As if on cue, following my experiment using a smartphone without Google services, Part One and Part Two. My conclusion that using a smartphone that runs /e/ is the next logical step, an e-Foundation newsletter came in this evening and included news that smartphones with /e/OS are ready to ship.
By way of a reminder, /e/OS claims to be an open source, privacy-enabled smartphone operating system devoid of the influences of big corporations like Google and Apple who run by harvesting user data. Because it is “unGoogled Android”, you can still use all the favourite apps and games that you are used to.
This is the sort of operating system that Huawei should be working on. Android, with no Google services and apps. And now, the non-profit foundation behind it say you can order any of the available smartphones with /e/OS pre-installed.
So what refurbished smartphones with /e/OS are we looking at?
For starters, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S9. The e Foundation say they partnered with professional smartphone refurbishes to provide these first smartphones with /e/, and at a great price too! e Foundation says these are the “highest grade refurbished smartphones”, which translates to getting them at much lower costs that one would have if buying them brand new.
Shipment of this first set of refurbished smartphones with /e/OS starts early next. Naturally, my choice would be the Samsung Galaxy S7, being the more affordable option. It is available with dual SIM slots and 32 GB storage. And at €279, it should cost a little over N100,000. That is a little above my budget for this experiment, though.
I’d love to not have to spend more than N50,000 on the hardware for this experiment. When I am finally convinced that things work well enough and I am ready to dive in full-time, I wouldn’t mind spending more on a smartphone that runs /e/OS.
Of course, seeing as my days of flashing phones ended years ago, I also prefer not to have to deal with the intricacies of buying a more affordable device, then downloading and flashing the /e/OS ROM myself. Looks like a case of me not going to eat my cake and have it. Something has to give, however I choose to move forward. I will make up my mind though and make my move.
If you would like to live on the bleeding edge and be among the first to get your hands on a smartphone pre-installed with /e/OS, and this is within your budget, go ahead and register HERE.