Using /e/ everyday on a Nexus 5X + feedback

Hello the /e/ community!

It’s been almost 2 months now that I started testing /e/ on my main device and I wanted to share my experience so far.

Who am I

I’m one of the 1500 backers of Eelo from the Kickstater campaign. From the beginning I was very intrigued about the project and have been following the campaign updates avidly, waiting for the first Beta to come out so I could test it.

Sadly my main device was and is still not supported, so when the beta finally came out I couldn’t install it
But eventually, in April, I finally got my hand on a Nexus 5X on which I promptly installed /e/.

Installing /e/

So I’m using Nexus 5X (Bullhead) and dowloaded the Oreo version of /e/.
I just followed the install guide, which I recon can be a bit scary for non-techy people. But otherwise it’s really peasy-peasy as you are guided through the whole process.

  • First install is not a success -> phone bootloop and never get pass the /e/ loading screen :frowning:
  • Try different /e/ builds versions -> still bootloop
  • Reinstall Google stock rom -> it works, so that’s not a phone issue
  • Finally decide to use a different version of TWRP -> /e/ finally boot o/
Using /e/

I’ve been using /e/ daily for nearly 2 months now as my main device, while still keeping my Xperia as backup for a few apps that I need to use at work.

Overall I use my /e/ phone for about 90% of the time and for everything: making calls, texting, media consumption, social networking, taking pictures, checking the weather … the same things I used to do on my previous phones basically!
Here are my impressions:

It works, it just works.

I have to admit was first expecting to install an early-beta version of /e/ with regular crashes and critical bugs that would not allow me to use it on a regular basis, but I got the opposite: the system is stable, I can install most of the apps I need for my day-to-day uses and I feel almost no constraints nor lacks of features compared to when I use my old Google/android phone.

When I first started to use /e/ the AppStore was not yet available, so I had to install ApkPure . Glad that it’s now available by default, although I still need keep ApkPure for some apps not available on the /e/ app store.

What I like
  • System is very stable
  • Great default system applications, simple and clean
  • /e/ App Store that I trust way more that apks downloaded from the net
  • Passed my “daily use” test with honours
What I don't like
  • Magic Earth: navigation has been inaccurate for me (seems for be back to normal now though)
  • Battery drains fast, faster than Google/android
  • System updates feels hacky: reboot on TWRP with its user-unfriendly UI
  • System apps cannot be updated independently of /e/
  • Install process is not for everyone and require a bit of knowledge to get through it. I’m glad though that you push to find solutions to help Mr/Mrs Anybody to have /e/ installed for them or to buy a preloaded phone with /e/
  • App Store privacy score: No idea how it’s based. Google apps are not so badly rated but other apps I trust have a 0 because they use crash reports libraries?
  • The name /e/. It’s putting my search engines in “PLS” and I miss the time where the project was named “eelo”, damned copyrights!
Bugs I am experiencing
  • Blisslauncher: Apps icons sometime disappear when moving them [https://gitlab.e.foundation/e/apps/BlissLauncher/issues/32]
  • Calendar: Cannot synchronize with my /e/ or google accounts and keeps asking me to add an account [Can't sync calendar app with ecloud calendar]
  • Apps store: Of course by the time I finish writing this the download is now wroking properly. What I experience was that apps downloads and updates were are stuck at 0% with no more detail. Sometimes it seems to unstuck itself while I’m not looking, might be a network issue but it happens both on home and work WIFI and 4G.
  • Apps store: Got this, no idea how it happend /shrug -> should I raise an issue?
    [
  • Camera: When I launch the camera app with my phone locked (press twice on the power button), then try to open the Gallery app from the quick access on the bottom-right corner: I am immediately redirected back to the camera app, without giving me the chance to unlock the phone and be directed to the Gallery.
Some Suggestions
  • App Store: Categories on the landing screen are all over the places. Also the categories icons in the Category section are ugly in comparisons to the ones bottom navigation bar.
  • Blisslauncher: although I know that it’s supposed to be “inspired” from the sleek and simple iOS launcher, we are missing a lot of cool Android salt.
    For instance, long pressing on an app icon currently allows me to move or uninstall the app. That’s it. But I would also love to have a quick access to the app’s settings. Also what about app shortcuts? https://developer.android.com/guide/topics/ui/shortcuts

That’s pretty much it for now. So far the /e/ experience has been very satisfying and I’m glad to try it out myself.
I’ll continue to report bugs, provide feedback and keep an eye on the release notes :slight_smile:

13 Likes

You mean, on the same phone? Reading you story, it looks like you jumped from your Xperia with Android to Nexus 5X with /e/, without using Android on Nexus 5X. So how can you compare battery life?

Yes I should have precised, I meant on the same phone. I kept the Nexus with the stock google about a week before trying /e/.
I did not measure anything, it’s just a general impression that I had to recharge my phone more often with /e/.

Perhaps you are using it more because /e/ is so cool :wink:
Great and detailed feedback/review, thank you for taking the time.

1 Like

Hi, I’ve been testing on the 5X as well. Had trouble with the boot loop. What version of TWRP did you have success with?

Also, I have had the phone crash entirely when using the camera. It does not seem to crash when the power cable is plugged in. But this behavior does not seem to be unique to /e/ with this phone. I’m beginning to think that maybe this particular phone (used) has a power problem.