Which 8" tablet for /e/OS in 2023?

Hi all,

Following my request: Any tablet available for sale with e/OS/ and cellular data?, which had poor success :smiley:
I would like to ask for some suggestions / guidance here (I know that @ronnz98 has an extensive knowledge of /e/OS tablets :innocent: but anybody else with some tips is welcome).

In short:
I am looking for a tablet.
Aim: better readability than a smartphone (see below for further details).
Usage:

  1. Phone capabilities (calls + SMS) - jack 3.5 mm mandatory (and 4G, of course … :smiley: )
  2. Calendar / Contacts
  3. Messaging app
  4. Web browsing
  5. Picture storage and viewing - USB OTG mandatory (better if USB C)

Further requirements:

  • Size: about 8", preferably display ratio of 4/3 or 16/9
  • Good battery life
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to acquire

Thank you in advance to those who can provide valuable advice.

Long version = further explanations:
I struggle with small characters / symbols. My Sony XA2 (5.2", fullHD, 16/9 ratio) is already set to Display size = Large and Font Size = Largest, and I wish to have a larger size of characters / icons / symbols … I mean actual size, because I am wondering if today’s smartphones with very high ppi and screen diagonal are able to provide larger images in the end … therefore I would appreciate it if anybody with tablets can confirm that such a choice would help here.
The device should last about 5 years, so it should be relatively recent. I am pointing this out since I still have a smartphone from 2014, and it can hardly surf the web nowadays (well, I must admit that it was not a top performer at that time either …), so I would like a device that I can use for some years before replacing it. Since the targeted usage is not so heavy, that should be feasible.
It is a device to always take in my bag, and this explains the size requirements (in addition to the 4G / 3.5 mm jack). I do not like the current trend of slim devices, I have the feeling that in portrait mode there is little width to accomodate enough text with a large font … perhaps only my taste / impression. Regarding the battery, it has to last a full day (at least) with phone capabilities on, and some data connections (browsing / messaging). Today, I rarely use 4G on my phone during the day, therefore I am used to charging the battery only twice per week … the same would be ideal.
Regarding the easiness of installation: at the time of the installation of /e/OS into my Sony XA2, I found it hard (newbie here). Therefore I am wondering if there are any devices that are easier to flash (actually, that was the reason why I hoped to buy the tablet directly from Murena or another user), and can easily found on the market (better France / otherwise Europe).
I guess that is all. Perhaps your reply will prompt me to add some other comments / qualify my requirements. Thank you in advance

As far as I know the Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 Wi-Fi is the only Tablet supported with 8" display, but without LTE support. However it is not any more supported and latest version is Pie dev 0.23 for April 2022.

There are couple of unsupported tablets with unofficial build which might meet your requirements, but with old eOS versions:

There is a lack of 8" tablets for LineageOS / eOS at the moment unfortunately. I dont think there are many Android 8" tablets any more on the marked. I just could found those 2 tablets which having a quick search:
Galaxy Tab A7 Lite LTE
Lenovo Tab M8

Maybe the are supported by LineageOS / eOS in the future

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My recommendation would be the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact,
but it doesnt tick all you boxes.
Mainly because its not really recent, but I use it and its really a capable device still!
But also because theres no /e/ version for it, but theres a great alternative from a former /e/ dev @petefoth :

And since you managed to flash your XA2 you’ll probably make it with the Z3TC and a little help from this thread on XDA (as I as an amateur also did):
https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/rom-z3tc-lineageos-18-1-sgp621-unofficial.4256523/

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I’ve never been an /e/ developer. I’m just part of the community

Uuups, sorry Pete!
Didnt know to much about your role, but for me as an Xperia user you definitely made a big and important contribution :grin:

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Hi @ronnz98

Thank you for your answer.

Actually, I noticed that no 8" tablets are currently supported by /e/OS, which is the reason why I posted the request.

Maybe a stupid question, based on the above sentence. If the wifi version works, why the 4G should not?

My concern with the Galaxy Tab S2 is that it is from 2015, and I am afraid about

Would my concern be wrong?

Other doubt: what would I miss with an unofficial build?

Thank you for the suggestions for the devices, I will have a look if any of them could suit my needs

Hi @MaxO ,

Thank you for the suggestion.
If it is from @petefoth than it is an option to consider :slight_smile:
But if it is not an /e/ version of the OS, what is in the custom ROM? Is it made more lean / privacy friendly?

