I just found out about this project this morning, and I love it. I have a lot of questions, but basically I’m thinking of finding a phone on the approved list and putting the OS on it. If I do that and take it down to the Verizon shop, can they switch my old account onto my new phone?
Your carrier should be able to do that. I purchased an older phone off of ebay to see if I could flash the OS onto it, and then I went and purchased one of those pre-paid cards at a pay-as-you-go place (which led to its own drama, not related to the OS).
I suggest flashing and experimenting on an older phone first to make sure it works, then your carrier should be able to transfer your service over just fine. Make sure that the older phone you purchase has a clear IMEI number, and that it’s compatible with your carrier (or unlocked).
From what I can tell, the system is a little buggy, but worth it overall. I currently have an iphone for all of my regular phone use, and I have to keep it for now as it’s integrated with everything else I do and /e/ isn’t currently set up to do everything that my apple ecosystem does at the moment. I think there are a few users here who also use /e/ on their primary phone with no issues.
edit: also, I think the devs will soon have more phone options available to flash, as they’re currently working on “oreo” aka android v8. I’m not sure when this will be, but it will open up a lot more options for phones to flash and experiment with.
Cool. Is there an easy way to confirm that an IMEI number is valid? I am going to look for a phone…
With ebay, it’s hit or miss. I purchased an unlocked phone off of ebay for $40, the IMEI was clean but when I opened the phone up one of the primary wires for the antenna was broken. (This was the same phone that the idiot rep at the prepaid company broke the screen on.) Any online retailers should be willing to show you the IMEI, and you should be able to go to a carrier and have them look it up to see if it’s unlocked.
You may have better luck with swappa.com if you’re wanting to find a decent used phone that’s guaranteed unlocked and functional.
I’ve had good luck with swappa too.
Is there a preferred phone? Does one model seem to work better than the others? I’m looking at swappa.com now…
I only tried /e/ on a nexus 5, I haven’t tried any other phones. I’d pick which ever one you like the most, as you’ll be working with it a lot (and potentially having to fiddle with it while frustrated, as flashing things can be a learning process.) I personally prefer smaller phones, as they’re easier to handle, but I don’t think this would have any impact on installing /e/.
Google phones are easy to flash, and all the factory images are available online to download so if you mess up you can totally reset the phone back to factory and start over. I also purchased a Motorola G4 Plus (supported by /e/) and a G4 Play (not) that were fairly easy to unlock the bootloader and flash.