Does the community recommend to use a softcase?

Hi forum,

the title pretty much sums it up already.
I am hesitant whether or not to buy a softcase for the FP4, meaning if one is needed at all.
I rarely drop my phones (don´t even recall the last time) and always have tempered glass screen protectors on and don´t like to add bulk. Given the FP 4´s sturdiness I don´t think that would even be necessary. Anyone using the phone with or without the original softcase, willing to share some thoughts?

Thanks so much and stay safe,

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Hi there,

Disclaimer: my answer will be long, very subjective and justified with personnal exerience and arguments :slight_smile:

I only own the FP4 since yesterday but already decided I would not use a softcase. Yet I’m a clumsy person and tend to drop my phones.
So why ?

  1. Because one of the reason I decided to go with fairphone is being tired of owning expensive and expensive-to-repair-full-of-glassy-fragile materials devices.
    I mean I buy an high end phones BECAUSE of its beautiful design and materials (and specs obviously), but being clumsy I usually end up puting a case on it thus erasing the pleasant touch of quality material and the pleasure to look at a polished device.
    That’s just completely absurd.
    Now regarding the fp4, I know the back beeing soft plastic wont ever shatter, I know gorilla 5 front glass usually doesn’t break at small drops and I don’t mind a few “life traces” on the sides of the device. Plus in the event I break the front screen it’ll cost me 79€, which is a third of what I paid for replacing my previous Zenfone 8 screen (and I had to wait 1 month before getting it back for customer service).

  2. Obviously the device is already… massive :slight_smile: I don’t mind it, I like a big heavy device, I have large pockets and I like the feeling of having a sturdy object in my hands.
    THAT BEING SAID, I think an additionnal softcase would end up categorising it as a contendant weapon that I might have to register at the local police station.


Merci bien @Aaanze.
In fact I appreciate the long reply and you seem to have read my mind with the points you mentioned. :slight_smile:

Kind regards from snowy Berlin,

edit: Congrats btw to the FP4


@tklr Let me share some personal experience on that too:
I’ve had a couple of phones by now and rocked all of them without a case for most of their time.
One of them had the same type of frame as the FP4: the Nokia 7.1. I am also clumsy and on top of what @Aaanze mentioned… The frame integrity was NEVER the issue. even with drops at speed onto concrete.

Things that broke:

  • buttons (amended. thanks @urs_lesse . Those are a bit of a worry. they are not available in the shop)
  • screens (if you’re VERY unluckly and drop it on a part not covered by a protective glass)
  • charging ports (not from dropping but from use… again… easily replaceable)
  • Glass Backs (the fucking WORST idea ever. you HAVE to glue them in place, they break if they so much as touch a sharp object, same as screens, so you might as well put a screen protector on AND they are slippery as fuck. FP4’s back is a godsent)

Though one thing i’d like to mention: fp4 is HEAVY, so drops will likely have higher impact. If you don’t use a case… expect dents and such in your frame.
DO use a heavy screen protector. Don’t use a film. use hardened glass. The one the FP sells is fine.
final mention: I love the plastic bezel on the screen. That’ll make breaking it from by drop much harder.
All in all: I’d rather replace a few things over the years and have a few knicks on my (subjectively) beautiful device, rather than always covering it in some fugly plastic.


While I generally tend to agree that a protective case is an optional rather than a must-have accessory, I wonder what makes you regard the buttons as “easily replaceable on the fp4”? They are not available as a spare part in the shop and frankly I would guess it would be one of the more expensive repairs through Fairphone’s Repair Centre.


Bitte shön Nachbar :slight_smile:

Edit: In regards to the valid point of @demolitionGoat, I would never emphazise enough how much I HATE glass/ceramic back. This removable recycled back plastic idea is one the best thing that I’ve seen in a long time (since my Lumia 735 actually).
Yeah, people will tell you lost the IP 68 rating: I wont be able to f**cking swim with my smartphone tucked in my swim boxer’s pocket anymore, sooooo annoying.


I do have the FP softcase but it really does make the device even larger, you lose the feeling of quality of a metal frame and the fingerprint sensor is harder to reach. So in the end it is a question of how clumsy you are and how important it is for you to have the best protection possible.


fair enough. i thought they were available. Weird. I guess they have some strong trust in their buttons and i hope they do become available eventually. amended my text.


