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First impressions Fairphone 2

Hi all,

I wanted to share my first impression of the Fairphone 2.
I’m using it now for 2 days, and I’m happy with it.

I think there are some specifics in the way I use my phone (I’m not an average user, but who is :wink:):

  • I use WiFi only, so no mobile internet (2G / 3G / 4G).
    Hence I’m using the phone in 2G mode, as it’s less energy consuming
  • I do not use it as a mediaplayer (no music / radio or video playback)

It’s also important to know that my previous phone was a Windows Phone (Nokia Lumia), so I have to get used to an android phone…

General impression:

  • The look and feel is good.
    It’s bigger than my Windows phone, but it feels good in my hand.
    The buttons are well positioned.
    It’s also not too heavy.
  • Of course I tried disassembling the phone :smiley:
    Removing the back cover is the hardest part really.
    It fits rather tight to the phone, so it needs a bit of practicing.
    Don’t forget to remove the battery before removing the screen, as it blocks the screen.
    After removing the battery it’s very easy to remove the screen.
    The modules are also easy to remove, and the phone even seems to be functional with removed modules (apart from the function of the module of course).
    Reassembling the phone is just as easy.
    Also placing the back cover needs some practicing.
  • The phone is very quick, and responds very well.
    Startup is a bit slower than my Windows phone, about 45 seconds.
  • I experienced some glitches with the touchscreen the first day I used it.
    It seemed to think I moved my finger all over the screen while I hold my finger steady at one point, which made the phone very hard to handle.
    I haven’t seen this behavior again after a reboot (see link for further discussion).
  • The battery lifetime (almost 2 days) is OK I think.
    Since I played a lot with it, and WiFi was on most of the time, it’s hardly comparable with my average usage, but 2 days does not seem bad.
    I used to have a battery lifetime of 1 week with my Windows phone, I’ll find out what it really will be in a couple of weeks, when I’m getting used to my new phone, and stop playing with it all the time :wink:.
  • I don’t like the greyed icon of the second SIM card.
    I would like to hide the icon, since I’ll never use 2 SIM cards, but I understand this is an Android issue.
    It should be possible to hack it, but I haven’t tried yet.

What I have used so far:

  • Phone call:
    It’s working as expected, good audio quality.
  • WiFi:
    Speed is good, no problems at all
  • Location (GPS):
    I just checked if it works, and it found my location pretty quick.
    Haven’t tried it while travelling, I’ll do that in the next few days.
    I have an issue with the location icon staying on (see this thread), but it’s a minor issue.
  • Camera:
    I made a couple of pictures, and I think the quality is OK.
    But I never use a phone for serious photography, so I can’t really compare.

So, as a conclusion I’m very happy with the phone so far.

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Great to read the first hands on experience on the forum. :smile:

The Xposed Module Gravity Box will help you with that.

PS: I forgot! FP2 doesn’t come rooted, so you’d have to root it first.

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Yeah, I found that one, but I didn’t have the time to play with it yet.
I’m having a few days off next week, I hope I can find some time then to play with the phone even more.

4 posts were merged into an existing topic: FP2 root or not root? How?

How it is working? I am very curious about it!!!

4 posts were split to a new topic: Fairphone 2: Crazy touch inputs (touchscreen issue)

Awesome, thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to get my hands on mine!

I have tried the GPS, and it’s working very well.
It has a fix very quickly.
I had a drive of about 2 hours, starting with a full battery, and finished with 60% capacity.
I’m impressed by that, my previous phone would have been empty by than.
The phone was a little warm, but not as hot as I have seen with other phones.

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For anyone who might be interested, I just published a short review after using the FP2 for a week:

https://medium.com/p/the-fairphone-2-a-review-after-1-week-e3230a36af77

Overall :thumbsup: - very happy with it and kudos to the Fairphone team for a great job :smiley: Let me know if you have any questions too.

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Thanks for the review!

However, I don’t think we can talk about planned >>upgrades<< for the modules. In your review you talk about USB-C and a better camera module but none of these are actually scheduled or planned. Fairphone only stated that it’s technically possible to upgrade modules.
Anyway, your 1-week-review makes me a little more confident that I’ll be able to enjoy my FP2 when it’s here :slight_smile:

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I got my FP2 today. Here are my first impressions in chronological order

  • delivery: happily surprising

  • packaging: light and personal

  • general looks of the phone: awseome

  • transparent cover: I love it

  • getting the cover to cover all edges: hard

  • introduction: fast, if you skip the google stuff

  • software:

  • google: can’t wait to get rid of it

  • root access: can’t wait to get it

  • clock widget: Compared to the beta version I like that it now has a shortcut to the alarm settings; I dislike that I can only move through the pages of the widget on the lockscreen, not on the home screen and that it still says “Your Fairphone for 00 weeks, 00 days, 01 hours” and not “You have your Fairphone for…”

  • Few functions/apps I remember from the beta version are missing: recommended apps, privacy impact and the secret button in the “all apps” panel that let’s you change the settings for the “idle apps”.

