Smart Phone Recommendations, Please

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Zem Mattress
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Joined: 05/08/2014

Hello all my iPhone finally died. Huzzah!

I would like some recommendations for replacements.

I'm an end user, with just some basic skills in installing my own distros and running them. But my knowlege is limited.

I would like to go libre on my next phone, so is there a relatively trouble free way for me to get that done and move on?

I just want to make calls, and text. I don't care about frills or even a camera.

I would prefer a cheaper one, which I would buy outright, rather than rent (ugh).

What phone would you recommend, and what OS is easy enough to install for a simple lad as myself? Is Replicant easy to install, and run trouble free?

Thanks for any help.

Zem

CalmStorm

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if you want a truly free one, its almost 1000$ neo900 aka....

but I suspect you want something cheaper...

so try, n7100 galaxy note 2 or other replicant choices which are supported by replicant 6.0

just a thought. ;)

J.B. Nicholson-Owens
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john_harvey [at] comcast [dot] net wrote:
> I would like some recommendations for replacements.

Have you considered not having a tracker (a more honest name for a
cell/mobile phone)?

Their principal task is to track everywhere the device goes (which they do
many times per hour), and since people typically carry the phone with them
(including into the washroom when they use the toilet) geolocation data
shows where they go. From this data one can compute many things including:
a map of one's house/office walkways, one's route to/from various places,
the places one typically/rarely goes, how long one spends at various
locations. If someone followed you and took notes to learn such
information, you'd probably think they were stalking you and you'd likely
have a problem with that. But if unknowably large and unidentifiable sets
of people get this data from a device, suddenly this stalking is okay.

Consider that most modern trackers have cameras & mics built into them (all
under proprietary software control). This means people are carrying
recording/bugging equipment with them as they: use the toilet, sleep, eat,
do their work, have sex/cheat on their spouses, and more. People would balk
if someone walked behind them with a boom mic, a camera, and insisted on
recording them as they urinated, defecated, had sex, or even ate a meal.
But it turns out people are happy to agree to this if one changes the
situation in a less honest way: if one sells people a device to let users
check their email, play a game, or hold a phone call with someone the users
will reflexively bring the device into sensitive areas.

This is identical to the problem of so-called "smart TVs" (minus the
immobility of these TVs). And those TVs are installed in their bedroom
aimed squarely at their beds. It doesn't take much imagination to
understand what this has probably led to for years.

Furthermore, since most people browse the web with Javascript (and other
add-ons that execute code) turned on by default, and most people install
apps on their trackers without understanding what that proprietary code
does, they're running a lot more code than they realize (none of which is
vetted by anyone interested in protecting their privacy).

Trackers usually don't give any indication when the mic is on. And even if
they indicate when the camera is on that indicator is operated with
proprietary (read: untrustworthy) software.

There are downsides to carrying around the equipment used to spy on you,
and trusting a bunch of people you don't know and can't identify to "do the
right thing" and not spy on you.

It would hardly be surprising if there were a LOT more inadvertent porn
stars right now.

> I would like to go libre on my next phone, so is there a relatively trouble
> free way for me to get that done and move on?

There's no such thing as a fully-free tracker because (as I understand it)
most modern trackers have two computers only one of which you have any hope
of controlling with a distro like Replicant.

The other computer (the one you don't control) handles the modem which
connects to the cell tower and relays call data, location data, and other
data including software to run on the computer you could control. This
means the modem computer can read or replace the software on the computer
you can control. Thus the tower you're using has the power to read/replace
the software you're running.

> What phone would you recommend, and what OS is easy enough to install for a
> simple lad as myself? Is Replicant easy to install, and run trouble free?

I recommend using a land line phone that has no camera. I recommend making
plans for meeting people ahead of time using phone calls to/from your land
line, in-person visits, encrypted emails, and simply showing up on-time to
events to which you are invited. Land line phones are quite inexpensive and
long-lasting. Land line phones get power from the line to which they are
connected, so they will also work in the event the power goes out instead
of running low on battery power. This is really good news if you need to
reach emergency services during a power outage.

hack and hack
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EDIT: re-thinking what I've previously written

Yes, for example, all the Neo900 can do is to guarantee that turning off the modem will actually do turn it off (also guaranteed permanent modem separation from accessing data). For a high price.