@Aaanze / @demolitionGoat / @urs_lesse / @Discostu36
Thanks so much guys for the swift and thorough replies, much appreciated.
It is done, the order for the FP4 was just placed w/ screen protector and w/o case. :slight_smile:

Have a great weekend ahead,


Congratulations ! Hope you’ll enjoy the device and we’ll have more reasons to discuss around this forum :slight_smile:

I for one can’t wait to see thre arrival of custom roms and various flashing options to mess around. But yet again, in top of being clumsy I’m a very impatient person.

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Pleasure will be mutual @Aaanze.
I was able to tick off a lot of things on my list lately b/c of this forum´s support.

Back in webOS and early Android days I did root all my phones and was planning to do so as well with the FP4. Was happy to read Gael´s announcement on Twitter that e/os is being ported. Have to admit I am not fully convinced of e/os yet. The main reasons for me to flash a custom ROM these days are privacy related (e.g. degoogle, AFWall, AdBlock etc).

edit: typos

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From what I’ve seen of /e/ it seems like a fork of LineageOS with which I’ve usually often be satisfied, but never installed /e/ so far.
As for the general point of flashing, I tend to be a maniac in custom kernel testing (messing with CPU governors, the eternal quest of the smoothest experience with the less battery consumption). Not sure there’ll be much of a choice given the xda community doesn’t seem very active on this device though, but I sure hope there’ll be a few candies.

ymmd…over/underclocking kernels was one of THE things for webOS :slight_smile:
re: activeness of developers/users/customers is rather broad topic (sorry mods) for a separate discussion. But it clearly begins with the first step of actively deciding for this phone and the known/potential downsides it comes with. The former should not be triggered by the number of users out there but rather the wish to make even a minimal impact. And as we say in German good things take a while. It´s going to be interesting to watch future MKBHD videos after his FP4 review b/c for a very long time the FP will be the king in the castle of sustainability.

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Back to topic: I always used a case on my phones. A phone is a tool imo and has to be used carefully to prevent damages which you can’t foreseen. It’s not my fault that some phones are shiny designed objects; what I said, it’s a tool for me, not a design object for showing off my lifestyle behaviour. - To support Fairphone’s idea to have their phones last as long as possible, it seems to be a “must have” for me to safe the phone with a case to prevent it from damages. - Btw: the best cases I had were from Spigen, who made great cases and bumpers. Unfortunately Spigen doesn’t support Fairphone. But the Fairphone’s own cases are also great (I have it on my Fairphone 3).


Appreciate the feedback from a Berliner :slight_smile:
I agree regarding the Spigen cases. Whenever it was possible my past phones had a Spigen (usually slim/tough armor) and a Whitestone dome glass on. Thankfully I rarely dropped them so they didn´t have to prove their strength that often. But I also realized that I mostly did put them on for vacations or weekend trips only. During the week - when working in the office - I kept going back to the thinnest case I own (Pitaka). Either way the mint condition of my phones thanks to both the way they have been babied and the fact they were protectede lead to our family routine of phone handovers from me → partner → kid → grandparents.
I might completely change my mind and go for additional protection (e.g. FitBag) once I can actually hold the FP in my hands. Currently it´s expected to arrive in late January.

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I always used cases around my mobile most of the time I used OtterBox. On my bread new fairphone I now have the soft case. It’s very slim but it’s not that though as OtterBox. The good thing is that it protect the screen Al little better. I think and hope it will survive a drop once in a while.

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wie so einige hier habe ich immer eine Hülle/ Cover und eine Schutzfolie auf dem Display und habe es noch nie bereut.
Mein FP4 hat noch bis 2027 Garantie, da kann so einiges passieren :thinking:
Deshalb hat es direkt die originale Hülle und Schutzglas bekommen.
Das Cover ist zwar (noch) etwas teuer, aber die Kollegen arbeiten ja schon an einer Druckbaren Version, die dann vermutlich günstiger ist :wink:


I’m not using cases with my phones and never had any problem not using cases.
But I’m using protection glas.

safety or not. for me, all the sleeve stuff on the FP4 is way too thick.
The whole smartphone is already not small. But with the cover it becomes huge.
Have only a matte film on it. No H9 glass

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While the original poster has already made his decision, one more point to consider completely independent of considerations about shock-absorption: Unless you are the type for whom ever letting your smartphone leave your hand is unthinkable, you might appreciate if you can easily find it again in your home – and a bright colour helps to “visually” locate it :wink:

It’s one of the reasons why I wanted and got myself the green protective case on my (otherwise) all black FP3, and in this respect the red protective case for the FP4 will probably prove helpful, too.