If you’re in the USA, here are a couple of tips to get a Galaxy S9 working.
- Make sure you have either of these versions of the phone: SM-G960F or SM-G960F/DS - the chip/hardware for US versions of the S9 will not run it, i.e. /e/ OS is more of an EU focused product as far as I can tell.
- Whether or not the phone’s IMEI will be compatible with your carrier is something you should check beforehand if possible.
- If your goal is to de-Google yourself, make sure you do not rely on apps that need Google Services, Play, etc (thank you Capt. Obvious)
- The Easy Installer did not work as expected for me, YMMV. Documentation is spotty, even within the installer, so I found a couple of threads in the forums from other S9 users and cross referenced their walk-thru posts to install /e/ successfully.
- IIRC I used a combination of the Easy Installer and Odin to flash into TWRP, from there I was able to flash the vendor files, etc. and flash /e/ OS.
- Carrier: Confirmed to work on T-Mobile or an MVNO that uses them. (*see below)
*I use a MVNO called Ting, which uses two networks - Verizon and T-Mobile. I was previously using the Verizon side (which as of Dec. 2020 is a mix of both GSM + CDMA), so after I swapped my existing SIM into the S9 I could not make calls/texts. The APN profile for Ting/Verizon was not able to be edited either. I talked to Ting support - one guy didn’t want anything to do with me because I was using a non-standard OS, but the next lady I talked to was completely open minded and very helpful with troubleshooting, so I had Ting send me a SIM for their other network, and got my number switched to the T-Mobile GSM network side - after that went through, I was able pop in the SIM and edit the APN profile easily, and now have a fully functioning S9 running /e/ in the USA.
The whole process was a bit of a struggle, mostly because the S9 took a long time to arrive. Even though I bought it from a US seller, it was delayed almost a month due to the unprecedented load the US Postal service was dealing with over the holidays. Installation was a headache for sure, but if you’re experienced with flashing/rooting phones (I’m a relative novice) it shouldn’t be too bad for you.