Question How do I completely disable Phenix on my Android?


May 29, 2017
Hey all, I know this forum is mainly used for hardware and not Android support, but this is one of the most knowledgeable forums I know of.

So I recently decided to buy a smartphone, not because I needed to, but because I wanted something to mess around with. However, after messing around with it a bit, I noticed some odd behavior on the factory reset phone. Not only was it opening the built in browser by itself and going to some annoying scam game websites and installing random apps, but it was also incredibly slow for the actual specs of the phone. It was all the indicators of having a virus or something, which was strange because again, this was a factory reset phone and I have nothing installed on it.

Eventually I started to focus my attention on this problem, because I have actually found a use for the phone. So I went into the settings app and looked in the All apps section to look for any suspicious services or apps, and I found, disabled, or uninstalled a few suspicious bloatware apps, but finally I hit the jackpot. I found an app I didn't recognize named "Phenix" on the phone, it turned out was not only the previous launcher before I installed Microsoft Launcher instead because it's a better launcher, but it just so happened to have every single permission a suspicious Chinese app shouldn't have. It basically has full admin privileges and can do everything you don't want an app doing.

I immediately forced stopped the app, which actually sped up the phone a <Mod Edit> ton (bI'd say it's literally 3x the speed it was), but it only half worked as the browser still pops up and opens random scammy websites, one of them even tried to get a token to my Google account which would've granted them access, granted it's my secondary account because there's no way I'm putting my main account on that phone.

I immediately went over to the security tab in the settings and looked at all the device admins, and it wasn't listed there despite the fact that the app's information tab told me it was an admin, so next I went to the app permissions tab since maybe I can remove all of it's permissions as a last ditch effort. Nope. Not only did the "App privileges" button look completely greyed out like they were purposely trying to keep you from seeing it, but Phenix wasn't listed in there at all.

I then looked the actual app up on Google and how to remove it, not only did I find out that the app is actually malware, but that there's apparently no easy way to remove it. I also have Bitdefender installed on the phone, and it hasn't picked up anything. Thanks for keeping me safe, Bitdefender, I'm glad I pay for your service.

Anyways, I'm at a complete loss as to what to do here, and would like to at least remove it as a device admin, but it seems really baked in there. I would try rooting the phone to remove the app that way, but I've never rooted before and have no idea how to. If you just have any suggestions on how on earth I can at least permanently disable this app, I'd greatly appreciate it!
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