Be honest! Why did you buy a Fairphone?

I’m interested in social technology/free software and for this reason I was first lurking then participating to this forum since long time, but I didn’t buy the device because I had (have) a still fully functional old S3. I was also a bit turned off by the long waiting list. When I knew some shop in my city were actually selling the phone, I pulled the trigger :grin: But it was a matter of time anyway.


I was one of the early subscribers for the FP1. Actully, I was angry about the injustice in the electronics industry and the fact that nothing was done about it. Just wanted to be part of that weird movement to prove that it is possible to do without injustice.
Later on, i found out that this would lead to a phone that is exactly what i wanted and even good support.
Another simple thing was that my old phone was completely worn-out, i wouldn’t have bought a FP to throw away another working phone. So i still use my old FP1.

  1. Goal to bring fairness into the production process
  2. Modularity
  3. Open OS
  4. Big Community
  1. Fair Trade Construction (No Guilt)
  2. Wanted an Open Source OS with no Google.
  3. Wanted to impress my friend who runs a Fair Trade clothing boutique
  4. Wanted that cool translucent back
  5. Wanted a replacement phone since mine was dying.

I bought my FP1U two years ago when my iPhone4 got lost in the snow somewhere and I just couldn’t find it and third batch of FP1 was to be launched. I really loved the initiative (still loving it), and am probably in the Ethical Consumer-kind of FP user, wanting to support the initiative, thinking that the specs and software issues didn’t mean so much to me, so there I found myself with a FP.

But it didn’t take me long before I started to doubt if I was willing to sacrify for example a decent camera, software updates and speed/smoothness for ethics again. And unfortunately I found that I could neither recommend FP (not the FP2 either) to other people unless I knew they were very committed to an idealistic lifestyle.

Now after two years with FP1U I’m tired of not being able to treat my phone as a normal smartphone. I deal everyday with its flaws, whether it’s its camera that disencourages me from taking photos when seeing something beautiful I normally would love to catch on camera, or it’s apps that don’t work or go slow. I’ve more than once wanted to throw it out of the window. So I’m about to replace it, what in itself is a defeat for me as a FP owner.

I will not buy a FP2. The price itself doesn’t scare me, I could even have paid more if needed. It’s the specs, the camera, the missing “up to date-ness” and such tings that withholds me from choosing a Fairphone again. I’m not at all into the alternative/open OS and anti-Google things that I see some of the more geeky people here are (even if I tried the Google free idea for some time), and I have to admit that there are some features newer software and better specs give me that I’m just not willing to sacrify when buying a new phone again.

That doesn’t mean that I’m not aware of ethics and don’t buy consciously. I look at rankings from for example Ethical Consumer in the UK, and even though no other phone can ever compete with FP ethically, I get to know which phones are the ethically less bad ones… So will I, and my goal is to keep my phone up and running for at least five years!

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Do you know that there will be a camera upgrade module? And that there soon will also be an update to Android Marshmallow? Anyway, Fairphone 2 receives monthly security updates, be it on Lollipop or future Android versions.


Hi @penttiv,

That’s hilarious af :joy: :joy: :joy:
#senseOfHumor #meGusta

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Hi @Willemien_Boland,

Me too :wink:

Of course, there are ways to already “experiment” with Andriod 4.4 on the FP1 (which has been mentioned in several comments in different discussions), but a lot of people just don’t like to experiment and want to have it officially (including me).

I am just curious and wondering: what would be your idea of a sustainable lifetime for a smartphone exactly? 4 years? 5 years? Longer? :thinking:

Cya :thumbsup:

PS: in May 2017, my FP1U will be hitting 3 years. After a lot of thinking, following different forum discussions and critics, I still decided to order a FP2 anyway. Just to support the concept of fairness and giving the :middle_finger: to the rest of the smartphone “industry” by proving things CAN change (maybe slow) for the better.


Hi @maxilian

Several of my tech/power-user friends always laugh at me whenever I am bringing up Fairphone because of its specs :hushed: and after looking at specs of other smartphones nowadays it’s hard to not admit that FP2 is not THAT up-to-date.

However, it’s always the question whether someone really NEEDS the fastest and newer components. For me (and most normal users) this is (luckily) not the case :slight_smile:

So I do agree on your other statement:


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I bought a Fairphone 1 for Ethical and environmental reasons.

after a while, I sent it for repair because of the poor GPS quality. They said motherboard had to be replaced at my charge because it fall once. I gave up !!! Quite disappointed

I owned then an HTC M8 dual Sim for a while. After 1.5 years, battery was almost dead. and It was buggy. So I came back to Fairphone with the 2nd version for same reasons. Ethical and environmental. Come on: Change a phone 1.5 years because of programmed obsolescence ? My M8 still sleeps on a shelf at home… I have to bring it for recycling.

But now, I’m fed up with my FairPhone 2. i don’t know if fairphone is to blame, or Google, or any other developer. But I’m totally fed up with these technologies ! I even think of buying a real phone like in the good old times, and to the rest with a tablet.

The phone is rebooting now and then. Sometimes during a call. Often while trying to make a call. Today, after I wrote a 25 lines message to a friends, and just before I send it ! obviously…

As a simple example: there is a well known bug when using “Aways ask” dual sim features for calls. If you don’t wait 10 seconds before to select the seem, the call does not happen, and very often, it just reboots ! I know the FairPhone splashscreen by heart, I’ve seen it so many times.

some other bugs: when the phone is rebooting and is encrypted, if you wait too many seconds before entering the phone security code, it asks for the SIM pin code. And if you enter the SIM PIN before the phone PIN, it reset the languages to the SIM language !!! And if SIM 1 was deactivated when the phone rebooted, there is nothing you can do ! because it asks the PIN code for the deactivated SIM, and therefore, it can’t activate it and you can’t do ANYTHING beside of turning on plane mode, remove the battery, and restart the phone !!! COME ON !!! So many bugs ! and I have other things to do then open support cases, report bugs, follow up, hope for a fix (the one with the dual sim selectiong is open since a long time by many users, and survived multiple software updates)…

So, what is the problem ? Is Ethical and Reliable not possible together ?!? Or is it just the way it is with technology ? (I should know, I work with computers and OSs since 25 years).

I’m a nomad. My Fairphone is an extension to my brain, my hands, my feet, my job, my life, my everything. It’s vital to me when I work, when I hike, when I run. It’s my social life main tool. Beeing far of main of my friends, it allow me to keep in touch. Perhaps that’s the problem. Perhaps I should just consider getting back to the roots of life. But hey, I’m not about to go leave in a cave, I am ?

Anyway: I just wish I had a FAIR phone, making my life as FAIR as it tries to do the world FAIR.

Today, I’ll try (again) to reset the phone… Let’s see where it goes.

Fact is: If I give up on the Fairphone 2, I will go against my ethical and environmental principles again !

Oh. question was: Why did you buy a Fairphone, right ! Well, I wonder…

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I bought a Fairphone because

  • the concept convinced me,
  • it met my few must-have requirements* and last but not least
  • Fairphone relieved me of having to choose between different models! :grin:

* Must play AAC files, must allow for storage expansion in order to eventually store my whole music collection and must make carrying an extra camera with me on my forest walks superfluous – admittedly, it failed on the last one.


4-5 years would be nice for sustainability, with the required updates supplied in time.


I used my Nokia C7 smartphone for seven years, it is still running, but of course there are no software updates and no updated apps.


It is still very surprising to read about FP2 owners who bought the device for wanting to turn it into something it never was promoted for.
It was clearly stated to be shipped with Android 5.1 Lollipop and the listed hardware specs.

As an early customer with pre-order no. 9601 I cannot recall any official information from Fairphone itself stating the handset would surely be able to run any (alternative) OS like Ubuntu touch, Sailfish OS, Marshmallow or other OS one day. It was clearly stated it will run Android 5.1.

So there are owners selling their phones again because now it seems clear that their expectations most sure will not be satisfied.

I just can hope for them “lesson-learned”. It is not very wise to purchase something having wrong expectations and then start to complaint and sell again being disappointed. For more than 500€ I would not have taken this approach.

What was not fully clear was which problems the phone would have to be solved over time if possible.
But what was fully clear was the fact that it was not designed to run any other OS than Lollipop (FPOOS).
So if there are now preferred working alternatives to the two mentioned OS, fine. But if not - hopefully now some have their lesson learned.
This situation can also be adopted to other things in life.

I still think FP2 is a great product worth the money.


That is right because Fairphone is very cautious in giving any promise on new Android versions.

But I expect new Android versions anyways:

  1. I expect new Android versions which came out within 3 years after purchase of the (new) phone for every smartphone regardless of the price. I give the phone manufacturer 2 years after release of the new Android version to distribute it onto his smartphones.
  2. The Fairphone is designed for sustainability and for long lifetime. So I expect to receive new Android versions as long as possible, at least for five years after purchase (also Fairphone has two years time after release to distribute the new Android version). Only with new software, the Fairphone is sustainable and has a long lifetime, because I think that Lollipop is severely outdated in some years. (Look at Jelly Bean, that seems to be outdated today as many users are complaining that their apps and gadgets aren’t working with Jelly Bean.)

If a phone manufacturer is not able to provide new software versions because of external reasons, I expect that he tells those reasons to its customers and also tell how he will avoid that issue in future models.

Yes, I do not know many other manufacturer doing different here.

  1. Afaik FP is actually working on to get Marshmallow out the door for FP2. So, they determined in advance if it would work and now as they know it is in the works.
    There is a gap between an OS release and the hardware release. FP was still mainly involved in getting the hardware finished and shipped at the time as Android 6 was officially launched. So I assume they rather decided for the already finished and available Lollipop version. Maybe not having to put too much of their limited resources into this parts - matching the newest Android version to the hardware which is still in the works. I think the hardware should always have higher priority over the software as major faults in design can result in a massive disaster maybe to get the entire product lost (as with Samsung). Some things can be fixed by software though (e.g. left/right audio output issue).

…Phone, so there is still some time left, FP2 was shipped about 13 months ago. And Android 6 is in the works actually.

  1. Yes I agree with you in parts.

Yes, in some years to come - so let them come while FP is doing its best to catch up with their available resources. Atm I cannot see that the majority of apps is made for Android 6 only, but rather updated apps to run with 5 & 6 and sometimes even Android 7.

Nothing is future proof, so some things turn out after time and no one can foresee them right from the start. FP also had to learn their lesson. Maybe they would do some things different now as they have done. So for us it is to wait for Android 6 to come.

Generally spoken my point was not having expectations on Android updates but owners wanting to run a completely different OS like Ubuntu or Sailfish. Purchasing something with wrong expectations and selling it later again is only a sure way to waste money.

Before FP(2) was launched the majority of smartphoners had no problem to have a replacement every 1-2 years (someone must have made the big boys fat). Now there is an option to keep the handset for longer but now there are surprisingly many other expectations on it beside longevity.

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I heard about the Fairphone two years ago and I was already fascinated by the great concept at that point. But I had a working phone and also did not want to spend 500€ at that point.
A few weeks ago I lost my phone on the train and it wasn’t found anywhere, so I decided I need a new one. And for me it was clear before that if I bought a new smartphone, it would be the Fairphone.
For me it is about the ethics behind it, as well as the concept with all the replaceable modules and the therefore extended lifetime of the phone. Also I am a bit clumsy and drop my phone so often that it probably is a really good idea to buy one with single replaceable modules.


I was following news about Fairphone as soon as the first one was announced, but I had no need for a new phone for a while.
Now I bought one, and of course all of the selling points of the Fairphone project played a big role in that decision.

But overall, I most want to have control over this “little PC” a smartphone is to me. Microsoft, Google and Apple all want me to backup and sync my stuff at their respective places and want to know everything they can get their hands on about me, but even if I understand their business interests as much as I’m aware of which economic/political system I’m living in, I don’t like that.
As in general I (still) can do what I choose with my PC, I want to have that freedom of choice with my smartphone, too.
And besides all other great reasons for a Fairphone, it just gives me this freedom of choice.
Want to have Android with Google? Can do. Don’t want Google? Can do. Want to use community ports of other promising OSes? Can do. Want to backup or sync your stuff locally? Can do. Want to fiddle around with it to your heart’s content? Can do :slight_smile: .

I wish this approach to a smartphone and producing electronics in general every success.


A post was merged into an existing topic: I want FP2 to be waterproof!

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