Dumbphone vs. Pixel with GrapheneOS

Pretty basic question, I’m looking for a secure phone for making calls and maybe talking on Signal. My obvious options are are a dumbphone or a Pixel with GrapheneOS. My friend tells me that a Pixel with GrapheneOS is easily supreme over a dumbphone, but I’m not totally sure. I think that turning off whatever I can on a dumbphone would actually work as compared to something like an iPhone, and I’d only have Signal. But I don’t know, I’ve only been in the FOSS/privacy/security world for a week or two. Thanks.

A dumbphone would probably not support signal so if talking through signal is something you intend to do I think GOS is your only option.
However normal calls (calls routed through cell towers) are not E2EE and are inherently insecure just like sms. GOS can do nothing about that.

If calls are the only purpose of the phone then getting a dumbphone is the better choice because the calls won’t be tied to your identity but to the number you’re using.

However for secure calls I would say end-to-end encrypted VOIP is the best option, so consider getting GOS and using signal (or any other good VOIP service) for the highest security.

What about a sort-of-dumbphone, like Amazon.com ? Or is that just as insecure as an iPhone?

I personally wouldn’t trust that because the OS and most apps would probably be out of date and might pose big security risks.
Also it might come with bloatware installed.
Imo It’s either going full dumb phone for the calls or getting GOS with VOIP

Iphones are not insecure, in fact stock Iphone is generally more secure than stock Android, mostly due to the strict App store requirements.
I personally recommend non-tech savvy people that wouldn’t be bothered to dig in custom ROMs to get an Iphone because It is superior in terms of security and has less room for user error.
I will link this topic as a reference:

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First, hi and welcome to the community!

Second, if you’re new to the privacy world don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. There’s always more you can be doing. Just figure out your threat model and set yourself up based on that.

Third, since you are starting out, you may be better served by going with a cheap iPhone for this use case. It will be easy to make the phone basic while still being able to run the more advanced apps like Signal that you couldn’t get on a dumbphone.

What is your threat model should be the first question indeed.

If your threat model requires secure and private conversations (phone calls) then you surely shouldn’t use a dumbphone because the cellular calls or SMS are not encrypted and can be recorded by a law enforcement entity. Rather you should use encrypted (peer 2 peer) phone calls like with Signal or Telegram.

I have one de-googled Pixel that is completely clean and has never had a sim card even. I am thinking of keeping it only on wifi via hotspot and having a dumb phone for calls. Alternately keep my other smart phone that has a sim card for calls but keep it often off and in faraday bag. I don’t like to be trackable by devices that know my true name.

Dumbphones can have spyware in some cases too.

There are no winners here. Both have their use cases. If you are someone not very keen to the tech stuff and prefer using a phone for the sake of talking to, or texting, you are better of with the dumb phone. If not then you can buy the Pixel with Graphene.

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