Do you often feel unsafe when using your phone because of data privacy issues? With Simple Phone, you can reclaim your privacy and go back to simpler times when phones had no trackers, spyware, malware, or adware.
Simple Phone is an open-source project that puts you, the user, first and leaves out any corporate interests. It values privacy, and this is reflected in its products. Simple Phone is designed to keep all your sensitive data private.
With Simple Phone, you are getting frequent OTA security updates to keep your device as secure as possible. Simple Phone comes preloaded with Simple Mobile Tools and nothing else. No bloatware and ready to go out of the box.
In conclusion, Simple Phone is based on four main values: open, private, secure, and simple.
Why Simple Phone?
Since the emergence of a smartphone, the whole display was clickable and every developer could change how the app would behave. Some apps are developed by different developers resulting in different UI, colors, buttons and the whole user experience in every app which can make it difficult for new people to get used to Android in general.
Some apps also do direct access to the internet without requiring permission, so that ads appear when someone opens certain apps. This issue can be very uncomfortable and inconvenient.
Since there is no solution offer Tibor Kaputa, the creator of Simple Mobile Tools, and The Good Phone Foundation, a not-for-profit organization founded with a mission to create an open, transparent, and secure mobile ecosystem outside of Big Tech’s reach, partnered up on the smartphone and launched Simple Phone.
Simple Phone focused on users’ privacy and convenience. As Tibor Kaputa said that “Only having control over both software and hardware ensures the ultimate privacy and security. The target audience consists of more privacy-oriented people that do not want to be tracked or rely on big corporations, Google Play, etc. It focuses on people who just want to get things done in a simple way without having to keep closing ads and wondering what the system does in the background. Not to mention consistency again as the core apps are developed by us.”
Simple Mobile Tools
Simple Mobile Tools comes preloaded with Simple Phone as a group of simple, open source Android apps without ads and unnecessary permissions, with customizable colors. The first 8 apps were published in 2018, there are now more than 20 of them. They are translated into over 45 languages and have tens of millions of active users. Even these apps have been downloaded more than 60M with an average rating of 4.6.
The group consists of apps for everyday usage like Simple Gallery Pro, Simple Calendar Pro, Simple Contacts Pro, Simple Notes Pro, Simple File Manager Pro, Camera, Draw, Music Player, Dialer, SMS Messenger, Voice Recorder, Flashlight, App Launcher, Calculator, Keyboard, Clock, Launcher, and so on. They contain no extra advanced features, the biggest benefits are simplicity and consistency across all of them. Not only the colors, buttons, and texts are reused, but sometimes even whole screens. That makes the user experience really pleasant and predictable. There are no hidden features that you can access only with some weird gestures you are not even aware of, like in some other apps. All apps are open source as Simple Mobile Tools have nothing to hide, and it helps the whole developer community as well.
Regarding privacy, casual people might not be able to read the source code. However, anyone can easily read the list of available permissions and see that none of the apps has access to the internet, and they all require only permissions that make perfect sense.
Therefore, all apps are developed with useful and customizable widgets, without ads, and unnecessary permissions. It reflected the creator, Tibor Kaputa, goals “I wanted to create apps that didn’t have all the things I hated in phone apps – unnecessary permissions, ads, poor user experience and non-customizable widgets.”
Moreover, Simple Mobile Tools also have several reasons why it is the best ones out there.
- No ads
Simple Mobile Tools believe that users deserve good quality and up-to-date apps without ads that intrude. Its apps are free from ads and tracking. It wants to bring you the best experience possible, by giving you control over the app. Also, it ensures that there are no marketing companies tracking you.
- Great user experience
User experience is a really important part of Simple Mobile Tools apps. It applies a user-centered approach to everything it does, from design to development. This means that you’re always the center of attention. Simple Mobile Tools only develops apps that make your life easier or better in some way because it believes that apps should be well designed and easy to use.
