Guide: The best phones and tablets for LineageOS

Android Police

Guide: The best phones and tablets for LineageOS

The following post was written by Ryne Hager and Corbin Davenport.

The vast majority of Android device buyers don’t know or care what a custom ROM is. And that’s completely fine – a phone or tablet’s stock ROM will be enough for 99.9% of potential users. But for the 0.1% that like to tinker, the development community surrounding a given device can drastically impact the value. Your purchase can become a much better deal if there is a wealth of custom ROM options available, extending its lifespan for possibly years (and nearly a decade for the HD2).

There are quite a few popular custom ROMs in the wild, but LineageOS is probably one of the best overall. It has a huge community of developers, constantly adds new features, and supports a whopping 182 devices (at the time of writing) with official builds. CyanogenMod was the ROM of choice for users just wanting a basic stock experience, and Lineage Project has done a great job of continuing that effort.

So the question becomes this: what are the best phones and tablets for LineageOS? If you’re willing to unlock bootloaders and flash ROMs, which devices suddenly become more useful? That’s what we wanted to find out.

Unlocking your bootloader, installing a ROM or custom recovery (and rooting, if that’s your preference) are all things that should only be done when you understand the steps involved and the risks associated. Remember: a bricked device isn’t the worst case scenario, the really bad things just start there.

If you ROM a phone, expect mediocre camera performance. There are exceptions, but generally without the closed-source camera binaries most OEMs ship phones with, the quality of photos will be lower.

It’s also important to note that official LineageOS builds can also be buggy or unstable at times, even on the most well-supported devices. If you need your phone or tablet to be as stable/reliable as possible, custom ROMs probably aren’t a good idea. If a phone is still receiving OEM updates, keeping your firmware and bootloader updated may also be more difficult on LineageOS.

No matter how you slice it, Android tablets just aren’t popular anymore. Most of them are terrible generic units, usually available from the bargain bin of your local Walmart. There are a few outliers, like the Galaxy Tab S3 and ZenPad 3S 10, but there haven’t been very many good Android-powered tablets as of late.

Finding the best tablets for LineageOS was a challenge, because there aren’t many recent models with a large enough following for custom ROMs to crop up.

Google Pixel C

The Pixel C is Google’s latest attempt at a tablet, and probably its best. It was originally intended to run Chrome OS, but that operating system wasn’t quite ready for the tablet form factor, so Android was used instead. However, Android wasn’t in much better shape, as this was before stock Android had multi-window support.

Still, the Pixel C was a solid product (you can find our review here), and it became even better once Android 7.0 shipped with multi-window. As you may know, Google tends to support its devices with major updates for two years, and security updates for three. There’s a good chance Android Oreo will be the last major update, because December 2017 will mark two years since the tablet’s release date. As for hardware, the Pixel C is definitely the best-equipped tablet on this list. It has an NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32 or 64GB of storage, and a 2560×1800 IPS display. Google also sells a Folio Keyboard ($149 MSRP) that props up the tablet and allows for easy typing.

Thankfully, Lineage is here to the rescue. The Pixel C’s strange partition system and other issues kept more than a handful of ROMs showing up on the device, but Lineage started officially supporting the Pixel C back in June.

The only real downside to this tablet is the cost. Google originally sold two models, a 32GB unit for $499 and a 64GB model for $599, and prices haven’t changed much since then. On Swappa, the 32GB version hovers around $400-450, and the 64GB one is around $450-$500. It really should be cheaper, but the Pixel C absolutely still holds up in 2017. It’s important to note that some listings will include the folio case as well, which bumps up the price slightly.

Installing Lineage on the Pixel C is a breeze, as you would expect from a Google device. Just unlock the bootloader, flash the TWRP custom recovery, and use TWRP to install Lineage. You can find more details, as well as a complete installation guide, at the links below.

NVIDIA Shield Tablet/Shield Tablet K1

Back in 2014, NVIDIA released a tablet-shaped successor to the original NVIDIA Shield handheld, called the NVIDIA Shield Tablet. It was a pretty great tablet, with a Tegra K1 chip, 2GB of RAM, 16 or 32GB of expandable storage, and an 8″ 1080p display. It was pretty much a successor to the Nexus 7 2013, especially considering that NVIDIA is great with software updates.

