Does the FP3 *NEED* an FM radio?

You can listen to normal radio over 4G though. My preliminary finding is that 4G reception with FP3 is better than with FP2.

You have a myriad of options:

  1. VPN-based local ← Scope = local.

  2. VPN-based remote (e.g. WireGuard + Pi-Hole) ← I’m using this one (even did on FP2), but it is more complex to set up. Scope = network.

  3. Firefox with uBlock ← Scope = application.

  4. You can use adb to disable to ads framework within apps. Scope = system

  5. You can use software which doesn’t use ads, or buy software/subscriptions without ads. Scope = application.

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4G is not really an alternative to the good old FM radio. You need constant 4G reception and an expensive unlimited data contract.


DAB+, WLAN, and 4G/LTE are used for this purpose. Personally, on my FP2 I use WLAN to (automatically) download “podcasts” and listen to them offline from microSD.

Unlimited data contract sounds over the top for such. According to a blind test in C’t magazine, people don’t hear the difference between 192 kbit VBR/ABR MP3 and CD quality (lossless). If you take 128 kbit ABR (with speech, you can get away with even less quality), it is going to take about 1 MB/min. Which means listening every day to the radio for 1 hour, costs 1,8 GB of data in a month. Which is a lot cheaper than an unlimited data contract.

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What do you mean? Is 4G FM radio?

Installing apps, set up vpn… It is easier to make some entries in /etc/hosts

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4G is radio; different spectrum than FM though, but we are living in 2019, not previous century.

That depends.

Making manual entries to control ad servers is a lot of work, and is only going to work on that system. It won’t work in containers. It won’t work on any other device on the network, or any other device you own.

Yey, a expensive spectrum, FM does not cost. And 1h a day is a joke. Btw. in germany is no 4G everywhere.


1h a day is a joke how? How long do you commute through the woods of Germany? When you’re at home or at work, you can use the available WLAN for the purpose.

Actually, if we could just get rid of DVB-C and FM instead of staying backwards compatible we could reuse the bandwidth (because all the channels are being broadcast non-stop on these spectrums; talk about waste!), stop maintaining the expensive equipment necessary for these ancient techniques, and implement multicasting or on-premise CDNs (which e.g. Netflix happily place at ISPs). Much more efficient.

As for 4G not available everywhere, true, but like I said EDGE is suffice (GPRS is not). I downloaded 128 kbit CBR MP3 almost real-time over 56k6 back in the days.

Finally, it allows for more diversification and less centralization.

Sorry but: how can the FP3 make any use of DAB+?


Reread what I wrote; I never said it did. I said DAB+ serves the same purpose. LTE can perfectly cover that purpose as well; as can EDGE and 3G. 2G (GPRS), not really.

Basically, FM radio as a technology belongs in a museum now, but it is still available and widely used. There might be areas where you don’t have even 2G reception, but FM radio reception.

It is also annoying that most phones require you to connect the headset. In areas with a strong signal, a finger on the headphone connector would also work (an old Samsung Galaxy S3 with “Spirit” FM app can do that). Or a small piece of wire inside the phone, if it was built that way.

I also would like to have DAB+ in a smartphone, but I haven’t heard of a single model that includes it. There will be 5G broadcast, which is really broadcasting and you don’t have to pay per megabyte or have a sufficient data plan. But I’m curious if it will be free to air or require a subscription.

The best thing I found for mobile streaming is “FM Cube”. “Okay” quality for mobile use, does not use a lot of data, nice selection of stations.

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Ain’t that a bit contradictiory in itself?
Just because a technology is old, it does not belong in a museum.
As you rightfully state, it works under almost every condition. E.g. cars usually still have a FM-radio and I love it.


Cars as a technology are as old as FM and belong in a museum as well :wink:


First of all, I really don’t understand that kind of argument.

Second question: Do you really mean cars or rather combustion engines?
Because - even if you would be right - as a means of transport, there is no other technology readily available to replace cars (that is all kinds, like lorries and busses as well).
But don’t let this discurssion drift off now to ecological issues and transportation.

