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FP3: Modularity Concept Questions

Hello,

I have two questions about the front-camera module, that I wanted to contact the developers directly (or at least through this platform):

  • is it possible to operate an FP3 without the front-camera module?
  • is it possible to buy a dummy front-camera module? (security)

BR Erdinc

Hi!
For contacting the developers, you should contact support
https://www.fairphone.com/en/about/contact-us/?ref=footer
This forum is independent from Fairphone as a company and managed by users only. Fairphone employees only drop by once in a while.
They do not take notice of everything that happens on this page.

If my memory serves me right, someone tried operating the FP2 without camera modules and it worked just fine.
The idea of dummy modules strikes me as a great one, as there are places out there, where photo-phones are not allowed. So being able to replace both camera modules might be a good idea. I just would not expect it to take a top place on the priority list and I am not sure, how big a market such a thing really would serve.
But that’s just my - non techie - user opinion.

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Perhaps they could release a design file just for the module shape with the respective holes for the screws … so you could 3D-print a fitting plastic dummy yourself (or get it printed).

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I’ve just had a look inside a real FP3 and can confirm the camera is part of the top module that also contains the ear speaker and, what seems to be the proximity and light sensors.

It is however still possible to paste over the front camera as it ‘looks’ through a hole in the screen.

About the rear camera: both the FP1 and FP2 were able to boot without it. I assume the FP3 is too.

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It is however still possible to paste over the front camera as it ‘looks’ through a hole in the screen.

How do you mean to “paste” over it?

I’ve just had a look inside a real FP3 and can confirm the camera is part of the top module that also contains the ear speaker and, what seems to be the proximity and light sensors.

So, if I use headphones, I could remove the top-module without issues?

BR Erdinc

I mean to put a piece of paper over it. If you use black paper it will be hardly visible. Same goes for the FP2, by the way.

Whether the phone boots without top or camera module, I didn’t test. Note that the proximity sensor is used to disable the screen during a phonecall, so you probably want to keep the module anyway.

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My intention is to be able to remove all security relevant features if I do want to do it, this means following:

  • remove front-camera

  • remove back-camera

  • remove microphones

  • remove GPS-module

  • and: removing the speaker (which can be inversly used as an microphone)

BR Erdinc

Gimme some time (probably tonight) to test this. Or someone else if they are quicker.

I can confirm that the FP2 would boot without any of the three small modules removed from the phone.

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You forgot the fingerprint sensor and NFC chip in that list.

GPS, wifi and all other connections can surely not be switched off through hardware. Same goes for NFC and the fingerprint sensor.
Taking out the cameras and microphone should work, but with limitations to other functions of the phone as explained above.

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GPS is not on a module, you need to fix that in software.

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OK, so I’m writing this from the FP3 with all four small modules not in the device: Top, camera, speaker and Bottom modules are all lying on the tablet here right next to (yet outside of) the FP3. Annoyingly still included: Auto-correction, stubbornly trying (and acting) to read German or Dutch into my typing.

Please note: The FP3 refused to boot with both all four modules and all screws removed. It only booted again once I had screwed the twelve Phillips #00 screws (there will be 13 in the commercially available FP3) back into the outside of the core module.

UPDATE: Please find a little bit more and updated information about this here:

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Sorry, off-topic, but do you know whether @z3ntu and @chrmhoffmann got demo FP3s, too, to perhaps try porting TWRP and LineageOS?

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No decision was taken on demo phones for them in FP so far (they’re far too busy with other things now, having just had the launch in Amsterdam) so @z3ntu ordered his own.

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Hi Bert,

I was just thinking, where photo-phones are not allowed, could you tell me where you saw that, or where know of, that photo-phones are not allowed?

BR, Erdinc

Well companies that want to prevent spying usually do not allow camera-phones on their property.
German example: Dellit Betriebsordnung für Externe, Punkte 6.2 und 6.3

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Do you by any chance have a bluetooth headset (microphone & speakers) to test if sound is still transferred to & from that phone when a phone call is made? Is it possible to listen music on the headset?
And, you might know, is this possible with FP2 too?

Sorry, I had to forward this FP3 to the upcoming Hamburg meetup yesterday (currently shaking and biting my fingernails hoping it will arrive there in time). Besides, I haven’t got any bluetooth audio devices, so I cannot test this with the Community Aachen FP2 either. :frowning:

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