Two years later, NVIDIA re-released it as the ‘NVIDIA Shield Tablet K1.’ There were a few minor cosmetic changes (you can see some pictures here), and it didn’t come with a stylus or charger. Those alterations were done to get the price down to $199. But as far as functionality goes, it’s the same tablet – you can even buy the stylus separately and use it with the K1. The original Shield Tablet goes for around $170-240 on Swappa, but they’re rare. The Shield Tablet K1 is around $220-$280, but availability is also limited.

LineageOS supports both versions with a single unified build, so you don’t have to try and guess what model you have if you’re not sure. The process of installing it is identical to Lineage on the Pixel C – just unlock the bootloader, install TWRP recovery, and use that to install Lineage.

Honorable mention: Google Nexus 9

The Nexus 9 was one of the most controversial Google hardware products in recent memory. Released in 2014, it is equipped with a Tegra K1 processor, an 8.9″ 4:3 2048×1553 screen, 2GB of RAM, and 16 or 32GB of storage. But the tablet’s battery life, unpredictable performance, and less-than-stellar build quality made it not a great choice. Google stopped providing Android updates for the Nexus 9 earlier this year, leaving it with only security updates (which will likely end late 2017/early 2018). Thankfully, official nightly Lineage builds are available for both the Wi-Fi and LTE models.

As far as I can tell, Lineage currently doesn’t have most of the software issues initially discussed in our Nexus 9 review. Most of the feedback on XDA has been positive, with a few bug reports here are there (which have been quickly fixed by the maintainer). The random performance slowdowns are due to the Nexus 9’s full-disk encryption, so if you want the absolute best experience, you should flash this custom boot.img that disables encryption before installing Lineage.

If you decide to disable encryption with that method, you will not be able to use Lineage’s built-in updater, because it will re-encrypt the tablet during the update process. Whenever you update, you’ll have to manually download the new zip and install it in TWRP yourself. This isn’t hard by any means, as long as you know what you’re doing, but it’s a bit annoying.

Because of the extra steps required to get encryption disabled, the fact that you can’t use Lineage’s built-in updater once you do, and the tablet’s not-so-great build quality, the Nexus 9 only gets an honorable mention. The Wi-Fi model alone goes for around $130-200 on Swappa (some more expensive listings also include accessories), making it the least-expensive tablet on this list. The unlocked LTE variant is around $150-300, though most listings include accessories.

Low-end phones

Nextbit Robin

The Nextbit Robin is perhaps the best smartphone deal on the market. It started off as a flagship device priced for less (much like Nexus and OnePlus) in early 2016, and slowly crept downwards in price. Then Razer bought Nextbit, and the price absolutely plummeted, recently reaching $109.99 on eBay for a brand new unit.

But the price didn’t drop because it was a bad phone – in fact, it’s still a great device. Presumably, Razer has just been trying to clear stock. If you’re not familiar with the Robin, it has a Snapdragon 808, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, a 5.2″ IPS 1080p display, and a 2,680mAh battery. Pretty standard specifications for a late-2015/early-2016 flagship.

The Nextbit Robin already has Android 7.1.2, but it probably won’t receive any more major updates. Lineage is one of the many ROMs available for the phone (AOSPA is another good choice), with builds being generated nightly. There are a few reported bugs, like the notification LED staying on, but everything seems to be pretty stable. Installation is pretty simple – just unlock the bootloader, flash the TWRP recovery, and install Lineage with TWRP.

Motorola Moto G4/G4 Plus

As mentioned above, you won’t find a better low-end Android phone right now than the Nextbit Robin. But if you really want a different cheap phone to install LineageOS on, Motorola’s Moto G4 (and to a lesser extent, the G4 Plus) is probably second place. If you read our review, you’ll know that both phones are pretty solid, but neither have water resistance or NFC.

First, let’s go over the specifications. Both phones have a Snapdragon 617 processor, a 5.5″ 1080p LCD, a 3,000 mAh battery, and GSM/CDMA compatibility. The G4 has 2GB of RAM, while the G4 Plus has either 2 or 4GB depending on the exact model. Storage can also vary, with the G4 having either 16 or 32GB, and the G4 Plus having 16 or 64GB. Both models have microSD expansion. Finally, the G4 doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner, while the G4 Plus does.

LineageOS has official combined builds for these phones – meaning the G4 and G4 Plus use the same zip files. The only bug currently reported causes the phone to reboot when connecting a Bluetooth device, which will hopefully be resolved soon.

