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Smartphones That Help You Bust Out of the Android/iOS Ecosystem

If you are in the market for a smartphone but want to break away from the Apple-Google duopoly, look no further: These alternative smartphones are based on various Linux variants and custom hardware.

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Smartphones go pretty much everywhere and are used for almost everything. But as is the case for anything that becomes a ubiquitous part of our daily experience, these mobile devices are capable of leaking a lot of information about our online activities, personal preferences, and physical movements.

You can take steps to reduce your risk, but you might need to take more extreme measures to protect your privacy — say, if you're an Android user fed up with Google's ad-blocker blocking or an iOS user concerned about Apple's data collection activities. So one solution to consider is picking a phone from outside the Android-iOS duopoly.

Moving away from Apple-Google isn't easy, but it is possible with a little work. A number of makers sell "de-Googled" phones that emphasize security features, like anti-tracking software, sandboxing, and hardware kill switches, that can disable network or camera access with a flick.

Check out these handsets that keep you off the ad-tracking radar, with nerd cred preinstalled.

About the Author(s)

Karen Spiegelman, Features Editor

Karen joined Dark Reading in January 2022 as features editor. She's been in tech editing since before the img tag was introduced, working for outlets such as the IEEE Computer Society, CNET, and TechTV. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, and two cats. Find her on Mastodon.

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