14 votes

/e/ (formerly eelo) started selling phones today

17 comments

  1. [2]
    spiraldancing Link
    20+ years ago, Gaël Duval was the guy who founded Mandrake Linux (now Mandriva). 18 months ago, he announced his intention to try for (yet another) privacy-respecting, user-friendly, Google-less,...

    20+ years ago, Gaël Duval was the guy who founded Mandrake Linux (now Mandriva). 18 months ago, he announced his intention to try for (yet another) privacy-respecting, user-friendly, Google-less, Android phone.

    I backed their Kickstarter last year. They've been making good progress on the project, which is basically a tweaked version of LineageOS + microG + assorted apps/features/extras ... working towards a polished, consumer-friendly Google-free phone.

    They're not done, not by a long shot, and stuff is still rough around the edges. That said, a little over a year after they started, they now support 80+ phones -- either install the new OS yourself (for the brave), or mail your phone to them and they'll do it for you.

    But the big news is, today they started to offer unlocked (duh) refurbished phones for sale, preloaded with /e/OS. At the moment, only Galaxy S7s, S9s, and Edges are available ... but I expect more models will come.

    9 votes
    1. cadadr Link Parent
      Thanks for posting this! I may have ignored this if I didn't see the Mandrake mention, it is one of the first distros that I used for an extended amount of time back when I was a kid, and remains...

      Thanks for posting this! I may have ignored this if I didn't see the Mandrake mention, it is one of the first distros that I used for an extended amount of time back when I was a kid, and remains one of my favourites (altho some of it is nostalgia, it is also one of the distros that was best at working out of the box, and at ease of use).

      4 votes
  2. [12]
    KapteinB Link
    Do anyone here use /e/OS as a daily driver? Is it good? I'm very happy with my Sailfish-powered Xperia X, so I'm not currently in the market for a new phone, but this is exciting still. I didn't...

    Do anyone here use /e/OS as a daily driver? Is it good?

    I'm very happy with my Sailfish-powered Xperia X, so I'm not currently in the market for a new phone, but this is exciting still. I didn't know they had a patreon, maybe I should chip in a few bucks a month.

    2 votes
    1. [5]
      weystrom Link Parent
      I'm running something close - LineageOS + MicroG on Galaxy S9 (exynos). It's very much a daily driver for me, although i'm still looking for something physically smaller than SGS9. One issue that...

      I'm running something close - LineageOS + MicroG on Galaxy S9 (exynos).
      It's very much a daily driver for me, although i'm still looking for something physically smaller than SGS9.

      One issue that i keep hitting is that some applications leverage Google Maps (maps, not just location) though Google Play services and are broken, but most of the times you can just fall back to the browser.

      4 votes
      1. [4]
        9000 Link Parent
        I've always kinda wanted to run MicroG, but never really had the guts to pull the trigger on my phone. Aside from Maps, do you notice any other issues?

        I've always kinda wanted to run MicroG, but never really had the guts to pull the trigger on my phone. Aside from Maps, do you notice any other issues?

        1 vote
        1. [3]
          weystrom Link Parent
          Well the fact that realistically you still have to use Google for push notifications kind of deflates the whole google-free experience for me. I also miss Google Play Books, it has a much better...

          Well the fact that realistically you still have to use Google for push notifications kind of deflates the whole google-free experience for me. I also miss Google Play Books, it has a much better reading experience than any foss reader that i could find on F-Droid.
          And you have to sacrifice a bit of camera quality.

          It's all worth it for the battery life alone though, i can almost make 2 days on one charge, there's barely any standby drain. For comparison - i couldn't make it even past 10PM without charging S9 on stock ROM (with all samsung bells and whistles disabled too).

          4 votes
          1. [2]
            9000 Link Parent
            Thanks! Yeah, I've been trying to transition away from Google apps as much as possible, but I do have some lock-in given how my friends and family contact me, and I still use a Gmail account...

            Thanks! Yeah, I've been trying to transition away from Google apps as much as possible, but I do have some lock-in given how my friends and family contact me, and I still use a Gmail account sometimes. But, I've been pleasantly surprised with the selection F-Droid has! If push notifications and camera quality are the worst of it, it might be worth pulling the trigger...

            1 vote
            1. weystrom Link Parent
              There's also YALP store, which is basically a front-end for Google Play store that just pulls apks off Google's SDN, so you still have most of the applications like banking and stuff available to you.

              There's also YALP store, which is basically a front-end for Google Play store that just pulls apks off Google's SDN, so you still have most of the applications like banking and stuff available to you.

              4 votes
    2. [6]
      spiraldancing Link Parent
      Yes-and-no. I have run LineageOS on my main phone. It's good. Getting it installed is tricky, and generally too complicated for non-tech people, but once that's done, it's decent. /e/ is a fork of...

      Yes-and-no. I have run LineageOS on my main phone. It's good. Getting it installed is tricky, and generally too complicated for non-tech people, but once that's done, it's decent.

