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Do you recommend the Fairphone 2?

Hi. I have had my FP1 since october 2014, so not even 3 year, and mainly due to the failed update on the software it has become (almost completely) obsolete. I will try and hold on to it as long as I can, but find it very disappointing that this phone lasted me even less years than my previous iPhones.

Having said that, I can’t seem to find another alternative than the Fairphone 2 to get next. The much higher price and problems I have had with the 1st one however make me doubt whether I should get it or not.

Does anyone know what the life expectancy of the FP2 is?

How happy are you with the camera?

Any other disadvantages I should be aware of?

Many thanks for your help!

Best,
Petz

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Well, some reading in the forum might be enough to fill the time until you have to get a new phone.
With regard to the camera: I doubt, that you can get reliable information from anyone, as Fairphone did just present (on the IFA) the new camera-modul, that will be installed with all new FP2.

As the next FP2 (or maybe FP2.1) will be a new product, it is really hard to say, how long living and reliable it will turn out. I expect, that lots of the problems that came with the first FP2 will be leveled out (e.g. spots on the display, faulty covers/buttons).
I am still content with my phone; but I am no power user. I use WiFi only occasionally, and Bluetooth near to never. I use it for calling and texting mainly and from time to time for some fun and games and video.

Some things are hard to come by, if you chose another phone (if I am not mistaken):

  • this great community and the support it delivers
  • the interchangeability of OS (again with great community support)
  • the modularity (at least the camera has been recently updated)

I would advise to keep your FP1 as long as it lasts and keep an eye on the forum for what comes up with regard to the new FP2 to be delivered by September/October. :wink:

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Ultimately it depends how big a premium you are willing to pay to support Fairphone’s values. Judged simply as a phone, the FP2 isn’t particularly competitive at £485 in my opinion. Not in a world with very good value decent low-end options (e.g. the Moto G at £160), and excellent upper mid-range choices (the more expensive Motoralas, a Pixel at £599, even an iPhone SE is only £379). (All UK amounts - it might be different where you are). For that reason, I haven’t recommended it friends that have asked - or at recommended it with various qualifications.

That being said, I don’t regret buying my FP2 - I think Fairphone is concretely advancing a set of worthwhile goals - modularity, ethical sourcing of materials and so on. And aside from various annoying problems, some of which are now solved, it’s a perfectly decent phone.

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:wink: I’m not that sure, that FP sticks to it values as I need 2 phones to be able to make and take calls at anytime, I want to, especially since the primary microphone broke. The spare phone surely is no FP, as I then would need a third phone. So sustainability might not be a value, FP follows anymore.

Same goes for the Fair in the name. Don’t know why, but answering single mails cost them at least a month. That’s not what I understand under fair support for a high-priced phone. Don’t get me wrong, I bought the thing for all the right reasons, I do assume that at least and keep telling me that, when I’m getting frustrated again because of the one or other issue the thing has. Sustainability, freedom of OS, modularity, fairness, conflict-free materials, you name it, cool stuff. But if the phone had seen more than two years till now, I’d abandon it, to much incidents where I wanted to slam the phone against a wall.

By the way: It doesn’t help much to be told, that I have joined a movement. The “let’s make a phone sustainable movement” or whatever one would like to name it, is only worth mentioning, when the phone does what it is supposed to do: Phoning.

To answer the question: No. I won’t. Not anymore. Not at this point.

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Well, I wouldn’t recommend it to just everybody currently.
Judging by the forum, experiences with the thing range from endlessly nerve-racking to smooth as can be.

As things stand with the somewhat inconsistent quality, a sure target audience apart from idealists supporting the concept no matter what are people content or even happy with tinkering around with the software and perhaps the hardware, much like tinkering around with a PC. And having a backup phone around certainly helps.

This might be a pretty limited target audience among the mass of smartphone users, but I felt targeted and bought one and I’m really happy with the phone. I would wholeheartedly recommend it to people when I know they share a similar mindset with me regarding tech.

If the inconsistent hardware, software and support quality can be remedied starting with the new batch of phones now, the target audience I see might get bigger.