Android is an awesome operating system but it is also a mess. Apps are coming from different developers, so they all look and work differently. They often use weird icons that you don’t even know what they mean, until you press them. In Simple Mobile Tools, all apps are developed by one developer, so it uses the same icons, texts and behavior wherever possible. If you want to change item sorting, you know where to look. If you want to select multiple items at once? Sure, it works the same way in all apps.
- No unnecessary permissions
It is important to know what apps do before you install them. Beware of what app permissions you are giving out. Whenever an app requests more than the basic ones, it’s worth taking a better look. Do not be fooled by flashy graphics and cool features; check the permissions that each app requests. Some apps mine everything possible from your device by using some shady tactics and then send the data or files somewhere over the internet and sell it. You can easily see which apps request more permissions by visiting the Google Play Store and clicking on any app. You should also check for preinstalled apps on your device.
Simple Mobile Tools apps do not ask unnecessary permissions when you use it. It is simple and secure.
- No internet access
This is an important one, so it deserves a separate point. There are some “dangerous” permissions on Android that explicitly have to be accepted by users. For example, accessing the contacts or files. However, internet permission is not one of them. Every app that requests it will automatically get it. You can easily see which app has what permissions in your device settings. For example if an app displays ads, you can take it for granted that it has access to the internet. You cannot really know what other things it is using the internet for, except for fetching ads.
None app from Simple Mobile Tools has internet access, guaranteeing your privacy and security.
- Color customization
All of Simple Mobile Tools apps come with a dark theme by default. Not black, just dark. If you do not like it, you can easily change any color in Settings → Customize colors. You can even pick from many app icon colors. If you purchase Simple Thank You, you can use the Shared Theme, which will cause that whenever you change a color in one app, all apps in the suite will be affected by that change too.
Widgets can be really helpful, if done properly. Well, Simple Mobile Tools have done them properly. They are designed to be as intuitive as possible to save you valuable time. You can resize them, but also change their text and background colors, so that they will fit your home screen.
- Open source
Simple Mobile Tools have nothing to hide, so it made its code open source. It can benefit other app developers as well. It also encourages others to help in the development, sending some fixes from time to time.
Translations of the apps are all handled by volunteers. If you are wondering if there are any people willing to spend their time helping for free, Simple Mobile Tools guarantee you that yes, there are many people like that. Some of the apps are already translated in over 45 languages, which sounds unbelievable but very thankful enough for those contributions. If you’d like to help, you can check out the Weblate project. You can either improve an existing translation or add a brand new language. If you need some help there, just let us know.
Some of them are free, some of them are paid. That is because development takes time and money, so Simple Mobile Tools have to make money in some way. As the apps have no ads and they are not stealing any of your data either, the best way to earn something was simply making them paid. That also makes the business model really clear. You just have to pay a small sum and you can use the apps forever. It is a one time payment, you will never have to pay for them again. Not even once you get a new device. If you want a refund, just contact Simple Mobile Tools anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org and you will get it. No questions asked.
Many of them have a rating above 4.5 on Google Play and over 60 million downloads in total, so it is not just some school project that can disappear any day. Their popularity is also caused by them having a purpose, they weren’t created just to be popular or make money. Simple Mobile Tools’ goal is making your life easier.
Envisioned by the team behind Simple Mobile Tools, Simple Phone is a smartphone that respects your privacy and digital well-being. The device runs on SimpleOS, a completely de-Googled mobile OS, and comes pre-loaded with a stack of simple apps that are open-source and without ads or unnecessary permissions.
Open-source OS and apps
Octa-core (Arm Cortex A73 2.1GHz + A53 2.0GHz)
SimpleOS, powered by Lunar Open Mobile Platform (Based on Android 11)
Arabic, Armenian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese
LCD, 6.53-inch FHD+
2G Network: GSM(B2/3/5/8)3G Network: WCDMA(B1/2/5/8)
4G Network: FDD(B1/2/3/5/7/8/12/13/17/20/28) TDD(B38/40/41)
Front: 25 MP
3.5mm headphone jack
Dual Nano SIM
161.8 x 76.9 x 8.9mm
USB-C Cable/Fast Charger/User Manual/Privacy Screen Protector/Protective Case
Powered by SimpleOS
SimpleOS is a streamlined mobile operating system powered by the Lunar Open Mobile Platform – developed by The Good Phone Foundation as an open and privacy-focused alternative to the Android ecosystem.