The unlocked G4 currently goes for around $100-150 on Swappa, and the G4 Plus is around $130-200. Considering that the Nextbit Robin has NFC, USB Type-C, and a fingerprint sensor (albeit a flaky one), it’s definitely the better deal at the moment. But if you really don’t want a Robin for some reason, the G4 and G4 Plus are the next best option in this price category. Before buying, make sure to check if the model you’re buying is supported by Lineage (see the ‘Supported models’ section of this page).

Mid-range phones

The Nexus 6P is a bit long in the tooth, but it’s still a decent phone. It has been known to have some battery problems as well as the potential for bootloops. But as one of the last Nexus devices, it was guaranteed to have fantastic ROM support, and that includes LineageOS.

Spec-wise, the Nexus 6P is no slouch, even today. It has a Snapdragon 810 processor, a 1440p AMOLED display, 3GB RAM, a fantastic 12MP rear camera, and a 3450mAh battery. At the time of writing, you can pick one up used for $200-370 on Swappa, depending on storage size. If you don’t already have one, that’s not a bad price, but there are other phones on this list you can buy new that pose a better value.

The Nexus 6P is also nearing the end of its mainstream software support, so tossing LineageOS on it might not be a bad idea. Since this is a Nexus device, LineageOS is fairly stable on it. So, while I wouldn’t be sweating the lack of future updates just yet, it’s worth a thought if you own one now and plan on keeping it for a while. Just keep in mind that it does have a history of hardware problems.

LeEco might not be doing too well right now, but that doesn’t mean the company’s phones are bad. Or, at least, that doesn’t mean that LeEco’s misfortune can’t be your gain – the Le Pro 3 might be the best value on this list. For just $199 on Amazon (at the time of writing) you can pick up a 2016 flagship. That’s a Snapdragon 821, 64GB storage, 4070mAh battery, and a 1080p IPS display, packaged together in an all aluminum body.

Our review of the phone was quite critical, but almost all our complaints came from the poor software experience. If you’re picking one up with LineageOS in mind, that’s no problem. You can look forward to a long-lasting battery with up to two days of life on a charge. The only real drawbacks are a mediocre camera and no headphone jack, and the latter can certainly be forgiven at the current price.

The biggest drawbacks to flashing LineageOS are a loss of IR blaster support and problems with SafetyNet that even Magisk can’t work around. Some people were able to change the build.prop values to report a certified device and found success, but your mileage may vary, and you’d have to do that with each update.

OnePlus 3/T

Given the almost $100 price difference between the two, and the near-identical feature set, the OnePlus 3 presents a better value over the OnePlus 3T in my opinion. In some markets, you can still pick the 3T up new, but in the US you’ll have to make do with used. The OP3 runs around $280ish, while the 3T is closer to $350. The Le Pro 3 is cheaper, available new, and has roughly the same specs, though.

The OnePlus 3 and 3T are about what you’d expect for 2016 flagships. You get a Snapdragon 820/821, 6GB RAM, 64-128GB storage, 5.5″ 1080p OLED display, 3,000/3,400mAh battery, and a 16MP rear shooter. For the full skinny, you’ll want to check both of our reviews.

I can speak from experience when I say that the OP3/T is a lovely device to ROM. It has an easily unlocked bootloader, excellent developer support for multitudes of different ROMs, including LineageOS. Although OnePlus initially promised to release the camera blobs for ROM makers, that never actually happened. While AOSPA came up with their own solution, LinageOS won’t have the same level of camera performance. Dash Charge should work, though.

Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus

We’re often criticized for leaving phones from manufacturers like Xiaomi off these lists. They are popular with the same groups as ROM phones to begin with: people that like to save some money. We usually give these phones a pass because of source availability issues (in the US and other countries, you have to import them), and because they usually have incredibly limited support for frequencies used by carriers outside Asia. But, if you’re determined to pick a phone that can do phone things very well in most countries, the Mi 5s Plus exists.

Specs are comparable to the two above. You get a Snapdragon 821, 5.7″ 1080p IPS panel, 4/6GB RAM, 64/128GB storage, dual 13MP rear camera, and a 3,800mAh battery. Prices vary from $300-400. Again, the Le Pro 3 is probably a better value.

