Fairphone 2 - list of news coverage and specifications

Due to their costs, fairphone cannot compete on specifications and price on par with its rivals. Their focus must be fairness. People who don’t have values in them will just buy products that are cheaper or have higher specifications.

This is how I think it works:

  1. people have values in them
  2. people get to know fair trade
  3. people get to know FP
  4. people buy FP

Given its limited resources, Fairphone may want to focus on linking steps 1-2-3 and creating steps 2-3. Creating the bulk of steps 1 and 2 is work for idealists like us. For example, I would suggest to also distribute Fairphone through ethical purchasing groups (possibly at a slightly reduced price, e.g. 10% discount for a batch of 10) and fair-trade physical shops.

Because of features of the first model (root & no bloatware), a considerable part of Fairphone’s market share is also made of geeks and hackers. Some IT colleagues of mine whom I never heard talking about fair trade have bought or are considering buying a Fairphone. Many geeks talked about their phones in blogs and videos. I agree with putting fair trade before anything else, but don’t forget where other parts of your market share are (here in Italy we say: “don’t spit in the plate from where you’re eating”).

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Funny, I don’t know any hacker / IT person with a FP. Only environmental/social aware people.

What I try to say is, people tend to overestimate their own group as “the average person”. This is a well-known problem in social sciences :slight_smile:

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@danielsjohan: well… I have to make a confession… I working in a IT-departement of a larger city and here we have at least 10 FP-owner or people who were late for the FP1, but will sure buy the FP2 (as soon as it is out).
True - that is not much, but words spread and I had many questions to answer as soon as I had my FP1 in hands…
And it really would be interesting to see which jobs the FP-community-people have.

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Thank you!

I actually think Fairphones personas (see the blog) are more interesting. :slight_smile: But you seem to have a great IT-department!

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Wasn’t there this survey of Fairphone customers? Did that include your job? I don’t remember. I think there was a blog post about it.

Edit: Here we go

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Please consider a compact version.

A screen smaller than 4.7″ was voted in in the forum and almost two thirds of the voters would have been satisfied with a screen not larger than 4.3″ (as FP1).

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I have been thinking about the FP2 since the announcement. This article expresses all my concerns (not by me)

It is between this and the LG4 (microSD slot, replacement battery) when my contract comes up in the Autumn…

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Well written and has some valid points! Must read for the Fairphone designer – who should also read this thread i think!

Edit: Which does not mean i agree to all points made there :slight_smile:

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I think the main sticking point for me will be support. An update to android 5.2 should significantly improve battery life. I am assuming that the HD screen will not be a high end amoled, and so should not be too battery draining.

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Indeed very well written. Thanks for linking.

I think it is interesting that is argues like many people here that the price is too high. In contrast to what many of those forum members who say that the specifications are too high, he says that “components are mediocre at best”. He also complains about key components being omitted (like NFC) which many here are glad about because they don’t use it.

I’m not able to follow what he says about battery life:

Source: xda-developers.com
“Throughout a 3-year usage scenario, based on the maximum charge
cycle and average charging time per year, it is assumed that Fairphone
owners will buy an additional battery” is what their site says, and
it makes sense: in order for a device to last 3 years, you will most
likely replace the battery at some point. They also claim that “nearly 50% of the greenhouse gas emissions come from the electricity used to charge the phone during the 3-year usage scenario”.
This is funny, because so far nothing suggests (nor guarantees) that
this phone will have exceptional battery life. Assuming that users want
to minimize environmental damage, they’d need to reduce the electricity
consumption from unnecessary charging. They would need to charge their
phones more often, however, which easily leads to unnecessary charging.
Battery life and battery longevity should be at the top of the list in
their priorities, as (per their studies) batteries are damaging
components, particularly in metal depletion, and this approach would
most likely degrade the battery faster than usual.

Can anyone please elaborate on that?

What I don’t agree with is that there is no gain by having a modular phone. He assumes all repairs would be covered by warranty anyway. But what about dropped phones with broken screen? What about broken electrical components due to moisture? What about general wear outside the (2 year?) warranty period? There are plenty of reasons to have modularity just for repairability. And then – of course – we are hoping for upgradability.

The author would rather just replace entire phones when something is broken or not up to date anymore. But he misses the entire point of minimizing environmental costs by producing as few electiral components as possible. I am 100% sure that many future Fairphone 2 owners will make use of the possibility of partial repairs and/or upgrades (given Fairphone really pulls it off and offers spare parts for long enough a time).

In general there are still many points to consider in this article.

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IMHO that article is shallow and biased.

It maintains a constant denigrating tone and misses some of Fairphone’s core aspects (e.g. being conflict-free). Expects top-specs from a phone costing less the current top spec ones. Classifies indiscriminately all its components and specifications (including the internal 32Gb memory) as mediocre, which they are not. Quotes third party sites on information which not ever FairPhone seem to have released yet, and on the “failed promise” that Fairphone is not 100% fair (which nowadays would be impossible).

Like @jftr noted, other parts of the article are just illogical, like failing to see the link between modularity and environment (by avoiding production of entire phones) or short-circuiting long battery life with low energy consumption.

The cost of the Fairphone 2 is right. It is that of the FP1, plus better specifications, plus modularity, plus crash resistance. It may not be fair that somebody cannot afford a fair phone, but that’s another matter.

Edit (after receiving the 5 likes): the cost breakdown for the FP2 has not been published before pre-orders and its operating system has been locked (with consequent savings on support and probable benefits from Google), therefore it now appears to me that (given the minimal impact of fair-trade metals and assembly in the FP1 cost breakdown) the cost of the FP2 may be not entirely justified.

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I agree with most of what you say but I can’t read this in the article. Yes, he is one of the people who would always love top specs in a phone. But the price comparison is IMHO quite fair:

Source: xda-developers.com [My emphasis]
Everything else is not just under the current leading specs, but also behind its preceding high-end phones from mid 2014.
[…]
It’s true that there are still costly Snapdragon 801 devices on the market, namely the Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact that retailed for €550 at the time of its release. However, these phones arrived while the 801 chip was still in its prime, and pack , a premium design, a large battery that proves its might, and many of the commodities you can only expect out of a higher tier OEM.

So the author compares the price of similar phones that cost approximately the same when they were released a year ago but are considerably cheaper now (e.g. Xperia Z3 for 450 Euro or Xperia Z3 Compact for 360 Euro).

One problem is of course that he compares it to the ridiculously low priced OnePlus One. No other phone (not even a Nexus 5) can compare with that spec-to-price ratio.

So in the end I agree with you: The price of Fairphone 2 is right (based on what we know). Fairphone 2 buyers will also (knowing and willingly) pay for the effort to make smarphone manufacturing more transparent, fairer, etc.

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The question for everybody who calls the price of the fairphone “unfair” or “unjustified” is this:
Would it be fairer if Fairphone would have produced the same phone without conflict-free / fairtrade / recycled materials, without trying to increase the conditions for the workers and without donating a portion (we don’t know how much yet) to other good causes? Sure if they did it like that the phone would better compare to other phones but they’d have to stop calling it “Fairphone”.

I don’t think FP2’s price is unfair because it’s not like Fairphone is a profit-driven corporation with overpayed bosses. You get exactly what you pay for with the Fairphone: A cool phone and a cleaner conscience.

PS: If you buy a cheaper phone with the same specs, you’d have to donate quite a lot of money to different non-profits to contain the damage the production and trade of your phone has caused, but you still would have supported the faulty system instead of supporting change for the better.

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Comparison to the OnePlus One is interesting, because the One was acknowledged to be sold basically “at cost”, in an attempt by OnePlus to grab some marketshare quickly. Since the FP2’s tech is similar, we hence know what it could cost to produce an FP2. I say “could”, because the FP2 will probably cost Fairphone more, due to e.g. smaller volume, and fairness aspects.

I agree with you that the rest of the price comparison is entirely valid and fair. Spec-wise, the FP2 is at (or slightly below) the level of premium (though not top-of-the line) phones released one year ago. The FP2’s price is comparable to the introduction price of these other phones.

The catch is: introduction price was one year ago. Had the FP2 been introduced last year, it would have been right on the money. But it wasn’t. It’s being introduced now, and as a consequence, its last-year’s price means that it carries a premium of about 75,- to 100,- €.

One way to look at this is that the FP2 carries a “fair trade” premium of about 15% - 20%. Whether fairness is worth a 20% price bump is something potential buyers have to decide for themselves

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Actually OLED-displays consume less energy than LCD screens:

[quote=“ben,topic:3938,post:9”]In the great [Blog about Fairphones Environmental Impact][1], it is mentioned that an AMOLED screen could save energy. I was also surprised that the environmental impact of the “use” is 28% assuming a 3 year lifetime.

LCD screen
Switching to an AMOLED screen could be a potential solution for reducing carbon emission by less electricity consumption due to efficient battery usage (Lin et al., 2009), though more up-to-date research is necessary to validate this claim. On the other hand, there are not yet any studies analyzing the environmental impact of producing these screens.
[/quote]
[1]: http://www.fairphone.com/2015/01/22/first-fairphones-environmental-impact/

The Fairphone blog post, the xda-author also refers too, in general is worth a read.

@jftr I wonder how many human beings were exploited to offer OnePlus’ price…

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Do you mean the posts by that FSFE member? Yes, they are very good he seems to be in favour of the idea of Fairphone but looks at the project with healthy criticism from a free software perspective. He has some more in his category on Fairphone and he has been right from the beginning when he was doubting that Fairphone can pull off to build a smartphone with free software.

Exactly my point.

No, I meant this blog post about the environmental impact of the Fairphone.

I myself was hoping to save money just lowering specs.

Here:

[…] Everything else is not just under the current leading specs […]

The author does not also consider that European goods are taxed more then asian and US counterparts (at least until TTIP is forced unto us, which may be good for Fairphone but will most probably force deregulation of some good EU health and consumer protection laws).

If someone wants a cheaper fairphone with lower specs he can get a second-hand FP1! I’m sure there will be lots available once FP2 sale has started. :smiley:
And who knows, Fairphone may still release cheaper modules for the FP2.

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Yeah right… but now on eBay there’s just one for sale (one in the whole world) and it cost nearly as much as new with 6 days to go. I prematurely passed mine to my little sis :cry:

Or they may release a (smaller & cheaper) FP2 mini!