First impressions Fairphone 2

It seems I was a bit excited when typing this, so a clarification to clear up any misunderstanding:

The back cover is delivered with the phone, it’s just not put on it yet. It’s included in the case in which the FP2 is deliver, you have to open it up further. Sorry I can’t explain it better, but I was looking at the phone when my daughter all of the sudden handed the back cover to me :grin:.

So, the first step for me was to put the back cover on the phone (‘assemble’).

@Hooloovoo That’s a fair observation. I’m eagerly waiting for the official instructions to root is myself since I can’t just throw the SuperSU at it in recovery mode.

I disagree. It’s an optional luxury. I’m not aware of a single use for NFC that makes it appealing. What would you use for?

This is the standard behaviour for Android. Samsung is one of the last manufacturers handing onto phyiscal keys. The navigation bar here works in the same way as the 5 Android phones I’ve seen in the last few weeks.

Because for the vast, vast majority of users being rooted would be a negative not a plus, and the few who require rooting should have knowledge of how to do it.

4 Likes

My first impressions.

Unpacking and assembly

The box is very nice - a white, textured cardboard with a blue ‘open me’ ribbon.

The back cover wasn’t on, and I couldn’t find it at first (it was hiding at the bottom of the box). It was very difficult to get the cover on properly - each of the 4 corners in particular.

As such, I haven’t tried disassembling it yet. I’ll probably give it a go next weekend.

Look
It looks fantastic. It looks a lot better than I’d expected, based on photos and reviews throughout the web. The gentle curve on the back hides how thick the phone is.

I’ve got the transparent back cover which is absolutely fantastic. Again, this is significantly more beautiful than I’d hoped. I’ve only had it a few days, but it’s been a big talking point when people have noticed it.

Feel

It certainly feels a lot thicker than my husband’s Nexus 6, but it still feels nice in the hand. The back cover feels very slightly soft, which is nice.

The buttons were a little stiff at first, but after a couple of presses now have a really nice feel when pressing in.

Screen

The screen is crisp and clear, colours are great as are the details.

There’s a significant flicker when the screen is on the lowest brightness setting, which I’m hoping is a software issue. Also, the difference between the lowest brightness and the next up is huge - in some light I’m struggling to get comfortable as one is too dark and the other too bright.

I’ve noticed one touchscreen issue - when scrolling, the screen will often jump all over the place. It hasn’t affected usability at all, but it’s a little offputting.

Camera

The camera is a huge disappointment. I like taking photos, and neither camera is up to the job really. The front camera is so bad it might as well not exist. It’s such poor quality that I’d rather it was left out and the money spent on a better quality rear camera. I haven’t been able to take a single good photo yet.

Colours are a little washed-out, there’s a lot of noise, the camera is slow to work (so photos are sometimes blurred) and I often struggle to focus. I’ll get some examples later.

I’m aware that many camera issues are software so perhaps there might be an update to help in the future. Either that or a module upgrade at some point - I think I might have to buy myself a digital camera to compensate for the poor phone camera, which is disappointing.

Software

I wasn’t sure on the launcher at first. I’ve come from Windows Phone, which has very straight forward start screen, and the Android experience was a little more complicated. I tried installing a couple of alternatives - Google Now and Microsoft Arrow - but realised that I preferred the FP default. After a few days use I really like it.

I love the lock screen, being able to tap between clock, peace of mind, battery and time of ownership is really nice.

I’d guess the majority of users will only use one sim, so the prominance of dual-sim in the software is annoying. There’s a huge ugly greyed-out sim icon in the taskbar, and on the lock screen there’s a scrolling text in the top-left saying ‘No sim card’. I hope a software update will get rid of these.

Battery

So far so good. I spent the whole day out with friends yesterday and used my phone for maps and photos quite often. I also listened to music and browsed the web for a total of 3 hours on the train there and back. When I got home my battery level was 48% which I was chuffed with. I thought it might not last all day so took a portable batter pack out with me - but it was not needed at all.

Overall

I love it. There are a couple of minor annoyances but on the whole I’m really chuffed. I can’t wait to keep on using it and exploring more things. And showing it off - of course.

13 Likes

Thanks a lot for this report!!!

Some follow-up discussions: :slight_smile:

https://forum.fairphone.com/t/screen-flickers-at-low-brightness-fix-planned-for-future-update/11577?source_topic_id=11491
2 Likes

Thanks @Stefan!

How about a wiki with known software issues? So if I (or another FP2 owner) encounters such a problem, I don’t need to disturb support because the Fairphone team is already informed and works on an update.

3 Likes

Isn’t that what the Bug Reports category is for?

