I bought a FP4 two weeks ago, and I’d like to leave my impressions for discussion. For context, I was coming from a rather old device (xiaomi Poco F1) with Lineage OS installed.
Size: in the first days, I was quite displeased how massive the phone felt both in the hands and in the pocket. Right now I actually like it, it feels robust and easy to handle, but the back cover is a no-go. It makes a phone already heavy and bulky even bigger.
Hardware: that was quite a nice surprise. The upgrade is noticeable in all parameters: battery, camera, cpu speed, and screen color. It helps that I am coming from a 5 year-old device
Software: so far, this has been the least solid point of the phone. It comes out of the box a lot of google bloatware, and then there are features strangely missing, such as:
- how on earth does one take screenshots???
- missing feature that exists already in LOS 19 to prevent repeated notifications from any given app. Especially useful if you have a messaging app with group chats, really annoying!
- fairphone app that can’t stay logged in
- OS is still A12
For FP5, I see them upgrading the hardware to something more modern, while keeping the same Fairphone OS, which is rather disappointing. I think I will have to end up installing LOS on the fairphone to bring it to the next level. Any users of LOS on fairphone here that can vouch for it? Any why doesn’t Fairphone integrate LineageOS directly into the phone?
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On the operating system. Fairphone delivered their first phone (the Fairphone 1) without Google Apps pre-installed, but included an easy-to-see start screen link to install it yourself, and it turned out the overwhelming majority of users installed Google Apps including the Play Store. When the Fairphone 2 came, Fairphone offered “Fairphone Open” (Android minus the Google stuff) as an alternative to the pre-installed Fairphones OS with Google – and again just a very small fraction of users opted for Fairphone Open.
I guess we easily assume what Fairphone users are like, and I experienced over the years that many keep relying on the full Google package (BTW that’s not me – I used an FP1 from 2014 and now an FP3 from 2021, never used Google on any of them, currently using /e/OS for around two years).
So Fairphone tries to meet that demand and works to get its Fairphone OS google certified – which means (no joke) that the OS has to pass several hundred thousand tests before it can get the certification. This also explains to a large extent why they cannot just upgrade to each next big Android version quickly and easily. And it also gives a hint why custom ROMs often come out quicker with the next big version.
Screenshots can be taken by scrolling up if you use touch control, or by pressing the square the bottom right corner if you’re not.
After doing so, you should see “Screenshot” at the bottom of the screen. Assuming you’re on Android 12, that is.
Or hold POWER + VOLUME DOWN simultaneously.
wow what a complete reply, thanks for taking the time to write it! It makes a lot of sense actually - most privacy-oriented people are motivated enough to learn about LOS or e/OS and install it themselves, and they’re a minority, so they might as well design the Fairphone for the masses.
So basically you’re telling me to bother installing something on my own, and that’s what I eventually will do. I just wanted to test the Fairphone OS as a daily driver to have a full picture of the product sold by Fairphone.
As for screenshots, thanks for the tips, POWER + VOLUME DOWN works well. The other tip I knew, but it doesn’t work very well in some apps.
Other solution instead of installing by yourself (but too late)) : Buy an FP4 with /e/ OS and there will be none of Google bloatware except if you want so. It is based on LineageOS.