Which Android phone does Donald Trump use?
The New York Times has reported that Donald Trump still tweets from the White House on his "old, unsecured Android phone, to the protests of some of his aides," contradicting earlier reports that the president had turned in the handset in exchange for a "secure, encrypted device approved by the Secret Service." It's difficult to know with 100% certainty which Android device Trump currently uses to tweet (or whether it's the off-the-shelf model he likely used during his campaign, or some secured variant.)
But we sure can offer you some informed speculation!
There are only a few photos out in the wild of Trump using his smartphone, usually reported to be a "Samsung Galaxy." That doesn't exactly narrow it down, and most of the photos available online are low-res, making the matter trickier still. What's more, the device appears to be in a case, obscuring some identifying features. Of the two clearest images we have of Trump using his Android phone, one comes from a NYT report dated October 2015:
The back is pretty revealing, but you have to zoom in close to pick out identifying features. The two dead giveaways are the features flanking the camera bump — even in this low-res shot, Trump's phone quite clearly has an LED flash on the left, and a less reflective marking in the same place over on the right. The only major Samsung phone released in the U.S. with these features is the Galaxy S3, launched way back in 2012. (A different angle of the same shot shows a device roughly the right size and shape to be a GS3, with the familiar LED - camera - speaker arrangement only found on this phone.)
The GS3 is very similar in appearance to 2013's Galaxy S4, but the GS4's LED is below the camera bulge, not to the side. Same deal with the Galaxy S5. And the headphone jack being situated on the top-left side (as you face the phone) eliminates the Galaxy S6 or anything newer.
Further evidence comes from a more recent pic of Trump on his phone, dated February 2016. Here, Trump the presidential candidate is using what appears to be the same Samsung phone — note the home button — in a similar case. But there's another important clue in this pic — the bottom edge of the device, showing a USB port and no headphone jack. Again, this eliminates the GS6 and newer. The USB port is also too small for it to be a GS5, which used a weird double-width USB 3.0 port. Another important clue is the mic hole placement — to the right of the charging port here, like the GS3. The GS4 relocated the mic to the left of the USB port. (The irregular shape of the home key — wider at the top, narrower at the bottom — also matches the GS3, but not the GS4.)
So there you go. Trump's personal Android phone is more than likely a Samsung Galaxy S3, released in 2012, and which last received a software update in mid-2015, with firmware based on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.
As noted in the intro, we don't know for sure that Trump is still using this specific Galaxy S3. The two NYT reports conflict on whether he turned it in, or is still using it to fire out tweets from the White House. But if he is, and it's the same consumer GS3 model he was apparently using as of February 2016, it's safe to say it's a good three years out of step with the latest Android security updates. Many Android security scares have come and gone since the GS3 got its last update in August of 2015.
Naturally, there's huge interest in which smartphone — secured, or otherwise — the most powerful man in the world is using. And with it, understandable concern over how protected it is from digital threats. We may never have an entirely clear picture of the president's digital habits. Nevertheless, in 2017, a GS3 certainly fits the description of an "old, unsecure Android phone."
Update, January 27: Further photos from recent interviews at Trump Tower by German outlets Bild.de and Die Welt reveal the president's Android phone — quite clearly a Galaxy S3 — in higher resolution, showing the features noted above in greater detail. (Thanks, Tim!)
Get the Android Central Newsletter
Instant access to breaking news, the hottest reviews, great deals and helpful tips.
Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.
Also, I believe I read that in the 90s Trump got overtaxed by so much that he was good for like the next 18yrs. I could be wrong but I'm 98% certain about that
So you want me to come to peace with it but that wasn't the case when Obama became president. I read how rep. emailed each other racist thing about him as president. They were not at peace.
Trump doesn't have to pay taxes because he reported such a YUGE business lost that he won't get taxed for a lot of years because it is considered over paying. It is a cool tax loop hole we have.
One thing is for sure. We would have been over it by now because we have jobs to go to, families to support, bills to pay and don't have time to run around protesting, fighting and vandalizing. Four years from now all of these crybabies will be eating Crow and half of them will secretly be on the Trump bandwagon and voting for him in the next election. The other half will continue to act like punks and continue to divide this country, but Trump will get to a point where he is fed up with them draining our nations resources and he'll get all of them full time jobs building the wall.
How about you stop watching tv and read. Try NPR.
Liberals have time to protest because they have higher paying jobs. Look up how many people in the alabama and those bible belt states are on welfare.
I am glad to see that prick Trump is a cheap ******* though.
Maybe he will get the deficit moving in the right direction and put a few bucks in his pocket at the same time.
(eyes looking up)
I got nothing on the baldness. Sorry.
There are many folks serving time for WAY SMALLER security breeches.
If Rice and Powell did it, also, they should be in jail with hilary.
