English

Advocating a FP2 mini

design
Tags: #<Tag:0x00007efe5f558480>

#1

Introduction

Continuing :

Now we can re-open the discussion, as we are numerous having the FP2 since enough time to collect meaningfull feedback on this point.

Cases

2 days ago, I was walking of the street, with big bags of vegetables and an appointment not to miss. I put all the bags in my left hand and took the FP2 in the right one. I was unable to securily grip the phone, and pilote OSMand~ at the same time. My fingers are to short to fix the phone in a position allowing for the thumb to do something on the other side of the screen. So the phone was, from time to time, in an instable equilibrium and an involuntary bump would have precipitate it on the floor, which is such : bad feeling speaking about a half a thousand euros device. And my hands stopped growing since a little while now. So yes, my point of view is the same as @Ikraav, the FP2 is uncomfortably too big.

Another reason is that the battery can’t last more than 2 days, even with no WiFi, even in 2G-only, and polling the data only once every 1h (BatteryFu from F-Droid), even with brightness at 33%… With a smaller screen, we would be able to actually use the phone, and get more autonomy.

It would definitly help making it cheaper. Cheaper to buy, cheaper to replace screen-module. Currently, most of the people I proudly show the blue-tinted goats of the beast look at it like if I was doing well, but off the reality with a so expensive device. Lets meet your market. Currently only compagny owners are buying it (for whom I convinced to).

Then, if you are to make a compressed model, lets get it non-symetrical, adding striations on one half of the backcover, in ordre to know in which position you hold the phone right out of your pocket. (I still can’t predict from what side I’m holding the brick…)

Screens are not all getting bigger… Samsung made a Galaxy S4 mini for instance (4.3", thin borders). A great product (running CyanogenMod ;-)).

Facts

[Edit on 2016-03-24 to consolidate info here]
Some more statistics mainly from GSMArena.com…

Nokia, at its best, offered an N97, and 6 months after an N97 mini.
N97 screen size : 3.2" (2009)
N900 screen size : 3,5" (2009)
N9 screen size : 3,9" (2011) no physical keyboard

Samsung Galaxy S phones all come with a mini version:
S3 mini screen size : 4"
S4 mini screen size : 4.3"
S5 mini screen size : 4,5" (2014)
S6 mini screen size : ??“
S7 mini screen size : 4.6” (rumors)

Sony Compact series:
Z1 compact : 4.3"
Z3 compact : 4.6"
Z4 compact : 4.7"
Z5 compact : 4.6" (2015-10)

Interesting to see that the screen size did reduce between the Z4 and the Z5. Less is better here.

iPhone mainstream series:
4 : 3.5" (2010 ; Steve Jobs died in 2011-10)
5 : 4" (2012-09)
6 : 4.7" (2015-09)
SE : 4" (2016-03)

Still smaller than FP2.
Newer is smaller again.

Apple on Steve Jobs era conducted experimental researchs concluding than the 3.5" will always be the size to be.
Gizmodo (2011) : This Is Why the iPhone’s Screen Will Always Be 3.5 Inches https://gizmodo.com/5847981/this-is-why-the-iphones-screen-will-always-be-35-inches

Touching the upper right corner of the screen on the Galaxy S II using one hand, with its 4.27-inch screen, while you’re walking down the street looking at Google Maps, is extremely difficult and frustrating. I pulled out my iPhone 4 to do a quick test, and it turns out that when you hold the iPhone in your left hand and articulate your thumb, you can reach almost exactly to the other side of the screen.

Other mini series:

  • Motorola DROID mini : 4.2" (2013)
  • HTC One mini 2 : 4.5" (2014-05)
  • OnePlus Mini : 4.6" (rumors)

Regarding screen size : the phone thickness can, more or less, be converted in accessible screen area, as a thin phone allows a grip in a position where the thumb is dominating a bit more the screen.

And, as a matter of completness, the edge width (around the screen) is also an optimisable variable, but no edge means muscles of the thumb are touching the sensitive part of the screen… which must result in erratic movements.

Conclusion

So phone makers are merely all offering “hand-sized” phones, in addition to bigger and bigger screens presented as mainstream…
They might be making bigger screens just because they miss another improvement to announce. Still, my hands are not growing anymore, and I don’t want to watch videos on my cellphone.

My opinion on this matter is that a good market positionning for an FP2 mini would be 3.5" screen size to establish a clear difference (and lets consider 4" max if it’s technically way too difficult to achieve 3.5").