Thank you in advance

Only the Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 Wi-Fi (2016) Model SM-T713 is officially supported.

However there exists unofficial LineageOS builds with Android R:

https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/rom-unofficial-11-lineageos-18-1-t710-t715-t715y-t810-t815-t815y.3879302/

SM-T715 is the LTE version of the Galaxy Tab S2 8.0

Maybe someone can build also unofficial eOS version from it?
BTW a current how-to for building unofficial eOS version from LineageOS (Supported and Unsupported) devices would be great!

There are two to choose from.

  1. Unofficial build is just LineageOS for Microg
  2. Custom build is that with the upstream of /e/'s forketd apps; QKSMS, K_9 Mail, NextCloud Notes, Bromite, DAVx5 etc. I’ll post a link to more details when I’m back at my computer

I can’t think of anything that isn’t covered by those three, depending on how you want to build

Thanks Pete!

I have only experience with building eOS and LineageOS for supported devices with Docker. I tried some while ago the traditional way to build but did not succeed
Currently I try to build an unofficial LineageOS-19.1 for Samsung S20 (x1s) as outlined here:

next step would to try it with the traditional way again or preferably with docker…

thank you @petefoth
And What would you suggest between the 2?

I use the custom build on my ‘daily driver’ phone because

  1. It has all the apps I need, in particular DAVx5 for Contacts and Calendar sync, NextCloud sync client for Notes and Files sync, NextCloud Notes, Open Tasks, Aurora Store and F-Doid for adding apps, and F-Droid Privileged Extension and Aurora Services for background app updates. All of that works “out of the box”, in the same way as /e/OS - no need to install anything else, flash the ROM and off you go .
  2. I prefer K-9 Mail, QKSMS, Fennec to the default Lineage OS Mail, Messages and Browser apps

If you don’t need or want the stuff in 1, and you’re happy with the Lineage default apps, then go with the unofficial “vanilla” versions

Thank you @petefoth

I guess I do not need 1) (the only one I would use would be F-Droid, but I can manually add it…), so I could go for Lineage… but since I do not know it, is there anything I should consider to make it a good privacy friendly system?
I would anyway install a VPN that comes with some DNS filtering, I do not know if that would be enough to make the system at the same level of /e/OS

I am still wondering what is the best option:

  1. go for the suggestion from @MaxO

The plus :
I guess I like Sony devices …
Support from @petefoth :slight_smile:
The minus:
Availability of the device nowadays?
Lifespan?

  1. Wait, as @ronnz98 said

I guess I will leave the topic to close, while having a look for a Sony tablet …
Perhaps I will take advantage of the fact that @MaxO has such a device to ask if that would help me with my request:

And to confirm the other requirements:

If that does not interest other users, I can check with @MaxO with some private messages.
Thank you

Hey @sonyxa2!
I am a big fan of the device and so happy that the ROM is still updated by @evilgod on XDA Forum and with help of @petefoth even adapted for microG and even more (with his custom plus e build).
I do not expect that to go on forever (obviously…) or even very much longer but still with the ROM as it is now that device will be very usable. At least for me…

I think it meets your requirements, but I dont use all functions myself I’d say. There is a problem with the sound of the speakers, it is not constant which can be quite annoying. But the problem is not always present and does not appear when you use headphones (be it via 3,5mm jack or Bluetooth.).

Availability is a matter of patience, I got 3 of these devices in the meantime in my family and paid between 65 and 85€ for them (all with LTE). And I am quite lucky with the battery on all of them.
Btw., there is a magnetic charging cable/interface for it, so even if the USB port gets wasted (which mine are not yet) you can charge it reliably (with QuickCharge2, which works very well for me also).
Did I mention it is waterproff and really lightweight? :smiley:

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Hi @MaxO
thank you for your reply. I should definetely go for it then :slightly_smiling_face: :+1:

I am not sure if its easy to install though.
I am a lucky amateur so far, but repeatedly people on XDA report about having problems with flashing the device.
I cannot help you a lot with this, you’ll need to seek advice there in case… :wink:

Hi @MaxO,
that would recall me my process for the XA2 … Being a noob, that was not so straightforward for me … Let’s see