Fairphone 3 - Interview of Bas from FrAndroid

Just a side note: The iMX is originally by Freescale (US) and came to NXP when they bought Freescale. Some months ago Qualcomm decided to buy NXP and if no miracle happens the iMX will come from an US Firm again. :wink:


Most of it should be supported by mainline kernel, so it’s mostly just writing a new DTS and config for the new base board. Pretty much daily business for us kernel hackers.

What’s the big problem here ?
Take a recent android tree, put in new kernel (w/ board specific config) and new mesa.
Can’t be that big deal.

That would imply other changes, eg. new case.
IOW: a really new device.

Simple: When modules aren’t fully compatible anymore.
I’d call the variant w/ just new baseboard 2.1.

Simple: within each generation, the individual components are versioned separately.
Eg. if the cam module is upgraded, it will be version 2.

The only thing that might require some more thoughts is proper module probing
(if the modules dont already come w/ some generic identification mechanism, eg. a tiny i2c eprom, etc). But that’s all solvable, once the specs are on the table.

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If everything so simply I guess we will see these changes in the FP3. :stuck_out_tongue:

So finally qualcomm become the new Intel… :unamused:

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I think, they would not bother if they can sell more of the chips… And as they use it for medical devices, long-time support will be granted (by law!)…

I’ve been using LineageOS for a few weeks now and it works quite well. There are some issues but I had issues with the original OS as well. If you are willing to experiment a little bit and flash LineageOS than you can have Android 7 right now.

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Yes, but not for Android Updates, that is for sure!

Now, as an Fairphone owner, but also being hungry for power and Android Updates, the FP 3 definitely needs a new processor. There is no guarantee, but it should be state of the art at release time. Throw in three or four GB ram, a better camera module and LTE on both slots — done. The more I think about it, it’s like the S models at Apple. The new slim case, the display… all great with the FP2 already, keep them ans the battery for compability . If they can keep some more modules compatible, the better.


Probably just design a new main module and a new camera module might already do the trick! All FP2 owner could just exchange the mainboard, if they want to, but they have not to! And if all modules of FP2 and FP3 are compatible with each other, you don’t get into trouble with spare parts as with FP1…


That is possible, but manufacturers hardly use this.
See e.g. the Motorola Moto G5 Plus: two sim-cards on one side of the tray, the memory-card on the other side.

Motorola, did it right.
Dual SIM doesn’t help mutch if you can’t use them, when you need an micro SD.

FP3 would sounds great, but I think we need a The Fairphone or a Fairphone X, where we can change as much as possible, so about 85% should be modules, so every part could be updated. :wink:


Essentially Fairphone should base the next generation on the FP2 to minimize loss in manpower, parts and support. Should the FP3 be a completely new design I would even bet on failure of the company, as the support for FP2 will then most likely face the same obstacles as it did for FP1. Too few customers to enable further production of spare parts and batteries and no more software updates, as the number of working FP2 is shrinking.
The modular concept is a good one and any further steps should build on the same foundation, not just on the same idea.

Just my 2 cents.


you cannot base a new phone on a soc that qualcom has already stopped supporting, Fairphone would not even get google certification (pass their tests).



You are right here of course. The FP3 obviously will have to have a new mainboard and another SoC.
That’s not what I meant.
I meant to refer to the dimensions with regard to display, battery and the modules.
If you own a FP2 and your cover or display breaks or ýour camera module or your headphone jack, you should be able to use the same modules that are available for the FP3 by then. Fairphone should aim to prevent the necessity to stock spare parts for two production lines.
At least until they have sold enough phones to guarantee all owners of a Fairphone availability of spare parts and accessories for a long time.

Sorry for not being more clear in my previous post.


Right, thanks for the clarification. The SoC will need to be different, of course.


Fairphone should neither need nor rely on a Google certification IMHO. If that leads to removing GAPPS from the default install that’s fine with me ;).


This would be a massive design win for Fairphone, I really hope it is possible and an official comment would be great.

Imagine the boost to the community if that could be achieved and the sustainability message it would send.


I think the solution to making a electronic device that last as long as possible, is to give it the power so it will last for the longest time. So if you give it a mid range\low CPU, you are limmiting for how long the product will be able to handle the work load in the future. All tech gets more demanding as tech evolve. So, high end chip is the only way to go!.


Some people simply want a secure phone (ongoing security updates) which they can use to read their emails and browse the web. The percentage that plays heavy 3D games is relatively low, I think.


Who was talking of 3D gaming?
As is obvious watching Android development you will need ever more powerful CPU (or SOC) with every new version. If I got it right, the support for FP1 has ended, as the chipset was - according to Google - not deemed capable of handling Android 5. I see no reason, that this should not happen time and again with every new SOC and Android version. To increase the period of time, it - at least to me - sounds quite reasonable to use a most powerful SOC to start with.
Of course the relation between power and price has always to be balanced.
But starting with a low end SOC will surely lead to the same result experienced with FP1; unless you switch to Cyanogen, Lineage or the like and the community is able to support the relevant SOC.


The support has ended because Mediatek didn’t update their drivers for Android versions higher than 4.2 or 4.4. Fairphone 1 would - regarding computation power - be perfectly capable of running Android 7 or 8, especially since they are designed to be less demanding of weaker phones. These are found in the lower price range in Europe, but above all in the growing markets like China, India, South America and parts of Africa.