Fact is, that many people - including me - want that kind of technology for their phone (and for the home as well). And many a thing, that once was believed to belong in a museum is facing a revival, because the replacing technology has it’s flaws as well.
So, one should not be too fast in making such kinds of judgement. That’s at least my opinion.


Dear all,

I know that does not contribute directly to this issue but I want to highlight that I really considered buying the new Fairphone 3. Seeing how this issue is dealt with by the FP team, I decided not to do so. The information policy is not up to my expectations considering that the community is really active!

By the way: I think it should be an individual choice whether or not someone considers FM a necessity. There are definitely reasons why FM should be preferred - not least because streaming contributes to climate change…


While I understand your decision and don’t mean to challenge it, I would like to point out some things:

  • Fairphone still is a small company. They have a small team and it seems, they had to tackle some troubles with the phone and delivery. This sure will be keeping them engaged even now.
  • And some resellers simply might not have updated their homepage, though FP informed them of the changes to the feature list.
  • To me the ecological and economical factors by far outweigh those communication-flaws.
    Even more so, since Fairphone on the other hand is much more open than any other company producing and selling phones, like cost-breakdown, suppliers-list, working-conditions etc.

Really one of the most important factors! Saving energy and reducing energy consumption.


Funny, when I grew up I remember it being distorted all the time, driving through the country requiring different frequencies in different regions. I remember my alarm clock starting up at morning with FM, and being distorted all the time, too.

My Nokia N900 had a FM transmitter which allowed you to broadcast music to your FM radio (worked great within car).

Anyway, FM stands for a very limited spectrum with a rather limited freedom of speech, with centralized power. I’m not saying now that everyone has a voice via their blog (or podcast, audiobooks, or everything available on Spotify) is always high quality but the wider choice and different way of broadcasting (e.g. via Spotify “mood playlists” though Spotify is not the only or first provider of such feature) is a big up.

I do use FM at work, but that device has a good connection with Lopik, and I really CBA with politics (or genre preferences) about what should be broadcasted.

Sorry but that is just a silly argument. How do you think those FM broadcasts are made? Do you think they’re free? If we wouldn’t use these, we could use that part of the spectrum more efficiently.

Regarding energy consumption.
I can not nail it, but I think to remember, that internet radio and distribution via satellite is way more energy consuming than FM radio (on sender and on receiver side).

True, when travelling, you have to change frequencies, but that’s what RDS is for.
On the other hand, I really love the FM radio programs the way they are.
This way I “learn” things and hear opinions, I would not encounter with preselected special programs. And there are even now quite a lot of different FM radio stations covering lots of preferences (culture, classical music, world-music, news …).
While the multitude of blogs and special interest streams/radios might be considered an advantage for some, it’s not for me.
I rather would guess, it’s part of what’s called filter bubble.
And - as I see or experience it - a multiplication of programs rather decreases the quality. But that’s really just my individual feeling.


And back to the beginning: I’ve seen a phone you can buy new now for less that 15 Euro (!) that has this feature present. Of course the smartphone functions are very limited. So it is just a joke when it is missing in any phone nowadays.

Unfortunatley, it is a common “feature” of many smartphones, along with built in battery very difficult to remove, missing sd card slot and missing headphone connector.

I guess I’ll keep my super old phone that I’ve used years ago as a backup/additon when I’m somewhere and want to use fm radio. It also has a decent camera (but I’m really happy with the fairphone 3 camera). Oh, and also led notifications.


Just want to add that I’m too very disappointed that the FP3 doesn’t have a FM radio. I used it a lot on my FP2, and I just assumed that it was included in FP3. As a frequently hiker/skiier in the Swedish woods and mountains a FM radio can be very important to get/listen to weather forecasts. And many trains still don’t have wifi and the 3G/4G is no good in the countryside.
BUT, exept for the FM, the FP3 is SO much better than FP2!! 5 weeks now, no problem!


Especially with increasing numbers of forest fires FM radio can be really important. 4G/5G does often not work anymore. See California or now Australia.