Unfortunately, for work, it's rather difficult to live without one.

The next best choice is a Replicant-supported phone, because the tracking is left "only" to the modem, not to other services (Google). The other downside (which isn't a problem on the Neo900) is that access to data on the phone from the modem is only supposedly impossible.

At best, one can use Airplane mode on Galaxy S2 (supposedly, no signal goes out after a reboot), or remove the battery when not at work (not a guarantee either, but it should be enough). Actually I might start trying to use it that way (maybe attempt to write a script which switches that based on the current time).
But that's only masking my path from home to work, and vice-versa. Plus, the phone is pretty much useless in that period of time. So I rarely cut the signal, in practice.
It's still better than a normal phone, because basically less entities can profit from the tracking (and from whatever you do on the phone).

For a strictly home-based computer (not phone), I wouldn't mind so much being tracked in a limited way (like pinging openweathermap for displaying the weather). They (and only them) would know about where that computer is. Big deal.
For a libre laptop, I'm limited to user (me) mistakes.

For a phone, I basically have to make choice between enabling it and giving away my geolocation (from which the provider or modem constructor maybe can know where I go, when, possibly with whom, and even why. Maybe more), or disabling it and not being reachable. It's basically "on/off" (though while being "off", I can still use F-droid apps).

And I'm pondering whether it's such a big deal that they can track me (provided that's all the data that can be gathered by anyone). I'm thinking that it's not such a big deal, though I'm not comfortable with it either.

Magic Banana

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Good post!

I recommend making plans for meeting people ahead of time using phone calls to/from your land line, in-person visits, encrypted emails, and simply showing up on-time to events to which you are invited.

I own no tracker. And I plan to arrive earlier so that I almost always show up on time. Sadly though, people with trackers often do not show up on time (or at all)... and they blame you for not carrying a cell phone that they would have used to warn you at the last minute!

SuperTramp83

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>And I plan to arrive earlier so that I almost always show up on time. Sadly though, people with trackers often do not show up on time (or at all)... and they blame you for not carrying a cell phone that they would have used to warn you at the last minute!

yeah, dang h00mans :/

Jodiendo
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SuperTramp83 said:
And I plan to arrive earlier so that I almost always show up on time. Sadly though, people with trackers often do not show up on time (or at all)... and they blame you for not carrying a cell phone that they would have used to warn you at the last minute!

That excuse sounds like a technological breakthrough of more Bull-excuses OF a very DODGING person...YOU ARE FIRED!!!, YOU WILL PASS GO AND WILL NOT COLLECT 200 DOLLARS FOR YOUR VENOUS ATTITUDE.

AGENT 313 is scanning FOR DIGITAL FOOT PRINTS , THE MANGE IS BEEN TRACK SIR:

ADFENO
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Wow! Indeed, now that you mention it, I noticed that with the people I
also know personally... That's really funny behavior on their part. :)

I can't stop laughing. :D

--
- [[https://libreplanet.org/wiki/User:Adfeno]]
- Palestrante e consultor sobre /software/ livre (não confundir com
gratis).
- "WhatsApp"? Ele não é livre, por isso não uso. Iguais a ele prefiro
GNU Ring, ou Tox. Quer outras formas de contato? Adicione o vCard
que está no endereço acima aos teus contatos.
- Pretende me enviar arquivos .doc, .ppt, .cdr, ou .mp3? OK, eu
aceito, mas não repasso. Entrego apenas em formatos favoráveis ao
/software/ livre. Favor entrar em contato em caso de dúvida.

ADFENO
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Someone stole my cellphone (Samsung Galaxy S2) one month ago, I bought
it specially for using Replicant, but the person stole it before I could
even attempt to install it after the warranty period (which ended two
months ago).

