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Do you recommend the Fairphone 2?

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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I can not recommend FP2.
I had two, both stopped working in less than half a year. Right now, I am waiting for 1.5 months to send the second back.

The ideas and ethics behind it are great, but if your priority is a fast and reliable phone (or customer service), you should buy another one…

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I can - if you’re willing to take the risk and are at least a bit tech-savy. Besides a warranty display change in May 2016 my device is working reliable and absolutely fine for my purposes.

My reasons to recommend it were all mentioned (esp. ethics, longevity, modularity, this community, the OS alternatives, frequent security fixes).

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Yes, if you’re willing to buy another phone to use while your FP2 is misbehaving/broken.
I’ve been waiting for 2 - 3 months now for a replacement display.

Do I recommend the FP2? No.

I waited months for it, and when it finally arrived it is an OK mobile device, but is unusable as a phone. The proximity sensor misbehaves so every time I’m on the phone I open loads of menus with my ear, and now after only one month the primary microphone has gone wrong so that callers either can’t hear me, or can only hear loud static.

It seems the hardware is unfortunately not very reliable.