Re: The phone I want doesn't exist
> Fair phone is expensive, clunky, and at the end of the day not all that open.
I recently got a Fairphone 4 for work. Now, granted, I'm not installing half the app store or playing games on it (and consequently get about a week of battery life), but it was apparently cheaper than the phones most employees choose. It was larger than I was expecting, if that's what you mean by "clunky", but the phone itself seems fairly zippy when I'm applying my finger grease to the screen and whatnot.
> eOS is not actually Google free.
Depends how "Google free" you want to be. I would say /e/OS is about as Google-free as you can get while still having access to the Google Play Store out of the box (which is pretty much required to function as a member of society in Norway, sadly). There are certainly some Google "services" that are required for some apps to function (accessed likely via microG), but my personal /e/OS phone doesn't know of any Google account, nor any "e" account, so I'm satisfied with that amount of disconnection for now.
> It's a pretty wretched landscape at the moment, if you're looking for a decent, privacy respecting smartphone.
I guess one would probably have to try one of the non-android Linux phones. What's that one with the hardware killswitches? Ah, the Librem 5 from Purism - if you can get one.