There are some hoops you’ll need to jump through to get all the hardware working, like flashing the global developer ROM from Xiaomi before flashing LineageOS. Random small bugs with things like the camera and intermittent performance problems also pop up more often than they would on other devices. But if you absolutely need to get a Xiaomi phone for LineageOS, it’s an option.

High-end phones

Working here, I (Ryne) get a lot of requests for phone recommendations. Budget providing, I have two answers for every person who asks me that question: buy the latest Galaxy phone or buy the current OnePlus. The latter I recommend to anyone interested in a stock experience, root, ROMs, or a slightly reduced budget. I may have returned my own OnePlus 5 as a result of problems with the display, but I am exceedingly picky, and I found the phone perfect in almost every other way.

On paper, the OnePlus 5 looks good. You get the latest Snapdragon 835, 6/8GB RAM, 64/128GB storage, 1080p OLED display, 16+20MP rear camera, and incredible frequency support. Our review gave it our Most Wanted accolade, too. And you can buy one now for $479-539.

Originally this phone wasn’t going to make the cut because it didn’t have official LineageOS builds, but they were just recently added. Given how new the device (and the Lineage ROM) is, you should expect a few bugs to be present. For example, there’s currently a problem with call volume and calls over Wi-Fi, but I’d expect issues like these to be resolved soon.

Galaxy S7 / edge

Honestly, this phone belongs somewhere between the high and mid-end on this list, but it had to go somewhere. It’s not the latest model, but it still presents an excellent value in both features and performance. And, unlike the newer Galaxy S8, it has official LinageOS builds. Used prices for both the S7 and S7 edge are also reasonable (around $350 for both on Swappa), and if you’re determined to pick one up new, you absolutely can.

The only officially supported hardware variants are ‘herolte’ and ‘herolte2,’ which correspond to the Exynos models. The SM-G930F, SM-G930FD, SM-G935F, and SM-G935FD are the ones you want to keep an eye out for. They have excellent frequency support, so you should be able to use them in most countries, including the US. To be safe, you should check the frequencies supported and your carrier to be sure. There are other Exynos-powered models for other markets that work with LineageOS, too.

Specs for LineageOS-supported models include an Exynos 8890, 4GB RAM, 32/64/128GB storage, 1440×2560 OLED display, microSD expansion, 12MP camera, and a 3,000/3,600mAh battery. Bugs have been intermittently reported for LineageOS on the S7/edge related to things like Bluetooth, hardware navigation keys, and network idle, so keep that in mind.

Most models of the G6 are locked down pretty tightly. For example, even though the T-Mobile H872 model has an unlockable bootloader, there’s no way at present to flash a custom recovery. So, if you want to ROM a G6, your best bet is the US997 unlocked model or the H870.

That’ll get you a Snapdragon 821, 4GB RAM, 32/64GB storage, dual 13MP camera, 5.7″ 1440×2880 IPS display with rounded corners, and a 3,300mAh battery. Compared to other Snapdragon 820 and 821 based devices on this list, it presents quite a poor value, but the 18:9 screen may be worth it to you. At $450 new it comes at a 2X premium compared to the Le Pro 3, which offers similar specifications.

It’s still early days, and there are a lot of bugs for Lineage on this device. There are reports that the mic, camera, and network connectivity on the G6 aren’t working perfectly just yet. It also probably won’t receive the same attention from developers/maintainers that more enthusiast-friendly devices like the OnePlus 5 will. But, the G6 is an option if you want one of the recent bezel-beating flagships on LineageOS.

Conclusion

There are a ton of phones that didn’t make this list, like the Moto Z series, LG V20, and Xiaomi Mi MIX, but we had to draw a line somewhere. Custom ROMs present quite a rabbit hole. We can’t make an exhaustive list and expect anyone to want to read it.

Although we might be a minority, there are a lot of us that buy a phone with ROMs in mind. Some of us buy a phone for the long haul and are prepared to take matters into our own hands when an OEM halts updates. Some of us have built our workflows around the extra features that ROMs like LineageOS provide, or we enjoy the privilege of truly owning our phone via that extra layer of customization. And some of us just want to try the next version of Android a bit early.

Whatever your motivation might be, from novelty to utility, if you are shopping for a phone with LineageOS support in mind, now you’ve got a few good ideas to base your search on.

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Redmi Note 3 is not included! Is that because you guys wanted to focus on USA market only?

Because Redmi Note 3 is literally one of the most famous devices on xda in the past year. It’s been in the top 3 constantly in development and support. Also apparent from LineageOS statistics.

