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Advice on whether I should stick with Fairphone or opt for a new device?

HI,
I have a 4 year old Fairphone2, and I bought for all the reasons of sustainability, repairability, wanting use more ethical materials etc. - so I know all the ethical reasons for sticking with Fairphone.

I now have a series of niggly stuff that just isn’t working properly, to the point that I am now feeling like it is a liability - and unfortunately, these are not repairable components like “replace the camera”, but I fear more about the fact that the OS, CPU and memory just can’t keep up with the requirements of current websites, apps etc. I am using the standard android build. I don’t use the phone for anything crazy, I don’t have that many apps, in fact I deinstalled stuff like the Facebook app because I had identified it was making performance worse. I have a reasonable amount of storage free (about 4GB).

I am now at the point where my phone is verging on the unusable, and see my options as follows:

  1. Put up with it. I have seen in some posts about doing a factory reset, but I really don’t want to do that, as it would take me so long to get everything back to how I want it, and fear it wouldn’t actually fix anything (I did it once before about 2 years ago and it didn’t actually improve on any performance issues, which I had back then too)
  2. Buy a FP3 - I fear it will also not last as long as you would expect a sustainable phone to last, and have seen lots of posts about build quality etc which makes me hesitant
  3. Ditch Fairphone and buy a different phone which actually works

I would really appreciate some impartial advice (i.e. don’t try to “convert me” back to FP because of ethics - I know all that…) Is it worth investing in a FP3? Is there anything else worth trying to save my FP2?

[tl;dr]
What are the problems?

  • Wifi can’t reconnect (Workaround - flip on airplane mode and back off - have to do this about 20 times a day)
  • Wifi disconnects after about 20 minutes during wifi based calls such as whatsapp - requires multiple reconnects, and as I barely get a mobile signal, I am dependent on using voice apps for calling friends
  • Incredible slowness when opening up screen to “quickly check something” - frequently takes a couple of minutes to bring up the app I am looking for, really annoying when I am for instance lost and trying to check a map
  • App comes up but screen then goes black (e.g. whatsapp, mail, browser) for several minutes, then I get invited to close the apps because it is not responding
  • Random reboots - phone is sitting on table, not moving, not in use, suddenly restarts - not related to OS updates
  • Very poor mobile signal - I have a mobile wifi router using a sim from the same provider, and get enough mobile signal to run 2 people WFH off it, but when I am standing next to my router, I am barely able to make a call on my phone.

Hi,

I have the same question here… The random reboots I recognise, together with the following problems:

  • The screen suddenly freezes and a lot of coloured lines appear and dissappear again after a couple of minutes
  • Sometimes the touch does not work, and I need to reboot.
  • The camera doesn’t work anymore --> lots of coloured lines as well (which is super annoying because I can’t scan QR-codes either…
  • When I call people, the caller cannot hear me unless I put myself on speaker or I use a microphone.
  • The sound of my phone (on speaker) often doesn’t work (and suddenly it does again…
  • The phone doesn’t charge anymore properly. I removed the case + I put the phone in a certain angle to recharge.

At this moment I would like to send it in for a complete check-up and repair. Off cours I want to pay the costs… But not sure wheter it is possible or worth a try…

Best regards from Belgium!

Hi @Jennifer_Volk

I am sorry, that you do have so many troubles with your FP2.
A first step always is to disassemble and clean the phone.
For cleaning I would recommend a fine brush or a can with pressurised air to remove dust and debris and > 90% isopropyl alcohol (and a q-tip) to clean the contacts.
To be honest, I have no idea, if that already could be enough to solve the troubles. I rather doubt it, but it’s good to do it anyways.

Since the phone seems to be under stress, not able to open apps; did you check, if there are some apps “running wild” and causing lots of work for the phone in the background?
E.g. check the memory useage Settings -> Memory
The page will show you some basic infos on the average memory use for up to the last day.

Furthermore you could use the Checkup tool (Settings > Maintenance > Checkup ).
There are different tests, e.g. for Mobile connectivity and Wi-Fi, that you can perform, to check, if there are any problems.


Regarding this concern of yours

I guess, you can rest assured.
Even the FP1 running on Android 4.2 / 4.4 does still manage most apps sufficiently and the factor I find limiting use the most on the FP1 ist the memory; which is no trouble with the FP2 / FP3(+) anymore.
And, since there is Android 9 for the FP2 in the making (beta-testing phase), the phone will be technically fine “for years to come”; as long as you don’t want 3D-gaming, 4K-videos or the like.

2 Likes

Hey Jennifer,

as the Wifi-issues seem to be a big part of your inconveniences, you might want to check if you are running on the latest updates. The last updates tackled some Wifi problems, that plagued the FP2. Although their bug-tracker is still filling with Wifi related problems.

Do you have the same issues with other Wifis apart from the one at home? Some bug-reports seem to indicate, that the Wifi problems are sometimes related to the Wifi-Router in use.

@Sarah_Beurms: you may want to open another thread for your questions. They seem to me more like hardware problems with your modules and not very related to Jennifer’s issues. So responses and solutions for Jennifer would probably not fit your situation well. Please correct me, if I’m wrong here.

Edit: removed Android 9 remarks, to avoid redundancy with BertG

1 Like

Hi Bert,
thanks for your response. I will try cleaning inside, and hope I don’t break anything! The main memory users appear to be Android System and O/S and Google Play services, there is nothing particular that is jumping out at me.
The Wifi and mobile connectivity bits just tell me what I am connected to, but there do not appear to be any diagnostics I can run. I have the wifi reconnect/Airplane mode issue elsewhere, I have not tested calling on Wifi anywhere else, as I would not do that in someone else’s house :wink:

I will wait for the Android 9 upgrade and see if that helps. Thank you for your suggestions!

2 Likes

Maybe it is the time to change your FP2 … it has more than 5 years :slight_smile: … and simply be confident. I switched some months ago to Fairphone from major OEMs flagship becauce I’m tired of the willingness to chase the (un)progress of technology (ex. unprogress because we don’t need a 144hrz and similar useless stuff). What I could say to you, based on my experience is that:

  1. there is a bit performance gap with OEM flagships: 'cause SD632 is not a performance monster. But I can swear to you that it is not the end of the world, Android stock is smooth as the most other applications (game included … it is not a gamephone of course).
  2. FP3+ camera is good: I bought the rear module some days ago and the results is awesome.
  3. Best of the pleaure is holding a sustainable phone with 5 years of support and completely disassembly. I spleep well knowing I can change my battery whenerver I want :stuck_out_tongue:
  4. FP is THE ethical choice that make yourself recognized in that crowd of bored and equal phone design (traslucent backcover is stunning).
1 Like

Hi Kofi,
thanks for your suggestions. I am on 19.11.2 which appears to be the latest version, hopefully the OS 9 upgrade will resolve some of my issues.
Thanks,
Jen