  • taking the phone apart: with my fairphone - impossible!

  • PS: The animation when plugging in the switched-off phone: I love it!!! :heart: I want that as my wallpaper!

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Thanks for the reports. Maybe some of you could also supply some photos, e.g. where you can see the FP2 compared to other devices go give people an idea how it compares in terms of “bulkiness”.

  • Delivery: happily surprising… I got it today
  • general looks: I really like it but I find it too big for me
  • transparent cover is definitely great! have to start from the botton and it’s easier to get to cover all edges.
  • I need root!!! because well, obvious reasons…

I don’t like that both sim card indicators have the same colour, would like to be able to choose as with FP1.
I don’t really like the icons (too big) but I’ll get used to them…

I also don’t like the white color of the applications background… Prefer black, don’t know if it can be changed.

I would like the feature the FP1 has that allows to save everything on the external card… will it come with the root?
I think the phone is responding quickly and I’m really happy about it as my FP1 was kind of slow…

That’s all I have for now…:smile:

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Not sure I have anything that would help to take a photo of it next to. But I don’t think it feels bulky at all. I guess it’s all subjective but the feel of it is one of the things I like most about it. It feels good in your hand, not slippy at all.

Can you elaborate on that one?

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Continue here:

The first time is the hardest.
You have to get through it, next time will get better.
Putting the backcover back on is also not that easy…

For the backcover try from the bottom up it’s easier :wink:

Hey; i got my Fairphone in DEC 29 here in Austria!

Just wanted to thank Fairphone and all the first backers like me, who brought this phone to life.

I’m playing around with it for about 2 days now and i am totally happy with it.
Good job Fairphone! :trophy:

4 Likes

Here is my short review and it is unfortunately not positive. I compare it with the S5, which I use now since nearly 2 years.

Plus:
• it’s fair
• it’s modular (that is really really cool, the greates + of all)
• two SIM cards
• packaging is really nice, delivery is quick
• crowdfounded

Minus:
• boots much slower than S5

• SDcard slot is a traumatic experience - already killed a 128GB disk completely (no reformat possible anymore, hardware damaged). The two little plastic bumps practically make it impossible to remove the SDcard without breaking a fingernail (or the card) or using a piece of paper to make it slide over.

• the navigation bar (back/home/active apps) uses part of of the screen in all applications - in the S5 this is below the screen - in most other modern phones you can at least hide the navigation bar, not in the FP2 - so this makes the screen much smaller. I’m using the phone several hours a day for practically everything - as most of the people. Why does it reduce the screen size when other phones don’t?

• the camera is bad - i already did not use the FP1 because of the camera quality, many people complained it and now the FP2 again has a bad camera.I will not carry a separate camera with me to make pictures - that camera is not produced fair and I don’t want another device. So in order to make good pictures I will carry the S5 instead of the FP2.

• it’s not rooted - why? why? why? - and: why? - this defies the whole idea of the user taking ownership and control of her/his device and data. The FP1 came rooted and that to me was a extremly cool and positive signal. Why was this signal not re-inforced? This is a huge step back, honestly. Any fumbling around with later rooting manually is something that most of the users will not be able to do. For me the FP-concept was important to support for two reasons: fair & open - but in reality now only fair is left.

• no NFC - also leaves me a bit speechless. Yes, it will come as a later module, etc - but my NFC lock is working already now (with the S5) and I also pay with the phone. Guys, NFC is not a cool nice-to-have toy, it is state of the art and it is missing in FP2!

In summary - this would be an ok first try. But it is the second version. It did not get the needed upgrades (camera), it did not follow the normal development (NFC) and it made deliberate steps back from FP1 (not rooted, SDcard slot). The modularity is just great and I really hope it will allow me to replace the not so good modules (cam, screen) with better ones soon. That it comes not rooted is a political statement which I find hard to digest.

Please, don’t get me wrong. I love the idea of the FP, I’m all enthusiastic about it (the idea), but the real phone loses when compared to other phones of the same category.

I will not use the FP2 for now, I will keep it as a backup if my S5 ever breaks or if things will get better.

Cheers,
Georg

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