Decision to abandon FP2

This problem can be solved by using an old camera module instead of the new one, as I just discovered. (Will add the source soon) Edit: source: Battery doesnt charge while video call - #18 by lucaweiss

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The reasons why I switched from the FP2 to the FP3+ have I already told in the forum:

Thanks!
I just read the reasons for switching from FP2 to FP3+.
Concerning the videoconference issue - I won’t unmount my new camera and install the old one; I threw that away because it didn’t work any more. The battery draining issue doesn’t happen ALWAYS, but just SOMETIMES. I suppose switching off the video is an easier way around than installing the old camera.
For the time being I stick to my dysfunctional dinosaur!

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Dear fellow sufferers,

I’m very glad this topic was started, as I was considering doing so myself. My issues with my FP2 are, in order of most annoying:

  • Alarm freezes: I use the default alarm app to remind me of my commitments, but if I don’t switch off an alarm within 5 seconds of it starting, I’m stuck with a repetitive alarm tone in my face, while a swipe-to-turn-off animation happily plays from behind an unresponsive touchscreen. This is a daily occurence and annoyance.

  • Phone call freezes: WhatsApp and the default phone app regularly freeze on me. If I don’t answer a call within 5 seconds of my phone ringing, I watch in horror as the call information of the person ringing and the swipe-to-answer-the-call animation happily plays under an unresponsive touchscreen until the person ringing hangs up the phone. I have missed (or had prematurely cut off) calls from doctors/hospitals because of this, which is disastrous when they call from a withheld number. My phone can’t do its most basic function reliably, and thinking about it I could conceivably be put in danger because of that.

  • Freezes from apps that really shouldn’t freeze: I love to read before bed, but the app I use to read books sometimes freezes when I try to turn the page. It doesn’t feel like any app is safe, and this makes using my phone anxiety-inducing.

  • GUI freezes: My solution to apps freezing is often to open the list of recently used apps with the square icon. However, this menu (among others like the quick settings menu) sometimes also freezes, leading to an ‘sys intf is not responding’ message. This often compounds the annoyance and inconvenience of other freezes.

  • Network issues: Technically not Fairphone’s fault, but my phone network (a niche ethical company) doesn’t interact well with my fairphone (from another niche ethical company). When my network upgraded everyone to being able to use wifi calling, my fairphone was mysteriously unaffected (I still need to contact customer support about this…). As I live in an area with bad phone reception, this is a huge inconvenience as websites increasingly require (and not just encourage) two-factor authentication. Texts tend to be sent/received slowly or not at all.

  • Battery life: for example, my battery drains completely overnight if it is down to about 20% before I go to bed, even if the phone is left in airplane mode with the screen off and a brand new battery. This wasn’t the case even 2 years ago. Android M and N had updates that reduced battery consumption when the phone was not in use, but I suspect these have been overriden or outweighed by changes in future updates.

  • Camera launcher: Sometimes when I quickly press the ‘on’ button to wake the phone, the camera is immedietely launched as if I’d pressed the dedicated camera button. Granted, part of my palm is often touching the camera launch button when this is happening. But I SWEAR I’m not pressing it! There’s no audible click and that button is very clicky.

  • Front camera: I don’t take selfies very often, but when I do need to use the front camera there’s a not-insignificant chance that I’ll get an error along the lines of “unable to connect to camera” - while in the background behind the pop-up I can SEE the selfie camera working just fine.

  • Screen cutting out: Not a regular occurence, but when it does happen it gives me a fair bit of grief. The screen’s connection to the rest of the phone gets cut off by warps in the phone’s plastic body and I’m unable to tell if the screen has suddenly cut out because the phone has gone to sleep, or there is a display problem. This leads to me alternating presses of the on/off button with pushing the screen down like I’m performing some insane version of CPR. I would be mortified if I had to do this in front of anyone else.

