2,5 years of fairphone2 : Summary and goodbye

Hi,

I have ordered a Fairphone2 on the 29/12/2018.
I was hoping a lot from this company and was always a big support to promote Fairphone around me, despite minors problems of performance ; but today i am giving up.

  • The bottom module broke twice, so i changed it during the warranty
  • The third time it happened, i had to send it to be repared but they lost it during the shipping, so they send a brand new phone.
  • The new one has exactly the same problem and the bottom module failed, but now that it’s not under warranty (despite this one is less than 1 year old), they cant send me a new bottom module, and WORSE they have stopped providing bottom modules!! ? WHAT ?? In the beginning they said “new modules will be compatible with old phone so you can upgrade it”. Have they forgotten?
  • So it has been several weeks that i cant make phone call whithout using a “hand-free kit”. I was considering repairing the bottom module myself as some users do, but today the straw that breaks the camel’s back : The screen is flickering. (I’ve obviously tried to remove, clean, restart it, and trow it again the wall at the end ; so don’t bother trying to answer me with FAQs or user forums links)
  • Other big issue (because it’s work related) : I can’t make the bluetooth work with a Evolve 30M by electrovoice. And despite hundreds of messages, mails, phone call with both the technical supports of fairphone and electrovoice, i have had no real answer to this problem.

So I was hoping 10 years of use for this eco friendly, modular phone, or at least 5 years, but finally after 2,5 years (which is less than the average of my previous non ecofriendly phones) and a lot of problems, I am losing hope in fairphone and go back to classical cheaper phone.

Cheers.

1 Like

In my opinion, the FP2 was really not a very good phone for everyday use. The SoC was fine for the time, but there always have been things that needs improvements.

  • The too-often-breaking microphone / bottom module.
  • The sometimes flickering screen.
  • The unreliable proximity sensor.
    And some other things. I never used an FP2 as my daily driver. It would not have meet my needs and expectations.

But in my opinion, the FP3(+) improved a lot. The things mentioned above are not a problem anymore on these devices. I would not judge the whole company by the very old FP2, which looks to me like something as “the first test” of a modular phone. For sure it was not perfect.

In regards of the hardware and build quality I am happy with the FP3+. The processor is not too powerful, but it is working reliable now after most of the bugs have been fixed.

So my personal conclusion would be: Fairphone improved a lot in regards of hardware and making reliable phones. Maybe even more with the upcoming FP4.
The biggest problem, in my opinion, is the software: Even the current FP3 has just Android 10 and the security patches are often late, coming sometimes just every two or three months instead of monthly.

So, I am really not a fanboy of Fairphone and there are things that have to improve. But compared to the FP2, they did improvements.

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If the FP2 was the first test, what was the FP1?
You say FP2 is very old ?? It was out in 2015. Its only 6 years old !
Ok so every 2 years we have to buy the new Fairphone 2, 3, and soon the 4th. So it s exactly the same economic model as every other company. I thought it would be different. Like keeping a phone for at least 5 years.

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Just because there is a new phone, you must not buy it.
I use the FP2 as a daily driver since 5 years and yes sometimes its driving me nuts, but overall for my needs its still working good. My bottom module is working since 4 years now.

Where was this stated? I never read this somewhere.

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I, too, have a FP2. I am not an advocat for Fairphone, but please let me comment your criticism:

The bottom module is the weakest part, although the whole modular concept is a fail, at least the FP2 one. The core module seems to be not very resistant, which is why I never carry my FP2 in my trousers bags. The connectors to top, display, and bottom module seem to be stressed too much as soon as the device “gets mobile”. It is a fail of construction, nothing more to say about…

The warranty period starts from the date of purchase, regardless how old your current Fairphone might be. This is legal law and common practice. Of course, it would have been a fine move from Fairphone if they made you a goodwill offer, but they are not obliged to do so.

