First Questions

Hello everybody,
I have not bought a fairphone2 yet, but I’m very interested.

I have done some preliminary research on the web, the fairphone main site and these forums, but I still have some questions…

It was released more than 2 years ago… how does it stand now, compared to new smartphones?
How does it work with installed apps & browsing the bloated web?
How are networking speeds (I am mostly interested in Mobile Broadband, not wifi)?

I notice that parts can be exchanged, but not the core module.
Will it be possible to upgrade the core module (which is already 2 years old) eventually?

About OSs:

First of all, I am not quite new to this - my current phone is a rooted android, with all gapps ripped out, using afwall+ & f-droid etc. (it’s a rare device with triple sim support, and no custom ROMs were available, at least not without losing the MultiSIM functionality, so I had to go this painful path), and I am a long-time Linux user, not averse to some hacking.

The vanilla Android for fairphone2 is not an option.

The free & open Android looks much better; is it possible to get some objective information about it, and how free it is?
The way I see it, one has to take active measures to un-google android - not using Gapps is not enough…

How about other Alternative OSs - will they continue to receive updates just like the 2 android versions?

I am specifically interested in Sailfish OS, however it is still labeled alpha.

Is there a wiki for these things?

OK, that’s enough for a first post.
Thanks for reading!

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Quite some questions! Hahaha. I’ll try to do my best (excuse the scarcity of links, I’m writing from my FP2).

Hardware and mobile reception

The hardware is not edge, but is quite good. The overly-bloated Web is fine here with Firefox Quantum. I’ve using 70 installed apps with no problem, but with 2Gb of RAM and being a quad-core processor, you won’t have much problems with +100 apps, probably, but other people could help you more in this regard.

Mobile signal reception has been good for me in Spain (4g), but speed clearly depends on the network infrastructure. Note that the second SIM is limited to 2g. Some users have had problems with signal reception, search over the forum for testimonies and fixes.

Upgradability and aging

Noone knows if a core module will eventually be available, but IMO that would be more like a retrocompatible new model, probably (different core is just a different phone altogether in regard of kernel, drivers and OS. How will a user migrate from one to other?).
Fairphone just announced Android 7 will be available officialy this summer (for Fairphone OS and Fairphone Open), that together with monthly security updates will ensure a life-expectancy of 5 years (2+ from today). Said so, you have alternative ROMs available (more on this below).

Alternative OSes

Fairphone OS and Fairphone Open are the only OSes officialy available. Both have monthly security updates (this is important and rare in the industry!).
Fairphone Open doesn’t include GMS nor any other closed software apart from SoC blobs (drivers, you know…). FP Open has embedded the F-Droid Privileged Extension, which made F-Droid (after the user installs it) act as the main app store without security caveats. It is pre-rooted, so you won’t need to tinker a lot with random, unstrusted tools from the internetz. See more info about FP Open in or by the #software:fp-open category.

Apart from that, the Lineage OS Team officially supports Lineage OS for the FP2, with dual-SIM support and the expected quality. There are a lot of FP2 users here in the forum using it (myself included), and it has a category: #software:alt-lineageos.

You seem interested in ditching Google. GREAT. There is a lot of info here in the forum. Look at the #livingwogoogle topics. There’s an special build of Lineage OS called Lineage OS for microG which focus on integrating Lineage OS with the microG suite —an open source implementation of GMS to improve Android apps compatibility while giving you the control of your data & privacy.

The UBports project is maintaining a version of Ubuntu Touch/Mobile for the Fairphone 2. Updates of this are dependent of that community activity (not Fairphone). AFAIK, they are pretty active. Look at the #software:alternative-oses category.

