FP1(U) Longevity "Experiment"

really? is it that simple?
no os updates for how long? and what if the os is 10 years old, has no similiarities with new OSs and not many people use it anymore? will there still be hackers trying to find security holes?


For how long? For as long as you use the device, that’s what we are talking about. At least security updates.
And their is no point in guessing what the future in 10 years will be. But to give an example: indeed, people are still exploiting security leaks in the no longer supported Windows XP (and hence it isn’t safe and hence you shouldn’t use it).

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Which is still used by millions of people with a marketshare over 18% in January 2015 netmarketshare.
Also, the latest to security holes are concerning the browser (and apps using the build in web view component). Using Firefox for example will make a big plus. And lets be fair: The latest “security hole” allowed apps from the Playstore to be installed when you are logged into your Google Account with the Android Browser without requiring your confirmation. Is this bad? Yes. But: Google has since fixed that and it is not relevant here, since @paulakreuzer is not using Google Services in his experiment. I understand security is of concern, but let’s be realistic: There is no 100% secure system and there never will be.



you are right. Security Fixes are important. Unfortunately I don’t know any way to guarantee them for a phone lifetime (I think about 3 to 5 years should be realistic) on any device. You get the best chance of long term updates by using a Nexus device, but if I see the update trouble a colleague of me has with his nexus device (my favorite was the missing December but more actually he hat trouble with notifications and the GPS at the last weeks), I don’t want to own one (aside from other missing features like an exchangeable battery), goggles quality control is a shame.

But more important than an actual Android Version is securing your System by yourself, because there always will be a zero day exploit around there. So yes, an actual Android Version would be better for security issuers, but much more important is to protect yourself and a old Android Version is not an reason for me to throw a Smartphone away. So I see no problem in using a phone for years if you have a look at the Apps you use (you should use an actual browser even on old systems to prevent dive by downloads) and protect yourself with apps like Firewalls etc.



actually i was trying to ask for the required frequency of security updates. as in: “for how long can there be no update until i have to worry about my phone’s security?”

Here you go.


Er, guys?

Keep it civilised, will you. :smile: @for83 has a point. Don’t ridicule it.

Just FTR, Bluetooth LE (and apt-X, which the FP sadly does not feature - the codec is propriteary and has to be licensed) are soemthing I would love to see for usage with a BT stereo headset. My old Motorola S805 died, and I really miss it. And any improvement on battery and sound quality considering BT headset would be highly appreciated. BT drains the battery quite fast, and BT LE also works in a larger radius, AFAIR.

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I edited my post as i feel now that accusing someone of trolling might have been a bit over top. I still feel it was a somewhat destructive comment because it actually has nothing to do with that challenge but more of a repeated way to make a personal position clear. I like to think we are a forward-thinking and friendly community and more of “users - help - users” support forum. I feel if the Fairphone does not deliver on a promise you have the right to be annoyed and contact Fairphone. And if you feel “betrayed” then you should ask for a refund or sell you device. I like me Fairphone and a lot of others to as well. Trying to make portray us as simply not seeing the truth and trying to force your own opinion on us is annoying and - sorry that is how i feel - somewhat destructive to a community.
Now, i encourage @for83 to open a topic here, where he can discuss the Bluetooth LE situation or contact Fairphone support. There is no harm in critical posts here, don’t get me wrong! But what i do not like if critics of Fairphon’s unfullfilled promises start to target other community members somewhat aggresive because of different opinion.

And finally, lets be clear, i would like to have Bluetooth LE (4.0). But this is not really related to that challenge. Is it?


That depends on security issues found and cannot be put in a time scale.

Quite a number of the above replies give me the feeling that many don’t take security issues serious. Wait until your bank account has been hacked and your bank denies you any refund because of the fact that you used an old, not updated OS…

Of course there are no guarantees in life. Of course you yourself are part of (avoiding) security risks as well. But the start of all is to apply (security)updates that have been released by the supplier of the OS. That means at least updating the OS in the 4.x range.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter WHO re-uses the phone as long as it is reused. My experience is that Fairphone has not quite figured out how to make their phones systemically useful in the long-term - i.e. for people in poor areas, especially poor countries. This requires that parts are more standardized and can be found outside of Europe, especially batteries. On this issue alone - because FP’s battery is unique and only available at an expense in Europe - it effectively prevents it from being re-used in poor countries.

In poor countries, they can usually tinker, upgrade, fix, unlock, jailbreak and otherwise keep phones running for as long as technically possible. And even if a phone becomes un-reparable, it can be scrapped for parts to make another phone work. Not so in the case of the Fairphone.