10 years of longevity are an ambitious goal, but let us face the truth:

  • The FP2 is a desaster, a phone to be forgotten as soon as possible.
  • The FP3 seems to feature a better hardware in some bits, but it took Fairphone almost two years to iron out the most embarassing software issues, to the disadvantage of the warranty period. If software bugs have not been solved for months and months, it just makes no sense to exchange the device over and over with one of the same model.
  • The FP4 is no device I am waiting for. There have been too many issues with its predecessors, and support almost does not exist when you need it.

After all, we are writing the year 2021. All I want is a device that is comparable in reliability of a various one from a various phone manufacturer. I really cannot read the “oh, we are the greatest in fairness” praises anymore, I want the same quality like the one of “unfair” devices, and no second/third/fourth device in my writing-desk drawer. And I want a support that does not need weeks to get back to an inquiry, writing almost useless advises, just to roll up the case again from the beginning. Is that too much to ask, Fairphone?

You are so right…

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The FP1 was not a modular phone. The FP2 was the first one made by Fairphone, with all the disadvantages and problems mentioned in this thread. They learned from that and created the FP3 with much better durability of the hardware.

Yes, so it is an old phone. I like the idea of long-living hardware, for example I use a desktop computer much longer. But things are different with smartphones.
For example, the SD801 was still not so fresh anymore when the FP2 was released. The instruction set AES-NI is missing in that processor. So there are a lot of disadvantages of running this hardware with current software.

Most manufacturers just provide version upgrades for two years and security updates for three years.
Fairphone did a lot of work to support the FP2 for six years. Which is a great job.

Using a smartphone for 10 years, without dealing with Lineage, for example, is not possible nowadays. Of course, you can run it. But without and updates and upgrades, making it insecure for your personal data.

Wether we like it or not, that’s a fact. So, yes, the FP2 is an old phone. Made as sustainable as possible with this extremely long six-year-support. Not mentioning the buggy hardware and lack of available spare parts.

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I carry my FP2 since years not in a case, but always either somewhere in a bag or in my outdoor trousers at the leg, with dogs sitting/jumping on it, me moving (and with this the FP as well), also it fell down any times etc. pp …I still have my first display, only the seocnd bottom module (4 years old) and have no flickering on the display nor tremendous core module issues. So yes the modular construction was not perfect, but there are many FP2 out there just working as they should. So I would completely disagree with or at least at is not my truth

Also there are many FP3 out there just working as they should, you cannot look at this forum as reference for all devices

Is also not correct in such a generalized way. Yes there are times where response will take too much time, however, I had 4 times contact with support in the past 5 years and I never experiences any delay in response or no support. So as for the devices itself, you cannot read the issues with support here and make this the overall truth.

I understand frustration for various reasons, but I cannot understand that general FP “bashing” that sometimes happens here.

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@Nicolas_Melliet

Here I could read things like…“Potential for upgrades and expansion” or “we incorporated elements that enable upgrades and expansion without having to change the entire hardware.”…“all of the individual units can be replaced”. Wasn’t there a camera upgrade? So it doesn’t look like they have forgotten. But also they never stated wanting to upgrade each single module. Or did you mean new FP3 (bottom) modules would fit into the FP2?

So you ordered the phone some around 2018/19, that’s more than 24 months ago. I guess you do know about some trading and warranty laws as far as you as customer should keep awareness of. Even if you receive a spare part or your item is repaired your initial overall warranty period will not be extended.

That’s actually bad luck as BTLE (Bluetooth low energy) is based on Bluetooth 4.0 with different implementation levels up to 4.2. It wasn’t clearly stated in the technical specs of this audio column system which BT version it needs, so I assume it was an incompatibility issue that got in your way just as with e.g. many Corona apps that do not work properly on FP2 even with Android 9.

@ontheair

I’m glad to have a friendly neighbor who did not force me to purchase a device that knowingly would not meet my needs, it was my free will to buy it and I did well with my decision even after using it 5+ years.

