The Graphene Experience

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Okay what?

GrapheneOS is just the most private Android ROM out there. It's open source and that sorta stuff. I wanted it because:

I feel like it's better than what I used which was LineageOS on a Samsung S5. LineageOS is so buggy and VPN's don't work. So I need a system that y'know... Works?

Selecting The Phone

You think I'd use a Samsung S5 for Graphene?

Graphene only runs on Google Pixels meaning if I pull out my phone in public, I seem like some vegan lookin-ass faggot that is a bootlicker. But besides that, where I am at the moment doesn't sell the Pixel phone because Google just straight up ignores us.

And I wasn't bothered to spend so much money on a flagship like the Pixel 4 because if I fuck up, the phone's toast. So I was considering the Pixel 3a XL because it has a headphone jack and all the cool stuff of having a big screen, but I do hate notches though.

The problem was that I searched far and wide and the only Pixels that shops had was the Pixel 4 or Pixel 3 and if I were to get the Pixel 3a I'd have to pay extra for these hole in the wall shops for shipping the fuckers in.

So I got a Pixel 3, 64GB, Black.

Shitty decision? Not really... I mean I sacrifice the headphone jack for a pumped up processor. But at the back of the box had some retarded progressive hashtags and that was really really fucking gay. Seriously.

Installing Graphene

Spent like 4 hours trying to follow Techlore's guide in Windows and didn't work. Did it in Mint and got it running within minutes.

Used this guide, go watch.

The Experience

In General

Yea it's like having an Android phone but it suffers from autism. I mean for me it's fine but for the normalfags out there it would seem weird.

But everything works smoothly and there's a complete remove of Google including their own version of WebView so as to ensure, yes. Google really can't see your shit.

Downsides

The Layout

The UI looks like shit and I'd actually consider helping them out with a better looking launcher and a better iconset because frankly it looks awfully generic.

A lack of Graphene made apps

The phone, clock and contacts app have a really bad look to them because they're probably stock android and the gallery doesn't work as well and organizes photos weirdly.

But all these things could be rectified by using Simple Apps so that's not really that bad, it's more of the devs really have to make Graphene look different from other stock android roms.

Audio.

Also this may be a Pixel 3 problem but it's really fucking annoying. It's that whenever you use the dongle to listen to music, when you plug it in it doesn't work immediately and you have to like plug it in and out a couple times till it works. I like my music so it's sooo annoying to the point where I switched to just using Bluetooth and that's bad because it lowers the Bitrate so my FLAC collection is pointless.

The Camera

The camera quality goes to shit* because there's a lack of Google AI support and the stock Graphene camera app doesn't even give you much options so you install OpenCamera when half the time it gives you a critical camera error where it could be fixed by reloading the app once or twice. Pretty fucking annoying if you ask me. But the camera error is common and also effects other apps too.

*i'm exaggerating, read this if you want some insight

Pls rounded corners

Also just a lack of rounded corners, please add rounded corners

The Good Stuff

Vanadium

This is the perfect Android private browser you could ever use. No Mozilla telemetry such as in GNUIceCat and Tor but also just for general usage. It's built on Chromium which is frankly the type of browser for mobile devices. It also gives you lots of customization options regarding privacy. Good app and it's well built. 10/10

DARRRK MOODEEE

Pure black and it saves battery. Perfect stuff, though there should be an option to customize the system colours because it's stuck in this default weird light teal colour. But it's good enough.

The other privacy enhancing features that simpletons do not care about

TL;DR it's incognito mode for your phone.

A conclusion

Do I regret using it? No. But do I regret using a phone without a headphone jack. Yes.

In all honesty, GrapheneOS isn't bad if you know what you're doing. And it's probably for the best as the zoomer would scream saying: ewww where's the tiktok and instagram???!?