/e/ or lineage

I want to change my old mobile with a new one, I searched and I found oneplus 7 pro has a good quality/price ratio. I also found that there is an official version of /e/ and lineage for this phone. Now I’m undecided, when i will buy it, what os do you suggest?
I don’t need micro g or anything like that, i want to be as far as possible to google. Now I’m using lineage and it works great but I don’t like the google ping thing. I heard also about graphene but I won’t buy a google phone

I would only suggest a OnePlus 7 if you want a better camera to take pics and also if you desire AMOLED screens. Otherwise you can go with cheaper phones.

Since you mentioned that you want to get away from Google, I recommend /e/ which is designed specifically for that purpose. Before you make your decision read through the forum for this particular brand to know what issues others have encountered, how they solved them, etc. The community seems pretty active and you may want to ask you own questions, or check for other devices in case you’re still on the fence about OnePlus 7.

Just so you know you can purchase directly from them with /e/ installed out of the box, although the selection is very limited.

Keep in mind that /e/ and LOS are still based on Android, so they heavily rely on Google. It is like using a Chromium fork instead of using Chromium or Chrome directly – even if the name differs, the core is still from Google.

Last year, we checked /e/ (including two follow-ups) and their OS wasn’t fully de-googled: https://infosec-handbook.eu/tags/e-foundation/

Unfortunately, /e/ never replied to any of our e-mails and we didn’t want to create an account on their GitLab instance, so we didn’t communicate with /e/ directly. Therefore, some findings were “closed” by them without really being fixed from our perspective.

2 Likes

Yes, it was an excellent review and I don’t trust /e/ to be fully de-googled even today. But I still think they are making great progress with that goal in mind (shown in the three reviews you made), whereas the development for Lineage is aimed towards customization and not necessarily privacy nor security.

Device support for Lineage is voluntary, and I already had a couple of devices that were suddenly left out without any updates. So the whole point of ‘giving your device a new life’ is completely lost. With /e/ there’s a company behind it and is less likely to happen, in my experience, which is another reason I recommend them over Lineage.

Is it because you don’t want your money to go to Google, or what?

In that case, buying one used already would normally not result into G getting a cut or something depending on who/what you buy it.
For modern smartphones, As far I know, they are not really a lot of ¨install what you want¨ ones which allows you from to select an android Rom apart the Fairphone as far I know. I’ve heard that the G phones are actually one of the more open for custom roms and operating systems from the Android Lineup, so this explains the current status about Graphene OS.

There, of course, Still the way of installing a GNU/Linux operating system, but those are still at their debut, and suffer obviously from security, usability and support issues at this current early stage.

From a security perspective, buying a used phone is potentially dangerous because you do not know the extent of modifications done on the phone on its software side. Has the firmware been tampered with? Are there rootkits running?

One could leave malware on the phone and resell it to the used market in hopes of getting sensitive info from bank apps, email, etc. The same could be done to a new phone but it requires specifically targeting a person to make more sense.

Well, Since you will COMPLETELY change the current rom to another one, this should mitigate a lot the risks, especially when it’s not even Android based.
But still, resilient rootkits do exist as you say.

There are many components in everybody’s smartphone that run their own firmware and operating system. You don’t update or change this firmware when you switch your Android ROM (which uses the application processor). Therefore, these components could run malicious code. Besides, these components sometimes run outdated and vulnerable firmware.

grafik
(Source: https://www.evelta.com/blog/a-quick-introduction-to-smartphone-architecture/)

2 Likes