The Good Phone Foundation who just released their own Android-based mobile OS and were looking for apps to rely on contact the creator of Simple Mobile Tools to work together and eventually develop a smartphone, Simple Phone, which aims to maintain smartphone users’ privacy, remove ads, and restrict apps’ permissions.
Say goodbye to Google, and welcome back your privacy. Simple Phone uses microG as a replacement for Google Play Services. All the features you need, minus the spyware.
microG is a free-as-in-freedom re-implementation of Google’s proprietary Android user space apps and libraries. Privacy-caring users can reduce or monitor data that is sent to Google and especially older phones can expect some battery life improvements. microG is not only used on real devices, but also replaces Google tools in test emulators and is even used in virtual mobile infrastructure.
Preloaded with Simple Mobile Tools
Simple Phone comes preloaded with Simple Mobile Tools, our own set of privacy-focused and open-source apps without ads and unnecessary permissions.
Simple Phone is a phone that runs on preinstalled apps from Simple Mobile Tools. It means that all apps in Simple Phone are free from ads and the widgets can be customized. It also focuses on the users’ privacy in which apps are not asking for unnecessary permissions.
Install all your favorite apps
All your favorite apps are a tap away. Simple Phone comes preloaded with F-Droid that gives you access to thousands of open-source apps. F-Droid is an installable catalog of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) applications for the Android platform. The client makes it easy to browse, install, and keep track of updates on your device.
Alternatively, you can also install the Aurora Store and access all apps available on the Google Play Store. All apps in the Aurora Store are released under GNU General Public License (GPLv.3.0) where everything behind the beautiful UI is not hidden. Aurora Apps are designed with aesthetics as the key aspect – all of the apps provide a unique and clean, fresh-looking UI and a variety of customization. The developers respect every user’s privacy and do not collect any sort of personal data. None of the apps include any telemetry services or ads.
Smooth performance out of the box
Simple Phone is powered by an octa-core processor and 4GB of RAM. This is enough for SimpleOS to run smoothly for years to come. Super lightweight and optimized to perfection. You do not need to worry if the storage in the phone runs out of space or the phone’s performance slows down.
Extended warranty included
You are getting a brand new device with a 2-year extended warranty and a minimum of 3 years of software updates. This is very interesting because Simple Phone guarantees the quality of its products. Certified service will undertake repairs or even replace faulty products as per the terms of the contract. You also do not need to buy a new phone for the near future because Simple Phone still provides a minimum of 3 years of software updates where you can enjoy using the phone without worrying about not getting an OS update.
How de-googled is SimpleOS?
On a casual device, whenever you turn on your device, it is set up to ping google services. It is looking for a 204 success result code. That can be seen here:
android_frameworks_base ▸ services ▸ core ▸ java ▸ com ▸ android ▸ server ▸ connectivity ▸ NetworkMonitor.java
private static final String DEFAULT_HTTPS_URL =”https://www.google.com/generate_204″;
private static final String DEFAULT_HTTP_URL = “http://connectivitycheck.gstatic.com/generate_204”;
private static final String DEFAULT_FALLBACK_URL = “http://www.google.com/gen_204”;
private static final String DEFAULT_OTHER_FALLBACK_URLS = “http://play.googleapis.com/generate_204″;
The information sent from the device would be fairly basic, but it will likely include your IP and MAC addresses plus the date and time of each connection. We have replaced those with our own URL http://pingsecuregroup.com.
Not just at the connectivity check, but also at the Network Time Protocol (NTP) does Google have their own servers, by default it is “time.android.com”.