From the Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus section: “We’re often criticized for leaving phones from manufacturers like Xiaomi off these lists. They are popular with the same groups as ROM phones to begin with: people that like to save some money. We usually give these phones a pass because of source availability issues (in the US and other countries, you have to import them), and because they usually have incredibly limited support for frequencies used by carriers outside Asia.”

And from the conclusion: “There are a ton of phones that didn’t make this list, like the Moto Z series, LG V20, and Xiaomi Mi MIX, but we had to draw a line somewhere. Custom ROMs present quite a rabbit hole. We can’t make an exhaustive list and expect anyone to want to read it.”

Corbin and Ryne used their better judgment to choose a few phones only in each price range. And yes, they chose to focus a little bit more on the US market because that’s where a majority of our readers are and because delving into the worldwide market is a hell hole that they would never have come out of.

The comment section is here for all of you to voice your opinion and say why a certain phone is worth considering too, but please, let’s not get outraged over each model missing from the list. We’d get nowhere in the discussion.

Personally I’m Nexus User for years but i would like to point something for your Point regarding majority readers from US,

Well, this might the case now but it’s changing at decent pace and if AP is accessible in China (i’m not sure) then i bet together Indian & Chinese readers would get pass US reader base so reader base is not valid point here, yes sure personal choice and inclination towards some brand would always be there (like Love for Google devices on AP) and no blame for it but if you guys consider reader base for article then it’s time for you to include Xiaomi n other brands which are popular in Indian & Chinese market in Articles to avoid future such comments. 😉

U would be surprised on how many Indian readers u have for AP, understood if u guys are based in US but a little bit of going global and mentioning devices that ain’t restricted to one domain is what I feel the Android market should be about, just my two cents on it.

They have the real stats to back their argument. Also, not in the majority doesn’t mean that there is not many Indians read AP.

Just as many actual people who understand/appreciate ROM dev at XDA.

No one is surprised by how many Indian readers there are at AP. 😀

Indian or Chinese mobile market is much bigger than USA. We pity Americans who don’t have much variety in mobile market.

You basically can’t buy a Xiaomi device outside Asia, without buying it from more or less reputable websites and having to pay a lot extra for shipping and especially import taxes. So it’s not just the US, but at least all of the EU too.

Xiaomi is officialy selling their phones in plenty of European countries including Poland, Czech Republic, Greece, Spain, Hungary, Ukraine, Slovakia and other. It’s the third most selling phone brand here in Czech republic in 2017.

They’re also selling here in Bolivia. Pretty good value, too bad they lack brand recognition in a sea full of low-end samsungs and huaweis

Taxless Shipping is possible in EU. check out Xiaomi subreddit wiki for more info.

Xiaomi appears all over the world now man. Also Oppo, Huawei, and Vivo, together they represent for China’s phone in the world.

Yeah as you told, even I’m more jealous on RN3 for getting almost fully featured LOS 15 on Orea with stability vs OP3 struggling with only one Dev and much blobs needed to be figured out for Oreo. .

LOS 15 for RN3 on XDA is unofficial. (there are no official release of LOS 15) Official Lineage maintainer for RN3 also one dev only.

That is true but it’s much stable.. Then how does it matter if it’s offical or not.

They’re hard to buy these days, though. No listings on Swappa, very few retailers sell them. Hard to recommend something it’s difficult to get in a lot of markets while the Mi 5s plus is everywhere.

Is Mi 5 an equally good option as Mi 5S?

I haven’t personally used either, so I couldn’t tell you.

S8 doesn’t have an official Lineage OS build, but somehow Note8 does.

Note 8 or the 8 inch tablet Note 8.0?

Ah, it looks like it’s the tablet.

bq. (even within warranty)

I’ve got an addon.d script that adds Flash After Update support to Lineage, would solve the FDE+OTA issue on the Nexus 9 you mention: https://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2239421

Still extra steps as mentioned but at least it becomes fully automated again. 🙂

That’s cool. Got a link?

He did link it in his comment. :p

Whups. It’s cool, though. I used to run my Nexus 6 unencrypted for the same reason, and having to manually update and root all in one go without booting and accidentally encrypting was a bit tedious. His solution might help people still in that position.

Lineage has been great for my five year old Nexus 4’s. While I just use them as WiFi only devices around the house these days, they could still be used as a backup device if needed.

