Fairphone 3 becomes a promoted device for Ubuntu Touch


I’m so happy and curious to spread that Fairphone 3 and 3+ turn out to be a promoted devices for Ubuntu Touch OS.

Beside a great redesign of the whole UBports website:

Are there anyone who are willing to test the new OS?



Oh, thats tempting! Maybe I will find the time to give it a try next week. Thanks for posting!

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That’s great! Please could you share a feedback here below? :slight_smile:

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That’s really nice (thanks again to @Luksus for his work)

I think that historically it is the FP2 that is a promoted device, because it was ported by the UBPorts team (in opposition to community-ported)
As it was said some time ago in the Q&A 90, the classification between core and community devices is unrelated to the maturity of the port :slight_smile:

quote from Q&A 90

Why keep old devices and what are the promoted ones

Steve asked why we bother with older devices such as Nexus 5 (which is now eight years old) rather than change focus to the newer i.e. Android 9 devices? Applee asked on a related note what are ‘promoted’ devices?

A lot of these terms are not documented and just kind of appeared. More work is going on to define what is meant by the maturity indicators we have assigned.

‘Core’ device likewise makes no sense and seems to imply some relation to ‘core developers’ where none is meant. Almost all of our devices come from the community. These labels were supposed to communicate something useful about their stability etc. but really they don’t. A community device might be quite broken. There are so many now that we cannot do QA on every one of them, only some. We have to base our assessments mostly on trust but there is a need for verification that is independent. OpenCuts is the mechanism which we hope to use to automate these checks. It can yield hard data which can then be made public.

This whole subject needs thinking about and refining. There is a forum discussion already taking place and it is worth joining, to express your view.

BTW -on the same website- if you look at the menu “Ubuntu Touch > Devices > Promoted” it is the FP2 that is descripted and not the FP3.

An error made by the web-developer on the main page?? :sweat_smile: :laughing:

same conclusion from the page https://devices.ubuntu-touch.io/ where FP2 have a star :star:

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Maybe and maybe not … but as explain in the Q&A 111:

website pages are a work in progress and some information could be incomplete. Moreover, some old devices like FP2 won’t be compatible with the new 20.04 release, when FP3 will be.

I notice that the development of FP3 is near to be fully completed. Can we argue that asap it will become a supported device? .


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Are you sure? If I understood well the incompatible old devices are the ones from BQ, because of some closed-source issue.

As FP2 is compatible with both Halium-5 and Halium-7, I hope it should not be an issue to go to Focal 20.04 :crossed_fingers:

quote from Q&A 108

BQ devices future

Domubpkm asked to clarify what the future is for BQ smartphones like the 4.5 and tablets like the M10, once we reach 20.04? The problem with those early devices is they were ported by Canonical but the source code to the Android side remained with the vendors. We need to move media handling and sensor drivers for devices as we move to 20.04. We do have an absence of tablets in our line-up and that is something we probably need to look at, now that we have the GSI to make that easier. Moving to systemd in our rootfs will not play with the kernels of those older devices. Even if we could rebuild the kernel (which would be possible but would take a great deal of effort) we still would not have access to the Android tree.

As Marius said, we have a very small development team and we have to choose between maintaining how we are and moving forward to the future. We have decided to move forward by embracing 20.04 and that means we will have to leave some things behind.

UBP 5.1 is a slightly different case as it came after Canonical but it still lacks a lot of what we need. Where possible we can take devices forward to the Halium based 7.1 [thinking Nexus 5 and Oneplus One here] but if that turns out not to be possible those will also have to be dropped. If there are people in the community who want to keep the old stuff and are able to maintain it, they are welcome to do that but the core team does not have enough resources to do that.

The supply of working BQ devices [not meaning the Uplus…] is practically zero, so this is not about new entrants, only legacy. We know that the Volla phone has the number two place on our push server stats. That happened because you could buy it new from a store with UT pre-installed. Volla X is moving up fast for the same reason. Buying used you risk hardware problems and a tired battery.

We will not hurry to shut down server support for those stuck on 16.04 on older devices but we repeat what we have said before: it is time to get on the Android 9/10 train if you possibly can [and yes, we need some ported tablets…] 16.04 has some nasty security weaknesses, especially on the Bluetooth side. We really don’t want our user base to be open to those exploits but on those outdated phones we are in practice unable to protect you. Please move forward with us.

