English

Buying a FP3+ or waiting for FP4?

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.

5 Likes

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.

1 Like

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

6 Likes

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.

2 Likes

It seems they switch off both 2g and 3g in Switzerland

1 Like

Where did you get that information?
According to Swisscom 3G should be working. They just state, that some 3G devices don’t work, as they were using 2G frequencies and don’t support the 3G 900 MHz frequency.

And their network-map still presents the 3G coverage without any reference to a time limit.

Edit:
And Sunrise is still showing the coverage for 2G/3G network as well.
The map even shows locations, where that kind of network is the only one available.
Therefore I doubt, that they will switch it off.

4 Likes

Not sure thought I read this somewhere reg a phone not 4G compatible that was no longer working with Swisscome after 2G shutdown, however i might have misunderstood and this was due to specific frequencies only.

1 Like

@amoun this is amazing! FP4 announced well ahead the official channels…

1 Like

Wait for the FP4. In 2021, it does not really make any sense to buy a 4G phone, especially if you would like to use the device longer than usual.

Just my 2 cents.

Best wishes,
Thomas

2 Likes