“The biggest problem, in my opinion, is the software” - clearly no for my opinion! It’s the customer permanently comparing Fairphone with conventional manufacturers/phones simply neglecting the values behind Fairphone yet permanently asking for when their next product will hit the market. If one isn’t into the costly “Fair” game to get related things better, stay out of it and keep up with conventional phones as complaining doesn’t help anyone in the supply chain.
I assume in the past with your conventional phones you always had the latest Android version in use and security patches were only a month old. I’m curious which manufacturer beside Google itself kept their old phones up to date to the latest Android OS and regularly provided security patches each month even after 4 years. To be “fair” it does look like this game has changed in the recent past since Fairphone has entered the stage, but not long ago thing still were this way.

@yvmuell

Nice, you got it how the “Fair” game works, unfortunately there are still too many who are not open or unable to follow although Fairphone is some about 8 years in the business already.

@DeepSea

It sounds like you not only read the users manual but also did fully comprehend how to handle any mobile phone properly.

I don’t know where all these technical issues reported come from, but I meanwhile do believe having golden hands if it comes to technical items - they just run and run and run.

As I have mentioned above already - simply the wrong game here, this all here is about Fairphone not “unfair” devices.
…second/third/fourth… switching your neighbor could help keeping you off from being forced to permanently purchase new mobile phones filling up your drawer.

Oh, my bad - sorry I accidently assumed you were out for a community comment. Again wrong place here.

Alternatively it’s your free will (mind your neighbor though :wink: )to purchase any unfair device meeting your expectations as Fairphone is not yet playing in the top league.

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@Patrick1 : I agree with you in many things. But I don’t agree with you in the way you express your opinion and how you don’t allow other opinions to be valid.
And just to clarify: I make my own decisions and am not a puppet of “my neighbor” or the society as a whole as you think I am.

I have no problem using an old phone as long as the software is patched with the latest security updates. This is not just my opinion but generally accepted; software has to be as safe as possible by keeping it up to the latest security patches - no matter if it is a PC, Mac or Smartphone.

I used my previous non-fair smartphone for six years by ensuring software security with LineageOS. I don’t want to do that anymore and that’s why I bought the FP3+ to have at least five years of support from the manufacturer. The fact that the security patches now appear much more irregularly than they should (and than other manufacturers do within their support periods, as I see with the phones used by my friends and family) is my main criticism - and I believe that my criticism is justified.

I like the idea behind Fairphone and like to defend Fairphone against unjustified criticism - as you can read in many threads of this forum and even in this thread here. But still there are points of criticism and I hope that they still can be addressed freely even if you don’t agree.
Not acknowledging opinions other than your own and accusing all of us of exaggerated expectations instead of constructive criticism does neither help Fairphone nor this forum.

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Then, please share your experiences with Fairphone support, I am highly interested.

I would use the term “bashing” for unrelated/ungrounded criticism from e.g. a person who never owned/used a Fairphone, but that has never been the case. And it is obvious that Fairphone cannot cope with higher quality measures from other smartphone manufacturers, or why do so many users have issues with their bottom modules or software failures? Steve Jobs once said, “you are holding it wrong!”, which is what I think is happening here, too. I am a Fairphone user, too, and I should have learned my lesson and bought another phone after the core module of my first FP2 died. But I chose to get a used FP2, only to experience almost the same issue(s) that I had before again. E.g., one issue that tortures me the most is the lousy voicecall quality, I always have to use the other microphone in handsfree mode, otherwise nobody can hear me well, and I must hold my ear to the loudspeaker while using handsfree mode to understand anything the other person says. (Please do not give advices like “you should exchange your SIM card”, it has nothing to do with it…)

The only reason I stick to my FP2 is because I do not want to buy another phone and see the world more and more polluted with electronic waste such as the FP2. (I am really sorry that I have to write this!) And I better not sell this thing to anyone, it would give a bad impression to people who are having good thoughts about fair products…

I have been a community member for quite a long time here, and I am very well aware that this forum is not moderated by Fairphone support staff, although my question has been addressed to Fairphone. Their reply would be “oh, so sorry to read that you are having issues with your FP2. Unfortunately we cannot improve its quality anymore, but our current model FP3+ is so much better, would you like to give it a try? All the best, Fairphone” No, thank you, because I have read enough about it. The software failures (introduced with the move from Android 9 to 10) are evident, and the software quality assurance (in China?) does not get the job done to fix issues accordingly. And a bug tracker does not exist at all. This is no Fairphone bashing, because the facts are on the table, nothing more, nothing less…

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I feel the same, so disappointed with the service, My screen had slight scratch in it on first day, put screen protector on it, so not effecting but not what you expect from new phone, told to get a friend to take a picture, I will have to now remove the protector, and not easy to take picture of a light scratch on a screen.
Bit disappointed to hear, just after purchasing they will be launching the 5g.
I have already informed two friends not to purchase.

To be honest, that was not the right way how to deal with the situation. You should have contacted Fairphone right away after you recognized the scratch on the display, and ask for an immediate exchange. If you do nothing, Fairphone think that you are a satisfied customer…

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I did try and call (No UK customer service No) no answer, I eventually sent an email, the same day and had to wait two weeks for a reply, they first sent general email telling me to contact the company I bought it from. then two weeks later telling me to take a picture, my only camera is my phone?? by then I had received the screen cover.
I cant afford to be without a phone for the issue to be resolved.
To be honest, I personally I dint think its s not the right way how to deal with the situation. and a brand new customer, would you not agree?

That is correct, because Fairphone cannot exclude that the display was scratched by the dealer (from whom you bought the phone).

You could have asked someone else to take a picture and send it to you. As your nick reveals that you might run/are employed (at) a repair cafe, I believe that the Fairphone is not the only camera/phone which you have access to.

Did you follow their advice to contact the dealer? Of course, a delay of two weeks in answering your request is unacceptable, but in regard to the process itself I do not know how they could have done better. The dealer is responsible to ship an “untouched” phone, not Fairphone themselves (unless you ordered the phone directly at Fairphone)…

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At least you invested in something that is super important for the phone world: conflict free minerals, better wages, fair play, recycled gold.

It was not in vain, so do enjoy that!

I keep my FF2 in a protective sleeve/purse when i throw it in my bag, and i am more carefull with it as it is not as sturdy as my iphone. My Other Phone.

We are changing the world and the ways of the people. Thanks for being part of the trip, Nicolas!

Im still happy i put my money in this company! YEAHY Jippy!

Toetsie

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Just replaced my FP2 with a 3+. Biggest problem for me was random reboots which I never resolved.Now being used by other half who uses an old text only phone for main phone. Other issue was when using it as satnav in warm weather it would inevitably overheat leading to battery not charging and phone going dead.

Other half seems to have few problems with it but is not using it nearly as intensively.

Really pleased with my FP3+ though.

If I get a new Phone I will also turn my back to Fairphone.
The Fairphone 2 was a really shitty experience for me. Hiccup shows that it generated over 1500 crashreports. But the most disappointing thing for me was that when I contacted support I had the impression they didn’t acknowledge the problems.
As far as I know the Fairphone 1 wasn’t a good product either but my impression was they recognized it and tried to make it better. I may would have given Fairphone another chance if I was sure they know about the problems and they try to do better but because my impression is they think the Fairphone 2 is an acceptable product and they ignoring the problems I can’t trust them to now make an acceptable product.

In my eyes the FP2 is an acceptable product and Fairphone def recognized the issues and e.g. therefore the FP3 is less modular/less easy to open than the FP2

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I totally understand frustration with the FP2, as it was flawed by design, as has been posted in this forum numerous times already. Modularity to the max came at a price too high regarding sturdiness and reliability. Changing the display without any tools and a really flexible frame/casing were the main problems. that caused lots of troubles, as the flexible design is imposing stress on the modules and contacts.

The FP3(+) already is a totally different piece of cake. Sturdy (and large) as a small brick and the display fixed with 13 screws, to name just 2 points, it avoids all the troubles that made the FP2 so flawed for many users.

There were bigger troubles with the OS upgrade and support leaves room for improvement; judging by this forum entries. And there are some people experiencing hardware troubles as well.

To cut it short.
The FP2 should not be the product to be judging Fairphone on. They tried and went one step too far, but the already did better and made an acceptable product (at least in my opinion) regarding the FP3(+).

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