This would address a clear other segment of the market. And a 4" FP3 would be a one-size-fits-all product…


Fairphone 2 is way too expensive for me and many friends
Fairphone in your pocket? (Is FP2 too big)
Would like a 6" to 7" screen, and OpenBSD and IrDA
Small form factor model
How to make a FairPhone a real fine need fitter
#2

Thy speaketh the truth sir


#3

I’m all for “smaller” phones.

The questions is how well the size works with the modular concept. I think they went a bit too far with the FP2. Not everything has to be a “module”. I think screen, connectors, camera, battery, and the flash storage are the most interesting parts in a phone you want to be able to replace.

A S4 mini looks pretty useful for a phone. But I fear more and more people think of their phone as a pet and just don’t want a toy dog, I guess :slight_smile: Also more and more people use their phones for … let’s say “video conferencing”, this also drives the need for bigger screens (=better, higher resolutions screens). Some people want the smartphone to become the new personal “primary computer”.

So it looks like the current trick is: Most phones right now get taller and taller (iPhone 6 “plus”). The phone still somehow fits in the hand … turn it around and you have a nice dysfunctional computer that tracks you. :wink:


#4

If there was a choice I’d prefer a smaller phone as well.


#5

The size is one of the top reasons which kept me from ordering the FP2, so I fully support the side topic starter.


#6

Just logged in to increase the number of responses agreeing to OP, hopefully it will grow to a point where the company notices and takes it into account.


#7

Fairphone mini would be perfect!


#8

I’m finding myself having joint pains in my hands which I can only attribute to the FP2, to the point that I’m genuinely considering having to give up and get a different phone which I really don’t want to do, so I’d certainly prefer a smaller version.


#9

I totally agree. I bought a FP2 because I needed a phone but it’s size was the one thing that made me hesitate. I know a few people who need a new phone and just won’t buy the FP2 because it’s too big.


#10

I love the idea of new products like a smaller Fairphone and a Fairtablet. But, I think for now it is most important to first make the FP2 actually WORK. There are too many crashes, too many random reboots, too many apps that don’t work etc. And deliver the phones that are ordered to the customers. Many people are still waiting.
Then the discussion can come to expand the market to other continents, or new products.


#11

Some more statistics mainly from GSMArena.com…

Nokia, at its best, offered an N97, and 6 months after an N97 mini.
N97 screen size : 3.2" (2009)

Samsung Galaxy S phones all come with a mini version:
S3 mini screen size : 4"
S4 mini screen size : 4.3"
S5 mini screen size : 4,5" (2014)
S6 mini screen size : ??“
S7 mini screen size : 4.6” (rumors)

Sony Compact series:
Z1 compact : 4.3"
Z3 compact : 4.6"
Z4 compact : 4.7"
Z5 compact : 4.6" (2015-10)

Interesting to see that the screen size did reduce between the Z4 and the Z5. Less is better here.

iPhone mainstream series:
4 : 3.5" (2010 ; Steve Jobs died in 2011-10)
5 : 4" (2012-09)
6 : 4.7" (2015-09)
SE : 4" (2016-03)

Still smaller than FP2.
Newer is smaller again.

Apple on Steve Jobs era conducted experimental researchs concluding than the 3.5" will always be the size to be.
Gizmodo (2011) : This Is Why the iPhone’s Screen Will Always Be 3.5 Inches https://gizmodo.com/5847981/this-is-why-the-iphones-screen-will-always-be-35-inches

Touching the upper right corner of the screen on the Galaxy S II using one hand, with its 4.27-inch screen, while you’re walking down the street looking at Google Maps, is extremely difficult and frustrating. I pulled out my iPhone 4 to do a quick test, and it turns out that when you hold the iPhone in your left hand and articulate your thumb, you can reach almost exactly to the other side of the screen.

Other mini series:

  • Motorola DROID mini : 4.2" (2013)
  • HTC One mini 2 : 4.5" (2014-05)
  • OnePlus Mini : 4.6" (rumors)

So phone makers are merely all offering “hand-sized” phones, in addition to bigger and bigger screens presented as mainstream…
They might be making bigger screens just because they miss another improvement to announce. Still, my hands are not growing anymore, and I don’t want to watch videos on my cellphone.

My opinion on this matter is that a good market positionning for an FP2 mini would be 3.5" screen size. (and lets consider 4" max if it’s technically way too difficult to achieve 3.5")

This would address a clear other segment of the market. And a 4" FP3 would be a one-size-fits-all product…


#12

@Donsemann Making useless tablets just killed Jolla. I would not advise Fairphone to go towards more toy-products.

