Better camera module needed now?

Do we really need a new camera module now?
For me, a new camera module is less important. The pics aren’t as bad as
I read in the tests. It is still a smartphone, not a camera. At least I use the
smartphone cam for snapshots only, I don’t know, how you guys use it.
I think, the hardware base is good for now. Now the spareparts delivery
should be ensured. What do you think, what would happen, if FP announces
a new camera module? The orders would explode, and the delivery
problems, too. That wouldn’t be a good move.


I still have my FP1U only, so I cannot judge the current FP2 camera’s quality. Regarding delivery, I think this would only become more complex if the new camera module was introduced in addition to the existing one (instead of replacing and discontinuing the old camera altogether).

1 Like

So you do think that a lot of people want a better camera?


No, but they would order one if available I think. I would also do so, although I don’t need one.
Wouldn’t you, too?
I came to this topic, as some people talking about an upcoming new module, because FP did
some camera fixes with the last update.
I am happy with the hardware for now. The problem are the software and the spareparts. I am
glad, that I did not need any parts until now. But my FP is just about 4 weeks old.
I don’t think, that FP is planning a camera module in the near future. There are enough other
problems with the hardware to solve. They will do anything to make the spareparts available
again, I think. Or better, I hope.

1 Like

But why would you order a new camera module, if your “old” camera, is good enough for your usage?


For the same price than the current, to take the best out of the device.
Don’t you buy things sometimes, you don’t really need?
The thing is not, if I would buy a new module, it is if a new module is needed.
In every device test I read, there was the poor camera. People know this before
they order a FP. But why developing new parts when the current parts are not in
stock? The major plus is the availability of spare parts. But that should be ensured.
And I think FP will do so. When they don’t make it to get parts in stock, they have
nothing more, where they can score. Fair production only is not the cause of the
Maybe we should open a thread, where the users tell the REAL reason for buying
a FP.

Edid: I did:

Ironclad logic! :confused: I think/hope most FP customers have left this way of thinking behind them when they joined the Fairphone Movement.

They have been talking about it for some months now.

Why would hardware upgrades and software improvements be mutually exclusive?

I don’t think it makes a difference to the factory whether they produce a new or an old module, so this shouldn’t influence the waiting time.


I do, I desperately do! Granted, the currently existing module is not as bad as portrayed sometimes and is quite decent. And it’s more than sufficient for snapshots. However, I have a wee kid and my phone has become an incredibly important tool for all them pictures and videos. And those situations are usually spontaneous and not staged, meaning very little time to take a picture, meaning using your smartphone is the only real option.

So why do I need a better module? Because I want to treasure those moments for the next decades and some of them in good enough quality to hang up the wall. In bigger than just postcard format. And the lighting is also quite often not perfect. So if there’s a significant better camera module it will most certainly be a must have for me!


After reading FP2 reviews I was surprised about the camera, it is quite good.
I’m a photographer and when I need really good pictures I take the appropriate camera for the job.

I don’t know if I would by a better camera for the my FP2. And what is better? I certainly don’t need more pixels.


Let me try an other explanation. I would buy a better camera module when available.
But I can wait. I would also buy a wireless charger or a NFC backcover. I would buy
such hardware improvements, they make my FP better. But I can wait for that.
When my phone is broken, I don’t want to wait for months to get parts.
And as we see with the cover, FP is producing both variants, the slim and the regular.
The number of possible components should not be increased for now.
I descriped in the above topic, why I bought a FP.
And don’t say, you never buy things you don’t really need. Sometimes you only want
I started this topic to say, that I don’t need a better camera for NOW. That does not
mean, I want or need it never. I want spare parts within a maximum of 2 weeks
when I need them. The FP is my primary device. When it breaks I will have no phone
for months?

So you’d buy them eventually even if they were available on Monday? Then I misunderstood you.

Why not?

Well when I was a child I bought lots of stuff I didn’t need, but now I at least always consider benefit and impact before buying anything.

I still don’t get why you think a new module would keep you from getting spare parts in time.

The more modules, the more effort. I read, FP lost an important
coordinator in China. And the success of the FP2 was “unexpected”.
That is why the production sticks. I read this on several online
magazines. Is that information faulty? What is the current time to get
a new display or bottom module? That are currently the most needed
modules. And in one or two years, it will also be the battery. I would be
very amused, not to get a replacement for my broken display, but all
other get new camera modules. Everything’s ok, with an intact device.

Benefit and impact has nothing to do with need or want.

But let’s stay in topic. Would a new cam module coming now make
things better?

I guess most reviews were written close after release of the phone. The software (probably drivers as well) increased significantly since the phone got released. For example the horrible streaks most pictures had in the corners more or less disappeared after some updates.

Thus, I don’t think that reviews from shortly after the phone’s release are still valid in all points, thanks to several software updates.


This I would understand as “technical advancements reserved”. Doing any other move like offering both modules at once I would consider as making less sense. But what about defective modules in their warranty period? Therefore some should be kept back (but only internal). In case of repairs at least an offer should be given to affected customers if they want to stick with the free original, or pay extra for the advanced version. I would be into this in case. Think about other modules to come maybe.


Aha, are there - which ones? I can only remember of the camera module with its focusing issue.
Some people report having serious problems with their displays.

Generally I believe many hardware / software troubles are due to less quality assurance checks. Some users experience troubles which others don´t even know about.

Oh yes, it does. Such parts are produced on pick-and-place machines running 25/7 (saving one hour a day as machines don´t need any break. Simple German way of calculating :grin:).

So the machines needs food hence to this each single part has to be available in a least quantity (mostly sold as belt). Otherwise setting up and reconfiguring the machine will not be beneficial.
If you only have a small production run and only need a small quantity the price of each single part will increase. Some manufacturers don´t take your contract under a certain quantity.
They may put your production run on a later schedule giving bigger jobs priority.
It is not easy to estimate how many spare parts are needed. Furthermore if only one part is missing there won´t be a production run at all.
Now consider how high is the demand on phone cameras with only 8MP?


I would simply do it to support the company :wink: and then sell or maybe freely give away my earlier replaced module to someone who has a totally broken one but do not have higher expectations on the camera.


For whom? Sure designing new modules takes efforts. But should the Fairphone Team’s designers better sit idly by watching the developers and support people being busy or should they do something useful with their time too?

Designing a new module doesn’t change the ratio of modules produced. It would indeed be very stupid if Fairphone now decided to make the factory produce a giant batch of new cameras before refilling their stocks of spare parts. But you can’t actually believe that would ever happen do you?

I can only need something if it benefits me and I don’t want anything that has a bad impact unproportionate to it’s benefit. So how are they not connected?

No, I’m sure they want to create a new camera module that takes worse pictures than the current one. They just want to trick you to get your money, that’s what Fairphone is all about! Joking aside: It sure wouldn’t make anything worse and even if the camera is not as bad as you’d expect reading reviews, it’s still one of the most criticized aspect of the phone.
But who knows? Maybe they really disbanded the plans for a new camera module for now and instead introduced improvements on the software side.

1 Like

With hardware problems I mean the availability. I have no hardware problems with my device.
Not yet.

Exactly! The quantity is too low. For those comanies that are almost single productions. And
that costs many times more than mass production. That is why electronics are so cheap
today. Do you remember, what computers or televisons cost before SMD manufacturing?
Me and my family used a tv until it died and wasn’t to repair again. And that were at least
15 years. I am a television technician. But I cannot remember, when I repaired my last tv.
I am working in an electronic industry for over 15 years now. I see that crazy calculations
day by day. Sometimes I cannot follow, but that is the truth.
Too sad!

1 Like

@Patrick1 the demand for the new camera module can only be higher than if they’d continue producing the old one.
You’ll need the same amount for new phones (probably even more since many people said they won’t buy the FP2 because of the “bad camera”) + the same amount for spare parts (maybe less in the long run if the module has better quality) + additionally the amount needed for those who want to upgrade.
Hence the new module may even be cheaper than the old one. And I’m almost sure they won’t keep producing the old camera modules. For them the demand would decrease drastically so the price would rise and the demand would decrease even more. Why keep producing an old inferior module if it is more expensive than the new shiny one?


One of the most expensive things is the change of processes. Machines must
be set up, or even get built.
I saw it very often in my company. Only the replacement of 1 part with another
(I mean parts like capacitors or potentiometers) could be uneconomic, even
when the PCB layout hasn’t to be changed. There is not the design only. There
are so much processes, including the QM.

Maybe a FP employee could bring some clearance to us in this topic. We here
know all and nothing. What did the first hardware change, the cover, cost?

1 Like

Are they? Fairphone never said that they will continue to produce the regular covers (in fact there is only black matte left, and it will probably be sold out soon). I think they will do the same with the camera module.

1 Like


Yes, you are right. I have been operating “mydata” pnp machines back in the 90s and also done all the steps with reflow soldering and QM.
Each single slight change sums up costs which someone wants to get back again. So the longer the production run is the better for everyone involved.


Indeed that sounds logic. But what about the costs for development? I cannot believe FP will give the new module away for free or only for the costs of production. Business is also about making money, let alone development.
So maybe warranty cases will be free of charge, but what about broken non-warranty cases and how much margin is on any new sold device?
People are already complaining about the high price. To catch them there should be at least a 16MP cam or nothing less than 12MP, but anyway the software would then also has to be much more advanced.
The CPU/GPU can handle such pixel rates as I could read.

1 Like