The Sailfish OS community also has a port of Sailfish OS for the FP2. Again, updates are dependent of the community (not Fairphone), but they were the first project supporting Fairphone 2 and recently they have had a firmware update, so they are up and running. Look around the #software:alternative-oses category, too.


thank you for an extremely detailed and helpful answer!
8 well deserved likes before i even looked at it, and now one more from me.

i’ll just go through your answer step by step, but then there’s an unfortunate new question at the end…

just to clarify if i got your meaning:
you consider 2GB of RAM sufficient in an android smartphone, for the next years to come?

my current setup is 1 SIM only for phone & SMS, the other only for internet.
so is 2G enough for phone calls, or do i need to expect a drop in audio quality?
also i’m not quite sure how the networks will react to that; all i know is that mobile broadband has long moved to 4G in urban areas, in my country…

i’m not exactly sure what to search for; do you mean specifically in relation to having only 2G for one SIM?
a search for signal reception - i don’t quite see anything relevant.

i was thinking about the components, not the OS; with a core module upgrade, one could at least re-use the case, battery, headphones, camera… that is certainly one aspect of a fair phone: less disposable items.
the fairphone1 seems abandoned, and people are forced to buy a new one eventually - isn’t that exactly one of those things that fairphone vowed to never let happen? what is the company’s and the community’s stance on this?

thanks for being honest about it.

that sounds very good, almost better than going fishing for some “even more free” ROM.

nevertheless, could one hope that one of these community projects will continue to deliver upgrades after fairphone OS stops doing so?

now i just talked to a friend who bought a fairphone2, but it was buggy (would switch itself off in the middle of a phonecall). she got a replacement but that had the same problem. she did get her money back, though.
not sure what my question is here; any more such sad stories? could it indeed be a common problem?

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Let me try to answer your questions:

I personally do. After all, it’s still a phone and not a 2000€ gaming-PC.

Calling does not have anything to do with internet.

This is also my opinion, but apparently this is almost impossible, but you’d have to ask Roboe why, since I’m not a programmer.

Well, this one is a bit tricky. If the FP2 is able to reach Android 8 Oreo, it could be easier to upgrade it even further thanks to something called “project Treble” (again, ask Roboe how this works), but Bas van Abel stated here that the upgrade to Oreo is much more difficult than the upgrade to Nougat. But I think Fairphone did their job with updating/upgrading very well for the FP2: Monthly security updates, one major Android version upgrade and another one to come! :slight_smile:


The phone has 2 SIM. You can’t set both SIM to 3/4G. You have to choose which SIM gets 3/4G, the other is then limited to 2G.
So it is possible to have the first SIM on 2G and the second SIM on 3/4G.
As I have in my phone.


By the community projects I would guess @ondoho meant UbuntuTouch, Sailfish OS or LOS.
And - judging from forum activity - I am most confident, that at least Ubuntu and Lineage will be supported for quite a while.
The exact question

that one of these community projects will continue to deliver upgrades after fairphone OS stops doing so?

@ondoho: Do you really mean upgrades e.g. to Android 8 or are you referring to security updates.
If you mean security updates that is really impossible to answer, as I expect Fairphone to deliver them for a long time. If you really mean upgrades, then @Stanzi has answered that already.

Honestly, there are. Just search the forum for the problems your friend mentioned. As there are with every phone of every manufacturer. Just search the Internet for any one you can think of.

I really can’t answer that, but I doubt it, as a forum like this tends to collect problems rather than reports from satisfied users (which you will find as well).

As to the life expectancy of 2+ years from now on, given by @Roboe: I would consider that a most conservative guess.
And like with my Fairphone 1, you can still use the Fairphone 2 once security updates have stopped. It’s just not that secure anymore. :wink:


thanks again for all those helpful answers!

oh, my oops.
so i take it the 2G-only SIM slot is perfectly capable of makingphone calls.

oh, i’m not interested in UI upgrades, in fact only security updates!
sorry, coming from debian, it’s always called “upgrades”.
So you still receive security updates for your fairphone 1?
And, suppose I don’t want to upgrade to the next android version, would i still continue to receive security updates for, say, the android-6-based OS?

Keeping your phone longer with a refresh on the inside and out - this is good to see, because it’s so recent.

but twice in a row?
the discussion is moot since I have nothing but their sparse description to go on, but reminds me of my own sobering experiences with an ARM laptop i purchased. i am wary.
well at least i would get my money back, i guess.

I’m convinced there will longer be updates for FF2 than for FF1. You’ll find enough information about that fact in this forum.

You’ll have to change to 7.1 once it’s there to get further security updates.
I’m not aware of any phone vendor supporting various release trains with security updates. You can’t compare this to an OS like Debian.


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