I was using a refurbished Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro (codename: sakura . I do remember buying this phone to run LineageOS as I found this model had support. But by the time I bought it (there was a quite a gap between my research and the actual purchase) lineageOS ended the suport for this device. The maintainer might’ve ended this port, I don’t blame them. Its a non rewarding work.
Later I found there is a DotOS custom rom available. I did a week of test run. There seems lot of bugs and it all was minor and I can live with that. Since there is no other official port for redmi 6 pro at the time, I settled on this buggy DotOS nightly build.
The phone was doing fine all these(3+) years, but recently the camera started showing greyish dots on some areas to a point that I can’t even properly take a photo. The outer body of the phone wasn’t original, as it was a refurbished, thus the colors started to peel off and wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. Then there is the Location detection issue which took a while to figure out location and battery drains fast. I recently started mapping public transportation routes, and the GPS issue was a problem for me. With all these problems combined, I decided to buy a new phone.
But choosing a phone wasn’t easy. There are far too many options in the market. However, one thing I was quite sure of was that I wouldn’t be buying a brand new phone, but a refurbished one. It is my protest against all these phone manufacturers who have convinced the general public that a mobile phone’s lifespan is only 2 years. Of course, there are a few exceptions, but the majority of players in the Indian market are not.
Now I think about it, I haven’t bought any brand new computing device, be it phones or laptops since 2015. All are refurbished devices except for an Orange pi. My Samsung R439 laptop which I already blogged about is still going strong.
Back to picking phone. So I began by comparing LineageOS website to an online refurbished store to pick a phone that has an official lineage support then to reddit search for any reported hardware failures
Google Pixel phones are well-known in the custom ROM community for ease of installation, good hardware and Android security releases. My above claims are from privacyguides.org and XDA-developers. I was convinced to go with this choice. But I have some one at home who is at the age of throwing things. So I didn’t want to risk buying an expensive Pixel phone only to have it end up with a broken screen and edges. Perhaps I will consider buying a Pixel next time. After doing some more research and cross comparison I landed up on Redmi note 9. Codename: merlinx.
Based on my previous experience I knew it is going to be a pain to unlock the bootloader of Xiaomi phones and I was prepared for that but this time there was an extra hoop. The phone came with ROM MIUI version 13. A small search on XDA forums and reddit told unless we downgrade to 12 or so it is difficult to unlock bootloader for this device. And performing this wasn’t exactly easy as we need tools like SP Flash etc.
It took some time, but I’ve completed the downgrade process. From there, the rest was cakewalk as everything was perfectly documented in LineageOS wiki. And ta-da, I have a phone running lineageOS. I been using it for some time and honestly I haven’t come across any bug in my way of usage.
One advice I will give to you if you are going to flash a custom ROM. There are plenty of videos about unlocking bootloader, installing ROMs in Youtube. Please REFRAIN from watching and experimenting it on your phone unless you figured a way to un brick your device first.