I just got a refurbished Zenfone 8 and am really enjoying using it, but I value privacy and hate how Google has unrestricted permissions I can't seem to change.
Was wondering if anyone has de-googled their Android. The only OS with explicit support for the Zenfone 8 I have found is LineageOS, although I'd like to try GrapheneOS or /e/OS if possible.
More importantly, I'm wondering if its possible to go back once I install a new OS. I quite like the ASUS modification of Android 13 I'm running, and I'm not sure if a download for that is as easy to find as something like LineageOS.
Graphene OS is exclusive to Pixel devices, there are some community ports for a couple of other devices, but they're not many.
Lineage OS can be found at This link , but remember that if you want to use MicroG, this rom doesn't support signature spoofing.
/e/OS is available Here
I don't own an Asus smartphone yet, I was looking into getting a Zenfone 10, so I don't know yet how easy or hard is to flash the stock firmware back.
I've no experience of replacing the OS, nor of backtracking if I don't like the outcome. I fear I'd break the phone beyond any chance of recovery! Actually I really like the Zf8 not just for its size and heft and look, for its niche (it's not Yet Another Samsung) - but also and mainly for their version of Android which has some great touches. But I loathe Google and have uninstalled everything I can and disabled the rest leaving just a couple that I can't do anything about. They are completely invisible, non-intrusive and as far as I can tell don't harvest any more data than anything else on the phone. I use Aptoide for apps which has never let me down though I also like Uptodown. Firefox for browsing. I realise this response does not address the question you posted, sorry!
Now that I'm here can anybody recommend a Word reader rather than Word itself (I don't want to use the phone to write stuff)?
Let me tell you, as long as the Google Play Services are installed as a system app and running, google is harvesting all of the data they can. If you are concerned about your digital privacy, /e/OS is the easiest way to degoogle your phone. In alternative you can do it by rooting your current rom and running a degoogle script.
I would avoid Aptoide and Uptown, they are full of official apks with malware injected, you should use the AuroraStore Instead. It's a FOSS PlayStore Client, you can use it without a Google account (even though google changed the api, breaking the search function) or by logging in and getting the same features of the play store, plus the added bonus of being able to see which trackers are included in every app you wish to install.