Fairphone 3+ Software support

Just curious. When the Fairphone 3 was released, it came with the promise of 5 years of software support.

Now, one year later, they released Fairphone 3+, which seems to be mostly the same device, but with more recycled plastic and better cameras. As it is still basically a Fairphone 3, I would expect that the software support period to remain the same: 5 years starting last year.

However, the business page states that “Fairphone 3+ offers you (… ) 5-years software support”.

Does this mean that if I bought a Fairphone3+ I can expect the software support to last 5 years starting now?

3 Likes

I’m not sure you’ll get your answer on this community forum. I advise you to #contactsupport

I guess I’ll do that then.
Asked here first because someone in the community might have already asked.

Thanks.

3 Likes

IMHO, as I understand it, as FP3 and FP3+ are based the same hardware (same compatible modules) and same software, it should mean they’ll support FP3+ for at least 5 years as promised, and so extend the support of FP3 for at least 5 years from now, which would mean one more year of free sofware support for FP3 owners, yay!

6 Likes

Good point, but this is a pretty theoretical question IMHO. Given the current progress in smartphone technology (energy efficiency, battery, …), I cannot imagine Android 16 in 2025 running on a SoC that was already lower mid-range in 2019.

I know that the FP2 is supposed to receive an update to Android 9 this year, but this is nothing that I would want to use. Scrolling and more demanding graphics are already really slow on a FP3 today (if you want to see the difference, just go to an Apple Store nearby and try an SE).

Best wishes,
Thomas

It is a matter of definition, so I would say. The fact that only the Fairphone business site mentions the 5-year software support could imply that this is for business customers only.

I think they just didn’t update everything. They replaced FP3 by FP3+, and Android 9 by Android 10. Otherwise it seems pretty much the same as before (ok, they did change things like the photos or the living wage, true). It is also written “at least one major update to the next version of android.” Which they already promised before. So they may be promising all this again (and that would be wonderful), but I’m wondering if it isn’t just the same promise as they gave for the FP3.

If they roll out an update and have software updates for the FP3(+)s, why would they make it available only to business customers? This would not be logical.

Edit: Clarifying a sentence

2 Likes

It is logical from an economic point of view, because business customers usually have a budget to pay for after sales support.

It isn’t from an ethical one, because if FP rolls out a new update, I think they’ll make it available for everyone, business or not (otherwise they would disappoint a lot of people). FP2 received 5 years of software support and seems it’s going to receive more. I don’t understand why it would be different for the FP3.

2 Likes

I run current Lineage OS on my FP2 so well that I cannot understand why Fairphone intend to pimp an old device with an OS version which was released more than two years ago. Officially supporting a five year old model with an old OS version is kind of retro, but sure, better than nothing. It is quite easy to “promise” a five year period of support when updates are supplied only every two years…

It’s not “easy” to adapt an Android Version that was not meant to be adapted to the SoC that’s not even supported by its builder anymore:

I run Lineage as well, but most people won’t bother to install an alternative OS. The last numbers about people installing Open OS on their phone was 5% of FP2 owners. Most people will just stick with the stock OS. And if this stock OS is updated to a later version of android, then people will perhaps keep their phone longer because it works a bit more smoothly. Updating the FP2 to android 9 was a right step for its sustainability. Then, FP also want to raise awareness, and prove that updating a old device to a recent android version is possible. They did it (well, android 9 is still in beta phase, but it’ll come).
Though you have a fair point that there hasn’t been an update for nearly a year.

2 Likes

Correct, but when working on it, that should be based on the latest OS version. To me it seems that the FP3 and FP3+ shall always be at least one OS version ahead of the FP2, and that is a marketing issue, not a technical one.

And, to be fair: The FP2 is running great with Android 10, the performance is awesome! Thanks again to @chrmhoffmann for his great work, maybe Fairphone could team up with him in OS development, he would be a great gain to them.

Well I guess they did, after all they jumped from Android 7 to 9, but if it takes too long, the version might already be outdated…

EDIT: I don’t think they did it for marketing. It’s not the way they work. They simply stopped selling FP2 as it was badly designed anyway. If they thought this way, they wouldn’t have released the Android 10 update and new camera modules for FP3 in the same time than FP3+.

1 Like

Google still officially supports Android 8.0, so android 9 won’t be outdated before a year at least, probably even two. They dropped support for android 7 earlier this year, that’s why there aren’t any new updates for FP2.

Edit: I think we are going slightly off-topic. The original topic was about FP3(+).

3 Likes

Android 7 for FP2 was made in cooperation with the Lineage OS team. But then, You can’t update a OEM ROM in the same way as a custom ROM. See that article:

True, but why do they work on Android 9 and not 10? If they started with Android 10, users would benefit from another year of security updates. The gap between these two versions is not that big.

I’ve actually used Android 9 in the form of Lineage OS (plus GAPPs pico) on my FP2 for quite a while. And I also tried Android 10 on it. I really can’t say that this stresses the FP2 too much.
I’d rather assume that apps will be a problem performance wise, not so much the OS itself.

Don’t get me wrong, if someone feels the overall performance isn’t good enough - especially when comparing to more powerful phones - then of course there is not much to argue. But from personal experience there is no drastic slow down between Android 7 and 10 on the FP2.

Edit: one more thing came to my mind. I’ve done the transition from 7 -> 8 and then from 8 -> 9. Going from 7 -> 9 directly might be more noticeable.

4 Likes

Back to the original topic, I received today an answer from Fairphone Support.
Here’s what they said about the software support, and the information on the business page:

"You are perfectly correct, thank you for flagging this, I have asked the relevant department to rectify it as soon as possible.
To answer your question shortly, we are planning to support our FP3/3+ for at least 5 years from the FP3 release date (back in August 2019)."

So I guess that should settle it.

9 Likes

This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.