President Trump apparently doesn’t care about the security risks of using his old, unsecured Android phone.
Though it can’t be confirmed which Android phone Trump is actually using — and presumably firing off his temper tweets from — widespread speculation and amateur analysis strongly suggests it’s a Samsung Galaxy S3.
Yes, an Android phone that was released in 2012. Trump’s a billionaire, but he likes using a phone older than Orange Is the New Black.
The environmentalist in me says it’s great that Trump is still using his old phone. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?
It’s understandable Trump might not like the “secured, encrypted device” the Secret Service gave him. After all, if it’s the same one that Obama got, then it can’t take photos, can’t text, can’t make calls and can’t play music. In other words, as Obama said: it’s just like a play phone. However old his S3 is, at least it does all of those things.
By using such an old phone with outdated software (either some kind of Android Jelly Bean or KitKat), Trump’s leaving his device vulnerable to at least three years of security holes that have since been patched in newer versions of Android. All it would take to compromise his device is a clever phishing tactic.
But if Trump isn’t willing to budge on having a consumer-friendly phone, he should, at the very least, upgrade to a newer phone that’s more secure, but doesn’t cramp his style. But which one?
After some serious thought, we believe Trump would be very happy if he got a Samsung Galaxy S7. Here’s why (all based on speculation, of course).
It’s a Samsung
Though Trump claims he’s used iPhones and Samsung phones, he denounced the iPhone in early 2016 after Apple refused a government request to hack into one of the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone.
I use both iPhone & Samsung. If Apple doesn’t give info to authorities on the terrorists I’ll only be using Samsung until they give info.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19, 2016
Maybe he’d be down with another brand, like BlackBerry, but since he’s only been photographed with the S3, we can only assume he’s plenty satisfied with what Samsung makes.
The S7 might be a year old, but it’s still a Samsung!
When it launched, the S3 was still considered a “big” phone, even though larger-sized phablets had already begun their crusade on the world.
Its “big” 4.8-inch display was larger than the iPhone 4S’s 3.5-inch screen and even the 4-inch iPhone 5 that would launch months later.
By today’s standards, the S3’s 4.8-inch screen is relatively small when compared to the huge 5.5-5.8-inch phablets everyone’s got stuffed in their pants.
You’d think a 70-year-old would want a phone with a bigger screen with more space (and thus, a larger, roomier onscreen keyboard to type on), but Trump probably doesn’t, since he’s got small hands.
Despite having a larger 5.1-inch screen, the S7’s dimensions aren’t that much larger than the S3’s thanks to its super-slim bezels. Hell, it’s narrower and thinner than the S3. Trump would need to stretch his thumb a little more to reach the top of the screen, but that shouldn’t be difficult.
It’s got good ol’ familiar TouchWiz
I know what you’re thinking: “Eww, nobody likes Samsung’s TouchWiz Android skin.” But hey, Trump’s not like everyone else. He’s a guy with very questionable taste, so he probably loves TouchWiz. Besides, he’s probably at the age where he’s too old to break from what he’s used to.
Though not as ugly (and heavy on the gloss aesthetic) as TouchWiz on the S3, the S7’s version of Android should still be familiar to anyone who has used older devices. The UI’s been cleaned up, but Trump should feel right at home if he were to make the jump.
It has a memory card slot
We have no idea what features Trump likes in his phone, but if the S3 is anything to go by, maybe he cares deeply about expandable storage.
Maybe he wants to keep high-definition copies of every episode of The Apprentice on his phone. Maybe he got saddled with a 16GB S3 (the phone also came in 32GB and 64GB models).
In that regard, the S7 is perfect because it also comes with a microSD card slot.
It’s pretty secure (for now)
The main reason I’m writing this article is because President Trump needs a more secure phone. With an S7, not only would Trump be running the the newest version of Android 7.0 Nougat with all the latest security patches, but he’d also have a device with Samsung Knox.
While it’s no Boeing Black (the secure phone that the president reportedly gets), the S7 with Samsung Knox encryption software would let Trump securely switch between work and play.
According to Samsung, Knox meets five U.S. government certifications (and several non-U.S. governments, and can be used by the U.S. Department of Defense. If it’s secure enough for the DoD, it should be secure enough for Trump.
Plus, the S7 has a fingerprint sensor to further protect Trump’s phone.
Some small things he might not like…
There are a few things that might irk Trump if he switched to to the S7, though. Things like the removable battery might be important to him, and unfortunately, the S7 doesn’t have one. Fast charging and faster wireless charging, however, could be enticing.
And despite the S7 being water- and dust-proof, its glass back is more prone to cracks if dropped than the S3. But that might the least of Trump’s concerns since he does use a protective case over his S3. If he got an S7, he could easily find a new case to slip over it to better protect it from impact.
If he wants to leave Samsung…
Our runner up pick for Trump is the BlackBerry DTEK50. It can’t match the S7 on specs, but it has a somewhat small 5.2-inch screen, runs Android Marshmallow (BlackBerry says it’s committed to faster updates), and — most importantly — has top-notch security. BlackBerry claims it’s the most secure Android phone on the market. The DTEK50 also comes with a nifty DTEK app that lets you track what data apps are accessing when you use things like your camera, microphone, location, etc.