Looking at snagging a spare phone for tinkering and testing mobile operating systems (Lineage, Havoc, etc). If/when I settle on something that I like, I'll likely snag a better or newer device. The OnePlus 3 and 3T appear to be widely compatible with these 3rd party ROMs. They're also have pretty decent hardware specs. Does anyone have experience with either or have feedback (good, bad, or otherwise) as to why I should/should not pick one up for testing?

Thanks for the input, everyone. I ended up sliding up the scale a bit and went with a OnePlus 6T. Seems to be a pretty stout phone for under $150 USD. I'll probably throw together a blog post for the os testing.

@cooper I have a op3 (with official OS though) as my daily driver and it's still perfectly useable. I'd say go for it if the price is right.

@fedops That's great to hear. 🙂 Roughly how long have you been using it? How's the battery life? One thing I did like, about either device, is the ease of access for changing the battery/screen should it need swapping out.

@cooper I've had it for 3.5 years and the previous owner for about a year I think.

Battery life depends very much on use case obviously. I like to use it for hiking with osmand+ and it struggles to get through a full day. Battery performance is at around 80%. In normal day to day use it gets me through the day but does require charging at least daily. I'm sure it'd do better with a fresh battery.

@fedops @cooper I can concur with the charging statement. I used one up until about 9/10 months ago as my daily driver and had similar battery life.

Didn't realize it was good for tinkering! Good thing I still own one 😃

@cooper I have a Poco X3 running Arrow OS as my daily driver... Chose this one specifically because the devs are very active.

@solobalbo @cooper I have the POCO X3 NFC running crDroid without Google apps. Great phone.

@cooper I hace a redmi note 8 and it has extensive official ROM support, if you are willing to wait a week to unlock the bootloader with their proprietary tool xD
Yeah Oneplus might be better, but a op3 its a little too old IMO

@cooper an used pixel3a would be an interesting option also. Happy tinkering!

@cooper I've had oneplus 3T for 4.5y as my only phone, and I use this a lot. I've had zero problems with anything else than the original battery getting old, so had it changed a year ago. No issues now, and hope to keep using this for at least a couple more years.

Haven't rooted yet, because of company mgmt crap, but will in a month or so.

@ttiurani @cooper you may be able to use those company apps with root using Magisk hide.
@cooper I have a Realme XT I planned on listing for sale, if that interests you any. I used it for about 6 months but ended up soft bricking it. I just got around to flashing it. I didn't have a working PC at the time it happened to flash it so I replaced it with a POCO X3 NFC because it was cheaper than buying a new PC. It has had a case and tempered glass on it from the moment it came out of the box. Battery isn't easily replaceable but it's a newer device and wasn't used for very long, so degradation isn't an issue. It has a virgin installation of crDroid without Google apps on it and is packed away in the box again.

@cooper I am on a now running . I had a and ran on there for years without issue. It is a solid phone.

@cooper I take it you don't plan using the phone to listen to music much? It has no headphone jack sadly. Apart from that, a fantastic choice.

@danielfgom Yeah, that briefly crossed my mind but, I mostly run Bluetooth earbuds. If I get into a pinch, I can run a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter

@cooper Have you considered Ubuntu Touch for an alternative OS for the OnePlus?

@bhibb I'm open to suggestions. Havoc has peaked my interest but, I'll likely try a few out

@cooper @bhibb if you're looking for Android rom suggestions, I highly recommend crDroid. I've tried literally every available rom that dooesn't ship with Google Apps preinstalled. I always end up back on crDroid. Solid builds with all the useful additions included. Havoc is a close 2nd tho. I'd skip on Ubuntu Touch personally. Hpwever, I was reading that Mobian/Debian os available foor some devices using Halium patched kernels and I think it should technically be possible to builf it for any device with available UT Halium ports.
@cooper @bhibb ignore all the typos, I've been making a lot on the Pinephone.

@cooper @jawsh Truly, my only skin in this game is the PinePhone Braveheart I have running Ubuntu Touch, but it doesn't have workable support on any OS, sadly :(

Also, it looks like the OnePlus 6T does have support for UT:

@bhibb @cooper what do you mean regarding the Pinephone exactly?

@jawsh @cooper I mean that for my Braveheart edition that no OS is ready to be a daily driver. Each has their own problems or lack of functionality. For instance, has issues with SMS messages not being sent or received intermittently in an open bug, and it has not so good battery life. Other OS’s have similar issues because the PinePhone is a new beast for these makers, rather than working top of the OnePlus 6T, which I bet is fine with the proprietary blobs and whatnot.

@bhibb @cooper When did you las try something else on your Pinephone? I'm running the latest Manjaro phosh as a daily driver and haven't had issues with texts. I didn't seem to be missing any with Arch or PMos either. I only ran Arch for a couple of days tho. I hear you on the battery life tho. I picked up a 3400mAh battery off Amazon for about $12 as a backup. My biggest complaint is the time it takes to launch apps/programs but it's not really a deal breaker for me.

@jawsh @cooper Well that's very exciting! I might give Manjaro phosh a try.

It's been at least a year since I ran through the staples of Manjaro, Postmarket OS, and Ubuntu Touch. At that time it felt like each had open tickets for the same things. If I can use it, I will be super, duper excited.

Do you have a spare battery charger you carry around? Or is the extra battery just there in case this one really dies, like beyond battery charging?

@bhibb @cooper I picked up a spare battery to carry if I know I'm going to be away for a while and not near a charger. Before I only had the options of carrying a power bank & cable or swapping my sim into an Android device for the day.

@jawsh @cooper Why didn't you stick with the power bank, if I may ask?

@bhibb @cooper an extra battery is more pocketable than either my 10,000mAh or 20,000mAh powerbank and a cable.

@jawsh @cooper Just installed Manjaro Phosh and wow is it pretty. Thanks for directing me to it!

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Fosstodon is an English speaking Mastodon instance that is open to anyone who is interested in technology; particularly free & open source software.