FP2 Upgradability (the 2GB of memory)

Hmm, don’t know if I agree. The kind of outdated specs in FP2 comes from a mix of many things. Most important, FP is a small company, and by that I mean really tiny whiny earth-compared-to-rest-of-universe-small. Compared to the other players,they would have no chance in taking the front lead how unethical they possibly could be.

The other thing is that they have concentrated to develop a totally new base for a modular phone, that took time, but hey, they are (as I know) the FIRST MODULAR PHONE FOR CONSUMERS ON THE PLANET), talking about keeping up to the pace…

And last, now when they have the base, they can upgrade their phone just by adding one or two new pieces. Other companies need new designs and new systems for a new phone. I think that this could make FP accelerate in coming years, and even roll out upgrades to their older phones using the same base.

(And with working collaboration with mining and engineering companies, I do not see that safe-clothes or reasonable working hours for each worker in any way makes it impossible to make technological progress. Possibly the contrary.


It’s not a binary choice in my world.


Fair enough, but if it involves upgrading parts of your phone every year to keep pace with technology, is it still ethical?

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[quote=“Jon1, post:23, topic:11160, full:true”]
Fair enough, but if it involves upgrading parts of your phone every year to keep pace with technology, is it still ethical?
[/quote]Compared to people updating an entire phone every year? Yes, I think it is. Also it wouldn’t mean that everyone updates every part asap, but that it would be more convenient to upgrade the phone if and when individually needed. I can see how many would not bother updating some parts, because they’re still happy with the lower specs and don’t see why they should invest more money in something that might change a lot for them.


The ones who would upgrade their phones every year would probably be a tiny percent of all users ( but hey, these would probably buy new PHONES from the Giants otherwise,it would be awesome Fair if they instead bought one MODULE produced ethically instead,right?) :smile:

The rest of us probably would instead upgrade when our phones had been overrun by time and hard to use with newer software,security and good stuff that comes with future). And even for us, it would be awesomely more Fair to buy a single module, than buy a new phone (even if it would be a Fairphone)


It’s still not binary. And It Depends™. One of the reasons buying an FP2 and even replacing/upgrading it next year could be considered ethical is due to the research the FP guys have been doing. They seemingly have invested a lot of research and resources to make sure that the product is built from components/materials that are sourced in a decent, ‘ethical’ way. The assembly and worker conditions matter. Being able to ~easily~ repair that thing after an unfortunate accident 2 month after you got the device helps.

So yes, I’d say it’d be ‘ethical’ (as in, valuable) to buy the FP even if you don’t solemnly swear to keep it for 5 years and not buy something else (if there’s no upgrade path in 1-2 years). Would it be possible to be ‘better’? Sure - I could buy the FP2 and keep it as long as I can. Or - look: I could decide that a smart phone is really not something I need. Or only buy used phones on eBay, keep them as long as they don’t break.

I feel that ‘Is it ethical’ seems like a weird (loaded & ambiguous) question.


Weird, loaded and ambiguous…

I think part of the problem Fairphone have is that many of the first look reviews have concentrated on this being a modular phone. Arstechnica is a good example “Modular phones are finally here” and then when you see the comments on various sites people are dissapointed with the specs. I guess this topic is another example.

I’m not entirely sure that this constitutes a modular phone or at least not in the way many people want, certainly not in the Project Ara sense of modular.

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Whoa. Good point. Honestly, I think you kinda figured out what I didn’t see myself so far. Yes, I guess all these repair reports, the ‘modular phone’ reviews kinda DO make me feel that I should be able to upgrade that thing.
Now, Project Ara doesn’t look all to enticing. I don’t want to snap random things together, I want an honest, solid phone - but would love to be able to keep it. Ara looks like snap-on back covers on steroids. I want something like my PC (“This axe has been in our family for hundreds of years”): Exchange parts when needed until you don’t know if it’s still the same thing really…

But okay, let’s turn around and get back to the memory for a second: If we accept that the FP is built to be repaired, not upgraded, I still feel that it should come with good specs, so that it makes sense to repair it in 4 years. We already figured out that we have different expectations, but I’d be honestly curious here: Would you repair your 4 year old phone if it died today? How much would you invest before you’d consider it a total loss, i.e. say the repair costs 60 EUR? 100?
Aren’t the specs inherently linked to the usefulness of having an easy way to repair the thing?


I think in all honesty if I hadn’t been waiting for the Fairphone I might have already ditched my Nexus, probably at some point in the last year. I couldn’t say for sure as it wasn’t an option. That being said I’d still probably pay 60 Euro to repair it as it will be fine as a backup for a while.

I don’t think anyone would really argue that in an ideal world this phone would be at the cutting edge of currents specs, that way it would last longer, but I assume (and I think Fairphone explained this) it wasn’t possible. Partly as it would be more expensive and a lot of people already complained about the cost.

Maybe the Fairphone 3 will get closer to this.

You mustn’t forget that the problem with a high-specs phone, which will still be quite decent in four or five years, is the price tag. The FP2 is a decent mid-range phone with the added benefit of being ‘fair’ as much as possible towards producing and reparability. But at ~520€ a lot of people were already complaining that it’s way too expensive and nobody would be able to afford it and how Fairphone should’ve made a cheaper phone! I think Fairphone had to find a good middle choosing for something that’s not too dear because of specs, yet still good enough to be used in the next few years. And as far as I’m concerned they did a good job, but that’s because it was still in my price range (well not really - the range got stretched a bit, but meh)!


Wishful thinking, ideal world, Christmas came early: Two options, two cores, two price tags and since the design is already ‘standard’ lower specced people can even upgrade. I know, I know…

Seriously: I understand the price tag discussion - although the iPhone exists and Samsung sells S6 and S6 Edge devices somehow.

I add my voice for upgradeability of RAM/mainboard.
As some of you have mentioned before, upgrading RAM/mainboard would really prolong the lifetime of the phone. In a way that a camera will never do.

I’m not saying it should be soon, just that if the phone should last 3-5 years, this is a must.


I think the vast majority of those devices are sold with hideously overpriced contracts allowing people to pay those fancy €1,000 phones in 12 or 24 month instalments, rather than a ‘cheaper’ lump sum. It’s just crazy how much money is being made with ridiculous credits for phones that are outdated only a few months later…

That might be true. On the other hand: The 1 year old OnePlus One has 3GB and better specs in general, I guess. Sure, it’s not repairable (I literally just shelled out 120 EUR for a new screen, incl. shipping back/forth for a week for my wife’s) and a small startup probably has a harder time securing the resources anyway.

As an ignorant layman I’d guess that the biggest fraction of the cost is based on the special design, the low production numbers, the ‘special requirements’ for materials. Not the price of another GB of memory. Then again, I’m probably completely wrong.

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I would like to feed into the discussion in a very honest and logic way.
I do not think that FP is able to support very many different hardware updates/upgrades/changes. Softwarewise and concering logistics, I do not think FP can deal with so many things. And even if they could, that would probably not put so many efforts into that because FP’s main goals are located elsewhere.
In my opinion, FP already achieved creating a fair (as fair as it was possible) phone that will last a long time and can be repaired easily. The phone is designed for “the average user” and not for any special requirements. If we are lucky and the FP2s hold longer than expected, there might be an update of the core module maybe in 3 or 4 years but I wouldn’t count on it.
If the most important part of your phone are some specific requirements, maybe Project Ara will be more suitable for you (of course by condemnable google…)

If really needed: Just add swap space. SDs are pretty fast these days, could also work well with some Android apps, I assume. I did this for a green/white device a long long time ago, it worked well for me.

But of course it always depends on what people want and measure.

Update: I just searched for swap and only found @darklajid’s comment. If all else fails a fixed picture of a PDF page works often better on small slow devices. Also, some PDFs are just created in a stupid way, because people cannot afford a full Adobe suite. A good PDF is normally small and fast enough, but I guess it just all depends on what you got and want again.

Those things don’t really conflict. You can’t expect FP to stop selling phones, they need income to continue to exist, that’s obvious. You also can’t expect them to sell the exact same FP2 two years from now and, with all technological advancements made in that time, still claim an expected 5 years of usage. They need to give the FP2 an upgrade once in a while (not necessarily existing ones but newly produced ones).

The important question is how they market it. Conventional phone manufacturers act like you need the latest model right now, even if you have last year’s model. I would expect FairPhone to be more sensible about it and be open about not needing a, say, FP 2.1 if you already have a FP2


The good old Rebound effect :smile: mixed with marketing.


You can’t compare that, really. Modern, affordable SDs can do up to maybe 50MB/s, if at all. The LPDDR3 memory should be able to achieve about 1300-2400 MB/s.

I also couldn’t really understand the decision to go for just 2 gigs of RAM. The phone is already very expensive, and giving it 3GB should raise the price by maybe 10-20 euros. Not that much money compared to the gain in longetivity.

I don’t really share the ethical perceptions regarding a mainboard update in the future. If the FP2 will achieve the goal of being useful for a couple of years, a lot of people with damaged boards will happily pick up the old, working boards of the upgraders…therefore less new 2GB boards will have to be produced as spare parts, the upgraders will be happy and the people with the damaged boards will be happy to get replacements at acceptable prices (please don’t tell me that so many people will pay 300 euros for a new replacement board in say 2 or 3 years).


I would totally buy this phone, is there would be an option with 4 GB RAM and 64 or 128 GB storage. 2/32 is just isn’t enough for me, even with microSD since Android can’t install apps to SD properly. Also it would be slower than the internal eMMC.

As far as i know, the phone was designed to be enough for years.
But it already isn’t enough for me right now.

(sorry for my bad english)