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Do you recommend the Fairphone 2?

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.

Have you calibrated the sensor?

https://forum.fairphone.com/t/proximity-sensor-tool-or-how-to-fix-the-proximity-sensor-issues/21411?u=anotherelk&source_topic_id=32738

For many it is, for some it isn’t, it is inconsistent and that is of course not good.
Defective hardware is covered by warranty … here’s the Fairphone 2 Troubleshooter.

Yes, I’ve calibrated it about 20 times. It makes absolutely no difference.

The warranty requires sending the hardware to the Netherlands and waiting … that’s fine if you have another phone to use, but if I had another phone I wouldn’t have bought the FP2. The FAQ also says the repair also wipes all the data on the phone. That’s not acceptable for me right now.

I chose to take a chance on the FP2 because I believed in the goals of the project, but if somebody asks me if I recommend the phone then if I’m honest I have to say no. It’s not very good. The FP1 was more reliable, and if my batteries hadn’t stopped holding charge I’d still be using it. The FP1 lasted me 3+ years, not 1 month.

Update: I ordered a new bottom module, which arrived very quickly, was easy to replace, and it fixed the problem. And Fairphone support were excellent - so those are very good things in the FP2’s favour. (Try contacting another phone manufacturer, or replacing a part yourself!) But I still have the problem with my ear swiping things on the screen while on a phone call, which is not a problem I’ve ever had with other touchscreen phones.

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I have been using one for a few weeks now after having had the FP1 and have been disappointed over a few features:

  1. Buttons are placed very awkwardly all around the phone so it is impossible to hold it comfortably, especially as there is a button for the camera on the side so it’s difficult to avoid taking photos. Really annoying and so stupid cf FP1, which was very comfortable to hold.
  2. And why change the hole for charging to the bottom so it is now the other end from the hole for a headphones. Now cannot use phone while charging, eg recharge and have headphones on at the same time while phone is in case.
  3. I thought the battery might be a bit better than the one for FP1 but it is worse, discharging completely in about three hours after taking 10 photos. (Yes, I have reduced screen brightness etc.) And why doesn’t it give battery amount on the top of screen as it did with FP1? No colour alert either, which was handy with FP1.
  4. The camera quality is worse than the one for FP1, very poor indeed.

So I can’t recommend the phone but as I have never used another except for FP1 have nothing to compare it with.

Susannah

Hi everyone, thank you for all your feedback! I think I will order the FP2 as I believe in supporting companies that go into the right direction, even if the products are not prefect yet. Moreover, I think if other companies had a Forum like this, similar or more concerns would become clear too! Greenpeace’s study also helped to convince me:

However, I am left with 2 questions:

  • What is the estimated lifespan of the FP2? I understand there might be a problem with Google updates?

  • How does the new camera rank compared to the iPhone camera?

Thank you!

Have a good day,
Petz

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It’s hard to estimate something like that if you can’t look into the future. FP expressed the goal to increase the average lifespan from 2-3 years (average smartphone) to 5 years with the FP2 and I’m sure that with good care and smart use you can meet that goal.
There are #software:alternative-oses so you are not dependent on Google (that much) for security updates. Obviously if you wanted to keep using the official FP OS no matter what you’ll probably stop receiving security updates one day - and if you buy the FP2 now it will be a shorter usage until then than if you bought it when it came out.

The camera isn’t going to be near the quality of the latest iPhones which are one of the best if not best in the smartphone market but neither is the price. Fairphone also doesn’t have the throttling issue iPhone 6 has wrt batteries, but the power it has under the hood doesn’t remotely come close either. The SoC in the FP2 (SD801) is old. The most recent 800 series (SD835) draw circles around it. I don’t know if anyone did a side by side comparison of both phones on the same moment/place because that’s a way to do some kind of vis-a-vis comparison but you can check out some pictures here: FP2 - Pictures Gallery

As per this test on Tweakers.net (Dutch), price/performance mid-range phones of ~280 EUR less (~250 EUR give or take) compete easily with FP2 every year, and they get better while FP2 doesn’t (except for camera). Its increasingly more common that devices in this range both 2.4 and 5 GHz WiFi, NFC, 4 GB RAM, Quick Charge, 1080p screen, decent battery life, good speaker, and decent camera. Not each model has each of these advantages, but the Motorola G5S Plus is a suffice choice if you want a cheap, decent, durable phone which lasts a while without a premium price. Though it is a moloch and will get official software updates for 2 years, another competitive option is Xiaomi Mi A1 though the camera lacks compared to the G5S Plus. But it is less bulky.

Of course you don’t get some freedoms you do get with a FP2 like modular hardware and by default unlocked bootloader (voids your warranty with Motorola when you unlock it) but 5 years lifetime of FP2 means end of 2020 as the phone is from end of 2015. Although with LOS (with or without GApps or MicroG) you can expect to be able run up2date software on it the same’s true for postmarket mid-range phones if you unlock the bootloader (possible with Xiaomi and Motorola and generally possible but do verify). Except maybe the firmware of specific chips. And these phones aren’t fair for the environment or workers either. That’s a thing you pay for when you buy a Fairphone as well.

That said, you could buy a what we call in Dutch tussendoortje (in-betweenie?); a decent phone for a couple of years until the FP3 comes out. The ones reviewed in the link I mentioned are mid-range around the 250 EUR range. You can go cheaper or more expensive, but it’d require a recent, other review and of course you will get what you pay for (following the review’s advice). If you can afford an iPhone, Apple does very good for the environment according to that recent Greenpeace report but that’s just one thing.

If you consider iPhone, you should also have a look at comparisons between FPOS Android 6 (or 7.1.2 if you run LOS) and the latest version of iOS which is I think 11.2.x these days.

Also, a valid advantage of an iOS device (especially high-end ones) is its resale value. But you did pay for that.

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In that case I’d recommend a used phone, for example a Samsung Galaxy S5 (with LineageOS) or an iPhone 6 or higher (because the iPhone 5 doesn’t receive updates anymore and the iPhone 5S will probably stop receiving updates soon).

A FP3 is rumoured to be announced by the end of 2018 / early 2019.