<string translatable=”false” name=“config_ntpServer”>time.android.com</string>
This check itself can be harmless, but if combined with other low-level services, it can be abused by putting a timestamp to the locational or network traffic data. We have replaced that url with “pool.ntp.org”.
These servers are not set to Google servers directly but are, by default, automatically applied by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) in Android. Those then pass on the network traffic to large corporations like Google for a price. So even if Google doesn’t log your internet traffic directly, it can obtain it really easily. And Android makes it easy for ISPs to do.
To solve this, we have preset Cloudflare DNS Servers one.one.one.one or 1dot1dot1dot1.cloudflare-dns.com as the default option, but you can change it easily in your Network & Internet device settings, DNS section.
Google Play services
This service has many uses, it is needed not just for using Google Play but also for authenticating you to your Google services, Google synchronized contacts etc. It also provides access to the latest user privacy settings and higher quality, lower-powered location-based services. It also provides more immersive maps and improves gaming experience. Sadly they are quite privacy intrusive. As an alternative to relying on Google Play services, we are using microG, which provides Google Play Services-like API for the best possible user experience. However, if you don’t want to have microG either, you can disable it easily.
System webview application
It is a system component that lets Android apps display web content inside them without opening a standalone browser. The default Webview app is powered by Chrome (or Chromium). As the preinstalled browser in our case is Bromite, we use Bromite SystemWebView as the default System Webview app.
Satellite services (A-GPS, SUPL)
A technology known as Assisted GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) has been a part of our mobile landscape for a number of years now. When applied to GPS, this technology is known as A-GPS, or Assisted GPS. This technology leverages data sent through radio networks to improve startup times for initial satellite linkup. For mobile devices, this means it leverages cell towers to triangulate the necessary exact coordinate data to allow the satellite to connect. A-GPS uses several protocols to govern its use, and to push or carry the data from cell tower radio networks. These protocols are divided into two categories, the control plane protocol, and user plane protocol. The control plane protocol is subdivided into numerous protocols designed to support multiple generations of mobile networks, such as GSM, CDMA, UMTS, and LTE networks.
The User plane protocol, SUPL, is defined by the OMA to support positioning protocols in packet switched networks, and is currently available in 3 versions (1.0 to 3.0). SUPL, or Secure User Plane Location is designed to go beyond the initial design intentions of A-GPS by allowing it to be used by standard computer systems. SUPL 3.0 legitimizes such use by adding allowance for WLAN and broadband connections. Actions defined by SUPL 3.0 include a wide range of services such as geofencing and billing. The A-GNSS functions are defined in the SUPL Positioning Functional Group. It includes:
- SUPL Assistance Delivery Function (SADF), which provides the basic information sent to the device in both A-GNSS modes.
- SUPL Reference Retrieval Function (SRRF), which tells the server to prepare the information mentioned above by receiving from the satellites.
SUPL Position Calculation Function (SPCF), which lets the client or the server ask for the client’s location. The server-generated location may result from MSA (mobile station assisted) or from mobile cell. If a MSB (SET based) mode is used, the client reports its location to the server instead.
Not only does the latest version of SUPL go beyond the initial purposes of A-GPS (geofencing, billing applications), the above data is being logged by Google without permission, potentially before you even put a SIM card in your phone. For that reason, we wanted to avoid using Google servers for SUPL data when using GPS. To solve this, we replaced GPS SUPL_HOST=supl.google.com with supl.vodafone.com (Vodafone) in the following files:
As mentioned in the beginning, the OS is based on our apps from the Simple Mobile Tools suite as the preinstalled ones. However, we don’t have everything covered as our apps have no internet access, so we had to reach out to a couple other apps. As an email app we decided to preinstall Fairmail, as the browser there is Bromite and for app store F-droid. That makes it possible to receive all app updates too.