Another Nexus 4 user here, currently using it as a main device with LOS 14.1. If I could just get a new battery for it.

Ha! Yeah, by far the biggest downer about the Nexus 4, a 2100 MaH battery. Battery life was always trash, even more so five years later. I can practically watch the battery life tick down like a watch. 😂

Still, it’s got a bigger battery than the new iPhone 😂.

I don’t know if I can generalize based on my experience but lineage os was way slower than the stock rom on my Moto X Pure. Snapchat was especially laggy and it took a good five seconds to switch between cameras. Moto finally released Android 7.0 for the Pure a few days ago and I’ve gone back to stock and everything is smooth as butter. Why can’t Lineage optimize devices well? This is the only reason I keep returning to stock.

At least as far as the camera performance goes, that’s probably because the proper camera blobs can’t be used. Like we said in the post, camera performance on LOS is almost always worse than stock.

It’s the same way on the OnePlus One. Stock Cyanogen smoother and faster than Lineage.

I personally don’t understand the hype behind Lineage. It used to be a necessity back in the day, but now it’s just kinda meh. Most definitely more trouble than it’s worth.

Resurrection Remix is just so much better!

How do you define better?

If you have a choice, then always flash AOSP ROMs. Most of the times its faster than lineage.

I’m using the LG G2 (d802) currently on LOS 14.1, it’s amazing how this phone could support this far, almost 5 years

I’m using LG G3 d855 and totally agree with you. If it’s possible for just a few guys to support those old devices (without official source code (I’m looking at you, closed source LG!)), I don’t really understand why OEMs don’t do that. If a company appeared with somewhat usable phone and OS support for five years, I’d be sold.

I have a g2 laying around. I let my son use it as a Wi-Fi phone. How you liking the Rom

It’s my daily driver since it came out, perfect ROM

I just might have to give this a try. What if any issues have you run into?

With the “stock ROM experience” nothing, just remember of using Magisk and everything will be alright

Regarding the Nextbit Robin, remember to get a solid case for it, so it doesn’t bend in your pocket.

I’ve been abusing mine, and intentionally didn’t use a case on it, and it’s been fine. I know it failed the bend tests spectacularly, but in everyday use it was fine for me. YMMV, tho.

The tablet situation in Android is horrendous it seems if they are all 2+ year old devices. This is sad considering that Android is a superior tablet form factor device.

In what way is android a superior tablet OS? Most of the apps aren’t optimized for tablets and the ones that are aren’t very good

Let’s hope that there is a good tablet-laptop hybrid device on Android this year. That would make it more interesting. Games would be amazing with a keyboard.

I said the OS is a superior one for the tablet form factor because it is built for large screen use since Nougat and now especially Oreo; not that applications are tablet optimized.

No Moto G4 Play mentioned along side the Moto G4/Plus?

There are a lot more devices supported by LOS than mentioned in article.

Redmi note 4 global – mido

The Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus has a great support from Lineage team also. This device is sold world-wide, and it is a great deal when you think on installing custom ROMs (Lenovo’s software sucks). It already has LOS15 development, and it is great despite some bugs at this stage. Snapdragon 616, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage, this device is clearly meant for people who doesn’t demand so much from their phones.

-There’s a fix for the microphone (and I think it’s already fixed on the latest official build).

-Both the dual cameras are working with the same quality as stock (and the front facing one, of course), but one of the rear cameras doesn’t focus.

-The connectivity issues are only on Verizon, but there’s a workaround you need to do every restart.

Now the focus is on the Oreo builds, so there won’t be any fixes until Oreo arrives. Currently we have some experimental Oreo builds. Not bad for a very recent phone, I think.

I agree. I was considering the G6 for that reason. Developer support for it has been surprisingly decent.

Yup. We have excellent developers, and because LG G5, V20 and G6 share source, it’s very easy to support.

Can the stock camera apps be copied over to LOS?

I have the Pro 3. With Lineage, it’s a pretty good deal. I flashed the Team Superluminal version of Lineage (which hasn’t been updated in months unfortunately) and it passes safety net and the IR blaster works. Getting the bootloader unlocked is an absolute pain if you have the US model, but it can be done. You have to flash part of the Chinese bootloader. It’s weird.