  • Graphical artifacts: Related to the above problem are graphical issues resulting from a partial loss of connection between the display unit and the rest of the phone. These manifest as a slowly-darking orange hue that fades the screen to black, chessboard-like patterns of black pixels that move across or down the screen in stripes, or pixelly patches in a kaliedascope of colours that, whilst peaking my interest in the complex beauty of graphics hardware, do also prevent me from seeing clearly what’s on my screen. These issues are less sudden and severe from complete cut-outs, but occur far more often.

  • The charging animation: When the phone is off and charging, a picture of the battery inside the phone slowly fills with blue. However, the first frame of this animation of a tiny sliver of blue (which used to play when I first got the phone) no longer plays and instead, the second frame plays for twice as long. YES THIS IS A PROBLEM!!

  • Turning the phone on while charging: When I do this the charging animation freezes for about 10 seconds, leaving me wondering if the phone managed to freeze itself whilst being turned off before the vibration motor kicks in and the Fairphone logo is displayed.

  • On/off button: Mine is not clicky. My camera button is, wonderfully so, as if to highlight how great it would be if the button I actually use was as well. However, this is something I’ve gotten so used to over the years that I don’t even think about it any more.

  • Headphone jack: The connection between the jack and any hardware plugged in is very tentative, like they’re perpetually on a first date. I can set up the connection however I like, but once the phone’s in my pocket and shifting as I walk, I’m inevitably subjected to the torture of sound quickly and irregularly turning on and off in one of my ears. Putting the phone in a backpack does not help with this, as the issue simply starts when I turn my head and change the amount of tension in the cable. I use bluetooth headphones precisely to avoid this.

  • Freezes from new apps: I tried to download Telegram the other day. Part of the setup - one of the very first things you do after opening the app for the first time - was waiting for a confirmation text, but thanks to my network issues (see above), texts weren’t really an option. Calls work fine, but the app had me wait approx. 2 minutes after the text was sent before it allowed me to request a confirmation call. I kid you not, the app would freeze before those 2 minutes were up. I had to make about 10 attempts before I was finally able to receive a phone call… and then everything crashed! The promise of Android is having an ecosystem of apps to explore, but I feel so restricted in being able to do that because of the toll they take on my already-floundering phone.

  • Random reboots: these happen very occasionally, and in a strange way I have come to peace with this as normal, expected behaviour for a Fairphone. Perhaps because it is so heavily overshadowed by the other problems and so quaint in comparison. “You’re rebooting? Aw, that’s cute!”

Many of these problems began long after I had bought the phone. Many others, which I have not mentioned, were there at launch but subsequently stopped thanks to software patches and replacement parts. Still others were transitory.

And I didn’t even realise how many problems there were until I counted. Crikey.

Despite this - and I can hardly believe I’m saying this - I still love Fairphone as a company and still like my Fairphone. There is so much annoyance and unnecessary hardship that comes with it and that I’ve endured since the beginning but I still love the darn thing, even though I honestly probably shouldn’t. Surely it’s bad for me to feel so regularly annoyed?!

But there are good things about it as well.

  • I’m so proud to have supported basically the only company doing the right thing in this industry. I was able to afford it but it was still a huge initial cost and a difficult decision. Now, seeing where Fairphone as a company is today, I can know that I helped them get here, and that feeling is priceless to me. I feel pride just looking at my phone!

  • Thinking back over all the time that I’ve owned it, all the events that have transpired in my life and how much I’ve changed, I find it amazing that this phone had been by my side the whole time, and survived what I’ve put it through.

  • And I’m still in love with that boxy design, the fact that I can take off the screen without any tools, that USB expansion port on the back that’s essentially useless but brings the pie-in-the-sky tinkerer inside me so much joy.

So on reflection… I think I’m going to keep this phone as long as I freakin’ can. But writing all this has made me realise how untenable it’s becoming (these crashes are a recent development). I can’t sustain it much longer, so I need to install a different OS or something and make an active effort to fix as many of these problems as I can.