With Halium 9 (and even with Halium 7 to an extent) we were able to get improvements by swapping out droidmedia for example. With the adoption of systemd, we have kernel needs which cannot be satisfied by the old devices. Halium can evolve, while with old devices it was always about applying workarounds to get a fixed, unchangeable system to work. We have borrowed a lot from Sailfish and they have borrowed a lot from us. That is hugely beneficial but again we cannot get anything productive out of the redundant devices.

Android itself is a very fast moving target. If we fall too far behind we will find ourselves locked out. We must move forward all the time. Remember that we have supported these devices long after the manufacturer lost interest in them. The absence of LTE and 4G capability in the hardware [wifi bands too] is gradually making a lot of the older devices useless. When 3G switches off there will only be 2G, which is hopeless for most use cases. We need to be taking 5G seriously. It isn’t urgent yet but it is much better to get ready before it becomes urgent. “We don’t jump up the stairs, we walk up the stairs”.

Found some time to try the installation today. Here is what I found so far:

  • The UBports installer softbricked my phone at the first try, had to flash FairphoneOS again and then retry. Second attempt worked fine
  • There seems to be no charging screen. I wanted to turn of the phone and charge the battery to 100 % but when doing so the phone automatically boots to the bootloader after shutdown. (Also noted as “offline charging” in the “Fatures & Usability”-table at the website)
  • I am annoyed that you can only set PINs of a length of 4 digits.
  • Fingerprint is not working (Also in the “Fatures & Usability”-table at the website)

Couldn’t you just use the “Password”-option instead of “PIN”?

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I loaded it up also.

The phone is actually an excellent device for this. Having used UBPorts before on the Nexus 5 I can say this is a really nice experience on the Fairphone 3. There is some graphics tearing but it isn’t too bad. Battery life is also really, really good.

You can also install Android apps via Waydroid. This also works excellently as the Fairphone has the specs to pull it off, some minor bugs there also, and it isn’t 100% polished. I can use banking apps and other deal breaker proprietary apps using this.

All in all, the dev who ported it did an excellent job. The bugs are minor and the performance is stellar.

I will be continuing to use it on my Fairphone 3.


Android apps work via waydroid? Sounds cool :slight_smile:
Do they have access to Bluetooth? Does the german Corona-Warn-App work?

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Can the phone be dual booted or ubuntu installed on the DS card?

The FP3 has two ‘slots’ one is overwritten with an update and the ‘current’ one set in stasis.

The theory is that it could be possible to downgrade to an earlier version. So it would seem that an alternate OS is not out of the question.

However that is not the same as a dual boot and even a downgrade to previous A10 version isn’t a path that is used by the average user here.

I think the only way would be to have a virtual drive within Android, so probably also not really a working solution. :frowning:

I don’t think it’s possible to boot from the SD card so again it would have to be some virtual Ubuntu running within Android 10 etc.

Anything is possible, but unlikely given the amount of work it may entail.

As Corona Warn App from f-droid doesn’t even need microG, it might work if it has access to the Bluetooth.
Would you mind testing?

Seems like it isn’t. I’m unsure as to why, could very well be due to hardware layer emulation. However I’m unsure. Someone else might know however…

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Ah, what a pity. That is one of the two Apps I absolutely need. The other one is the DB Navigator, but I guess if banking apps are working, that piece of crap will work, too.

Nevertheless, thank you very much for trying!

Yes, but since the data partition with the user data is not doubled but shared, this would require the data partition to be used as is or be left alone and not touched by the second OS.
And I don’t know which other pitfalls of this approach might exist, apart from that an Android OS in case of an OTA update will attempt to install it to the currently unused (by Android) slot … https://source.android.com/devices/tech/ota/ab.

That’s great! have you try so far waydroid in particular with some “multisensors” game like Pokemon Go (gps, movement sensor, mobile data, online game account), etc? What kind of bank apps have you try? Than you!


Personally I use Monzo for banking. But I am unsure regarding Pokemon Go etc, not much of a gamer but I can test it if you’re interested.


Thank you!
Could you try also AMEX and Revolut bank app?

Gently let me know :slight_smile: