FP 2/3/... Modules & Wishlist meta discussion

7 posts were split to a new topic: (Intentionally) blocking the Phone’s signal

What about a 8th module, a thick soft one-piece additional plastic over-cover. To protect the phone when it falls, with edges topping/protruding from the screen to spare scratchs. Something a bit like the yellow part here : http://www.electricien-quimper.fr/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/testeur.jpeg

It would be equipped with solar cells at the back (something robust, no expendable panels), and would be pluggable in the standard battery reload port of the FP2 (for instance)(with a USB port pointing from inside the over-cover towards the FP2).

It would enhance battery lasting period simply with the habit of laying the phone back-on-top on tables. We’ll need a flashing activity led here, but some softwares simply use regular flash-light for this. We could wear the phone on an arm-band, cells on top, like joggers.

Transparent solar panels are very attractive, but what I suggest here is possible right now.

Solar charging would be more efficient in some countries than in others, but it would provide a hope that the phone won’t shutdown when critically needed… Or that you would be able to starting it again despite everything else, simply waiting near a strong light source. (Remember “Castaway on the moon” movie ?)

Ok we can reload phones regularly at work, at home, in some trains… But if I don’t have to plug it in, because solar pannels are working, I would enjoy the enhancement. I always forgot to plug my phone, and take some time to find my cable back…

I have a solar Casio watch, it just works, it’s a pleasure. Phones require more power, but lets start with something.


The Fairphone 2 default cover already portrudes over the screen for this purpose.

Another idea would be to save some space inside, with at least a micro USB connectivity, to allow random devices to be plugged in, inside.

It would encourage the development of such new inboard devices, and would allow users with specific needs to get running. We could add a module with : barometer and/or temperature sensor, sonar, radiation sensor, specific additional light (like so called “black-light” / UV light), parking access radio emitter, redundant microSD slot for raid purpose… just what you need and would fit in.

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Space on a phone is quietly critical, and you can’t afford to leave “place”.
For modules exstention you have the 4 pin standart USBport on the backside


I added those to the list. Thanks for the suggestions.

I don’t think I understand this one. My English is not perfect but doesn’t redundant mean “not necessary”? Why would someone need such a thing? :blush:

@Elipsus is probably right that there is a good reason why phones usually don’t have space inside, but I think if you consider exchangeable internal modules when designing a new phone it could work. So I redesigned the wishlist a bit and added it under “wishes for future fairphones”.

I like that and it made me think. How about an “emergency circuit” that made it possible to start the phone with just the calling function even if all else fails (e.g. battery is [nearly] empty, you FP has a solar charger but there is not much light because you’re inside [or trapped under an avalanche], you installed an alternative OS and bricked your phone, …).
Do you guys think that could be possible?


From wikipedia:

RAID (originally redundant array of inexpensive disks, now commonly redundant array of independent disks) is a data storage virtualization technology that combines multiple physical disk drive components into a single logical unit for the purposes of data redundancy, performance improvement, or both.

It opens the way for scenarios like: One SD card dies, the other seamlessly takes over without data loss. Alternatively, two cards share data, which in theory nearly doubles the read/write speed (but one card dies, and all data is lost).
RAID requires either a hardware controller, or an implementation in software. Both require kernel drivers to handle this.

Part of what you’re describing sounds like the equivalent of dual bios in PCs, i.e. having a failover chip in case something goes wrong. I’m not sure enough of the android boot procedure to know whether would be possible on android. You’d also need a secondary OS option, in case the problem isn’t the bootloader. Something like MSI were doing with Winki perhaps. The latter part can probably be done, but a failover bootloader likely needs hardware as part of the SoC.
For the power reserve, I think I’ve seen batteries that have a physical button on them that enables the battery to drain slightly further than it would normally allow. I wouldn’t go for a separate built-in battery.


You don’t buy the “thick soft one-piece additional plastic over-cover” ? To add more shocks protection ? If solar panels can arrive, they must be on the outer-side, so both are linked, but solar panels were just the 2nd half of my suggestion :smile:

Oh I should have known that, I even use RAID myself, but never thought about what the R and the other letters stand for. I thought @siltaar was talking about a fake micro SD slot in case someone raids/steals your phone, but that didn’t make any sense. :blush:

I never heard of that but you’re right! It does sound similar. :woot:

Instead of adding an additional cover wouldn’t it be better to make an alternative cover with (even) better shock protection (I believe the existing cover is already quite great) and maybe an integrated screen foil?

Yeah, let’s build a dump phone inside the Fairphone! :wink: On a more serious note: I very much like your idea. I could imagine two ways (without knowing anything about feasibility):

  1. Make the Fairphone recovery capable of dual-boot, and have a second minimalistic OS only for emergency calls or (in case of a soft bricked phone) for calling your technician of trust.
  2. Make a back cover with alphanumeric hard buttons, so you don’t need a (proper) display to do calls. Remember that the LCD consumes the most energy!
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Here it really looks like there’s no need for my ‘over-cover’ idea :

Adding this to the thread, and linking to the separate thread where I ask about it…

MHL. Probably not possible from what I can see of the connectors, but it would be good to know one way or the other.

MHL is little more than a party trick on Android. But if/when Ubuntu Touch comes to the Fairphone, it promises to turn your phone + mouse/monitor/keyboard into a proper computer.

So I’ll put it down under “less realistic” right?

PS: Someone should probably go through the other suggestions and evaluate which are more and which are less realistic…

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An upgraded camera module, I’m happy to accept a phone with a smaller screen, slower processor etc than other phones for the same price but it would be very good to have a camera similar to a Nexus 6p or other high end phone


2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Fairphone 3 – Hardware discussion

PS: Someone should probably go through the other suggestions and evaluate which are more and which are less realistic…

stronger battery (even if it means a phone with a hump)

NFC/Wireless charging

I know a guy

alternative E-reader display
Sure, but complex and thus expensive. Dont count on it.

Solar Panel on the backside and/or integrated in the screen
Sure, will charge ~2% per hour, you decide whether this is enough. (in screen: no.)

programmable remote control
Sure, rx&tx

emergency button for elderly people
Sure, but not improvement from current systems

additional sensors: barometer, temperature, sonar, radiation

black-light (UV)

a waterproof built-in case/back with a built in flip-cover
Maybe from company that does this on regular basis

Charger for a spare battery.

Alternative hardware components that allow software freedom. E.g. a
i.MX6, OMAP4/5 or Allwinner chipset to allow the installation of Replicant

Very very complex.

hardware switches for phone service, camera & microphone2
Will need replacements on modules, so phone service no, camera maybe, mic yes

built in projector
No current pico projector parts available for reasonable price, so not now

USB-C port, sure. Functionality of both will depend on what is available on that connector

Hope this helps


Great idea. Thanks for taking up the job.

I’m skeptical about a third-party cover being able to make a phone waterproof. Any cover would probably need to keep at least the USB connector open. It’s gonna be very hard to make the phone waterproof since this part is not waterproof already.

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Last time I checked, at least all the newer external small solar panels (backpack-size) nowadays even come with regulated USB ports and sometimes even with a small powerbank. Maybe more efficient in the long run anyway.

Last time I checked, at least all the newer external small
solar panels (backpack-size) nowadays even come with regulated USB ports
and sometimes even with a small powerbank. Maybe more efficient in the
long run anyway.

Exactly, so developing and making a barely usable one for the phone is pointless and goes against all logic.


Yes, thanks. I updated the list.

@dvl you missed the extensible in my quote. It was an idea by @QuentinT:

But I agree, it’s not realistically a better solution than a separate device at least not with current solar panels, so I put under “less realistic”.