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I bought the FP2 used and I am quite happy with it. In contrast to the first FP, which had a lot of problems, this time everything seems to work great - without any tinkering around, just running the stock Fairphone OS.

It comes down to a simple question: Are you willing to pay about the 2x the price you would pay for a equivalent phone in terms of performance to support Fairphones Mission? Can you value the unique approaches Fairphone as a company applies to make smartphones more sustainable and fair? Can you spare 500€?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, go for a used iPhone or Android.

I find the approaches of Fairphone very refreshing and I like supporting the idea of fairer sourcing of minerals and the modularity. This is more important to me then a bit more perfomance, atm.

My biggest concern at the moment is the Software Update situation: The Fairphone probably wont get an offical Android release beyond Android 6, at least it seems like that, atm, and I am not sure how Fairphone is planning to address that issue.

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Depends on how much you value the goals of Fairphone and how much you can tolerate the differences that result from them having to earn money and pursuing the goals. Maybe they will listen a little bit more than the big players.
You may get a phone that most often does what you expect (like mine) or one that does not meet your expectations or even fails (like some here in the forum).
Probably Fairphone has learned a lesson from FP1 and the disappointment of many users regarding its lifetime, but I would not expect that the FP2 will be supported for 6 or 7 years. Maybe they will find a way of adding lifetime if they move away from the restrictions put on the OS by Google, either by themselves or by the great community.
But honestly I doubt that a not-so-recent iPhone will be supported for the next 5 years and a brand new one will be a lot more expensive. Other brands will silently stop supporting their phones even quicker, at least that’s what I learned.
If you are not prepared to put some effort in making your phone work in case of troubles, I would not recommend it. If you want to try to make a difference and are prepared that you might fail, go for it.

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Some warning:

I bought my FP2 2 years ago. When it arrived there were some issues but most of them looks to be solved: still remain only problems with screen and changer(half of the chargers we have at home render my FP2 less usable during while recharging battery) and some random reboot (now weekly). You have to know that FP2 is not a perfect phone, but I consider this improvements a good work of the FP team. Apart from these minor issues I consider FP2 a great phone. And I doubt with any other phone you would find such a community.

You also have to know that FP2 probably won’t ever get a Google-approved update for Android 7+. But I use the OpenOS without google’s stuff so I might choose to upgrade to LineageOS. However, most of the phones on the market won’t see any major update (iPhone is a exception).

Consider that you can find phones with the newer hardware at a much lower price. However using Android 6 I’ve never wished for my FP2 to have better specs: except for the front camera, but you will in case get an updated version).

Answer:

I do recommend you to buy one.
I won’t recommend FP2 to my grandparents however. I won’t recommend FP2 to a friend that looks for high-end hardware or that I know would not gave more then a penny for Fairphone’s goals.
But I don’t regret spending €525+ for this phone and I hope I will keep using it for more than any other phone I had (my record is 4.5 years).

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I have a FP2 for 1,5 years now.
The FP2 Backcover breaks down approximately every 12 months - at least with my use case.
( my second one starts falling apart right now)
I am suffering a unexpected reboot a day but did not have the time to search the forum or ASK for official support on that up to now.
Software will unfortunately not be brought to anything beyond android6…lineage OS seems to be the update path to take when there are no security updates from Google any more.

But having that said, “fairphones” are still valid phones for anyone that cares about “fair” products.

Regards
Frank

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Hi Petzdelux,

my experiences with FP2 are o.k. using it in a way I described in my answer to a frustrated user. Considering the two year warranty, I can recommend it for those being satisfied with the midrange level phone at a high level price considering the fairness and environmental matters. If you encounter a hardware issue, don’t hesitate to call Fairphone support and insist on repair or exchange.

And btw., nobody knows the percentage of phones having the issues mentioned in this forum, but considering an amount of more than 125.000 pieces, there must be a majority of customers who are satisfied with their device.

