Can you upgrade the ram/processor?

I have only seen the option to upgrade the camera, but can you upgrade other stuff too?


Is it not possible to make a new main board with a newer processor, more memory and all the necessary hardware to accommodate Android 9 and make it compatible with all the existing modules, so that it would be enough to replace the main board?


I’m no expert here, but according to multiple discussions we had on this forum before: no, it’s definitely not possible.


That’d be truly sustainable :slight_smile:!


I guess is something related to drivers? or the manufacturers? I guess the hardware used in the modules should be compatible with newer processors.

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It’s very important for the concept. Volume manufacturers, like Samsung, Apple, Huawei, etc. release several new models every year, using newer SoCs. If the idea is that the telephone has a long life without getting obsolete and is competitive it is crucial to be able to upgrade the SoC.

I would understand if the argument is that the price of the motherboard would make it too expensive to upgrade and is much more than all the other modules together. I can’t find in the shop the price of a motherboard.

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You can’t buy the core module in the Fairphone shop currently.
You can be charged for it as part of a repair job, or you can buy it from a reseller.


That’s as I supposed. The main board costs more than half the price of a telephone.

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There are already discussions about that, e.g. here.

To make it short: A phone has to be small and light, therefore components such as RAM or CPU have to be soldered together, which means that you’d have to replace the entire core module, which is hardly possible, because the other modules are designed specifically for the components inside the current core module, so they probably won’t work with a new core module due to e.g. driver-related stuff (I’m absolutely not an expert in this field, I’m just writing down the stuff I remembered from previous discussions about this topic).


As part of the entire solution, yes.

Feel free to read more about newer processors here as I could investigate.
Unfortunately there is no “pin compatible successor” available. So the entire core module would have to be redesigned which again would not fit the main FP idea of sustainability

Can you give us a close guess for your knowledge and user experience on how much % of all the hardware and software options:

1.) The manufacturer (Model) utilizes from the installed SoC ?
(every single integrated part like: Latest quick charge option; NFC; dual-sim [preferable dual active btw. as the most advanced technique]; maximum possible ram size supported; highest display/camera resolution; fastest network option; VoLTE/WiFi; highest possible clock-speed for CPU/GPU; latest USB 3 connectivity; finger print/iris reader etc…?
Is it 100%…90%…70% ?

2.) How much of all these available options are you actually using regularly or missing maybe as nice to have ?
100%…80%…40% ?

Afai can judge from what I know by now about the FP2 I would say it utilizes about 70% of the SD801 SoC. Missing quick charge, USB3, UHD display/camera, VoLTE, NFC and some more.

Generally there may be users out there doing a bit more with their handset like extensive gaming (3d network games), OS/hardware tinkering, sound/image processing, programming (maybe using an external display) and using the device rather as a replacement for a desktop or notebook computer, which it isn´t (yet up to now).
They may miss and indeed would make use of more ram, NFC, more cpu cores, quicker charging, finger/eye scanning…

While the majority of users may simply use the phones capabilities up to an amount of ~50%. A bit of gaming, listening to music, watching videos of whatever source (streaming), (video)phoning, emailing/messaging, navigating and such. All this is possible with the SD801 already and FP2 can actually do it.

I have to work for my pocket money. So I usually look out what I get in return for it and how the chances are for something long lasting. Fairness is ok for me.

They all could not fulfill my expectations. FP2 is my very first smart phone.
I don´t know of any other phone which could offer these key features: dual-sim (two equal slots) + extra sd card slot, replaceable battery (parts in general/self repair), regular software security updates :laughing: (simply the best key feature of FP2 these days, unfortunately very little known/valued), free OS choice, almost free of uninstallable bloatware, more fair than the others, very friendly community…
Now we go back in time about 3 years - any other models that could come close to this? 1 sole would be totally sufficient please?

Mine works very fine btw. I´m satisfied.

I disagree here. FP is still in business, isn´t it? Does not seem to be “crucial” imho.

This more or less depends on each individuals expectations. I have never wasted time looking closer at one of the other major manufacturers models. Apple/Google(pixel) - sorry wrong business model for my expectations. People I know with Samsung, Sony, HTC etc… what - non-replaceable battery? Absolutely no chance of turning into mine for a piece of crap like this, ok - I rather spent my precious lifetime for shopping groceries, those at least keep me alive - that’s crucial imho.

For me expectations such as upgrading the SoC (hardware) regularly is - to put it simple, adopting the same business model as the other major players already have for years. We have it for desktops, we have it for notebooks, now it seems to be the time for smartphones.
Obviously pictures of those scrap sites and poor souls living there are not present enough in the consumers minds. As I just stated shortly - the message (fairness/longevity) is not yet spread enough.

You are not completely wrong here. In previous discussions many users complain(ed) about the FP2 being (yet) to expensive. SD801 is a bit aged but I cannot believe Qualcomm or the deliverer would give FP a discount because of this fact.
So having a more up-to-date core module - would it be cheaper or rather more expensive? Let´s guess…
And according to FPs cost break down it is not even making much win per sold phone.
The highest expenses on the core module is the pcb layout engineering, keeping pin compatibility for all the replaceable modules and also frame compatibility to stay with the casing. Prototyping, running all the tests (ems, radiation exposure tests, final function tests, certification etc.). The manufacturing probably would cause lower costs. The assembly process would only have to be adjusted slightly as there is hardly a change grabbing a newer SoC core module of the box. Reprogramming such a smd p&p automate for the pcb assembly actually is no rocket science as I have done it already too.

So at last would it be cheaper? Would someone pay the same for a phone with newer SoC but old modules not utilizing more of the SoC?
I have serious doubts about this.
A refresh of the SoC without also upgrading some other parts (bottom/camera modules, display) would not lure more potential customers. Doing more upgrading would rise the costs even more.

I would rather get more out of the hardware that’s available. The SD801 offers more unused potential.


Just an random idea but would it be an option to outsource non core functions to other devices , such as the BLOCKS smartwatch, what allow customized hardware extension?
That may would increase flexibility in terms of the motherboard.

We have an optional usb connection released as five pogo pins next to the battery for further extensions. But there are no official certified extensions available, only few from private users.

I´m afraid there isn´t much more functionality to be held external of the core than what we already have. Some parts simply has to stay close by each other.

I’m aware of it and limits to offer official extensions due to Europen Market regulations, (CE m
marking etc).

what about the GPS, NFC, stuff for step counter etc.?

Maybe I got your “non core” expression somehow wrong. Your listed functions are all in core already (don’t know about the step counter though).
GPS is there, but no Galileo support with SD801. Shortly I could find some info in this forum about an extension providing Galileo support. I did not investigate any further on this.
NFC & Qi charging are both possible and available. I am not sure if both at once. More about this in the DIY section. Feel free to use the search function.

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