Fairphone 2 suitable for non-technical users?

Hi there,
I am considering to buy a Fairphone. I’ve been doing some research with one question remaining. Is the Fairphone suitable for someone - like me - who doesn’t have any technical know-how or affinity? I basically only want to use the phone :slight_smile: All help is welcome! Much appreciated.



Yes the FP2 is definitly good for first time smartphone users. In fact there are many of them as they never wanted to buy a smartphone until there was one that’s produced fairly.
If you run into troubles you can ask any question here in the forum (although it’s always appreciated if you search first).
There are ever some #localcommunities and individuals all over Europe who are willing to meet with “noobies” to help them personally.

On the other hand, if you just want to use the phone for basic functions it would still be “fairer” to buy an unfair “dumbphone” than a partly-“fair” smartphone.

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I am not sure to recommend you “my fairphone-2” if you never want to open anything neither software nor hardware. While beeing unsure about this issue I am sure that all (!) technical newbies, noobies … managed to disassemble and reassamble the display because the inventors made a design for non-technic aware people.
The question “to buy or not to buy” (no , not shakespeare but Heine :wink: is quite a bit similiar to the difference between the 3 worlds of desktop computers, e.g. Windows, MacOS and Linux (the bad, the good and the ugly).
The question I would ask you if you want to have a commercial product with simple purchase contract without any technical responsibility. The vendor usually denies or prohibits to let you take care about it. If you want a product where the front lines between responsibilities of producer and customer are soft and more complex then you shouldnot be afraid of an alliance with Fairphone.


Take it from me: You can use the Fairphone without any technical know how :wink: I’ve done it for three months now.


The phone runs on Android which is being used by over 80% of all smartphone users. Thus I’m convinced that you don’t need to be tech savvy in order to operate it, as it wouldn’t have been so successful if not suitable for all kinds of user groups.
However, as @anon9505190 pointed out, there are also other environments: if for example all your other devices are from apple, an iPhone might integrate better into your digital ecosystem. Otherwise I see no reason why it would not be suitable.


I tried to make the point about the relationship between vendor and customer rather than to any special vendor i.e. apple. If you are not prepared to some new issues between you and Fairphone Inc. then you are slightly a bit surprised. Let’s take the famous old fashioned Users-Manual : a traditional vendor in germany needs to send you a " Handbuch (handbook) , Anleitung (Guide) " because we have a legal paragraph that says: “If a customer is not provided with a handbook that he understands he may return the product without any other fault”.
If we take a look on the tiny package from FP we got a sheet of paper with some few steps that helps you for the first day. After I asked FP team about a traditional manual they responded it was never planned and I shall take a look in googles android specification for release lollipop.
This is what I mean with “soft front lines”.

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It depends – just tell us more about you. It also depends where you come from, if you want to learn more … or a phone where you can exchange parts easily. Maybe an used iPhone with a new battery could help you more without wasting more resources?

But if you want to support the project and if you like the idea … just check out a friend’s Android phone. All Android phones are pretty much the same, only some have newer software. And some get update more often/longer. Or have spare parts available (like the FP2). The FP2 currently runs Android 5.1 called “Lollipop”. If you can find such a phone … and are able to handle it … I’m sure you will be able to use the FP2 as well.


Hey Paul, thanks for the tip about the local communities. I am living in Rotterdam (NL) so there should be some people around that might be able to help. Thanks!

anon9505190, thanks for your feedback. Who knows I might actually start looking into the soft- and hardware. Especially seeing that so many people respond to enquiries. :grin: Thanks!

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Its as easy as most other Android devices, and it comes with minimal to no bloat (unlike certain other brands like Samsung and HTC). This means the device doesn’t come with unnecessary software installed and has a good out of box experience.

There’s good documentation and howto’s available.

However, it is Android, not iOS. iOS is slightly more user-friendly (I always tend to use my mother and mother-in-law as comparison for these). But the difference isn’t large, and Android and the Fairphone have other advantages over iDevices.

An important thing to remember is there is always going to be a learning curve regardless of the OS. If you have never used Android before, you will meet this learning curve. Depending on how handy (no pun intended) you are with new things like this, you’ll catch up quickly or eventually. Many who are not technically inclined have been on this path before you, and have learned to use Android. Don’t expect to master all of it within a day. Take small steps instead, and use your resources. There’s also the forum here, Google, Fairphone communities, and even Android communities. Don’t expect hand holding while you’re not paying though. In that sense it could help us if you include more information such as what you’re coming from. Like, what’s your current and previous (smart)phone?

[NL]PS: Misschien interessant voor je: Bits of Freedom heeft ook workshops waarbij ze je helpen zaken zoals de privacy op je telefoon in te stellen.[/NL]


It is my first smartphone, and only internet source at home. It is a matter of trial and error, and many referrals to this forum. My old dumbphone is a better phone for me as mobile, and I know several people both with android and iphones who prefer the simple phone. However I have managed to use dual sim facility, end calls (changing settings to use power button to do so, an ability that doesn’t seem available in other android phones, but is v useful), and switch between wifi and sim. I’ve got an sd card, and am currently investigating an easy wayto store my pictures on it, but have figured out how to move picture and music files about. People say the camera isn’t great, but I have some nice pics.


Have you found or already used much of the official documentation given by Fairphone on the support page of their internet site ? Which kind or parts of the official documentation maybe helped you to start with your first smartphone ?


I found the forum more helpful than the official pages, but I would have preferred some more info on the official pages. The first thing I did was play around a lot before putting a sim in, and then did a factory reset. Just changing settings and finding where things were. I had to search the forum to find out that only 1 sim is 4g, and how to set it so that the right one was - this could be easier. Swapping between them for data is fiddly, but really easy for calls / texts. Setting it to ask me which sim to use prevents accidental calls, and using tbe power switch to turn it off is easier than getting the screen to activate. There seem to be lots of little things that you need to be told about, like playing a computergame and finding out that if you press 2 buttons together you can suceed - you’re unlikely to discover this yourself, but with hints you can progress quite well.

I agree completely that the vital forum here is not only better but also essential and indispensible to get deeper understanding. If it helps I can tell that I made an official FP support request where I asked if I have to collect my knowledge more from the forum than from a traditional kind of handbook e.g. manual . The answer was that the FP2 android graphical user interface can be found directly at the official google android documentation. Clearly a redirection than pointing to own documentation. However in january the tutorials even didnot exist. I guess this forum is really kind of replacement of a traditional handbook. On the other hand most information here still is a bit dispersed and needs to be collected. What does this mean looking at the topic headline ? For replacing a handbook against searching and finding, lost+found from this forum you need also special kind of reading technics beside the meaning of beeing a technical user in the sense of this topic.

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To our regret we were not able to introduce a wiki for people like you - this website depends on fairphone.com. But paulakreuzer made a Fairphone Forum Dictionary. Is this something for you?


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It would havebeen helpful to find the dictionary earlier, I’ve worked out what some of the terms mean now. I’m going to investigate some of the entries. The links in it look useful, and I do appreciate the effort people put in to helping the less tecchie users (just signing into the forum took me far longer than it should)

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