Murena One - "divorce", or?

The global trend is such that when buying a new smartphone, a person chooses one of two. Or a smartphone

based on iOS or Android.Before turning to the choice of individual parameters, such as the quality of the screen, cameras and performance, this main question inevitably arises before the consumer, there are simply no other options. The lack of choice as such spoils the mood, but nothing can be done, you must choose either a meatball with rice or a cutlet with potatoes, you cannot change it.

Why did it happen that the question does not arise, winsthe strongest. The operating systems themselves are already so different and occupy such huge markets that new ARM processors are already adapted for them, and not vice versa. In this equation, the finished product is the smartphone as a whole, not its individual parts, this is not the case where the user can change the component parts. At the heart of the abolition of true interchangeability is software, because it is precisely because of its closeness that the user is not able to change something. This mainly applies to iOS, but Android is not far behind. Try to find, download and install a fresh driver for Adreno graphics, nothing will work, it is not in the public domain. Rare craftsmen get them from newer smartphones that have not yet stopped receiving updates, but this is not at all a mass approach.

It is not customary to mention this, as if itfine. The logical step for gaining true freedom of choice should be to fundamentally abandon the idea of ​​​​selling only ready-made smartphones, including in the retail offer smartphones without an OS, with interchangeable internals, for which a screwdriver and thermal paste are enough to install. This is logical, but the manufacturer will never go for it, despite the pronounced demand. Why? Because the manufacturer does not need a free consumer, he needs slaves who spend exactly as much money on a smartphone as they can afford, no less. It seems that the brands are run by some kind of dictators, with the mindset of Haitian president-for-life François Duvalier, who forced his subjects to donate blood and then sold it in the United States. And as support, mobile Duvaliers use a whole army of managers and PR people (Francois Duvalier had an army of sorcerers who intimidated the local population with the help of “zombie attacks”), pressing the consumer to the nail and crushing in the bud all attempts at hardware and software freedom.

At the same time, it cannot be said that this oppositionagainst the consumer is monolithic, rather it is a kind of military-political bloc, where the leading role belongs to the Google party, which has deeply bit into the system at all levels. The first step in ridding mankind of the existing world order in the field of mobile electronics should be the rejection of Google services, and subsequent ones should lead to hardware freedom of choice. The rudiments of both already exist, speaking of hardware freedom (relative) we can recall Fairphone smartphones, and I propose to talk about freedom from Google today. Fortunately, the first commercial proposals of this kind appeared.


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Murena One

The smartphone was presented to the public at the endMay of this year. When creating it, the developers tried to save the user from dependence on Google by removing the app store and so on. From a technical point of view, this is an old platform, with an old version of Android and security patches. TTX:

  • Dimensions and weight: 161.8x76.9x8.9 mm, 186 grams
  • Display: 6.53 inches, 2242x1080 pixels (FHD +), IPS, 60 Hz
  • Platform: MediaTek Helio P60, 4-core ARM Cortex A-73 up to 2.0 GHz, 4-core ARM Cortex A-53 up to 2.0 GHz, ARM Mali-G72MP3 graphics, 12 nm manufacturing process
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM, 128 GB internal memory, microSD card support
  • Operating system: e/OS 1.0 based on Lineage OS (Android 10)
  • Main camera: 46 MP + 8 MP
  • Front-camera: 25 MP
  • Battery: Li-ion 4500 mAh
  • Wireless interfaces: Wi-Fi 5 2.4GHz/5.0GHz, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC
  • Net: 2G, 3G, 4G LTE
  • SIM card slot: two Nano-SIM-cards + memory card (instead of one of the SIM)
  • Sensors and connectors: fingerprint scanner (side), accelerometer, light sensor, proximity, compass, USB Type-C, 3.5 mm jack
  • Case material: plastic
  • Price: 22,000 rubles (at the time of writing)

It should be said right away that the smartphone is for saleobscenely expensive, there is not a single component in it that could justify the price. Budget screen and platform, a set of cameras typical for 2020-2021, the software is frankly outdated. The only thing that Murena (Murena is moray eel) differs from the “Google carp” floating by is the specter of freedom, which allegedly frees the user from the need to interact with Google Corporation.

App Lounge

The entire Google mobile ecosystem revolves aroundapp store, everything that the company does is directly related to generating income from the purchase of applications and services. Therefore, it is fair to start with the fact that instead of Google Play, Murena One has an App Lounge store installed.

