Hi. I just purchased a secondhand FP3+ and it should be delivered in the coming days. I’m interested in opinions about some of the most popular alternative OS options available. I’m sure if I were to trawl this forum I’d find similar discussions but perhaps my particular phone history, needs and requirements put a unique spin on the question.
I’m principally interested in popular and well-established alternatives that are not too niche, geeky or awkward to install/maintain, and likely to be around and supported for some considerable time. e/OS, Lineage and Sailfish seem to fit that category. Which do you consider the most stable / feature-rich, or better for some other reason?
Some more lengthy background for those who can stomach more than two paragraphs:
I’ve thus far managed to avoid the Android / iPhone ecosystems and hope I still can to the most extent, although it seems inevitable that at some point I will be forced into using an app, be it by my bank, a government or administrative site or something like a local transport / parking service. If you’re wondering how I’ve got to 2022 without apps, it’s partly because I live in France, where (sometimes thankfully, sometimes infuriatingly) technological progress seems to be transported back to an earlier age, and partly because I managed to keep existing until six years ago with a tiny Sony Ericsson featurephone (still in service as my backup UK phone), and have spent the last six years with a 2012-era Nokia 808 running the very last (community-modified) version of Symbian. Technically, that uses apps too though I make minimal use of them. I’ve been forced into getting another phone since the USB and charging circuit conked out on the 808 and I have to keep charging the batteries externally every couple of days (but that’s a good example of why having a removable battery is important).
I had thought I was going to buy a Pinephone Pro, being a Linux user (though not in any way a geek) and running Plasma on my desktop, it would be great to also have Plasma Mobile on my phone. I’d be keen to hear from anyone who has tried that on the Fairphone 3+. But it seems there’s still some way to go before that’s fully usable. I was also looking at the Volla phone and the Teracube 2e. The Fairphone 4 is currently out of my price range and I find the 3+ suits me better. I need dual SIM so I can also finally unplug my 2007 UK featurephone that’s struggling to survive, and not have to drag around a second phone and charger when I travel.
I am very much against the whole app ethos. I like being able to run software on my Linux desktop without any privacy or walled garden concerns. Stock Android is not for me, and I want Google’s and any other privacy-invading company’s dirty hands off my phone.
Having used the Nokia 808 these last few years, I think some things are going to seem like a bit of a comedown transitioning to almost any other phone, not least the camera for which the 808 was notable and world-leading for many years. It also had a built-in FM transmitter which I use in the car, HDMI out, a battery that lasts days, amazing sound recording, xenon flash, a compact design and… wait for it… a lanyard! The wrist strap is actually one of my favourite features. Can you use one on a Fairphone? It certainly helps protect against the pickpockets I encounter daily in the metro.