About FP2 - most of the spare parts are not available any longer (also see https://shop.fairphone.com/en/spare-parts?fairphone_type=35) - so if the issues are caused by defects in the hardware, you may have to recycle the phone, sorry. However at least you might try doing a factory reset, just to be sure, that it is not a software problem.
When you follow the guides thoroughly it should be manageable. The biggest challenge will be to get the command line tools running required to unlock the bootloader and to install a new operating system using fastboot or recovery mode.
An unlocked bootloader does not create any security risk on its own - only the operating system you install may have security issues, but this is also the case for the Android version including Google services. Operating systems like LineageOS or e/OS/ also get security updates.
However you should avoid “rooting” phone as root access can create security problems - any app which has “root” access can in fact read and write all data on your device while regular apps run in their sandbox and can not access data of other apps.
And of course you won’t have access to Google Play in LineageOS and need to install apps from F-Droid (https://f-droid.org/).
It depends on what you define as “googlefree”. If you just want to avoid Google Apps (Google Play etc.) then LineageOS might be ok for you. Also see Google apps | LineageOS Wiki, quote:
Google apps are the proprietary Google-branded applications that come pre-installed with most Android devices, such as the Play Store, Gmail, Maps, etc. Due to licensing restrictions, these apps cannot come pre-installed with LineageOS and must be installed separately. The Google apps are not required to boot or run LineageOS, however many users find them beneficial to take full advantage of the Android ecosystem.
LineageOS is mostly without the “Google Apps and Service” but still uses code from Google and some of their servers as explained (provisioning for eSIM, connectivity check, NTP, fallback DNS and SUPL).
But a complete free operating system like a pure Linux without any reference to anything from Google like PureOS does not exist for Fairphone 4 yet as far I know. Also keep in mind that the hardware needs drivers from Qualcomm and others and these are usually also not free software.
Unfortunately, this is a very complex topic. Just because an OS does not have Google Play Services, Google Play Store and Google Apps does not make it Google-free. To do this, above all, you have to be willing to learn a lot and give up a little convenience and comfort here and there.
There is also DivestOS, iodéOS and CalyxOS, all of which endeavor to make systems as Google-free and privacy-friendly as possible. Each certainly has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Iodé, for example, doesn’t need Google for connectivity check and NTP. SUPL uses it from Google, but the key thing is that the IMEI, IMSI and phone number are not sent to Google. You can read more about all this in the docu.
There is an in-depth test on Calyx regarding the data sending behavior. If you don’t know german, just have it translated: https://www.deepl.com. In the course of the year, all other currently relevant custom ROMs will also be tested. But you probably can’t wait that long. But you can generally find a lot of info on the block about privacy and de-Google.
Maybe @SkewedZeppelin can say something about DivestOS.
If you want to go a step further, you not only do without Google Play Services, but also the open source replacement microG, which necessarily uses Google’s infrastructure.
Adblocker and firewall are also important topics…
But no matter which custom ROM you use, it is definitely better than the completely Google-infested stock ROM. You have to find out for yourself how much degoogleing is enough for you personally and how much convenience you can do without.
most difficult to get will be the bottom module (microphone). The rest is available at least second hand if not in the shop. For Camera and Top Module the old versions should be easy to get, I myself have 6 Top Modules here, maybe the new one as well.
Currently display and camera module are available in the shop.
You could try a factory reset, depending on how full the storage is etc. this might be a reason its getting buggy. Just ensure to back up all important data.
Reg. Google Free and also FP2 issues: Any chance you have a local community close? I guess its easier to discuss this personally and maybe get some help with it #fairphoneangels
I’m not sure why you think you had to pay extra. /e/OS from Murena/e.foundation is absolutely free, and they even have a tool called Easy-Installer that installs the OS on your phone. The hardest thing you have to do is to unlock the boot loader, but they also have a very good documentation and step-by-step guide.
You CAN buy a ready-to-use FP4 from Murena, of course, but it’s easy to just take any normal FP4 and install /e/OS yourself.
You also don’t need a Murena account, but it’s free anyway.
/e/OS on the FP4 is the best system I ever had, it’s really google-free. Nevertheless, even all the banking apps I use work flawlessly which was not the case on a regular LineageOS with normal google-api installed.
I’m not a friend of the standard iOS-like desktop manager, but you don’t have to use that, of course, but can install any other one, preferably an open source one from F-Droid.
So far, it works perfectly smoothly, and I get updates about once a month. You can still install and run apps like google maps, but you can strictly restrict its data hunger.
I think there is even an older version for the FP2. But I have no idea how that looks like.
EDIT: Regarding apps, it’s worth noting that they use their own app shop (App Lounge) that is capable of using the google play store. So you don’t connect to google in any way but have still full access to what’S in the play store. Also, App-Lounge shows a data protection rating for every app. And the OS can block trackers for apps individually, if you so wish, of course with the possibility that it won’t work anymore as expected.
Name one that is less attached to google and still easy to install. I’m not here to waste my time on fruitless discussions with people who are here for the argument but not to answer the OPs questions.
Don’t know why some people here seem to be triggered, but I really don’t care. I’ve had Lineage for years and tried some other OSs as well. No system is perfect, /e/OS neither, but aside from some esoteric niche systems, there is no system better suitable for the purpose of easy installation while fully built around micro-g.
Give a reasonable answer to what the OP asked and don’t start fruitless side-discussions.
You may have noticed there was an opinion on what you consider ‘advanced’.
Although this link is a little old it does deal with the question as to what is available, with some, install notes ~ and yes for some the install is getting easier ~ but then later issue may require you to go to another forum for more advanced help.
All the best
You can of course not have a google account and manually remove many google apps via ADB (Android Development Bridge) e/OS is Android too.
Even using ADB is not really a very advanced task, if you are accustomed to using terminal or command line interaction.
Ok. I see. I was a bit naive about the degoogling issue. As I had Fairphone OS upt to now, I am apparently ok with certain google features, as long as I can avoid the playstore and other google apps. I really thought Fairphone Open was completely google-free …