Purchasing my first /e/OS device: Good time for a used one?

I haven’t had a rooted device yet, apart from my TV receiver, and would like to buy one now. Nothing special - the main thing is: not ugly, an all-rounder and please for 4-5 years.

In view of the apparently halfway fair price, I am thinking about a OnePlus North since it looks quite modular and easy to repair if it’s necessary. However, it currently says ‘Q’ as the /e/-version for the device. Can we still expect updates to current /e/ versions in the future? Are security updates also possible with /e/ when there is no longer an updated operating system, as I am used to from my Windows device? Or would you basically advise me against a device released in 2020?

you cannot have 4-5 years of hardware manufacturer firmware support without buying a new Google Pixel, maybe Sony/Fairphone at best. At some point you’d need to let go of the criteria of “firmware updates” (I speak for the non-operating system pars: modem firmware etc) or keep step with industry.

(I do skip that criteria entirely, but it’s not for everyone)

One of the reasons /e/OS (and LineageOS, on which it is based) exists, is to prolong the useful life of mobile devices beyond the relatively short periods that manufacturers provide software updates. So security fixes, and other changes to the open source parts of Android are made available for a long time after manufacturer support ends.

For example, I own and use Sony Xperia devices dating from 2014 (Z3 and Z3 Compact), 2015 (Z5 Compact) and 2017 (XZ1 Compact). These devices receive regular updates from LineageOS (officially for Z3/Z3C, unofficially for the others), most of which also find their way into /e/OS. Fully functional Android 11 / R LineageOS builds are available for all these devices (and /e/OS builds fro Z3 / Z3C), and Android 12 LineageOS builds are currently being developed and tested. They are all great phones and do everything I want/need from a phone.

If you choose a device officially supported by LineageOS, then you can be pretty certain that updates will be available for a long time. I would recommend either a Sony device, or a Google/ Pixel device. Both companies are supportive of open source and custom ROM developers, whereas companies like Samsung and Xiaomi, seem to make life difficult and discourage custom ROM development.

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I think devices that recently got added to the 19.1 roster are good picks, see the latest changelog list. Personally I’m into Motorolas, the unlock on the manufacturer page is easy… why not go for a Moto X4 “payton”? can be had for 40€ already, Moto G5S is also a nice device that can be had cheaply. (Though if you’re a US resident then carrier support for VoLTE also matters and check first).

The advanced search in gsmarena.com and phonesized.com also help me to filter down beside the Lineage and /e/ devices lists.

If you want to be strict on the firmware support (and relock) criteria, Calyx shares the strictness and offers a support table: Calyx Device support. But as @petefoth I’m in the “prolong device lifetime” camp.