Anyway, the phone is pretty solid, but it does have some problems. It could just be my unit, but I think it’s worth mentioning for any prospective buyers. While charging, the touch screen gets a bit weird. Like, while typing, it’ll miss some keys that it normally wouldn’t. Also, the signal strength isn’t nearly as good as my 2014 Moto X that it replaced, even with the band 12 support on T-Mobile. The Bluetooth amp sucks, so you have the crank the volume on the stereo to hear anything. And for some reason I couldn’t get the SIM tray to open with the tool it came with. My Moto tool worked fine. I don’t get it. Speakers are nice. It uses the same setup as the HTC 10. Stock has Dolby sound stuff, but I flashed it pretty much immediately so I can’t compare. Touch screen response time a little slow, but it’s fine. Fingerprint reader is good. Also it only comes in gold in the US.

It’s got a lot of character, for sure. But for the price it’s a great value.

Too bad it only has 8/16gb of non-expandable storage.

Indeed! Fortunately, I’ve got the 16 GB version.

Even its barely usable in present. Out of 11.9 available space, /sys and cache takes 5GB, Apps some 3GB and photos+whatsapp backup some 4GB..

Perhaps we use our devices differently. I can see your WhatsApp folder could make use of some cleaning.

Its mostlt due to auto daily backups. Even if I delete daily night a new huge file will come.

Ya Whatsapp takes much space..

are there any bugs you experience currently??

I stopped using my Nexus 4, but my main concern was battery. Since they don’t sell new batteries in my country, I had to buy a newer device. The ROM itself was awesome, though.

I’m going to be “that guy” and just mention my 2013 Nexus 7. LOS runs about as well on it as any official ROM in recent years. No list of Android tablets worth keeping running via custom ROM is complete without the trusty 2013 N7.

Just for the benefit of anybody new to the ROM scene or who wasn’t around for the early years of Nexus tablets, there’s a reason I keep stressing the “2013”. There was also a 2012 Nexus 7. However, this one was plagued with hardware issues that would eventually make it slow to a crawl regardless of what ROM was put on it, and as such you want to make sure you don’t get this one.

My N7 2013 is on LOS, too. But with how well the device has aged, I wouldn’t really wish one on anyone. It’s like molasses. I can’t really encourage someone to buy one that doesn’t already have one.

LOS runs great for such an old device as long as you don’t load too many apps or use a startup manager to reduce apps that start on boot. I’m surprised how decent the performance is.

Me too. The device is a little slower now that it is 4 years old and some apps crash, but other than that Lineage OS works well.

Unexpected but very welcomed guide.

I have regrets about not getting that dual Sim Exynos S7.

I have a Nexus 9 and I wouldn’t recommend it, even with LineageOS and no FDE – the Nexus 9 has horrible RAM management, so you end up with just around 500MB free RAM with nothing running in the background (even with pico GApps), which leaves barely enough room these days for modern apps. You can forget about multitasking, unless you don’t mind apps constantly being killed off in the background.

Unfortunately there’s no suitable tablet to upgrade to. The Pixel C doesn’t have GPS, LTE or NFC, which makes it useless for my needs (as a dashboard infotainment system). It’s also not worth the price for its specs, and for a two year old device sold in 2017.

I really wish Google would bring out a proper successor to the Nexus 9.

I replaced my Nexus 9 with an iPad Pro 9.7. The Nexus 9 was an awful experience. Even my Nexus 7 (2013) outlasted it.

I wish I could replace mine with an iPad. I really need Tasker or something similar but sadly there’s no equivalent for iOS. If they had an equivalent I’d switch in an instant.

You mean a real replacement to the N10

Also NFC for an infotainment system?

Question: How’s life with LOS inside a Galaxy S7 (SM-G930F)? Can you use it as a daily driver? I have one (stock with my MX carrier, no issues) but I wonder if I can get a more snappier piece if I flash Lineage OS or better leave it as is. I’m aware that there are bugs but I’m curious if they’re serious or bearable ones.

Thanks in advance for the feedback!

Why is moto g3 not there? It may be an old phone, but it still got so many ROMs support. It got Android oreo in just 2 weeks after release.

We had to have a cut-off, otherwise half the list would have been Moto G phones. We mentioned the G4, which is easier to buy. Can’t have every one on the list.

How is the Le Pro3 considered midrange while the S7 is high end?

Honestly, purely based on price. IMO the Le Pro3 is where it’s at for this list.