2 Likes

Oh. There is already a thread with known bugs.

3 Likes

Quick comment on NFC - I use NFC to access my Yubikey Neo. However, this should also work via USB-OTG. But this will be more than just a little inconvenience…sigh… :slight_smile:

2 Likes

I guess NFC is useful for some users. But why would you buy a phone without NFC and then complain about its lack thereof?

5 Likes

Lucky FP2 Owners,
would you share some nice pictures?! :smile:

I got my FP2 today. Fast check…!

looks: awseome
size: big
feelings: fairphone
waiting: root access

Shot by FP2

3 Likes

Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. I crawled into my cave and was grumpy for a while and then in the end, regardless what I listed above, still took the FP2 into action.

I never wanted to give it back anyway, I’m a true fan and supporter of FP and I’m happy to have the alternative.

I guess my main shock was that my 128GB disk was destroyed - I know, this has nothing to do with the phone itself, but it really upset me. I now got a new one and that works well (and I had everything backed up).

Also I admit that I know that there is no NFC in the phone when I ordered it (I would even have ordered it without screen) and could have checked the camera beforehand, but that was not my point. I do not want to give the phone back, I wanted to indicate how I experience the phone and what I miss compared to the (quite old) Samsung Galaxy S5.

So yes, NFC and camera are more of personal views. That I cannot get rid of the navigation bar is nevertheless annoying (though I’m already used to it after two days and I do not like to be so easily brainwashed by software :smile:). Booting time - agreed, does not matter and the phone itself is quite fast when working with it.

On the rooting issue - I don’t want to get drawn into a discussion about this. It’s my personal view that it should have come rooted - it’s absolutely fine if other people see it differently, but I guess there are many people reading these threads and trying to get a impression of what the FP2 is and what it is not.

So finally I’ve ordered the third FP2 now, when it arrives the whole family will be equipped with it. If my daughter starts nagging about something missing I will send her here :wink:.

Cheers & Thanks
Georg

10 Likes

So the other FP2 owner seems to be happy with her/his FP2?

Having recently had to insert and then remove an SD card a few times, I would definitely concede it isn’t very well designed. You have to lift the end up over the two knobs and then slide it out. Not something that is easy to do while holding the phone.

yes, she is very happy. And as I said, I’m using it also now, from which you can deduce that I nag about what I don’t like but still I’m happy. Hope I made nobody unhappy.

3 Likes

Hi,

After one week using my new FP2 I will share my first impressions:

Delivery:
unexpected fast (30.12.2015). I was surprised to receive the phone before new years eve in Vienna/Austria :smile:

Packaging:
The paperfoam box looks nice, the box was a little bit shifted, but protected the content very well.

Manual:
Basic intro to the phone. A larger manual to download would be helpful (e.g. did not know what the WiFi Icon with “!” stands for)

The phone:

  • calls: much better call quality, than FP1U
  • speed: the phone start takes some seconds but when it is started it runs smooth and fast :smile:
  • display: good resolution, clear and bright
  • touchscreen: much better than FP1U, sensitive, easy to type
  • weight: 174g, it feels lighter than the FP1U
  • Back cover: (in my case black mate) fits very well, it was a bit tricky to fold it over all the edges :wink:
  • Dual (Micro) SIM - I had to get a Microsim from my provider first to use my new phone.
  • MicroSD Card slot - it feels a bit loose and I was not sure if the card is in the right position. But it worked and the card (64GB) is accessible.
  • Battery duration - currently with normal use: 10-12h - maybe I’m using my new FP2 too much and the battery has to calibrate or I have to change some settings (GPS, Brightness)
  • Camera - outside with bright light the pictures are OK, inside with motion there are blurred parts and I hope that there will be a better camera module available soon.

OS:

  • Android 5.1 - I must admit I have to get used to it. It’s a new design and some functions have to be “explored”. Personally I liked Android “Jelly Bean” 4.2.2 a lot, but I think I will get used to “Lollipop” :wink:
  • Apps: some apps (WhatsApp, Evernote) were not running perfectly and had some issues (see other posts) EDIT: I had to uncheck “Privacy Impact”!
  • root: I hope there will be an easy instruction available soon

Summary:
For me it was a bit a challenge to replace my FP1U by the new FP2 (maybe I like my " old" FP1U too much) and to get used to the Android 5.1 look.
The improvement of the call quality is a big plus, also the better processor and the sensitive touchscreen.
I expected a better performance of the camera and the battery. But these are parts that can be replaced easily, so I hope that there will be a solution to improve this soon.

Greetings from Vienna!
Werner

4 Likes

There is now a topic on this: https://forum.fairphone.com/t/wifi-reconnection-problem/11753