Downsides of /e/

True, but it looks like /e/OS for FP3 also has it’s fair share of bugs in the backlog.
It’ll probably be a while before I know enough to actually do anything to help.

  1. Not every issue listed there is an issue which every /e/ user with a Fairphone 3 would have. /e/ might still be beta (and who knows whether it will be anything else somewhen), but in general it works.

  2. A “fair share of bugs in the backlog” is a state in which every OS is at any time :slight_smile: .


I’ve been using /e/ for 6 weeks on my FP3.
It doesn’t have any more bugs than LOS I used to have on my FP2…


Just installed /e/OS last weekend. It works pretty decently.
However, some new information has been pointed out to me which is making me want to get rid of it again.
Time to give that LOS 16.0 build a try.

LOS 16 is undoubtedly also a good choice. But I’d really recommend to inform you more thoroughly than just based on any haters page from mid 2019 somewhere in the internet…


That’s good advice, and I actually did just that, and went looking for more information. But the FP forum was down again.

What I found was that plenty of the apps they used were still leaking identifying plaintext data, but most of those issues are fixed now. So they do seem to be set on making a google free phone at least. In doing so however, they mostly just rebranded other coders work, and in the process breaking copyleft conduct, not properly crediting LineageOS developers.

Also, it’s based on MicroG, which is in breach of Google’s ToS I believe. It’s one thing for consumers to do this, but their entire product is built on it, sounds like a risky move.
Then there’s the app store. The CleanAPK API is in reality a mirror of f-droid and APKpure (in itself a mirror of the G Play Store) with an added Exodus Privacy rating put on top. Again very likely infringing on google’s ToS, as well as GDPR laws. And /e/ denies any relation to cleanAPK, even though they found a smoking gun.

It looks like their whole foundation is pretty shoddy, I mean looks like it could be an actual alternative to the google cloud in time, but eh.
also their phones are pretty consistently €50 to €150 market price, shipping with an OS that’s not even done yet, and having a hell of a crowdfunding set up. Meanwhile most of their development is done by the community as far as I can tell.

And as soon as they get found out, they lock their forum threads, or delete comments.
Also they’ve been accused of padding their own wiki page.

I can not make any claims as to their intentions, if they’re actually trying to better the world or if it’s just the next Elizabeth Holmes, raking in funding with barely any product. But to me this looks like a house of cards which will at some point crumble. And I’d rather not be in it at the time.

The amount of proof for some of these claims is varying, so I recommend people don’t just take my word for it either.
I’m switching to LOS until I have sound reason to trust this company.


I would instantly agree much of /e/'s communication is a marketing smoke screen instead of educating and empowering users. While I think this is a valid point against /e/, that aspect of their work does not take away anything from their OS technically.

The “/e/elo tax” for the pre-installed Fairphone 3 is currently 30 EUR (450 EUR from Fairphone, about 480 EUR pre-installed from /e/).
And you don’t have to pay it for any device if you get the device of your choice yourself and install /e/ on it yourself.
There are people willing to pay a lot of money to get their IKEA furniture assembled for them in place when they could do it themselves. It’s obviously an outrageous scam :slight_smile: .

As for /e/ using LineageOS as a base for their OS on devices with official (in LineageOS terms) LineageOS support … LineageOS is Open Source, and LineageOS got forked before (resulting in LineageOS for microG).
/e/ still had to set up their own build system, and they have their own developers maintaining their changes to the LineageOS base as well as fixing bugs.
The Fairphone 3 is pretty interesting concerning the accusation /e/ would “steal” the work of LineageOS, because there was no official LineageOS for the Fairphone 3 before /e/ came out, and the effort to bring LineageOS to the Fairphone 3 now profits from the work /e/ have done.

/e/'s own approach to getting Apps onto the phone is indeed worth exploring. But to make a case against hoping for PWAs to be a potential way out of closed App ecosystems, because they would perhaps need more resources to run than an App … I don’t know, feels like at all costs having to criticise something for the sake of criticising something.
If you don’t like /e/'s own Apps installer and this ominous Cleanapk workaround for including Play Store Apps in it you can simply use F-Droid and (if even needed) Aurora to bypass /e/'s App installer.

/e/ gets some flak. Not only via websites like the one referenced here, but also regularly in their own community forum. No difference to Fairphone or other projects there.
Some of the criticism is deserved, some of it is just making perfect the enemy of the good (What’s the goal here? Preventing good because it is not good enough, so in the end sticking with bad?), and some of it is just seeking attention. To sort out which is which is partly subjective, which doesn’t make dealing with it any easier. So here we are.

