The Nokia KaiOS devices come with built in Google services, which instantly disqualify them for me. I don't trust that information from those phones aren't being seeded to Google.
I really gave it a shot and I'd be totally willing to accept a phone with reduced functionality as long as I can use it as a hotspot.
The problem is that that thing is so buggy and error prone that it's borderline unusable.
Initially it could do Umlauts (Language setting is German), but can't anymore since it ran a software update. Email (very primitive, but would have been fine for on the road) is broken.
Add to that the force install of Twitter with said update and a lot more niggling annoyances.
The only useful feature (and the reason I got it to begin with) is the 4G hotspot so at least it's still usable with another device. But the overall experience is so frustrating that I'm just waiting for the breaking point to get an iPhone, since there reallay doesn't seem to be any alternative if you're even slightly privacy concious.
That's a pretty good default security level for personal communications.
I'll give it a serious look.
You can see officially supported devices on the https://download.lineageos.org website
https://stats.lineageos.org/ will give you a bit of an idea of the activity for certain models.
Checking out the forums for unofficial device activity is also a good idea https://forum.xda-developers.com
Using a site like https://www.gsmarena.com/ can be useful for comparing specs. I would also suggest looking at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_LTE_networks when determining which phone to buy.
For me, I wanted one that supported Band 28 700MHz https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/APT_band_plan_in_the_700_MHz_b...
So It's a good idea to look at phones. The OnePlus phones tend to have good support, I think in part because of the developer seed program https://www.xda-developers.com/oneplus-developer-program-cus... the Xiaomi Redmi Notes are not bad either for a cheaper phone.
I mailed your comment to myself in order to dig deepeer into the subject.
Android with Google services is just dead in the water for me (I'll be damned before hooking the arguably most private device into the Google spy machine) and so Apple seemed the only viable alternative.
But if I can run a Google free alternative without too much headache (and at a reasonable price) I'm all for it.
There is already very little accountability or awareness about what Google Services do behind the scenes. You make a call, your phone connects to 1e100.net; you change some settings, your phone connects to 1e100.net. It's insane that no one seems to be paying attention to any of these.
For example, here's the IP I get for "google.com":
$ dig google.com +short
$ dig -x 188.8.131.52 +short
Also, you get some other crap pre-installed that cannot be removed: a few demo's of games & twitter a.o.
(At least I'm down to only using one phone at a time. That's progress, right?)
It apparently found a market after all, albeit as a fork.
Then competent engineers forked it into KaiOS and it became a success.
Cyanogenmod had a slim chance to pull off what KaiOS did, as it took a similar first approach but failed miserably with its exclusivity agreement with two companies (OnePlus & Micromax)!
But the growth of KaiOS came from Reliance Jio telecom in India, which sold for ~20 USD returnable deposit, cheap LTE data, upgradable to newer models and of course unlimited voice calls. The feature set in Jio Phone may not be comparable to even decade old android, but the target population were getting their first Internet/computing device.
Reliance Jio has invested in KaiOS with 16% stake, KaiOS probably had no choice. WhatsApp was 'THE' most 'missed' app on JioPhone 1 which was eventually rectified in the future iterations. Reliance likely has an exclusivity with WhatsApp on that, since WhatsApp doesn't seem to be available on KaiOS in other regions.
Reliance Jio might access developing market outside India in the future, bringing with itself the JioPhone and the KaiOS.
Even Firefox itself wouldn't have been able to pull this off because it's FSF philosophy would have been in conflict with exclusivity agreements which KaiOS offers to the carriers & also it being a closed source.
Although FSF supporter in me wishes FireFoxOS had survived even at enthusiast level like Ubuntu Touch does.
Why does it have to be this difficult to try a different OS, when loading an OS onto a new laptop is so relatively easy? It shouldn't be so difficult to get basic functionality up and running.
The only thing is PCB space, but even then, I wouldn't except modern chip processes not being able to replicate the BIOS setup in a small chip. It should even be possible to get a BIOS into the same die as the processor to save space.
By the way, the reason for wanting x86/AMD64 is because OSes that support a BIOS are already built for these architectures, whereas anybody building OSes for ARM doesn't expect such niceties, hence the current state of mobile phone OSes. If ARM gained BIOS support, it would too be suitable.
Also, there are x86 android devices but I wouldn't expect them to be any more friendly than arm-devices.
Yeah, without some kind of boot code (i.e. BIOS or UEFI) to help get the ball rolling, you essentially have the same problem.
KaiOS is interesting, but from a pure usability POV, going back to T9 is terrible. Simple acts of logging into services is genuinely painful -- which makes it a fun toy but absolutely not anything I would use for anything other than hacking/ROMs/potential IoT stuff.
I did take the 8110 4G to Europe/Asia this year to use as a cheap way to get a hotspot overseas (eSIM on iOS for dual-SIM stuff was just rolling out and since I often still need to use my actual phone number, I have to pay the $10 a day for .5GB of data from Verizon plus whatever the pay as you go SIM costs.). With this, I just bought SIM cards with big data plans and used it as a hotspot with my laptop/iPad/iPhone)
Now if they bother with such optimization is another matter.
The UI and functionality would be nice if not for the bugs. Maybe they have fixed a bunch of them in later releases, but my provider isn't providing updates.
* Obviously, calling/texting.
* A fast, minimal app that served as a phone book.
* GPS with voice assistant.
* An Uber or Lyft app.
* That's it.
I can't imagine there are that may others like me, but the lack of GPS and ride-hailing are the two things that occasionally make me consider going back to having a smartphone.
We get Whatsapp, but lose a lot of other apps. My efforts of using the main KaiOS store have met a dead-end.
It's still a nice phone. I just wish I didn't have a carrier specific version of the KaiOS store.
Nokia 8110 sucks because of the sliding panel which makes it much harder to type on the bottom key row. T9 seemed to be worse than on other Nokia phones.
I would love to see a new Nokia 3310 with KaiOS.
Just got one and sent it back within 24h, turns out that the battery life was a lie too. I drained 70-80% in 20 hours while not being actively used.
They are coming out with a few more feature phones soon btw: the 2720 Flip, 220 4g & 800 Tough.
Look nice, but I suspect the battery life is shit too.
And you get a lot of crapware you cannot remove. (Game demo even)
Looking for a T9 phone to keep me from mindlessly browsing stuff all the time but would likely still need maps to figure out bus routes home and such.