Fairphone 3+ & /e/OS - Opinions

I’m considering changing the OS of my Fairphone 3+ to /e/OS so I’ve been looking into the pros and cons and wanted to get people’s thoughts about it. I’ve also seen good things about Graphene OS, but that appears to be far more catered towards the Pixel line of phones, so I’m not sure it’s right for the Fairphone.

Google Apps on /e/OS
I consider myself as desiring privacy but only to a point - I’m happy with a balance of privacy and convenience as I’m no Edward Snowden. Some Google apps I still use because so far I don’t like the alternatives (like Google Maps and Wallet), others I still need to function on my phone for work purposes (Gmail & Drive).

When I originally looked into it early last year I thought you couldn’t use Google Services at all with /e/OS but that doesn’t appear to be the case - Either I was wrong in the first place about that or there’s been a change since then with v1.0. Can anyone speak from experience how well Google Apps work on /e/OS?

I also travel a lot (and as I recently switched from an iPhone), I love how relatively easy the Google Play store is for switching to different regions for region-specific apps. Is it still fairly easy to do this on /e/OS with their app store?

Murena Cloud Account
Ultimately I personally don’t really care about having the Murena cloud account because I use Tutanota for email and calendar, Notesnook for notes and I’m gradually discovering other app alternatives that work for me, and I don’t really need a cloud account to sync things. but I’d be happy to hear if/how users have benefited from the Murena cloud account. Also I know account is optional, but is there any point switching OS if I’m not bothered about the Murena account? Is it a major selling point of the OS?

/e/OS features I like and problems
So far the features I like about /e/OS is of course the privacy control you get over individual apps, and the app store seems pretty handy with the privacy ratings. however are there any significant compromises/sacrifices or drops in quality of life stuff that people have noticed when they’ve switched to /e/OS?

I’ve read things on the forum like having much worse geolocation, becoming laggy or much worse picture quality after installing /e/OS. Some others say that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be and would be better to use some other privacy-oriented OS. Thoughts?

It seems as though you have done some research and there is a plethora of opinions and info on the forum.

Another topic is likely to make finding such for others even more difficult. ??


Also wouldn’t it be massively more productive to ask on the e/OS Murena forum ??

I dont think e/OS is a good option when you want to use Google and I actually doubt its possible. I think either Lineage OS with minimal GApps would be a good choice or just debloating FPOS.

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There’s no way around it … You were wrong in the first place :wink: .

It depends on the individual Apps.
Banking Apps have proven to be especially tricky because of their security concerns, but there’s a bunch of them that will work, see [LIST] Banking Apps on /e/OS - #138 by mac - Lists - /e/OS community.

In general, thanks to the included microG (Open Source replacement mimicking Google services to some degree), many Google-dependent Apps (these are many, not only Apps by Google) will work just fine, but there’s no guarantee they will do so at any certain point in time.
If you really desperately need any particular Google-dependent App to work for you near 100% (or alternatively to have a chain of responsibility you could take it up with if it doesn’t) … then /e/OS is not for you.

/e/OS is not for you. Custom ROMs in general are not for you. Don’t risk stuff required for work not working correctly.

There’s a lot of goodwill and amazing expertise in the Custom ROM communities, but when push comes to shove, it’s mostly voluntary effort.

Fairphone OS, like most phone vendor stock Android OSes, is Google certified. You can take up App issues with Fairphone support. If they determine it’s a real issue in the OS code and Fairphone didn’t cause it themselves and can’t fix it on their side, they can take it up with Google to fix it more closely to the Android root.

Custom ROMs don’t have that kind of relationship with any official entity. If they can’t get an App issue fixed with their means (including perhaps reporting back an issue to Google, the basic Android all Android OSes are forked from is Open Source afterall), then so be it :man_shrugging:.

It might be a major selling point for users who synced their stuff to Google before and need a replacement for this when switching to /e/OS.
For other users … not so much I guess, they will have other measures in place already, like you do. If not, they could perhaps be interested in it because it doesn’t sync to Google, but I’m not certain how major this would be then, might be different individually.

I don’t use their cloud account, so I can’t say much about it.

These are mostly bugs, and not general ones (not everybody suffers from them), hopefully to be resolved for the ones affected. Regarding geolocation sometimes there’s even only a misconfiguration which can be remedied quickly.

/e/OS is a compromise in favour of App compatibility and overall accessibility. The target group clearly are users who are not so tech-savvy, and /e/OS caters to them pretty successfully.
Other OS options might be more fitting depending on priorities.


Thank you so much for your clear and detailed answer AnotherElk. It’s given me a much clearer understanding of things, especially how many apps can be Google-dependent without being by Google directly, and it’s an interesting point about how there’s no guarantee an app will necessarily always work even if it may have previously done so.

If I were to get /e/OS then it certainly seems that banking apps would be the first things for me to try out. You’ve certainly made me more wary of potential issues, so if I do try it out, I’ll be sure to do it when I don’t need my phone so badly and also make sure I already know how to revert back to the Fairphone OS just in case :smile:


I appreciate the comments and the links you sent, and although it admittedly is already a little difficult to find topics on here, I was asking because I hadn’t found any real answers, and also for the sake of up-to-date information since things change so rapidly.

I had considered the /e/OS Murena forum, but I thought the Fairphone forum was a little more appropriate as my device is a Fairphone, and my situation is about the pros and cons of switching from the Fairphone OS to /e/OS, who Fairphone have a partnership with. I do hope the answers to my question will end up being useful to others on here in the future too :upside_down_face:

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If you’re curious about the Apps you use in this regard, you can install Aurora Store (an Open Source client for the Play Store), which displays this information in its App search. It will mention “Requires GSF” (Google Services Framework) … or not.

The tricky part is that there are Apps which have parallel versions in the Play Store including Google dependencies as well as outside of the Play Store without those dependencies. OsmAnd would be an example, with OsmAnd and OsmAnd+ in the Play Store, and OsmAnd~ outside of it.

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There are quite a handful of apps with the “requires GSF” label that will work just fine without any form of Play, so I wouldn’t rely on it.

Do you know how Aurora Store determines this info?
At least there are Apps not carrying that label, so some Google stuff has to be included in the ones that do, even if perhaps not actively used.

When considering how safe to play it in this particular regard I guess false positives are not as serious as false negatives, as much as I would rather have a better wording then … “Linked to GSF”?

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