Feedbacks after a month with /e/ on Xiaomi Rednote 5

It’s been a month now I’m using /e/ with my Xiaomi Rednote 5 and I like it !
Though, I’ve experienced some issues that would have been a great motivation for me to go back to Android if I did not adhere as much to the project.
Here are my thoughts, to share mine as a newbie in OS alternatives, and to give my expectations as such.

I’ve decided to explain each cons to give context and help the people wanting to change stuff from users’s feedbacks. I don’t do the same for the pros as it doesn’t seem so interesting, though, globally, I’m really happy about /e/ !

Bad and hesitating english in coming

  • Cons
    Installation procedure incomplete and not working
    /e/ synchronize everything by default
    How to install apps
    Default apps such as Telegram, Light, QKSMS, Notes, Calendar
    Notifications doesn’t fully works
    Can’t personnalize deeply the widget left page
    Can’t change the search engine from when I search with the /e/ widget
    The new /e/ app store
    Conclusions on cons
  • Pros
  • Conclusion


Installation procedure incomplete and not working

I’ve already shared a solution about it here.
Even if I do some programming, I’m fairly new to all this Android flashing stuff. At first I succeeded to install /e/ without installing a TWRP recovery, which later became a problem for installing updates.

/e/ synchronize everything by default

First, by changing for /e/ I wanted to avoid all cloud synchronization except for contacts.
So I’ve logged into my /e/ account carefully from the Contacts app. I don’t know how and if it is in my responsability, but then everything was by default synced : photos, notes, etc.
Today I don’t trust /e/ synchronization so I’ve entirely delogged.

How to install apps

Well, recently /e/ launched it’s own app store so it’s about past.
But I felt pretty alone with my phone with some default apps I didn’t care about, nothing to delete them, and no clue about how to install new ones.

Default apps such as Telegram, Light, QKSMS, Notes, Calendar

That was such a surprise.
I came to /e/ with the dream to control my phone and it’s data.
But I have default apps that I can’t delete, and some are not free from trackers !

  • Telegram : 2 trackers, 51 permissions.
  • Light : I don’t care about it, I have a button for it on the top menu.
  • QKSMS : There already is Message, Signal, Telegram. It has 2 trackers, 31 permissions.
  • Notes : I’m forced to log into an account, and I only want for my notes to be local.
  • Calendar : I don’t like it’s UI, I use Agenda instead.

So, I have a phone dedicated to give me the real control of my data, but it doesn’t accept that I delete some of it’s apps, and some of them use trackers…

Notifications doesn’t fully works

That may be the most difficult one. I use Protonmail, it’s no way the fault of /e/, but notifications does not work. Notifications only works on my /e/ with Signal.
Actually, in the other end, it’s confy to not have a lot of useless notifications everytime in the day. I know I received a mail only when I decide to use my phone and it’s equally bad as good.
I believe it’s all about MicroG project, not /e/'s, but yeah, it’s to me the most legitimate reason not to go with /e/.

Can’t personnalize deeply the widget left page

On the left we have a widget dedicated page, already with a search input, app suggestions and weather.
I can add widgets. But I can’t delete or at least hide the ones already here.
I don’t care about app suggestions as it shows, to me or others, the apps I use the most.
I don’t care about weather.
But I don’t have the control on it, this feeling is not great.

Can’t change the search engine from when I search with the /e/ widget

That’s also a surprise. I thought it would be common sense to allow the user to use it’s favorite search engine. I do like Qwant work and policy, though, I need to make searches only from my browser to go with them.

The new /e/ app store

I was deeply surprised that, even for a sub-v1, it didn’t focalize on privacy protection.
As it seems it is the priority for /e/, how can the /e/ app do not have at least a easy-to-access category for good-privacy-apps ? The first apps I was introduced to were Chrome and Skype…
And on the top we have random pictures from random apps : looks like adds and instantly it makes me worrying about trackers.

Conclusions on cons

I don’t feel I absolutely control my phone.
I wanted a phone with only trackers-free apps and even if I spent hours finding them, I’m stuck with default apps, with default trackers.
As a newbie, even with the community I felt quite alone as I had no clue how to install apps for example. Maybe the installation procedure on the wiki should have a link towards some basic tricks.


There are some good pros. First, I don’t use Android anymore, at least the default one for my phone.
Installing /e/ led me to instruct myself about privacy protection and alternatives. I found a lot a great alternatives.
I believe /e/ is a beautiful project, and I hope I can participate to it some time to time.
/e/ is beautiful and, when new habits have been made, quite easy to use !
Some people experienced a bad use of battery for Xiaomi RedNote 4, for my RedNote 5 it’s quite the opposite ! I use my phone quite often, RSS-addict this kind of stuff, and I use less apps.
Now my phone tells me : 19% battery left, last complete charge 2 days 1 hour ago. I did not plugged it since, to test it’s autonomy.


In conclusion, I like and support /e/.
I understand that we are still in beta.
It’s why I oriented my cons towards the choices /e/ made, not the bugs (I found only one btw).
It’s a beautiful well-made peace of OS, I’ll recommend it when notifications will mostly be functionnal even if it is not /e/'s direct fault.

I feel better to use a phone that doesn’t seem to spy me. I can take pictures thinking “yep, Google ain’t see that”.
Before, being spied was so much unavoidable that using modern technology was like letting the postman open all my letters as I know I have no power on this.
There is still a lot of road to do, a lot to invent and fight for.
/e/ seems in the right way, and more than happily use it, I’m proud of it.

Edit : Well, if i knew it would interest no one here, I wouldn’t have dedicated so much time trying to help…