Need a New Phone - Alternative to Google Pixel: Zenfone 10, Motorola, or Wait for Samsung Galaxy S24?

I’m on the hunt for a new phone and privacy is a big deal for me. First up, I was eyeing the Google Pixel, even though it’s not officially sold here. But guess what? 5G is a no-go in places where Google doesn’t peddle their phones, even after trying to flash GrapheneOS.

Now, I’m exploring other options. Thinking about brands with phones that pack a punch and keep it as close to the vanilla Android experience as possible. Got three names in my head: Asus, Motorola, and Sony.

The Zenfone 10 caught my eye. It’s got the specs, even though it’s rocking Zen UI. No biggie, I reckon I can strip out all the Google stuff and other junk, slap on Aurora Store/F-Droid or something, and be good to go. Cameras aren’t mind-blowing, but it’s still in the running.

Motorola’s got these Edge and Neo phones, but they’re on the bigger side. I’m more into the smaller scene, like up to 6.2 inches sounds about right. Plus, they’ve got some mid-range processors going on.

Sony dipped out of my country, so no more Xperia here. I could import one, but that doesn’t feel safe. Worried about 5G troubles and finding someone to fix it if things go south.

I’m also thinking of holding out for the Samsung Galaxy S24, strip down the bloatware. Not sure how easy that is nowadays. Had a Samsung Galaxy S8 before, and it took me a bit to figure things out, but the XDA Forums came through in the past.

So, any suggestions on what phone I should roll with?

1 Like

Welcome to the forum, Felipe!

I’ve attempted to debloat Samsung devices in the recent past with lesser degrees of success. You get to retry a lot of times to keep certain functionalities intact.

Now that Simple Mobile Tools are no longer a thing (maybe its current version is still frozen in FDroid?), replacing the base apps (calendar, gallery, contacts, etc) will be harder to do but there will be fork/s.

Lol you could be in the same country as I am. If you are, I am currently on Pixel6A, bought from an “unauthorized reseller” with pretty much no support or warranty. Just put a competent case around it, I dont think you are missing a lot on 5G, the battery drain may not be worth it and the places outside of cities are still on LTE.

Asus makes good phones (I used to have the ZenFone 8), but the update policy is very limited (same holds for Xperias), and I believe it is currently not possible to unlock the bootloader, so custom roms are a no-go. So better check these out before you go for an Asus.

Why wouldn’t Pixel be your top choice again?

1 Like

Google doesn’t sell Pixel officially here. Therefore, I’d have to import it. They also set a restriction where countries that they don’t support have the 5G blocked. And the fact that Google doesn’t sell their phones here also imply I’d have to be extra careful not to break, because there’s probably no way to fix the phone here in case anything happens.


Is OnePlus selling in your country? OnePlus flagship devices would have a better support than the rest at 4 years of OS updates and 5 years of security patches.

Asus and Motorola are having the least support, 2 years of OS updates and security patches.

Samsung starts at 3 years on both updates and patches with their cheapest phones, and 4 years of OS updates and 5 years of security patches on their flagship devices. However, people are missing months of Google Play system updates on their latest devices currently.

If you decided not to go with Pixel, the support from the manufacture is very important, unless you’re OK with the risk of using a custom ROM with an unlocked bootloader. But then, even if your device is EOL, Google Play system update still provides you with security patches. The only downside would be the privacy aspects of the device that you would find only on deGoogled custom ROMs.

Honestly, if I couldn’t use a pixel with GrapheneOS, I would probably just get an iPhone.


Unfortunately OnePlus is not present here as well.

I totally agree with you about the support. Asus and Motorola are very limited. I think I will settle down with the Samsung Galaxy S24 when it comes out and try to remove as much bloatware and Google/Samsung services as possible.

1 Like

Just to put it out here again. Nitrokey has worldwide shipping. NitroPhone 4 Pro |

Repair is an argument I guess if you are someone that breaks phones.

Price doesn’t really seem the issue here if Galaxy s24 is on the table.

I am not saying your choice is wrong per se, but debloating isn’t going to give you much privacy on a Samsung device. I would probably just buy an iPhone instead.

Samsung is an incrediable company, they make not only money buy sellng overpriced phones but also sell your data, double profit.


Because you can’t debloat it. “Removing” or “disabling” apps with ADB is nonsense. The only way to remove the bloat would be to remove it from the image itself.

1 Like

I would not go as far as saying it’s nonsense. It surely might be doing something good, but it’s not enough to call it fully debloated, that we agree upon. You said rightfully, it won’t stop all data collection and excessive privileges of Google and Samsung’ system apps.


Nitrokey is charging $1,500.
In many countries this takes a family many months to earn.
It is not a real option.


This is insane. I also doubt that they give anything back to GrapheneOS even though the up charge is huge.

1 Like

Sure thing but what will s24 cost you think? This doesn’t seem to be the issue for the OP.

1 Like

Considering the launch price of the Samsung S23 here, it would cost around US$ 1.200 converted. Also, import duty here is ridiculous so I can expected double the price of what I’d pay in the US. So $1.500 before tax is out of consideration for a phone.

I could import a Google Pixel 8, which I’d probably pay around $1.200 but for a phone with no waranty, basically no support in case the screen breaks or the battery dies and with no 5G available is a real bummer for me.

1 Like

If you want to install a privacy-focused ROM, there’s now three Motorolas supported by CalyxOS (and of course LineageOS).

If you want to stay with a debloated stock Android, why not just decide based on the price and hardware? For example, I bought a Pixel 8 specifically for GrapheneOS, but the phone I really wanted was the Zenfone 10 because it’s got a nice size (like the iPhone, whereas almost all other Androids are huge).

Import tax in my country is as high as 30% after the price+shipping. I am in the same situation when buying a new phone :smiling_face_with_tear:

I am just looking also at Moto G52. It’s said to have 3 years of security updates. Based on track record, definitely will be slower than pixels of course, but just ignoring even that and all security downsides hardware-wise.

The costs of the device are 300 USD + import tax
You divide this by 3 years of support, so 100USD/year + import tax

The Pixel 8 (as nitrophone 4) is 1,082 USD + import tax
You divide this by 7 years of support, so ~155/year + import tax

If imported a different way, pixel is likely cheaper than Motorola, even if you look at updates. I mean, the normal USD price is 550 at the moment.

I wonder what kind of prices you pay for a Motorola phone locally because I can only guess, but to me the difference doesn’t seem crazy high. I think we skip over the fact that if you can buy a phone locally, you still pay indirectly for import costs.

Motorola does sell their phones here. Just checked the price for the G52 and it’s pretty cheap, around US$ 200. Sure, it would be an alternative, but for a mid-range, 6.6", almost 2 year old phone would not be a good option either.

I’d say the requirements are:

  • Can I debloate it? Either via Custom ROM (Graphene, Divest, Calyx, Lineage) or via an ADB tool
  • Max size: 6.2"
  • Launched recently/To be launched at the beginning of 2024
  • Warranty
  • 5G

I mean, I wish I could help, really, but I just don’t think there are such options.
ADB tooling really isn’t going to cut it. It’s a limiting measure, not a solution. Only do this when you really have no other choice. I wonder what would be the budget?

I am surprised you can find this moto for 200USD, btw. Amazon (US) sells it for 300USD