Regarding our apps, these are preinstalled: Calculator, Calendar, Camera, Clock, Contacts, Dialer, Draw, File Manager, Flashlight, Gallery, Keyboard, Music Player, Notes, SMS Messenger and Voice Recorder. If you want, you can obviously uninstall or replace them. If F-droid is not enough for you, you can also download Aurora which will grant you access to all free apps from Google Play. You can thus download your favorite social media apps too.
Is SimpleOS open source?
Yes, SimpleOS is a streamlined mobile operating system based on the Lunar Open Mobile Platform (developed by The Good Phone Foundation). You can find the source code of Lunar OMP here: https://gerrit.goodphone.foundation/admin/repos
How is Simple Phone better than GrapheneOS, Calyx or LineageOS?
We never wanted to compete with GrapheneOS, Calyx, or LineageOS. We do acknowledge these are great projects, and we wish them success. However, we believe there is room for more privacy-respecting projects that put the user’s interest first. Moreover, we see the niche market for de-googled phones as a spectrum. Some projects focus solely on privacy and security, while others provide more functionality and usability.
Our goal was to give users a “simple” way to escape the reach of Big Tech by providing a solution that works out of the box, does not require any additional skills to flash a phone, and gives users a more coherent user experience. Simple Phone is a great first de-googled phone that might convert an iOS or a regular Android user. More advanced users might prefer other solutions, which is more than OK.
Is Simple Phone locked to a provider?
No, Simple Phone is carrier unlocked.
Is Simple Phone just a rebranded OEM device?
Yes, Simple Phone uses the same industrial design (ID) as other mainstream phones, like the CoolPad Cool S. However, our devices are produced on a separate, controlled, smaller production line and are certified as a different model.
This is our first device, and we wanted to release something relatively quickly and get real feedback rather than having a beautiful 3d render on preorder for years. If Simple Phone is successful, we will definitely work on a phone with a unique industrial design that would also incorporate some of the hardware features requested by users.
Why are you using Helio P60? It’s a 4-year old chip.
Simple Phone is, well, a simple phone. Our OS and apps are lightweight and don’t require a lot of processing power. The phone delivers a great user experience with the current hardware, and everything runs fast. However, if you are looking for a gaming device, Simple Phone is not for you.
Will this phone have international availability? How much do you estimate it will cost?
Currently, Simple Phone is only available within the EU. By the end of the year, it will be available in all European countries, the US, and Canada. Depending on demand, we might add other regions or counties, so email us if you want a Simple Phone and live outside the mentioned regions.
The cost would be the same.
How repairable is the phone?
Compared to mainstream mobile phones (iPhones, Samsungs, Google Pixels), Simple Phone is easier to repair. The architecture is not complex, and the phone does not have an IP rating, meaning that the use of adhesives is minimal. We will also offer spare parts directly on our site, so you will be able to purchase screens, batteries, backs, and camera modules from us. Any local mobile repair shop should be able to service the device for you.
Is the phone sustainable? Like the Fairphone, for example. So, can I change the battery myself?
Simple Phone is not sustainable at the moment. However, we are taking steps to reduce the environmental footprint of the devices we sell. Starting in 2023, Simple Phone will ship in fully recyclable packaging, and we will also make accessories optional (but still free); users can choose whether they want them or not. In terms of reparability, we will offer spare parts directly on our site, and although changing the battery is not as easy as it is on a Fairphone, it is still quite straightforward, and it can be done by any mobile repair store.
Is the Bootloader locked? Can it be unlocked?
By default, Simple Phone will ship with a locked Bootloader. However, the Bootloader can be unlocked and then re-locked by the user. Unlocking the Bootloader allows users to install custom firmware on their devices and gives them full privileges to modify the phone.
NOTE: Unlocking the Bootloader is unnecessary for most users and is not recommended.
Why do you use microG on the device? Can I disable it?
We opted to preinstall microG on the device as we view this to be the best middle ground for most users, especially first-time de-Googled phone users. Yes, some metadata still passes through Google, but this is a minor price for all the functionality that microG adds.
Additionally, users that don’t trust or don’t want to use microG can simply disable it from the device settings.