Samsung A5 (2017)


I did not get past the first screen on my new phone before realizing I was, absolutely, going to void the warranty and root it. Reading the EULA and Privacy agreements made it clear I am, in Samsung’s opinion, only renting their hardware, not owning it.

This is my first new phone in 4 years or so; the previous unit is a Nexus 5x[R]. It is also an interim machine – I have a Librem 5[O R] on pre-order – so I am not committed to living with this phone for the next 4-5 years.

Shared by Giovanni Lauricella (Iconproject) on G+

After wading through the initial set-up of the Samsung, without a sim card installed tyvm, I was honestly willing to brick it rather than use it as-is. No wonder everyone stateside feels like they are in a police state with constant surveillance, because they are! but not so much by the state, directly. The state has outsourced domestic spying to tech corps.

Anyway, after considerable effort I was able to successfully back up the device onto a USB, push a recovery image, and finally flash the ROM, with only a couple queasy moments. Not that LineageOS[O] is the most secure/private mobile OS, but it is rather better than Samsung’s tweaked Android.

Reused from

Of course, being who/what I am there is only the faintest whiff of Google services installed – pico OpenGApps[O], and I would have done without it if I could figure out how to get fdroid[O] & co. to install without Play services. AOSP apps bother me a lot, and of course they are rather less than featureful, but so much better than being inextricably rooted inside Google’s walled (and razor-wired) garden.

The biggest problem now is getting all my usual apps, data, installed before heading south on Sunday. I cannot imagine traveling without OpenStreetMap and some mega-sized map downloads, and tunes for a long drive, maybe a couple audio books…

But, as a self-encouragement, here is the latest pic of my hopefully super-boring future phone:

Librem 5 design report #7, “…we are discussing the possibility of having the brand and model number carved on the side of the device.”