What is the best Pixel phone to use for GrapheneOS

Hey there, I’m going to soon be buying a new pixel phone for the new year, I’d like some recommendations on what phone would be best on Graphene? Looking for the best overall experience, and I heard that the Pixel 6 series phones often overheat, is this still the case on graphene? Any advice would be greatly appreciated and thanks for your time.
(I’d like to daily drive the phone for about 2 years max 3)

Graphene’s site says the latest, and I’d recommend specifically the 8 Pro since it has a vapour chamber cooler (the non-pro and a-series phones will run hotter when running sustained workloads since they don’t have the vapour chamber cooler)

Going with a 6 or 7 loses you support longevity and some security features only present in the Tensor G3 currently

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I don’t need great performance or anything, I don’t really do mobile games and when I do they aren’t graphically intensive so most of my battery consumption will be video playback, messaging, general web usage, so I don’t really wanna spend almost 1k on a phone when I won’t even use most it’s ability, however assuming I go for the Pro series then, is the P7P worth it over the P6P?

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If you can, use the Pixel 8 or the Pro version of it since they have great security out-of-the-box + 7 years of security updates, which is awesome.


If you have a personal mandate of replacing phones every 2-3 years, then staying a bit behind to get cheaper phones seems like a good idea.

I wonder why wont you run the complete course of the entire serviceable update life (7 years on the latest Pixel 8) instead? It seems like a better value for money?

(currently on amazon)

Pixel 6a - 339USD - 3 years

Pixel 7a - 499USD - 5 years

Pixel 8a - none yet - 7 years?

So you seem to be valuing it only for 3 years so you may get more value with the older models. You should be valuing the 7a more right now but only if you go beyond your 3 years rule.

Theoretically the 8a should be more valuable per service life but it isnt out yet and may never be out with the current financial status of the world.

I searched “overheat” on the official GrapheneOS forum. There is one post about a user’s Pixel 6 Pro phone suffering from overheating issues. Keep in mind that this post is more than a year old with no recent updates since then, so take it with a grain of salt.

For what it’s worth, my primary mobile device is a (used) Pixel 6. I have not experienced any overheating, and my usage (Newpipe, Antennapod, Vanadium, and various messaging apps) corresponds to the activities that you mentioned in your second comment:

What a coincidence. The official Twitter account for the GrapheneOS project very recently tweeted a statement that directly answers your question:

Our recommendation is to get the Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro if you can afford them, and otherwise try to find a good price for a used Pixel 7a or Pixel 6a. Finding a used 7th/6th gen flagship is another option. Don’t buy anything older than a Pixel 6. Pixel 5a doesn’t have much left.

I also recommend that you (re)visit this page shared in an earlier tweet of that same thread: Frequently Asked Questions | GrapheneOS This section on the recommended devices is essentially a longer version of the tweet chain I linked above, but also includes comparisons between different generations of Pixel phones and between Pixel phones of the same generation.

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