Then, from my point of view, once rooted (and so common bugs fixed) I’m happy with the current stability, but maybe using free-software heavily-tested apps from F-Droid (current counter: 64) help in the process. Then, for the bugs I seen, I reported 8 of them directly to upstream developers when it was looking hardware and OS independant.

I have acceptable flickering in low light, or when scrolling.
Acceptable touchscreen craziness (it just needs to be kept clean).

I agree shipments are still taking months once ordered and it seems too long.

But I hope there are people already thinking to the next step of Fairphone, and I’m advocating for this one, as it looks like requiring minimum hardware efforts and merely no software effort at all (providing the FairphoneOSOS will arrive before :wink: and still, SailfishOS2 looks in the way to be ready before !).


#13

With less container modules 4.6" would make sense. But I guess 5" and above allow a bit more wiggle room for modules. Also it would be nice to reuse some parts between the different phones (batteries, camera, connector), so they don’t need to stock more new parts. I still think it’s a drawback that the FP2 cannot use a “standard” cellphone battery from the market.

Can you elaborate on this? I thought FP does not have a official bug tracker? Or are you talking of Google as upstream?


#14

I didn’t know Jolla was dead. I though they had good success with their tablets. In the long run I do agree with you that there should be a smaller maybe cheaper option of FP available. I’m not an engineer but maybe designing a FP3 and a FP3mini at the same time isn’t such a bad idea. Important to keep the good stuff like double sim and exchangeable parts though. And a good idea to stick with phones.

My last phone was an iPhone 4S. The larger size took a little getting used to. But that was really the least problematic. The smaller sized phone was better for making calls and handling on the run. The larger is better for browsing the net and reading newspapers online. I guess it’s a personal preference what you like and it would be nice to have the choice.


#15

I guess it will be hard to use the same modules (that have to be the same size) in a mini-version of a FP.


#16

About the possibility of a mini version of the FP2: I’m quite sure it will never happen.

Last Thursday I was at an event in Vienna where a study on “How fair is the Fairphone” was presented. Tina was there too and talked about the Fairphone and answered some questions from the audience. I’ll repeat some points she made that - in my opinion - make a FP2 mini a very low probability:

  • The FP2 was designed from the inside out. They first planned what comes into the Fairphone (Minerals, Modularity, dual SIM, …) without thinking about the design and size of the phone. So the size just happened.
  • The design/patents… cost a lot. I don’t remember the exact sum but in was on the scale of millions. Tina said even slight design changes and new modules would again cost a lot and they don’t have that kind of money just laying around. Atm there are plans for a new camera module but no other changes.
  • The cost of the FP2 is a bit higher than comparable phones (although I always wonder how you compare the only fair and modular phone with other phones). The reason for that is not a “fairness bonus” but caused by the small production quantities. My guess in Fairphone won’t create many different versions of their phones but rather try to get the quantities up for the one phone.

Is there a source for the "How fair is the Fairphone" presentation?
Is the Fairphone 2 price justified?
Smartphone failure rates
#17

@fp1_wo_sw_updates By “upstream” I mean directly to the developpers of the softwares I use:

@Donsemann I was refering this news : Sailfish OS creator Jolla will restructure debt, cut half its workforce https://finance.yahoo.com/news/sailfish-os-creator-jolla-restructure-131828130.html


#18

Regarding screen size : the phone thickness can, more or less, be converted in accessible screen area, as a thin phone allows a grip in a position where the thumb is dominating a bit more the screen.

And, as a matter of completness, the edge width (around the screen) is also an optimisable variable, but no edge means muscles of the thumb are touching the sensitive part of the screen… which must result in erratic movements.


#19

Thanks @paulakreuzer for your substantiated answer.

I still hope an FP2 mini will appear.

I bought an FP2 to support the project, this is done.

Now, I’m really not confortable with the fact you must plug it once every two days, constantly having to check this parameter to get actuel services from the device (will it last until tomorow morning ? Until I reach the appointment ? Until the the end of the meeting ?) And using a regular USB port to reload it, the FP2 just spend 10% of its time plugged.

(Not to mention that my cover (also) cracked within the 1st month of use…)


#20

I think most smartphone users plug in their smartphones every overnight. So they only have a problem when their battery lasts less than 18 hours.

I have also seen this effect. On a PC USB port, charging is much slower than with a dedicated charger.