Two wrongs DO NOT make a right.
http://i.imgur.com/oU19HeT.png Samsung Galaxy S3? Seems legit.
I suggest you get used to it for the next 8 years. You snowflakes sound all the same, you all sound like parrots, classic.
End Days have come upon us.
America has fallen. As an American, I now sit back just to have delight in saying "I told you so" to Trump supporters.
I'm aRealist...! Prophecizing the End of Days, is not necessarily indicative of religious beliefs.
-Sent from Russia
Critical thinking does not seem to be a strong suit on the lunatic liberal left.
Firstly, it is a GS3. I can tell which phone someone is using (well most models that are seen in the wild) with a quick glance. Secondly, it is obvious from the recent election, that the united states of america has descended in to chaos and no longer has a credible government. Now the normal thing here, when an unstable ex-colony goes bad, is for the former colonial power to step in and restore order. Unfortunately as we seem unable to govern ourselves I don't think we would be up to the job (and I do feel kind of responsible considering that Farage kept on popping up on your screens). Not to worry though as no matter how bad it may seem now it will seem a lot worse when you get "four more years". And we all know how well that went the last time the phrase was used. Oh dear.
when an older smartphone works just as well. The majority of people reading AndroidCentral are far from rich, partly because
they waste money on the latest and greatest smartphones. :) Then again, it
can be argued that since we can't afford to put Lambos and Ferraris in our
garages, we can at least splurge on the best smartphones? :(
With all their beady little eyes
And flappin' heads so full of lies Edit. Only joking. I love Canada and same drug problems as us and same gun ownership as us. Yet hardly any murders? Fascinating.
(has anyone seen Snow then lately)
Trump's phone... while it certainly appears to be a legacy model, and quite certainly running a dated firmware, good luck to any would-be-hackers in tracking down the unlisted number and in turn, getting the IMEI# to track the device across cell-nets. While it's far from impossible, it *is* a type of information that's very difficult to get at without having a very high level of engineer access to the particular telecomm system, or without a FISA warrant and a gag order to keep the telco silent while an op proceeds. The flipside of that is that it's not completely impossible, and that with a bit of work by a crafty operative, his phone will absolutely become a liability. But, this is an administration that doesn't prefer to listen to advice from the very people that intimately understand clandestine international affairs, so... that choice will be their responsibility if it goes sideways, and seeing as how we have certain laws in place that cover intentional versus unintentional disclosure of state secrets, etc., it all basically comes down to a couple of things: a: Will Trump ever use this device to discuss or transmit any conversation or data that would be of a sensitive nature requiring secure data handling procedures for purposes of national security? b: Can and will measures be taken to disable reverse GPS tracking in order to protect the POTUS' location in the event of a national security or presidential security emergency? All things considered, I'm not really all that concerned about this, personally, because I don't believe Trump will be transmitting any sensitive data over his phone that would be of national security importance --mostly because I'm assuming here that any sensitive data handling will be handled by in-house subordinates that have been properly trained in compartmentalized data security. What it all basically boils down to is a matter of what he prefers for his personal usage, versus any established protocols for communications-device security laid down in prior years --all of which are subject to a high degree to his own whims, for better or worse, depending I suppose on your perspective.
2. Nice Amoled "small" 5in screen 1080p (yes, a non QHD screen is a benefit to me - performance/power wise, in theory)
3. SD slot
4. IR blaster
5. Qi charging via optional $10 insert (or $100 official back)
7. Runs CM 14.1 (7.1.1) as of Dec '16 wonderfully. Soo much better than the stock ROM.
8. In the top 5 or so most popular devices for CM/LineageOS so that it will surely be well supported for a long time to come.
9 . fingerprint sensor (in theory - don't care)
10. the back cover is non slippery, slightly grippy. cons:
camera not great, although 16MP fully capable of good shots, under ideal conditions.
chrome plastic surround.
1: Had Kit Kat for LTE Variants
2: Still receives security updates (specific models), (source:Sammobile)
3: Has the rear set-up Samsung reused the most often,
4: Has Knox But I don't get that the US President is a billionaire guy that can't manage to buy a recent device that at least has Marshmallow. More shocking : the most influent person in the world uses the same phone that I have. That sort of make me feel proud of my laggy SIII. But if Trump has an SIII, what does Trudeau have?
Interesting factoid, some of these had issues with overheating and crashing because they used too much glue on the chip(s) and resulted in little or no cooling because a full 2/3 of the chip wasn't touching the thermal pad.
I also found that the chips are very similar to the RaspPi and possibly even identical but using a proprietry bootloader and have many features turned off by default which is a shame as HDMI/baseband video out would be handy.
Time to go digging as this one is nearing the end of its useful life due to imminent failure of the 4G/WiFi chip which tends to drop out if sharing is enabled.