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I’d like to follow your adventures of your FP1.
I’m a 100% ethnic person with no smartphone yet.
I’m not very rich in money, but with a lot of LIFE experience.
I’m only reachable via danny.lauwers3telenet.be
If you can warn me whoever you post something about FP1 I will be very grateful
(because I’m disabled and not able to internet often)
THANKS.

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Hi, I would recommend not to buy one. I am having my FP2 now for 1,5 year and I have had so much trouble. I bought one because I like the idea of making a fair phone, where you can replace parts by yourself. But the amount of times I had to do this, and the time I spent troubleshooting and was without a working phone is really not worth it. My phone suffered from random rebooting (the gave me a factory refurbished one under warranty), the case got loose within a year, the microphone didn’t work properly and now my phone does not connect to mobile internet. I am at the point of buying another phone.

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I sure feel for you and really hope, that most or at least some of the “teething troubles” are solved with the next generation FP2.

Like this one,

that has been a constructive problem with the first covers. With the new slim cases it is no longer an issue. And everyone (like me) got a free replacement on warranty?

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No.
I’ve sent it in. Camera broken. Came back with no working LTE. Bottom module broken. Cover split 2x. If you want the most unreliable phone in the world. Get an FP2

I want to but realistically I can’t. I am hanging on to it for the ethical element and I’m hoping that it improves. But mine is so glitchy; I’ve had so many problems including MMS not being sent or received, not being able to readily get a new display module (and having to pay £90+ to get one as I smashed the screen), text messages not being sent, or sent twice, and not being easily able to transfer music on to it. The current ones are the display going black during calls so that I have to remove the battery, and the touch screen freezing during alarms (so that I have to remove the battery to stop them).

The forum is fantastic and I’ve relied upon it. It would be nice just to pick it up safe in the knowledge that it’s going to work.

It’s a great idea but it’s a work in progress and I’d have appreciated knowing that at the point of purchase.So I feel that I haven’t have value for money overall (and it’s a lot of money!). It really saddens me to write this but it’s fair to you that I do.

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Have you tried to recalibrate your proximity sensor? You can check the troubleshoot page here (check under display, “my display stays black…”):
https://support.fairphone.com/hc/en-us/articles/115001041206-Troubleshoot-your-Fairphone-2-issue

You should check the APN settings:

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Hi,
There have been some good answers, but if you still hesitate, you should try to find a Fairphone-owner next to where you live:


If you find a new Fairphone too expensive, you could buy it second hand or refurbished:
https://shop.fairphone.com/en/buy-refurbished-fairphone2
The “New Life” phones don’t have the new camera module, but you can live without…

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I would recommend FP2. Here are some reasons:

  • Ethic and environmental reasons. The phone is a statement!
  • Great community support and development. I’m running on Lineage OS, Android 7, without any issues and a great performance. So who fears to be stuck with Android six can just easily switch to Lineage, with which I hope that also Android 8 is not far away :slight_smile:
  • In contrast to others above, I have the feeling it’s built to last. I don’t know how many times my phone already fell down and I thought “probably now display is broken”. But no issues at all.
    -Except the shitty first phone case (I think for me it was done after six month) I had no hardware issues so far.
  • The only issue for me was battery drain (in a great part I feel caused by firefox). Switched now to another browser (which is faster) and installed greenify. Now battery drain is no issue anymore!
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As a phone … ermm probably not, I’m afraid. Reliability not great, not very rugged, spares available but intermittently.

Although there are significant plus points: good shape, nice android implementation (compared to say Sony or Samsung who load their phones with bloatware and over-lays), replaceable battery and upgradable sd card memory …the much vaunted modularity and repairability are a good thing (cause you certainly need them!)

As a political statement and to be part of a fantastic social and industrial experiment. YES TOTALLY.

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@LeonL you say it. And I can only add that as an IT consultant and OpenSource advocat the phone is a great tool for me to show people that there is another world that tries to model an ethical economy outside the usual shareholder value corporocracy. And the transparent back cover I use is a great way to show that this phone has replaceable parts.
And here is an interesting read: https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/the-apple-is-still-rotten-why-you-should-avoid-the-new-iphone

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