There are objective reasons to use LineageOS instead of /e/, e.g. the ability to install Open GApps if wanted or needed (which doesn’t work with microG built-in like in /e/), and there are subjective reasons, e.g. UI design choices or the overall conduct of the e foundation perhaps.
Just make sure your reasons are substantial from your point of view :wink: .

Edit: I took too long to post obviously, ah well.


You raise good points.
And while I refuse to take the black and white stance of /e/ = evil corp, because this is heavily infering their morality, and something I have far from enough evidence for to substantiate.
I do have some serious doubts about /e/ not practicing what they preach regarding openness.
I know being able to fork open source software is one of the very goals of the Libre movement. But copyleft rules should definitely be adhered to. It’s not asking for much, just giving credit where credit is due, right?
Although I do agree that some good has definitely come out of their existence. Because it benefited the LOS for FP3 build, and it raises awareness for the desire and need for alternatives to google, apple, and microsoft. I’m somewhat concerned that it’s mostly smoke and mirrors to capitalise on people wanting to rid their lives of Google, without actually helping them achieve this.
It might be that cleanAPK is just a temporary fix until they actually get off the ground, and get licencing in order for a proper first party app-store. But the secrecy and denial of responsibility around their API is cause for concern if you ask me.
We’ll just have to wait and see.


Of course. They should be clear about that.

How would having /e/ on a phone instead of a Google certified stock Android OS with all Google Apps and services not be helping to rid the respective life of Google?

Sure, microG is there to still run Google-dependent Apps if possible, and /e/'s App installer offers Apps known from Google’s Play Store, much of which are Google-dependent Apps. Still, there’s actually a choice to simply not make use of that.
And you don’t help people much by simply denying them what they want, because they then wouldn’t use /e/, but still their stock OS. Which is better?

Another problem is a lack of abstraction on many users’ sides.
They want to get rid of Google because it’s their data. And then they post about getting rid of Google to their WhatsApp peers and on Facebook.
If that would be an informed choice, ok, but who would I be kidding about that for the most part :slight_smile: ?

To me it seems /e/ have a problem because of a split in the user base.
They wouldn’t have much of a problem if their users were only let’s say average non-tech-savvy users. These users are what /e/ tailor their OS for primarily, and they do a pretty good job at that.

For this user group, the OS works, and the communication works.

But then tech-savvy users come to /e/ for the extended degoogling they do compared to LineageOS, or in the case of the Fairphone 3 also because it was the first really viable alternative to the stock OS, and they look behind the curtain at certain technical aspects, or at how the communication about /e/ actually compares to what it is and how it works. And here and there it’s not looking 100% pretty. So there are questions and criticism.

It’s not easy for /e/ to get it completely right for both user groups, because accomodating more in either direction will alienate users in the other direction.
But tech-savvy users are a minority and not /e/'s main target group.
/e/ obviously made their choice and want to have as many users as possible, probably that’s important for running the foundation anyway, so they’ll stay on mission and message for the non-tech-savvy users and live with the criticism from the tech-savvy front, the tech-savvy folk can be off to LineageOS or other alternatives anytime anyway :slight_smile: .


maybe carry on the discussion about /e/ here?

He voices his doubts, not denying anyone something.
Saying “Its /e/ or google without alternative” after he choose to try LOS and explained why is one thing, but the “which is better?” part makes it sound like “do you want the users to suffer from google, do you?”
Millions of issues have been raised with any opensource project, solved issues improve software. Its not “It has a flaw! burn it to the ground!”

As you said, it is meant for the “or the non-tech-savvy users”
Among those there are people who think “no google” and typing it as “g00g1e” means privacy.
With /e/ its just that you trust them more then google.
If others raise concerns about certain aspects it is more often than not to protect users and improve the product.
FOSS would not be where it is now if every critique would be viewed as a attack of the idea or persons behind it

1 Like

I think we have a misunderstanding here.

We were not discussing LineageOS at all with this (yeah, off-topic).

In my understanding @Tierelantijntje raised the concern that in the end /e/ might not help people to really get rid of Google by posing as The Great Degoogler in their communication but then not really getting people away from their Google habits. A concern I partly shared given /e/ still do everything they can to let people seamlessly run their favourite Google-dependent Apps. I only said /e/ would help by still being better than a stock OS full of Google, because when given the outlook to not being able to run their Google-dependent Apps, a lot of people wouldn’t run /e/ but stay with the stock OS.


We were discussing based on a certain website which gave exactly this impression. Link is somewhere above.

What did I miss?