The company insists that the store is notis a modified F-Droid, but in fact it is even worse. App Lounge is a re-signed clone of the well-known Aurora Store among developers, with all its pluses and minuses. The pluses include the fact that there is no violation of the law in the fact of cloning, this is an Open Source project available to everyone. A minus can become fatal at any moment. The fact is that the Aurora Store itself is in a gray area, it exists only for the reason that Google tolerates its presence. The hole that Google can hook it to at any time is called GPlayApi, which is used in the Aurora Store code. It is thanks to this Api that app stores like Aurora and App Lounge have access to the lion's share of all Google Play apps and are able to update them automatically.

Founder and main developer of Aurora StoreRahul Patel is an open-minded person (and one of the elders of XDA Developers) who acknowledges the problems with using GPlayApi and the suspended status of all Aurora Store mods. Indeed, accessing the Google Play repository without installing the Google Play app and subsequently getting a Google account banned seems to be an inevitable scenario. This is a problem, but the creators of Murena, instead of answering on the merits, carry propaganda. Here's how they answered a question about the legality of the App Lounge app store:

We believe that App Lounge users do notviolate the terms of use of Google Play. We also believe that the Google Play App Store Terms of Service violates laws regarding free competition rules and also violates laws regarding portability rights (of applications).

Answer in the spirit of "Who is the fool? I'm a fool? You're a fool!", isn't it? They can count anything, but Google has the executioner's ax, not Murena Retail.


A really interesting feature forAndroid modding enthusiasts in the Murena One smartphone will benefit from the ease of unlocking the bootloader. However, no one has canceled such an unlocking of MediaTek platforms with the help of dozens of utilities widely represented on various forums. Smartphone designed for novice modders? To some extent, yes, but the argument against is that a novice modder who is not able to unlock the bootloader on his own is likely to mess things up, but not get what he wants.

The situation is very similar to one of my friends.a locksmith who every year made his wife a new cart for going to the store, each time better than the previous one, but not one of them left the house, due to the complete unsuitability for their only function. So it is with the Murena One smartphone - it will not appeal to the average user who will have to delve into the kitchen of Android. Also, it will not suit an experienced Google hater because of the inadequate price, and a real revolutionary, having seen in the e / OS 1.0 code also hidden microG services that allow you to install YouTube and other things from Google directly from the app store, must declare the Murena One smartphone "Menshevik" and blow it up with a bomb. At worst, shoot.

So what the hell are they trying to sell us?

Imagine a young man who has learnedreflash a smartphone, and who decided to make money on it. He will buy a cheap and widespread NoName smartphone, install an OS developed by other people on it, re-sign it, install the Aurora Store, re-sign and make the application a system one, flash MicroG, install partner applications (they cannot be deleted in Murena One, since there are not many of them), order a batch in China for sure of the same NoName smartphones, will create a site with a lot of words about freedom, independence, protection of nature, etc., and will start selling hacked and flashed smartphones over the network. This is a scenario for one person. However, the site says that Murena retail has partners in the face of Fairphone and Gigaset. Legal cover? Deceived? It's not clear yet.


Dear friends, if you are interested in flashingsmartphones, improving or removing unnecessary software in it, then make the right choice when buying. There are a lot of means to unlock the bootloader and install the Root access necessary for these purposes. Yes, there are exceptions on the market, in the form of, for example, Huawei products, but these problems are partially solved if it's just about removing the excess (including Google). And this is not at all a reason to spend 22,000 rubles for a mediocre product with muddy software and an incomprehensible future fate. The very idea of ​​Murena One's (and to a large extent earlier products that are even worse) propaganda of "Get rid of digital surveillance now" is not true.

With the bootloader of the smartphone open, the installationof a new .APK application (directly or from the app store), produced by an unprepared layman, can lead to infection with a virus that will sooner or later get full access to the OS data and do whatever it wants with them. It doesn't matter who developed this virus, the CIA or Vasisualy Lokhankin from a neighboring entrance, an open loader - that's where the main threat lies. And this cannot be called a liberation from digital surveillance. As for Murena, once again, they are trying to sell us another "Denis Popov's operating system" deployed on a budget Chinese smartphone that can turn into a brick (stop working) any day.