download those exact same apps, but wouldn’t you rather pay Bitcoin millionaire Erik Finman $380 to do it for you?
After sheepishly admitting last week that, well, yes, actually, the Freedom Phone is manufactured in mainland Communist China, he stated that the phone contains some custom-built hardware and improved memory. It’s too bad that the Freedom Phone website doesn’t list the technical specifications for the phone anywhere. Finman told reporters he’d have those up on the website in a jiffy, by Thursday of this past week. (Spoiler alert: The specs are still not there.)
We’re being asked to fork over $500 for a smartphone manufactured in Communist China, which uses a Google-dependent operating system and Google-dependent search engine, because it will free us from surveillance and Big Tech censorship? And why does Erik Finman keep lying about his own product and later backtracking?
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to hold off on this one. I have a sneaking suspicion that yet another conservative flash-in-the-pan product is about to spectacularly crash and burn.