Good idea, done.


Back again with a wee update on this.
I am really enjoying having /e/ on my FP3.

I’ve come across a downside which is a little saddening and I’m not sure if I’ve missed a setting but the video is not able to film at 120fps like it can on FPOS. I found that quite useful when filming birds in flights.

Aside from the IAP stuff, which I’ve worked around by not using the pro aspect of an app and using paid apps that appear to not licence check, Talon for Twitter instead of Fenix.

I worked out the unified location bit and my location is obtained extremely quickly. My battery life appears to have improved.

There are nice visual modifications too, like the icons and accents on the drop-down display and settings can be colourised. There’s a “reader mode” which puts the screen into greyscale.

So I’ve come across fewer downsides to using /e/ than anticipated and am enjoying the pared-back nature of the OS without impacting on my requirements.

I am glad I took the plunge and I’m sure using some Google bits and pieces on /e/ will infuriate some :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


You could install OpenCamera for this :man_shrugging:
Edit: I think it’s called video frame rate. But isn’t the stock camera app of /e/ a fork of OpenCamera? So you should have the option somewhere I think.

I think this comes from android 9. I had the same sort of surprise when I started using LOS 17.1 (android 10) coming from FPOOS.


link is broken. what exactly was there, in the most clicked information outside of this thread?

the second one sure brought many upsides, imho:

namely, a very reasonable and active staff member with great answers to the questions.

personally, i’m fairy new to degoogling… i already did a lot but i won’t buy any new phone so soon and i’m still very reticent about trying fp3 precisely because of the os. here’s where i just learned about e:

anyway, thanks for this thread! been somewhat informative so far.

ps: it’d be nice if @karloff could make the op into wiki or just update it with a summary… or someone else who’s way better informed here than i would link to a new topic which would include such summary. nope, discourse summary actually sucks big balls. :grin:


1 Like

@cregox Hi and welcome to the Fairphone community! :smiley: :tada:

I also want to notify the followers in this thread of a new emerging OS called CalyxOS that has been reviewed, but is not (maybe yet?) available for the Fairphone. See this forum thread for more information on CalyxOS and what it does differently than /e/.

I apologize if this qualifies as necrobumping, but as someone who recently tried /e/ on my FP3+ for a couple of weeks before reverting back to default, my main concerns were more to do with concerns about the /e/ Foundation than with the product in its current state.
Every from its founder throwing tantrums on the forums to them refusing to answer questions about cleanapk to their simply rebranding FOSS apps in order to create their own eCloud ecosystem (I didn’t like it with Librem One either) to the extremely broken English in a lot of their communication and claim of aiming to be “the third big OS next to iOS and Android” (see above link) to a lot of other small things that slowly eroded my trust in the competence of the devs.

The code might be excellent (at least, I haven’t found any major issues with it), but the generally bumbling communications, pie in the sky visions and the haphazard creation of eCloud eventually painted a picture of the /e/ Foundation as well-meaning idealists, but very poor managers.

I’ve recently noticed CalyxOS, which seems to do a way better job of offering a degoogled OS without weird and poorly thought-out cloud ambitions. It’s a shame it isn’t offered on FP.


Just read the Which devices will be supported in the future? section of the GrapheneOS FAQ and you might understand why CalyxOS and GrapheneOS are not supported on the FP3+ and will probably never be. This is sad, but not a shame IMHO.

Regarding /e/ – I just would not use beta software (which /e/ still is according to their own FAQ) on a production device, in addition to all the points that you have already mentioned.

Personally, I have chosen the compromise of using a Google phone (Pixel 5) with the latest Android and patches, alternative apps where possible and sharing as little data with Google as possible (e.g. no web, location, activity history).


The code might be excellent (at least, I haven’t found any major issues with it), but the generally bumbling communications, pie in the sky visions and the haphazard creation of eCloud eventually painted a picture of the /e/ Foundation as well-meaning idealists, but very poor managers.

Unfortunately, the code is also of rather mediocre quality.
At least some of the developers don’t seem to be very fit.
I opened a wifi bug over 9 months ago [0] which is still open and apparently no one is interested in fixing it or is able to do so.

All in all I am glad that there are alternatives now.
As soon as I find the time I will migrate away from /e/.

[0] No wifi connection with active IEEE 802.11w-2009 (#1246) · Issues · e / Backlog · GitLab


Sorry, but this is a bug referring to /e/ 0.9 pie - didn’t you update your /e/? My FP3 is on /e/ 0.14 Q and since 0.13 pie (when I joined to /e/) I had NO issue with wifi.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 180 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.