My current smartphone is out of support. As an IT security professional, this is not a situation I’m willing to accept.
I’ve been doing some reseach during last weeks and am now almost certain I’m going to go for a Fairphone 5 with /e/OS. I am probably very much capable of installing pretty much any privacy-oriented ROM on compatible devices, but I am not willing to put much time and effort in this (computers,why not, but I expect my phone to “just work”).This is why /e/OS is so interesting to me.
I listed what features are primarily needed for my usecase.
Signal : my main messenging app. It apparently run quite well.
Proton Mail/Calendar : seem to work ok
Bitwarden : seem to work ok
Android Device Policy : on this point I couldn’t find much information. I need to run my company’s apps in a separate profile, and I really like the concept of a work profile. Is this still a possibility on /e/OS ? Doesn’t it ruin the whole concept by turning the device to a Google spy again, even if I dont need the workprofile to send calls/SMS (pretty much using only the Calendar, VoIP app and Zulip IM) ?
Deezer and bluetooth headphones. Not much to worry about here…
KDE Connect : haven’t even searched if it works
Is there anything more I need to know before proceeding ?
I don’t think this is a realistic approach to using Android Custom ROMs in general.
There might in fact be users out there for whom this is the experience, but you should be mentally prepared this might not be the case for you.
A smartphone is a computer in the end, and the probability this will become visible to you is higher in the Android Custom ROM realm than it is with vendor stock Android.
In case your research so far didn’t encompass this forum here, you might be interested in reading a bit more here … not only related to fp5 .
If your work Apps are dependent on Google services (most Apps are), just be aware that while microG does a very good job overall mimicking the genuine Google services on the phone, there’s no guarantee Google-dependent Apps will work 100% consistently or at all. Even if they would be running fine initially, this could break anytime.
Whether you want to risk this for work-related stuff is up to you.
work profiles and multiple users work with /e/ as well if setup from the device itself (Shelter for profiles).
For android device policy doing remote management - I’m unsure how intertwined the EMM solutions are with Play Store APIs. From reading App distribution/lockdown rely on the Play Store. I don’t think any of that will work.
The Murena FP5 with pre-installed eOS is a great device that runs almost all apps out-of-the-box without any problems.
For example, I use Signal (FOSS), KDEconnect, the entire Proton range, Soundcore Bluetooth plugs, many banking and Bitcoin apps and much, much more.
I don’t know how it works with professional Google stuff, my company works with all the Microsoft Office stuff - it would never occur to me to fill my beautiful, tracker-free smartphone with that crap. From time to time I just read my emails in the Brave browser via the Outlook web interface, without any problems.
For work, I use a separate, horrible Samsung cell phone with original Android. The advantage of this is that I see every working day what a piece of junk such a cell phone with bloatware and trackers is!
In case this is your own phone, it’s still the better approach to using work stuff for compatibility reasons and for the chain of obligation for fixing possible App failures (you fixing your installation with a factory reset → Samsung fixing the stock OS → Google fixing the Android base).
The e foundation employs dedicated developers for /e/OS, but this is where real obligations to fix anything end already. If a problem lies beyond /e/OS, good will becomes involved (unless partnerships with phone vendors like Fairphone might add a further level).
In case your employer handed the work phone to you, even better, as the employer then has to handle possible failures.
I use the FP4 and Bitwarden and Proton works flawless. In my experience /e/-os runs very well and I dont have to tinker much. But there has been some bugs like messing up the app order on the home screen after an update and bad battery life on some updates. I suggest to wait updating until you see if the battery is affected. Other than that I dont have had much if any problems in my past year of using it.
I am now certain that Fairphone is my option. Would you rather recommand buying it from Murena store or from Fairphone ? The former would probably help Murena on a financial standpoint, the latter grant the option to go for /e/OS now or to wait a bit for stability and fixes.
Regarding Android Device Management for Google Workspace MDM, I guess i’ll have to try and report here with feedback, either way. I have good hope it can run, as it seems capable of handling quite old phones with some of my colleagues, where Google services haven’t been updated for quite some time.
I would definitely advise you to buy it from Murena (which I did both with the FP4 two years ago and now with the FP5).
You’ll get an out-of-the-box perfectly installed smartphone without the risk of flashing problems or locking the bootloader. You can count on it being regularly supplied with OTA updates without any problems.
There are no restrictions in the warranty, you can register the FP5 for the long-term warranty with Fairphone without any restrictions.
This is the best way to support Murena and the further development of eOS. And you also have wonderful stickers from the eFoundation and eOS in the box
Sorry to hijack this thread. A couple of people have posted that the Proton apps work flawlessly on Murena FP4/5 but I am getting lots of problems.
I took delivery of a FP5 with pre-installed eOS yesterday and decided to make the move away from google/gmail. Proton Mail is really slow, stops responding often, messages appear unread even when read etc.
I also have a Murena FP5 and use ProtonMail, ProtonVPN, ProtoCalendar, ProtonDrive & ProtonPass - without any problems (as an Unlimited user). It works perfectly, just like on the FP4 with eOS.
Since only Mail & VPN can be found in F-Droid, I have installed all 5 apps via AppLounge.
I received my Murena FP5 a few days ago and have been experimenting with it since. Overall I am really impressed by the quality of /e/OS and how well it runs on Fairphone. Most of my old usual apps are back and working flawlessly.
In regards of my original message :
Signal is working like a charm. Transferring my message history was a bit long but overall easy. For some reason, some of my Signal contacts profile pictures have disappeared. This is the only bug I experienced.
Proton Mail/Calendar : I didn’t have any problem installing, synchronizing and using them.
Bitwarden : works like a charm. I installed it in the personal profile, same as my old phone. The work profile used to be able to reach for personnal profile’s password manager, but apparently this is not possible anymore, at least on /e/OS. I might have to duplicate the app in my work profile. All thing considered, it is probably for the best.
Android device policy : this one is fun. It technically works. You can install it, launch it, interact with it. However, it doesn’t seem to be able to see my work profile. It is not invoked when connecting to my professionnal Google Workspace account through /e/OS’ account manager. It doesn’t seem to do anything at all. So… kinda not working ? Not a problem, though. I expected my Workspace account to refuse to sync if Android Device Policy was not found/used, but apparently no. I use Shelter and the MicroG Google Account compatibility tool, and everything is fine. My pro email and calendar are synced in /e/OS native apps, duplicated in the work profile, and all is fine so far. TBH I was expecting some kind of not-workingness here, and I am really impressed to see everything work like a charm.
Zulip IM works natively. The VoIP app was a weird one : a first attempt at it was unsuccessful, since App Lounge couldn’t find any app named “3CX” (Google Play and F-Droid as anonymous user). I gave up a few hours, and then tried again… and App Lounge found it in the first try. Now it works perfectly : calls are received and passed without a single miss.
Deezer and bluetooth Audio Technica headphones with AptX : zero problem at all.
KDE Connect : no problem either.
I’ll continue to try out some apps, I still need to reimport TOTP seeds I used to store in Authy, but I don’t expect much trouble here.
Again, very impressed and very pleased to have made the switch and place my confidence in Murena
Just thought I would post an update in case it is useful to anyone. I contacted Proton support and they seem to be aware of this issue. They gave me a Beta version of the client which I have now installed and it is working much better