from the taking-off-your-hat dept.
It's time to upgrade my phone. I'm paying $80 a year on Page Plus (Verizon) with a Window 6.x phone (before tiles, has a start menu). I'm trying to find a phone which will keep my data safe and that seems far more difficult and expensive than it should, so I'm asking you, my fellow
purple people eaters Soylentils, to aid me in my mundane quest. My primary use will be GPS/navigation, listening to podcasts, and making phone calls. A secondary use is managing email from multiple accounts. I do require the Google Voice app as I have a couple phone numbers from two side businesses. I'd like to be able to toggle between a VPN connection and a normal connection, but that's not a requirement. I prefer longer battery life. My Win phone can go over a week without charging if I all I do on it is make phone calls. I'm going to be living on a college campus so WiFi will normally be available. I don't want to be buying a new phone every couple years. I've had the Win phone for perhaps 6 years.
IPhones have been in the news for being difficult for state-actors to hack into, but app permissions and data can't be faked nor do I know of any OSS movement on the iOS platform. I assume Androids can be instantly cracked by state-actors, but they have some end-user programs to help prevent apps from spying on you. I'd like it if my address book, location, and media was secure from data mining apps. Do I really need to make the choice between data privacy and state privacy? Though since companies have no issue selling data to the state, is my only choice data privacy?
My ideal choice would be a pocket sized piece of hardware that runs Debian, makes phone calls, lets me install standard Linux programs, and doesn't cost more than a laptop. Though if I can connect a screen and keyboard to it and do Python/Java/C++ development then perhaps I'll pay high-end laptop prices. I've seen failed attempts at creating such a device but no successful ones.
Help me dear readers, you're not my only hope.