FP1(U) Longevity "Experiment"

Inspired by the discussion at FP2 Should I buy it even if I have a FP1? I’m going to do an “experiment”. My goal is to use my FP1U for as long as possible. I’m not going to get a FP2 because I think the more new users Fairphone can reach with the FP2 the better. But in case many FP1(U) users do get the new Phone and there will be a surplus of second-hand Fairphones I’m interested to buy a first Generation FP to include it in my experiment.

I’m not using/going to use Google Services, instead I’m using FLoalOSS (“Free Libre or at least Open Source Software”) as much as possible.

I’m not a developer nor very tech savvy but I’ll try my best to support everybody else who is going to keep using their FP1(U).

To make this more interesting I’m betting that I will be able to use the FP1(U) for at least 2 years after FP2 release with all functions a smartphone should have intact. You can all make suggestions about what I’ll have to do if I loose the bet. If on the other hand you want to give me something if I win I’m ok with that too :wink:


Your first challenge:

Use the BT LE radio which is built into your FP1U to connect to anything using bluetooth low energy. Bluetooth low energy is available on iOS 5, Windows Phone 8.1, Android 4.3 and BlackBerry 10, therefore it is a function a smartphone should probably have intact.

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I don’t know exactly what Bluetooth LE is, but bluetooth works just fine on my phone and it is not so energy consuming that I would call the bluetooth function comprimised.
Of course you’ll be able to find things the fairphone can’t do and those high-end smartphones can. But I don’t want to compare the FP with the elite.

I should probably define what functions I ment that should (still) work in 2 years.


  • Phone
  • SMS
  • eMail
  • Camera
  • Music / Video Playback
  • tolerable battery runtime
  • Clock / Timer / Stopwatch / Alarm
  • Calender


  • Internet (mobile & wifi)
  • Bluetooth
  • GPS / location services


  • App Store (F-Droid)
  • Browser (Firefox)
  • Navigation (osmAnd)
  • Cloud Service (ownCloud)
  • Games
    … to be extended

Glad I inspired your experiment! :wink:

I’m watching closely… good luck!

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I have no doubt that your experiment will become a success. Its just a question of personal needs. I used my HTC Desire S for almost 3 Years. I bought a new battery once. While I was ordering my Fairphone 1U it still worked but feeled a little slow for me. But this was my personal perception. I gave the phone to my mother after my FP1U arrived and she is still happy with it. Of cause she uses less functionality than I did (just Phone, SMS, MMS, Mail Weather, and Chat [Threema]) but that is what I mean by saying its a question of personal needs.

I think our society became perverted by thinking that everybody needs a new Smartphone almost every year. It should be normal to use a Mobile Computer (I don’t like the description “phone” because making calls is just one of dozens of functions) for several years and so your experiment will succeed as long as Fairphone will be able to deliver spare parts if something brakes.



Bluetooth LE is an updated version of Bluetooth that has been introduced to Android in version 4.3. While the hardware in the Fairphone supposedly does support Bluetooth LE (meaning that it can talk to other devices that support Bluetooth LE), the operating system that runs on the Fairphone (Android 4.2.2) does not support it.

@for83’s challenge is basically an underhand way of saying that the Fairphone doesn’t support Bluetooth LE (as long as it’s running Android 4.2.2) and that this will be a problem if you’re looking to use any Bluetooth LE devices with your phone. Pretty much all of the smart watches and fitness equipment that is being released now uses Bluetooth LE, which means you can’t use any of those devices in combination with your Fairphone.


I think you’ll have little problems using your Fairphone 2 years from now. There’s no reason to think you can’t use it for the things you’re already using it for anymore. The processing power, memory and GPU present in the Fairphone is fast enough to do pretty much everything you’d need from a smartphone, the only exception being gaming perhaps and even that is questionable considering that the most popular games are still the likes of Wordfeud, Angry Birds and Candy Crush (not exactly the most demanding apps). The only unknown is what other demands you’ll have of your phone in two years time.

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I wish you all success with this project!

Regaring Bluetooth LE: It is unfortunate since the FP1 specs at least at some point mentioned or suggested support for that feature, but it is actually not supported. I am pretty sure this was a mistake by Fairphone. Still, no offense, but i consider this behavior by @for83 as trolling Edit: Trolling was a bit harsh. It is simply that i have the impression that this “first” challenge" was simply an un-productive provocation. The bluetooth LE situation is well known and we have a lot of threads regarding this. I feel this challenge was a very productive idea in how to best deal with that sitatuation (which will likely not change). This is why i felt the fist comment was not very useful and why it made me a bit angry.

Edit: I did not see Jerry’s comment above explaining the Bluetooth LE situation better then i did, so i removed that part.

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thanks @Jerry for the clarification.
ok so no connection to a smartwatch, buh huh! :sob:
Well I guess then I’m not going to buy another device for hundreds of €uros that can do pretty much the same things - only less (calling?) - than my phone to wear on my wrist. I hope I can at least connect my smart-necklace and smart-socks to my phone! :wink:


That’s exactly the point. As long as no hardware issues show up (or if they do: as long as they are repairable, best by yourself), the phone will last (more or less) forever.
And please take into consideration that a phone needs to be ‘safe’ (i.e. get at least OS security updates) to be able to be used at all. If you forget about this, the test isn’t going to be fair.

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unfortunately the safety isn’t something that i can determine myself.

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Yes you can (to some extend): if no OS updates are being made available, the phone won’t be safe to use.

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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?