Since then, I'm no longer a cellphone user, again, and although I don't
have a landline phone at home, I have a telephone booth card from 2
years ago, I paid 20.00 BRL for it, and it has 40 credits, which allows
me to talk for a total of 80min considering only local landline phone
calls. The card is also valid for use in the entire country.

I recently tested the card, and it's still valid. This is also quite
different from cellphone credits, which you have charging once per two
months in order for the existing credits to stay unfrozen/unlocked ---
otherwise, although they don't vanish, you won't be able to use them
once they are frozen/locked.

Although I did register a report to the police precinct, part of me is
hoping for the cellphone to be found --- because I bought it specially
for installing Replicant later on, and since I don't have a job yet
(because every job here in Brazil seems to require prior registered
experience or driver's license, the later which my doctor said I cannot
have/make) ---, but the other part no longer wants a cellphone for daily
use.

Currently, I don't have landline phone because my mother insists that
cellphones are enough --- currently we only have her cellphone ---
although I frequently tell her the advantages of landline phones,
specially because our Internet plan currently also includes landline
phone usage.

--
- [[https://libreplanet.org/wiki/User:Adfeno]]
- Palestrante e consultor sobre /software/ livre (não confundir com
gratis).
- "WhatsApp"? Ele não é livre, por isso não uso. Iguais a ele prefiro
GNU Ring, ou Tox. Quer outras formas de contato? Adicione o vCard
que está no endereço acima aos teus contatos.
- Pretende me enviar arquivos .doc, .ppt, .cdr, ou .mp3? OK, eu
aceito, mas não repasso. Entrego apenas em formatos favoráveis ao
/software/ livre. Favor entrar em contato em caso de dúvida.

GNUbahn
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I wish people would let other people's stuff be.

Just out of curiosity, how much is an S2 in Brazil?

ADFENO
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If you are talking about Samsung Galaxy S2 --- that is: not rebranded
--- it varies between 200.00--600.00 BRL, not considering the taxes that
the end-user has to pay.

--
- [[https://libreplanet.org/wiki/User:Adfeno]]
- Palestrante e consultor sobre /software/ livre (não confundir com
gratis).
- "WhatsApp"? Ele não é livre, por isso não uso. Iguais a ele prefiro
GNU Ring, ou Tox. Quer outras formas de contato? Adicione o vCard
que está no endereço acima aos teus contatos.
- Pretende me enviar arquivos .doc, .ppt, .cdr, ou .mp3? OK, eu
aceito, mas não repasso. Entrego apenas em formatos favoráveis ao
/software/ livre. Favor entrar em contato em caso de dúvida.

GNUbahn
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Joined: 02/18/2016

That is more or less the same as in Denmark (200 BRL would be really cheap and 600 BRL quite expensive).

Thanks

tonlee
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>the later which my doctor said I cannot have/make

Brazilian law is unknown to me. And if the physician is right. I would not expect him to have best knowledge about driver licenses. Often laws provides options about limited driver licenses. Limitations on speed. Have you sought legal advice? If you do not want to employ a lawyer, maybe brazil has a legal aid system?

ADFENO
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Joined: 12/31/2012

Indeed, I'm thinking of seeking legal advice, but this isn't priority
right now for me, just for a driver license, that might take months to
come, and money which I don't have. :)

I'd rather get a fixed/guaranteed job first before even thinking on
seeking lawyers and driver licenses.

Frankly, the traffic/driving here in Brazil is crazy, every driver seems
to be always angry, and they use so many cars and motorcycles (instead
of taking public transportation or bikes), that I don't think I want to
participate on this. :)

calher
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Automobiles are very expensive to own. If you can do what you need to do without one, be glad.

I will move to a place where I do not need to own an automobile to get where I need to go.

calher
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My mother also thinks I am crazy for wanting a landline and not wanting a cellphone. She tries to take my money before I can buy a Replicant device or a one-way pager.

I cannot afford a Replicant device. I will try to buy a pager online before my mom can do anything. She says pagers are dumb and that I'm just trying to be weird, but I don't want a computer in my pocket.

strypey
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"Land line phones get power from the line to which they are connected, so they will also work in the event the power goes out instead of running low on battery power."

This is not true of all landline devices, many of which provide extra features like cordless handsets and answer machines, and require plugging into a normal power socket to function. Also, a cell phone's need for battery power can be mitigated somewhat by buying a small solar charger (photovoltaic panel). A friend got one from a big box retail store for NZ$15. Some MIT researchers have invented transparent solar cells that could be incorporated into the screens of the next generation of portable computers (of any form factor), allowing constant trickle charging when there is a sufficiently strong light source:
http://energy.mit.edu/news/transparent-solar-cells/

BTW I've heard that in my country there is a plan underway to abandon the copper phone lines that support the landline experience J.B. Nicholson-Owens describes, and replace them with fibre-optic cables to the house and VoIP. I think this is foolish, because of the benefits of a traditional landline that J.B. describes. But I have to admit I don't know if it's practical to maintain the copper line network in parallel with the fibre network long term, or what it would cost. It may be that the costs really do outweigh the benefits.

GNUbahn
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My 'research' has let me to the conclusion that for now the Galaxy S2 is the best choice, especially with your needs (they look like mine).

It loads the latest version of Replicant and though other devices (e.g. Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2) have better hardware specs, it has a handier size. Perhaps most importantly, it runs smoother than others.

Just recall: Freedom comes with the relative price of inconvenience (which in my opinion is a better currency than is privacy)

Heather

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Replicant doesn't seem to be in the cards for me. I carry the most minimal flip phone possible and leave it at home often enough that my adult kids would throw a fit if they ever found out.

They don't like it and are constantly offering to buy me smartphones and reminding me that I don't HAVE to carry an $X phone and that they think I am way too young for the model I had to settle on, which is designed for senior citizens.

It has a wonderful effect on cashiers and other random AFK people who want to collect personal info to spam me. All I really have to do is pull it out, look at it, shrug my shoulders and act confused, and then put it away again.

J.B. Nicholson-Owens' post is absolutely the best ever though. I would totally follow his advice if I didn't have this family.

We put the "fun" back in "dysfunctional". ;)

GNUbahn
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You probably have a good choice of a phone but I have often been thinking how much we (don't) know about the older devices in regards of privacy...

Somebody, please enlighten me

hack and hack
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I might be mistaken, but a flip phone isn't better.
The modem is still able to track you.
And you can be sure that none of the software in there is free. You can't browse the web with Tor, you can't use F-droid apps.

Else, more solid (or like, cheaper so damage isn't as bad), better battery life (can be compensated with external or internal batteries).

So, no flip phone for me.

Heather

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I believe that you are correct. I just use it for voice calls and sms messaging and it is a "least of the evils" solution for my own unique circumstances.

The kiddos would give me the latest iPhone if I asked them, but Replicant is out of the question.

I'm enjoying listening to you guys talk, and who knows, dumpster diving + knowledge has = freedom for me in the past so maybe it will in the future too.

If I don't give someone else a chance to talk now, then no amount of dumpster luck is going to do me a darned bit of good without the knowledge that isn't in my head yet.

Carry on.

GNUbahn
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Replicant phones have the option to use encrypted communication. But this requires for your contacts to be willing to use encrypted communication as well, and many don't care or at least are not willing to take the inconveniences. Hence regarding the communication it self, your flip-phone is probably as private as my Replicant phone (I use the Silence app, but non of my contacts do, so no encryption there). Still, we don't know what the software in it does or does not do with your communications.

hack and hack
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Just out of curiosity, why is Replicant out of the question for you?

GNUbahn
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I second that question?

calher
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Pulling out a telephone when people expect a handheld computing device is a great joke.

I know, right? Some days, I go into my room, and I see a phone in a brand new box has just been thrown on my bed. Then they keep pressuring me to open the box. It's annoying!

Protip: if you want a phone, outwardly refuse to get a phone and you'll always have one.

kete
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Zem Mattress
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Thank you, good people. This is interesting and helpful. Yes: I would rather have land line only, but I'm a primary care giver for my parents so I need to be available wherever I am.

Liking the idea of a flip phone because I don't want to surf the net or take endless pictures of food, etc. I just want to talk to people and text when necessary.

Heather

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Another extreme and retro idea that wouldn't work for me but might work for others is a pager.

Can you still get those? Does anyone know if they are enough of an improvement over flip phones to be worth the trouble?

There were designed for a world that still had pay phones, so they might not work for everybody, but if Zem Mattress is in a small enough town that s/he could run home or back to the office to use the landline in an emergency it might work.

My ex had one of those in the '80s-'90sish and we had all these private numerical codes for "Could you pick up a loaf of bread on the way home from work?" and the like.

Good times, good times.

Jodiendo
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Heather

IN THIS DECADE THEY CALL TEXTING INSTEAD OF PAGING..... BUT FOR THe mange

.-- .- ... .... -.-- --- ..- .-. .- ... ...

calher
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I would LOVE a one-way pager. They don't have the problems of cellphones, which report themselves to towers. All they can do is receive transmissions.

However, every one-way pager I've seen is reprogrammable, which means it's a computer. Could someone please find a one-way pager that is not reprogrammable?

Also, could the pager be really small? I would like to put it inside a personal object that I will not discuss here.

Pagers need not be reliant on the pay phone infrastructure. If I got a page, I would ask to use any phone nearby, whether it was an office landline or a stranger's cell.

hack and hack
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I wonder if they don't have the problems of cellphones. I mean if they can receive, they can be located I guess. I don't know.

Isn't that what the thugs use in the first season of "The Wire" (along with "burners")? Ah, even doctors still use that.
Nevertheless, pagers continue to be used by some emergency services and public safety personnel, because modern pager systems' coverage overlap, combined with use of satellite communications, can make paging systems more reliable than terrestrial based cellular networks in some cases, including during natural and man-made disaster.[2] This resilience has led public safety agencies to adopt pagers over cellular and other commercial services for critical messaging.[3][4]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pager
Man, a pager as a watch displaying alphanumeric stuff is futuristic 80's stuff! Would be cool to read emails and sms (though it would probably require a modem).

Ah, regarding privacy (a bit lower on the Wiki page)
Pagers also have privacy advantages compared with cellular phones. Since a one-way pager is a passive receiver only (it sends no information back to the base station), its location cannot be tracked. However, this can also be disadvantageous, as a message sent to a pager must be broadcast from every paging transmitter in the pager's service area. Thus, if a pager has nationwide service, a message sent to it could be intercepted by criminals or law enforcement agencies anywhere within the nationwide service area.
So, passive receiver only, that's cool.
But since the message sent to a pager is broadcast, it's easier to intercept. Not a good idea for emails (supposing it's possible to receive them on a pager), if there's bank or connection data.

More intereting stuff:
Types of paging

There are two different kinds of paging: limited range and wide-area. As the name suggests, limited-range paging sends messages over a relatively small area using a low-powered transmitter. It's perfect for sending emergency messages to all the doctors in a hospital, for example. Wide-area paging is more like national radio broadcasting. A system of radio transmitters sends pager messages across a whole country in hopes that you'll be somewhere near one of them. In the UK, for example, the wide-area paging network uses something like 500 transmitter antennas—more than enough to cover a country that size.
http://www.explainthatstuff.com/howpagerswork.html

It's also faster to receive than cellphones.

Well, that sucks:
A big drawback of using pagers is that, if you don't receive a message (because you're out of range or your pager is switched off), there's no way either you (or the sender) can find out about it. That's very different from SMS text messaging (where the sending system will keep trying until the message finally gets through) or email (where undelivered messages bounce back sooner or later). A good practice with pagers is for the sender to keep resending the same message periodically until the receiver finally responds. So if you give someone your pager number, tell them how to use it at the same time, especially if you're mainly using your pager for emergency contact: "Keep on paging me until I respond."

That's cool.
they’re low-maintenance. The batteries in pagers don’t need to be changed more than once every few weeks, even with heavy use. That means the system will work even during a disaster or power outage, when it might be hard to find a working outlet to charge a cellphone.
-
Paging networks have more broadcast power than those for cellphones, which makes the signals better at penetrating buildings. They also rely on satellites to relay messages. As a result, pager messages are broadcast to multiple towers in a given area at the same time. That boosts reliability because even if one pager tower stopped working, another could pick up the satellite’s signal.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9468120
Here it seems to confirm that to receive a page, it must communicate with the cell tower (or sattelite, or both). But the cell towers need a constant signal sent from the device, so it doesn't make much sense.

In a nutshell,
if it's off or out of range, the page is lost.
A page can be intercepted, but I guess and sms can be as well.
Supposedly, it can't be tracked because it doesn't send data.
It has better battery life, better signal reception,
it's faster to receive than sms (sometimes it takes days).

Combined with a turned off phone, it can be a good idea.
The best would be some redirection towards the pager,
so the phone can keep track of potentially lost calls.

Now, how practical would that be IRL?
Phone off, getting beeps/vibrations all day, maybe text messages. At work I can use the land line, while moving I can turn my phone up. Sounds good actually.

EDIT:
I'm not sure such services exist anymore.
Plus it seems it was needed to call and tell when you move to another region, else you would't ba able to receive pages. Plus, it has a cost for the sender.

EDIT2:
I found a provider (Germany and France), and even new devices are available (90€ or so).
Some old ones can be found, but the number needs to be provided.
It's a numeric display. Forget SMS (or email).
It can receive a numeric code (911, 123, whatever, or a phone number) and a voice message.
Consulting a voice message can cost at least 4€ (!).
For France, there's 7 zones. The phone call to ask for a zone change (if traveling) costs maybe 10€ is it takes one minute (7s for 1€ approximately).
It seems it would cost 30€ per month. Communications are free though.
Sending towards the pager costs 0,271€ (more than a text message). I've seen 1.99€ too, just to send towards the pager. That's definitely dissuasive, if true.

I'm not sure it's worth it for me. added to the phone costs, it would lead to 50€/month, and I'd need to be sure the price is reasonable for the sender.
Last but not least, it's cumbersome for the sender:
1. Call number
2. leave his number, then #
Can be annoying/dissuasive enough.

Bottom line:
------------
Negative:
costs more, can cost/be annoying to use for the senders (actually only the cost matters).
It means 2 devices to carry (if smartphone kept).
If no smartphone, outside of work, I'd need to be able to call if needed.
Asking others to make a phone call is annoying.

Positive:
Much less geotracking,
can be reached faster than text messages,
and at work/home, I can use someone's phone.
Having the phone off, any text message/email would be checked
once or twice per day only.
The pager can be used for emergency.

If the costs are OK for the sender (and me in consulting my voice messages), then it's interesting. Very interesting.

hack and hack
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The info is very hard to find. Short of going into a (rare) dedicated shop, all the links are dead (the french Tatoo goes back to 95 though).
I only found that in "francs", sending a message (numeric only) costs 3,71. Roughly half a €, which is a lot to ask to any sender.
Worse, it seems it actually now costs around 2€!
But it's still working, a german company runs the show.
Too bad the costs are so high, it would be a cool thing to have :(

Last chance : someone on the web (yeah, very reliable) said it costs only 0.271 €. That is still a tiny bit high, but it could work (provided it's not extra cost). I guess I'll dig around a bit more.

Plus I'm sure it can actually cost much less, just like for text messaging (which are still overpriced compared to their probable cost to the phone company).

Oh well, So it's either being reachable, or being geotracked. Tough frankly I don't really care so much aout my geolocation being available (as long as I can switch off when I want to).
The true problem is modem isolation. It's like having your internet box soldered to your computer.

quantumgravity
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I own a galaxy s2 with replicant.
My demands are quite low, but still, to be completely honest, i wished for a bit more modern device...
It's a pain to look up directions, typing is not a lot of fun and among all the kids with their latest iphones, you sure look like a dinosaur.
Nevertheless, it works and does the job quite well.
The battery is still fine, i can make calls, write sms, communicate with my girlfriend via telegram and listen to music.

I don't have any experience with the galaxy s3, but maybe it would be a good alternative?

GNUbahn
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The S3 offers the benefit of a bigger screen and better hardware, e.g. camera. Unfortunately it comes with the disadvantage of slower response (e.g. to swipes, touches etc)

BlinkingArrow

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How slow? Is there a video that I could see?

Technoethical
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We've been testing the Note 2 for a month now and we're extremely happy with its performance running Replicant 6.0.

https://redmine.replicant.us/projects/replicant/wiki/GalaxyNote2N7100

We have it in offer and we estimate it will become very popular very fast among free software users:

https://technoethical.com/mobile-devices/tet-n2

Having increased CPU speed (Quad-Core 1.6GHz vs. Quad-Core 1.4GHz in S3), double the RAM (2GB vs. 1GB in S3) and the same resolution (720x1280) as the S3 -- although the screen is bigger, the resolution is not more CPU-demanding, the graphics on N2 are faster than on S3, even faster than on S2 (which only runs with a Dual-Core 1.2GHz and 1GB RAM at a lower resolution).

Not only the graphics are faster, but freedom-respecting external WiFi in N2 is even more stable than on the S3, thanks to the increased battery capacity (3100 mAh vs 2100 mAh in S3). In S2, external WiFi is less stable than on the S3.

https://technoethical.com/adapter
https://tehnoetic.com/adapters/tet-otg

Camera graphics in N2 don't have the latency one can notice in the S3 or S2. The S3 camera graphics are 1s-delayed compared to the N2, while the S2 camera graphics are ~0.5s-delayed compared to the N2.

The N2 also benefits from a built-in Wacom tablet that works with the fully free drivers in Replicant. A stylus comes with the phone and it's easily detachable/reattachable.

/tct

quantumgravity
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Joined: 04/22/2013

You can get them for 220 € on amazon, installing replicant takes maybe half an hour...and you sell them for almost 400?

GNUbahn
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Joined: 02/18/2016

Looks like you just found yourself an opportunity to earn easy money. Congratulations.

GNUbahn
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Joined: 02/18/2016

quantumgravity, sorry for the sarcasm.

I think we have to realise that people like those behind Technoethical, Minifree, Vikings etc have been working very hard for many years to get to the point where they can actually establish a business with goods that many of us here on the forum are eager to see available to ourselves and a broader audience (I suppose that goes for you as well).

I have no idea if these - or some of these - people are, or once will get, rich from their endeavours but if so they will have struggled hard for it. And at the same time given those of us not skilled to flash themselves a possibility to own a libre computer.

And then there are thelow practical issues that Tiberiu states beneath in this thread.

Though originally sarcastic, my original message may very well be read without: You - or anyone else - is free to offer these services if you are up to it. And there is a good chance I would then buy your service, if it targets my needs.

quantumgravity
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Joined: 04/22/2013

I don't know about that, and frankly speaking, I can't see the big effort in buying old s2 phones, putting replicant on it and selling it for doubled price.
Why this is supposed to be "so hard" is something i cannot understand. If you really don't dare to flash the phone yourself, then ask a somewhat technically skilled friend. I'm pretty sure that he can flash it for you in half an hour, or let's say an hour at most.
If technoethical can make money with their offer, then it's good for them - as a business, why should't they make an offer that generates a lot of money if people buy it. That's how the market works, i suppose.
And if there are rich people who look for a quick and convenient way to get a freed phone, then why not take this offer.
On the other hand, I don't want poor people to take the offer just because they think flashing replicant is something incredibly complicated or time consuming.

That's all I wanted to clarify: it's a costy service and there are alternatives. If you still want to have something convenient, then you can take it - or a similiar offer by any other company.

strypey
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Joined: 05/14/2015

"If you really don't dare to flash the phone yourself, then ask a somewhat technically skilled friend."

I think you are presuming much more widespread availability of advanced technical skills than is generally the case. I am one of the most technically skilled people I know. Although I could probably work out how to flash a handheld computer given enough time, I have no idea how long all that would take, and there's no guarantee I wouldn't brick a device or two before I got it right. I can't think of anyone in my family and friends circles who has flashed a new OS onto a device. For that matter, I am one of the only people in those circles who knows how to install an OS on a desktop or laptop.