Purely based on price wouldn’t the s7 be a better option? They are just fifty bucks more and you can have a decent ‘stock’ option to fall back on when you realize the stock camera app is where it’s at.

Depends. If you are purely interested in the best hardware value for jumping straight to a ROM, the Le Pro 3 is hard to beat. The S7 used is $150 more than the Le Pro 3 new. But if you want something with good stock options, The OP5 beats the pants of the S7. The S7 made the list because it’s the sort of thing you can migrate to Lineage when official support ends.

Personally, the Exynos S7 wouldn’t be my first choice for a ROM, but it is one of the few recent flagships with official support. There isn’t a lot of choice at the high-end, which is really unfortunate.

I thought I saw a post on here where the s7e (possibly a refurb?) was $269 on ebay. And agree. the OP5 beats the pants off of everything. At least it does vs the devices I can test it with. Pixel XL, Note8. Z. Z2. s7e. Whereas there is no discernible difference between any of those devices if you take the OP5 out of the equation.

Yeah, it’s hard for me to recommend another phone when friends ask. Is money no object and you want every feature? Get an S8. Any price constraints or enthusiast interest in root/rom? OP5, ez.

I just wish the screen was right side up.

I’m still using a Samsung Galaxy S3 with LOS 14.1. It’s not the best experience but it’s functional as a daily driver.

It would be funny to watch someone who only ever knew the HD2, which was a sweet device, don’t get me wrong, go straight from it to a modern SD835 device. They’d probably tap an app, set the phone down to wait for the app to open and turn their attention back to the TV only to notice the app loaded immediately rather than a minute later.

Blown away, they’d be. lol

Android Police needs to do more power user articles like this.

Have LOS installed on several oldish devices and pretty pleased with it. Hope to see Oreo LOS support 32-bit devices to keep them going. I gave an old Galaxy S3 to an elderly relative with LOS and set to do monthly updates (to get security patches). He has no issues running on his own (I’ll do a TWRP backup once in a while when I see him). Phone working better/faster than with original ROM.

Legend of Android: LG G2. Still monster and very very enough!

No redmi 4x. Blasphemy!

This list was AWESOME. I’ve wanted an article like this from a credible source for a long time!! Thank you android police!

Seeing the NVIDIA shield tablet mentioned in the article made me think. Is NVIDIA still interested on mobile Devices? Sure, they have the shield TV, but it’s been a while since they made a new tablet and as far as I know they haven’t yet ventured into making phones

Hoping they don’t give up on developing Tegra further

They’re making Tegra processors for the Nintendo Switch.

The N9 needs to be cleansed with Fire and sent to the recycler. The only Google Tablets that needs an honorable mention is the N7FHD and N10

I think an honorable mention (let me do it here in the comments) would also be the Xperia SP 🙂

God I love write ups like this.

I am currently using Lineage OS on my 2013 Nexus 7. It works well.

I only recommend installing custom ROMs such as the Lineage OS on devices that have reached end of support because it void your warranty.

I’m using it on my Redmi note 3 since last year and it recently got unoff. los 15 which is pretty stable considering the time.

I have been on lineage and disappointed with its development. These days there are more bugs than features. Weekly updates are unnecessary. And no it doesn’t come close to OEM ROM. Developers waste their efforts on useless features like browser which no body uses.

I’ve got a stable LOS 13.1 running on my Nexus 10. No complaints.

I am using it on OnePlus X and Redmi 2 Prime. Feels like breath of fresh air.

What about Moto x play

As prosser as 615 technology is little same as sd 617

That’s a cool logo you got there for the AP team 😛

My girlfriends Le Pro 3 is the FASTEST phone i’ve used on AOSPA. Camera is also fantastic finally with the modified google app.

As a budget-conscious ROM enthusiast, I appreciate this article very much. Such articles can never be perfect and complete, but it’s a good outline for the basic options. Keep up the good work!

I have an LG V20 US996 and I’ve been having a lot of issues with reception/wifi calling/VoLTE through T-Mobile.

I have lots of performance issues when using navigation+music+calls or any combination.

Would LOS improve my performance/resolve some of my issues?

Still rocking my klte (#5 according to the LOS stats)

I am Using H870 and impressed with its features

How works with HTC? I would buy HTC U 11 ti usi LineageOS in future, verter this or OP5T?

How did the LG G6 make this list? I am actually searching this up to switch from my obsolete (for custom ROMs that is) phone

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