      /e/ is a fork of Lineage, so should be similar. I've also started using some of /e/'s associated Cloud services (email service and a NextCloud share for 'G-drive'-like cloud storage and syncing), all looks pretty well put together ... esp for a project that was born barely a year ago.

      More to the point, though, I'm registered for one of their preloaded Galaxy S7s, so hopefully, I can give more definitive feedback in a month or so.

      2 votes
      1. [5]
        Soptik Link Parent
        Would you say LineageOS is stable enough? My phone with android is several years old and it’s absurdly slow. Now I’m not sure whether to just reinstall android, which would postpone the problem,...

        Would you say LineageOS is stable enough?

        My phone with android is several years old and it’s absurdly slow. Now I’m not sure whether to just reinstall android, which would postpone the problem, but won’t give me those security updates, and lineageos, where I’m not sure whether it’s good idea to do it.

        I’ve tried iPhone - I borrowed old unused iphone from my family - and it works great, but the closeness (no browser addons and safari rendering engine is awful) and lack of apps I regulary used are driving me away from it.

        Would you say lineageos is stable enough so I won’t have to fix it on a regular basis?

        2 votes
        1. [3]
          9000 Link Parent
          Not OP, but I've been using LineageOS as my main driver for a year or so now, and I've been putting it on old devices since it was still CyanogenMod, and I've been enjoying it just fine. It's...

          Not OP, but I've been using LineageOS as my main driver for a year or so now, and I've been putting it on old devices since it was still CyanogenMod, and I've been enjoying it just fine. It's auto-updater seems to work, and I've never had any day-to-day trouble with it. I run both Google services and F-Droid on it, but I have other devices without Google services that also run fine. The one time I did have trouble was when doing a major update (Lineage 15/Android 8 to Lineage 16/Android 9). The updater can't currently handle that, and I had to follow manual instructions that were similar to the original installation instructions and did some important steps out of order. Just remember to make a backup first.

          But, if you don't mind doing manual updates every year and a half or so, then I've found it to be a very stable system. Feels a lot like AOSP, which is nice.

          4 votes
          1. [2]
            Soptik Link Parent
            Thank you! I’ll try it this weekend. I can always use iphone if I somehow mess it up, so it won’t be a disaster if I brick it. I hope everything goes fine, lineageos looks pretty good and I’ve...

            Thank you! I’ll try it this weekend. I can always use iphone if I somehow mess it up, so it won’t be a disaster if I brick it. I hope everything goes fine, lineageos looks pretty good and I’ve wanted to try it for a while.

            3 votes
            1. 9000 Link Parent
              Good luck, I wish you the best! The Lineage docs are reasonably good, but read them all the way through before you start. People tend to be active on their IRC, too, in case you mess something up,...

              Good luck, I wish you the best! The Lineage docs are reasonably good, but read them all the way through before you start. People tend to be active on their IRC, too, in case you mess something up, but I'm sure you'll do fine.

              2 votes
        2. spiraldancing Link Parent
          Sorry, just got back to Tildes now. Yes, LineageOS is stable, well-maintained, etc. Standard FOSS caveats ... remember it's all done by volunteers, for free, and also keep in mind that Google...

          Sorry, just got back to Tildes now.

          Yes, LineageOS is stable, well-maintained, etc. Standard FOSS caveats ... remember it's all done by volunteers, for free, and also keep in mind that Google continues to actively try to poison all Android FOSS competition. Which is to say that Lineage isn't as smooth & seamless an experience as Gandroid (especially around mapping and location services) ... so temper your expectations.

          2 votes
  3. [2]
    krg Link
    Never heard of this project! Just bought a Pixel 3a, though, so I'm at least invested in that ecosystem for another 3 years. This looks like it could be a viable alternative once I reach the end...

    Never heard of this project! Just bought a Pixel 3a, though, so I'm at least invested in that ecosystem for another 3 years. This looks like it could be a viable alternative once I reach the end of my device's lifespan. Or...maybe the Librem 5. Hopefully neither will be abandoned by then.

    2 votes
    1. spiraldancing Link Parent
      I supported Purism's phone effort, too. Expecting my pure-Linux Librem 5 in a few months. They keep pushing the release date back, but I'm patient. That's the nature of 'kickstarter'-style...

      I supported Purism's phone effort, too. Expecting my pure-Linux Librem 5 in a few months. They keep pushing the release date back, but I'm patient. That's the nature of 'kickstarter'-style projects, esp something as ambition as this one -- hell, Mozilla tried and failed on a Linux phone.

      2 votes
  4. JXM Link
    I like all of these new projects that are taking on Google and Apple. It's hard to say that any of them will succeed, but maybe one can at least gain enough critical mass to be self sustaining in...

    I like all of these new projects that are taking on Google and Apple. It's hard to say that any of them will succeed, but maybe one can at least gain enough critical mass to be self sustaining in the long term.

    I'm skeptical of anything that is based on Android and still includes Google Apps (even something like microG). At that point, why wouldn't you just buy a phone supported by a more well established manufacturer?