BenTheMoose
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Joined: 01/24/2017

It may be worth considering adding the N150 with the phone for the price, and even adding a 64 GB micro-sd card. A preintalled screen protector would also be a sweet addition.

Some extras like that may help potential buyers justify the price tag, and it doesn't cost that much to add. It would look really cool on the website :)

Technoethical
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Joined: 08/15/2014

Thanks! Yes, we were planning to add most of the things you suggested as options in order to make it more convenient for the customer.

The price of the N2 phone we sell is already well justified because it takes many working hours to look for offers of good-condition phones, talk to sellers, meet them, for each of them thoroughly test their phone (and don't buy it if it doesn't meet our quality standards; and that means we lost time on an offer that didn't pay off), fix or replace components, flash Replicant, stress test the phone with Replicant, ship the phone, offer customer service (including remote technical support), fix or replace as per warranty (happened a few times; phones are easier to break than laptops).

/tct

BlinkingArrow

I am a member!

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Joined: 12/27/2011

Is the speaker better than the one on the S3 as well? I spoke recently on an iPhone SE and was surprised by how much clearer the other person was compared to the S3.

martinh
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Joined: 02/21/2014

check out https://www.wileyfox.com/

there fairly cheap, but I think they run cyanogenmod ?
you'd have to "libre" it a bit I suppose...

https://fsfe.org/campaigns/android/liberate.en.html

richardEU
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Joined: 05/11/2017

I have been using a Galaxy S3 running Replicant OS 6.0 for the last month or so (4.2 before 6.0). I purchased the phone used for just under £50 GBP. Installation wasn't too difficult with a bit of patience and using a couple of guides.

I am very happy with the phone and performance is good. It is ideal for me - I strongly dislike smartphones, but as I lack a landline phone I need to have some form of mobile telephone. It covers the core requirements - calling, answerphone, text, - very well. There is also a browser for the rare occasion I need to check something and lack access to a computer. F-Droid (the 'app store') has lots of useful stuff if you wanted to use the phone more.

Downsides for me:
1) no WiFi. That said, this helps me avoid procrastination as I am more conscious of usage when using mobile data vs free WiFi. WiFi dongles work - plug in a WiFi dongle and you will have WiFi access. Not practical for everyday use, but handy for grabbing big files - e.g. syncing podcasts.

2) no GPS. I miss having directions (driving or walking) in my pocket.

You can now find Galaxy S3 phones secondhand very cheap. If you decide you dislike Replicant you can always sell the phone and cover most, or all, of your costs. If the absolute worst happens you've only lost a relatively small amount of cash.

I certainly wouldn't advise spending €298 on one from Technoethical. That is a ridiculous sum of money.

SuperTramp83

I am a translator!

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Joined: 10/31/2014

>I certainly wouldn't advise spending €298 on one from Technoethical. That is a ridiculous sum of money.

Of course it is. Referring to their prices in general the word 'ridiculous' is a euphemism. Wouldn't bite in even if my life depended on it. I'd rather spend 30 minutes reading and flashing it on my own, which btw is doable by anyone who knows how to read and follow simple instructions.

https://redmine.replicant.us/projects/replicant/wiki/GalaxyS3I9300Installation

richardEU
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Joined: 05/11/2017

Yes. Also, once I learnt how to do it I had the knowledge to subsequently upgrade to Replicant 6.0. I would also be able to quickly replace the phone if lost, stolen, or broken, by purchasing another cheap used phone. I could also install Replicant onto another model or one of the supported tablets.

Soon.to.be.Free
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Joined: 07/03/2016

Are there any phones (apart from the soon-to-be Neo900) where it can be verified that the modem *is* off when 'disabled', and not just pretending to be? Perhaps more to the point, is this an issue which can be solved by (say) flashing Replicant to a device with decent modem isolation, or does this require it to be designed in a way no phone had yet been?

Sorry if this question can easily be answered or is a bit vague.

hack and hack
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Joined: 04/02/2015