My message to you, Eva, is this: I fully support you leaving your FP2, or Fairphone entirely behind you. I’m certainly an exception and don’t expect others to feel the same positive things that balance out the negative experiences for me. Your happiness is important too, in of and of itself, but also I think because it allows you to better spread it to others.

And also, thank you for helping me consider how I felt about all this. 6 year’s worth of feelings just came tumbling out!

-Ant0kneeguy

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Hi Ant0kneeguy,
THAT was a response. Left me flabbergasted and open-mouthed :slight_smile:
But when reading through your list of complaints, I find that at least 50 % of them are also applicable for my phone. And then I could add some 10 other, which are not identical with those you list. Isn’t that nice - our FP2 are individuals in their own right, not simply clone phones…
For example:

  • Ringtone mysteriously disappears, and the phone vibrates weakly instead of ringing. I miss lots of calls.
  • I took great care to assign a specific ringtone to each family member, from the Queen of the Night for my mother over Die Wacht am Rhein for my brother to politically very incorrect soccer fan choruses for my boyfriend, and then they are all mysteriously replaced by some standard dingdong.
  • I have a language learning app installed, and FP2 often freezes before I finalise a lesson. Then I have to repeat the lesson, which I find profoundly unjust. Arguably, FP2 contributes to my learning curve forcing me to repeat…
  • I would NEVER EVER dare going to bed with 20 % of battery. My phone is charging while I sleep. When the battery reaches something like 20 - 25 % in day time, the battery suddenly drains and FP2 shuts down.
  • Self induced shutdowns obviously occur several times per day, often when reading something, doing a bank operation etc… In 50 % of the cases, the touch screen doesn’t react to touches when the FP2 is called back to life. Remedy is removing and replacing the battery.
  • When talking on the phone, the loudspeaker gets a life of its own and randomly decides to switch itself on and off and on and off…that’s very annoying.
  • When I am in a train and the controller comes, I always have to apologise for my slowness in producing the QR code that proves my right to be on this specific train…“Sorry, my phone is a bit old!”.
  • The graphical artefacts issue occurred once or twice in my FP2’s lifetime and scared the shit out of me. Once I was travelling and needed to call my AirBnB, FP2 fell down, when re-starting displayed Op-Art patterns, and was slightly panicking that I’d pass the night in a parking lot instead of a bed.

But as I said, for the time being, I keep it. As long as it always gets back to normal uselessness, I can live with it.

Best regards,

Eva

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@Constantinopolitana , @Ant0kneeguy I salute you both for your endurance/stamina, persistence/patience/resistance with the FP2 obstacles. I never had such major issues and still could not resist to change.

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You should probably calibrate your Proximity sensor, see e.g. here:

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Isn’t that nice - our FP2 are individuals in their own right, not simply clone phones…

That’s a silver lining I guess! :smile:

I have a similar saying: “Sorry, my phone’s a bit weird!” Have also heard a FP3 user make this kind of ‘Fairphone apology’.

Oh my gosh, you’ve reminded me of a problem I used to have and completely forgot about because of all the new problems I’ve had since!

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That’s something I regularly do!

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Let me first say that I’m amazed at what you (or people in general) are up to, and succeed in enduring!

A few things I wonder about (i.e., a freezing alarm app would be replaced from my FP2 after the second occurrence), but most of the issues I have never experienced. Even the frequent reboots of my FP2 (if they really are reboots) surface to me only as a request to enter my passcode again. My FP2 is in my pocket or on the cupboard most of the time…

Here’s my reason to buy FP2 initially - which hasn’t really been mentioned, much to my surprise: It was the first phone I saw where the manufacturer offered a Google-free experience. I’ve installed FPOOS immediately, updated regularly, and hope to have left much less data “in the cloud” since then. That is a great achievement, I think, and that’s what I value my FP2 for most.

The fairness and sustainability topic has been discussed a lot, and I don’t really understand how we can tolerate the “high-end” models with their high demand on human suffering, albeit on the other side of the planet. I would not feel good to use a phone which is based on near-slavery, near-colonial, extractive business models (looking at lithium in Chile, Cobalt in Africa, assembly in Asia, etc.). My suffering the occasional reboot, or slower response time, or hardship switching to a more functional app is not at all comparable to the hardship of the people working on the other side of the plant (basically, on the other end of the planetary social pyramid) for “high-end” phones.

Even though Fairphone is not perfectly fair, it’s the best I have come across, and I accept the inconveniences compared to other models in the hope that more customers for Fairphone will “change the industry” to be more humane.

Danke & Grüße von
nobi

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Dear Virtualnobi,
may I ask a maybe stupid question: I’m also a fervent defender of boycotting GAMAF, the big 5 in the Internet monopoly, but since FP OS is based on Android, is it really Google free?
I dabbled with Ubuntu for mobile, but couldn’t really get along with that (being a Linux user on my computer, I’d have loved that).
I just installed Android 10 and am curious to see what new FP2 experiences this will offer to me…

All the best,

Eva

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To be honest, I doubt the Linux community can be considered “Google free” if one wants to be strict here. In a way Firefox only exists at a good will to show for a competitor with IEEE in hands of big $.
There are a few things about core Android without playstore/GAPPS that still use online google features. The one I always have in mind is the standard DNS 8.8.8.8 , which the /e/ / murena foundation replaces proudly https://doc.e.foundation/what-s-e - and it seems a good source to look into these still Google based services a stock Android relies upon.
Nevertheless I share goodwill to the determination by offering FPOOS - I think it made steps more easy for porting third party OS.

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Eva,

the original Android is based on Linux and FOSS (free and open-source
software). Google developed it into their smartphone OS (and acquired
the rights to call it Android including the logo), but there are other
versions.

Ecosia (or Duckduckgo) is your friend here as well (giving me, amongst
others, Android (Betriebssystem) – Wikipedia).

The most accessible (to my knowledge) alternative to Google-Android is
/e/ OS (e Foundation - deGoogled unGoogled smartphone operating systems and online services - your data is your data), which you may buy pre-installed with
new and refurbished smartphone of various manufacturers, including
Fairphone (https://esolutions.shop/de/shop/).

Danke & Grüße von
nobi

Hi Nobi,

thanks a lot for the explanation concerning Android. I knew that Android was open source but somehow thought it was developed by Google.
And well, I’m using Ecosia, but is it my friend (being based on Bing)?
Thanks also for the link for eFoundation/eSolutions; that will help me if (when) I replace my FP2 with a newer model.

Viele Grüße zurück!

Eva

It is, at least mainly. That’s not a contradiction.
Google is the steward of and main contributor to AOSP (Android Open Source Project), which all Android OSes (vendor-specific ones as well as custom ROMs) are based on.

You use any Android-based OS, you run lots of Google code on your phone. Which doesn’t make it all bad automatically, of course, but awareness can’t hurt.

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Android was initially developed by a company of the same name, then Google bought this company in 2007 to get the OS.

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Dear FP2 dinosaurs,

this is an announcement of defeat. I just paid for a FP4.
I sincerely hope it’ll survive more than 5,5 years.
I simply couldn’t do any more with FP2 freezing in front of train conductors wanting to verify my ticket, or heating up to melting point at my ears when talking, multiple random shutdowns, erroneous and erratic auto-induced activities - but I really, really regret abandoning my not-yet-so-old battlehorse.

Best regards,

Eva

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Sorry to hear that, but I’m sure you’re gonna have a lot of fun with your FP4!
On my side, there is some improvement. I have been using FPopenOS for a while but wanted to go back to Lineage. I did that two weeks ago with some results: the phone is much more stable and its use is smoother. I still get some freezes, but not as many as before. I feared that it would not last long, but it’s been two weeks and still is stable.

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