If paulakreuzer wants to really do a longevity test, he should send his phone to Nigeria and see what the real pros can do with it over the next 5 years. Unfortunately, I expect it will be very little.

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Since my battery is OK, I did not yet dig into that, but is it really that non-standard? If so, we should ask Fairphone to help us locate generic batteries - as soon as they run out of stock. I would assume they will be happy to help.


They were happy to inform me that I could not use a third-party battery. That would have been a better solution than me waiting 5 weeks, paying extra delivery, and FP paying for a replacement battery and their standard delivery fee. See my longer post on this issue below:

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Maybe it’s not about seriousness of taking security issues, for me it’s about this and this :smile:

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While I really understand your frustration (I read your other posts), I would still prefer if you would not be too sarcastic about it. I honestly doubt that support sent you an email “we are happy to inform you that you can not a third party battery”. :wink: I suspect, though, they told you that if you would like to keep your warranty, you should use a original battery. Which is frustrating, but understandable.

Technically speaking, as long as the battery provides the same voltage, I don’t see any problem in using a generic one. Charging a generic battery might be a slightly different story, though. (Anyone got a qualified opinion on that?)

BTW, if I remember tonight, I shall take the measurements of the battery. Should be possible to find out which design they used - it’s hardly a “special” battery. They adopted a existing phone design from the manufacturer, so there will be other phones like it, likely with the same battery.

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I admit, the sarcasm came a bit from my less-than-satisfying experience getting a replacement for a defective battery sent to me in Asia. When I originally inquired if they would send it to me, the representation flatly said “no” (i.e. have a friend in Europe forward it). Only after I read the Territoriality part of the warranty itself, did I find this:

“If you live outside Europe and want to return or repair your Fairphone, we’re still happy to help. However, you will need to cover the shipping costs.”

Given that it took them more than 3 weeks and quite a few hiccups to get the battery in the mail, I doubt they were “happy to help”. I don’t like being that ‘special case’, but should I have then blamed myself for “leaving Europe”?

As regards the battery - I remember some posts way back that discussed which existing phone model (also from Shanhong?) upon which the FP1 was based. Perhaps the battery from that phone has similar characteristics. Should this be the case, it would of course be nice if they could unofficially leak this information so that we had the choice to buy generic (at the risk of losing our warranty).

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I’m not sure about this statement: batteries are not simply a sum of cells, they have also some electronics which provide current charge (in terms of instant consumption, voltage, time to empty or time to full in case of charging, and so on), healthy status, temperature and short circuit protection, so if the phone circuitry is designed to handle a specific battery (i.e. reading battery chip data and interpreting as correct values or bad status), it’s not safe to change a battery with a custom one (even if the nominal voltage and energy specifications are the same), unless you’re not sure the replacement one has the same circuitry and/or gives the data with the same ranges and values as the phone expects.


You might be right; I was oversimplifying. The battery has three contacts - so there might be an additional data line. I’ll ask someone who’s likely to be qualified about this and report back later.

Well, this is an example of a chip included in batteries, I remember in my old Nokia N900, a kernel module named bq27x00 (or something similar), used to get I2C data about battery status.

Got a kind of helpful reply from a friend with a more technical background. He said that the specifications of battery matter, which would be stored on the chip, and if we get a battery which meets general specifications, there should be no problem, because the charge controller is part of the phone and would take care of the rest.

Just for the record, he teased me a bit because there are many offers for iPhone replacement batteries on ebay, but not a single one for a Fairphone. :battery: (sigh…)

I guess we should add to the FP2 wish-list that the battery will be the same as in the next upmarket best-selling Android phone. And probably, (not only) @paulakreuzer needs to start searching for additional sources for replacement batteries, just in case the Fairphone stock runs out. Reminds me, I should probably get a second one now, just to be on the safe side.

FTR, and probably for the benefit of people like @Hart travelling Asia: if my quick web search is correct, my best guess is the WS20S battery for the HonPhone V9 should be identical to the Fairphone battery. It’s available via some online sources, but it’s not so easy to get one in Europe. I could probably ask some colleagues in Asia to bring one (they seem readily available in Singapore), but at the current exchange rate, it’s even cheaper to buy one from FP. :ghost:


One reason for this might be that there are much more iphones than fairphones out there (if you search for ‘iphone’ on ebay you get 1.172.262 results, for ‘fairphone’ only 758.)
Another one is that you can buy a spare battery at the fairphone site but you can’t at apple.com.

If my battery doesn’t start to bloat but ‘just’ won’t last long anymore I can use an external battery to plug in my phone via usb. or is that dangerous with a battery that doesn’t work well anymore? I know it’s not an elegant solution but I won’t give up that easily :wink: