Buying a FP3+ or waiting for FP4?

Fairphone won’t keep a single form factor and improve it, this would have required them to plan this in advance for the FP3, which wasn’t the case.
But let’s hope for it for the FP4!


Dear Silvia, I had a FP2 with all the problem you mentioned. I bought a FP3 since 8 month and I can testimony the use is very different. Not more problem as with other phones. A good quality tool!


Hello Silvia
my experience of FP3 upgraded to 3+ is very satisfactory overall. None of the problems you mention. One issue, so far unresolved, low recording volume using phone or recording apps.


Hi Gordon. Have you tested the volume via the service tests.
The main mic Mic1 is the bottom one used for normal calls whereas the top mic Mic2 is used of hands free. In the later case you need to speak across the top, as if it were propted up not in your hand looking at the screen while you walk with the phone below your chest etc.

Anyway back to the recording:
Dial *#*#66#*#* on the keypad and select Service tests > Test Single > Microphone

The second mic is only a quarter the volume of the first.
Check also the volume controls, I noticed they affected my WhatsApp calls

Many thanks to all for your feedbacks, very reassuring!
My biggest concern concerns the processor that looks old compared to other processors actually on the market. As my next phone is expected to last at least as long as the FP2, it may be possible that a certain point of it’s life-time it becomes slow and tends to get stuck (as it was the case in the last two-three years).

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Regarding the slowness of the FP2, only a week or two ago this complaint was addressed and cleared, if I can find the post I’ll update this with the link.

If you haven’t already read you may like to look at

and generally

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Hi Silvia,
I also had a FP2 that was not really satisfying but it worked. I bought me a FP3+ in October 2020.
This smartphone is very good. All issues I had with FP2 are resolved, and it is fast and reliable.
The only thing I blame myself is that I bought a FP3+ instead of FP3, the only difference is the capacity, 32GB for FP3 and 64GB for FP3+ and I actually do not need that much capacity. Waiting for FP4 is no option I think. FairPhone does not change to a new smartphone in a short time like other brands, that is where FP stands for.
Buy the FP3 or FP3+

The FP3 and the FP3+ both have the same internal storage capacity: 64 GB.


That’s not how it is advertised :slight_smile:

  • Both the FP3 and FP3+ have 64GB of memory
  • FP3+ has an Upgraded speaker module
  • FP3+ The core module is different and provides better audio for the updated speaker module.
  • FP3+ Both camera modules are updated :: The Front from 8MPx to 16MPx and The Rear from 12MPx to 4 x12MPx Bayer
  • FP3+ The rear cover is different and generally with the back cover and upgraded module housing results in 40% more recycled plastics

The FP3 is also different in that the back of the phone is transparent and it comes with a bumper


Detailed comparison PDF and FAQ, if needed …


I wonder if there will be a FP3++ main board with 5G support, or a new FP4 5G within the next few years? To buy a new phone now without 5G support just makes sense, if I think of using it for just 2 years.

There is no official road map which tells us, when or how a successor of the FP3(+) will be released.
But I don’t think that a phone not capable of using 5G is obsolete in about two years. 4G and 5G will coexist for quite a while I guess. And even with 4G speed, the data plan of a whole month can be used in a few minutes.


Well, I have my doubts, that 5G will be the generals standard two years from now.
Even 2G (GSM) is still working and that standard was introduced more than 30 years ago.
So, a 4G phone will be working fine for the next years and years to come. I bet, that a minimum of 99.9% of 4G phones bought now will have stopped working before they can’t be used anymore (and the remaining 0.1 percent is kept in museums and private collections)


2G (“Edge”) is still in use, but 3G is now phased off, as the companies will use the frequencies for 5G. Of course 4G will be used for a while, but with all the spots in my area I truly would like to use a net working…

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What I mean is, that cell phone companies never tell you about their roadmap. And every year they introduce many new models. At Aldi (German Supermarket) they sell a Motorola 5G phone for 199€. On the Motorola Homepage they write:

moto g 5G PLUS

Currently receiving regular security updates.

Device launched on July, 2020

Security updates will stop on July, 2022

That means, in less than a year that phone is a security issue.

Fairphone does not post their roadmap either. Sad, so sad. If they would say “we are working on a new FP3 main board with 5G support, but are still at a very early stage”, you could recommend to buy a current FP3+ easily…

I still think, that making new modules for the FP3 doesn’t make much sense. The mobile modem is part of the core module I guess, so changing that will cost a lot of money and you have an unsused core module lying around, whereas when upgrading to a new phone a still working FP3 remains.
The modular construction of the FP2 and FP3 is great for repairs, but upgrading is against the principles of Fairphone in my opinion. I don’t even like the idea of offering a slightly (if at all) better camera, because in most cases it also just creates more waste, because people are buying it just out of a ‘I want to have it’ reason.


The 5G network coverage is nowhere near that of 4G (just take a look at the coverage of Vodafone in Germany). It might be in two years, though.
And while they might at some time in the future switch off 4G to use those frequencies for other purposes, they will hardly do so fading out that network. So - in my opinion - as long as 4G is working it is doing so covering the area it does now.
For the next 5 years I really see no risk for 4G phones to stop working in areas, where they work now.

As to presenting roadmaps:
While I really understand your wish and reasoning; as I see it, such a thing comes at a risk.
Such a roadmap is kind of binding the company, as it raises expectations. Any problems on the way or a need to change that roadmap spell trouble and might lead to disappointed users.
Just think of the PR-troubles global players like Apple or Samsung are facing, when an announced presentation of a new model is delayed.
And business decisions are valuable information for the competitor. Therefore they need to be treated confidential; especially at an early stage and for small companies.

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From what I know (not from a personal experience) FP3 is a far better phone than FP2. I wouldn’t wait for FP4 it is too early. Getting a refurbished phone with a 12 month warranty is not a bad idea, plenty of those, with better camera than FP3 if that is important to you.

It depends :wink: Indeed in EU 3G is phased out, but e.g. in Switzerland they are dropping 2G network instead


It will be in 3.5 years, according to latest estimations: 5G in Europe - Statistics & Facts | Statista It took 4 years to 4G, so 5G is rolling a bit faster, at a pace of 1 million new subscribers per day worldwide.