First things first, when people talk about replacing the OS on an Android phone, they think you need to be a geek to actually get it done! Not so with GrapheneOS. The installation is dead simple!
The WebUSB-based installer is straightforward to use and all you need to do is follow the screen! You can even install GrapheneOS from another cellphone using that method. Mindblowing!
Make sure you also close the Bootloader!
After installing GrapheneOS, the first thing I did was to set up a custom DNS, fallback on GrapheneOS is not Google but Cloudflare (incredibly), which does not make it better when it comes to privacy, but it's an easy fix!
Network & internet ➔
Private DNS and enter a DNS-over-HTTPs provider of your choice.
GrapheneOS has the Android Open Source Project firewall integrated as standard.
GrapheneOS adds a user-facing network permission toggle providing a robust way to deny both direct and indirect network access to applications. It builds upon the standard non-user-facing INTERNET permission, so it's already fully adopted by the app ecosystem.
Revoking the permission denies indirect access via OS components and apps enforcing the INTERNET permission, such as Download Manager. Direct access is denied by blocking low-level network socket access.
GrapheneOS also has a Chromium-based browser called Vanadium
Vanadium is a privacy and security hardened variant of Chromium, providing the WebView (used by other apps to render web content) and standard browser for GrapheneOS. It depends on hardening and compatibility fixes in GrapheneOS rather than reinventing the wheel inside Vanadium. For example, GrapheneOS already provides a hardened malloc implementation, so there's no need for Vanadium to replace it. Similarly, it can deploy security features causing breakage on other operating systems due to the ability to fix compatibility problems in the OS.
Security updates arrive faster than on any other OS. Daniel pushes them out as soon they are discovered, or when he discovers his own. A super smooth experience of a cellphone. GrapheneOS has its own camera which is, in normal light, as good as the Gcam, at night you can see a difference though. This said the camera gets many updates, and I am sure it will soon be on a par with the Gcam. The beauty of this is if you want to install Gcam you can do so via the Sandboxed PlayStore which can be installed via the Apps (application pre-installed) on the phone. This way you can install Google Service Framework, the Play Store and Play Service. I don't use it, but thanks to the sandboxing approach, this is way more secure than a MicroG implication.
You can learn more on how the Sandboxed Google-Play implementation works here:
Can GrapheneOS be the daily drive for everyone or just for privacy freaks, and if so, which would be the better option? And the answer is Absolutely to both! I've never had a smoother experience with any phone I've used.
The big question you need to answer is, are you ok with a Pixel phone (the irony is stunning… get a Google phone, so you can ungoogle your life)?!?
When it comes to security and privacy, GrapheneOS is second to none! Full stop, you can ADB deGoogle your Samsung, Huawei, or most other devices. You can use CalyxOS, but none of them brings you to the level GrapheneOS does!