FP4: The specs and your opinions

Yes apologies not RAM general storage, what I was indicating was a) that’s half the FP3 some 7 years ago and hence 128 may well suit people now with the FP4 (will edit the RAM error ~ thanks)

I felt your message implied such because I was talking about using a device for 5 years. Within the 5 years of FP4, they’ll ensure software updates (they mentioned an Android version), and also they’ll come with chipset updates as long as possible (Qcom…)

32 GB storage in 2014 was a lot. I remember the FP2 coming out in 2015 with 32 GB storage, and that was considered a lot. We got microSD usually though which is (consumer-grade) sufficient storage as long as you don’t use a lot of writes on it.

That you still are able to use a battery from 2014 (7 years old) without issues is an achievement. If you use the device every day, and empty the battery every day, you end up with 2500+ cycles. Most batteries start to degrade after 500 cycles, and are to be replaced after 1000 cycles. However, you said you don’t use the smartphone for WLAN. If you only use it as DAP and 2G calling, you end up with a device which doesn’t use much battery (no syncing of any cloud data, no Google shit on the background, etc). People, in general, don’t use their smartphone like that though…


Why this? Are there specific reasons for this?

Pretty much had to as there was no SD card slot. :frowning:

Don’t know about “average” users, but maybe some “advanced” user and angels might be.

We have witnessed how the lack of Qcom support slowed down FP2 software support. We’ll see how the end of support for FP3 will affect the roll out of Android 11 for FP3. And, as @JeroenH pointed out, firmware updates are important.
These questions came to me yesterday night, I could have asked them in the launch events otherwise. But now I’m really interested to know if Fairphone raised the issue to Qualcomm.


This article explains it very well. Its about SSDs, but it also counts for (micro)SD as it counts for flash memory/storage in general.

The article explains it very well. Consumer-grade flash has far less write cycles. Compare with commercial-grade; these are already much better. SLC is very expensive, but (a)MLC is affordable.

Also, because of complex firmware, filesystems sometimes get bricked after a power loss (which is solved with a data recovery + a format). But that does not normally happen on a smartphone.

The article is ‘old’ in that it does not mention QLC. Its even worse than TLC.

Still, even the bad TLC/QLC is usable for some purposes. If you only write to it once and then keep it like that, such as a music collection, then you’re good to go. Logs (RPis!) and cloud data, not so much though. I even had a consumer-grade SSD with Docker on Windows going from 100% to 90% in a few months, so gotta watch out with stuff.


Thanks for this. Keeping backups can help to keep frustration low. But purchasing quality items can do too. Hence I mostly buy from premium manufacturers like Kingston or ADATA granting 30 years (lifetime) warranty on many of their commercial semiconductor accessories. This way I could prevent loosing data in the last 25 years. My oldest ->mini<- sd card is 10+ years old from ADATA and still performs flawless. I wouldn’t take many write cycles as general rule for failure. It depends on quality as well. Intenso imho belongs to worthless crap brands, and I do believe premium brand manufacturers not only sell their company logo at high price. Data loss or not, 30 years of warranty is a clear statement.
However up to now I don’t know any brand that sells ssd chipdrives with 30 years of warranty and I know exactly why I still prefer hdds as long term storage.
For commercial grade and industrial grade (sdcit) warranty I had this amusing finding.

Yes what also matters is operating temperate. A good shop or price comparison website shows that as well. They also mention the MTBF. For harddisks the amount of writes they can endure is higher, read/write both seq and rand is slower, and they have moving parts. Also, they’re much cheaper storage per GB, and you can be reasonably sure there’s no artifacts left behind after 6-30 rewrites (who knows WTF the flash firmware does?). With a music collection on a DAP (or on SD on a smartphone), it is assumed nowadays that you got the orig. elsewhere. If you do, there’s nothing to worry. Heck, even if the SD card gets corrupted and requires a format, you’re still good to go. Its just a hassle. So for a smartphone I don’t recommend industrial grade, in general, though there are use cases where it’d fit. For something like a RPi? Hell yeah.

For example, I’m using this lovely SSD (M.2) for ZFS cache/log: Samsung Enterprise SSD 983 DCT U.2 960GB | MZ-QLB960NE | for Business “5-year limited warranty up to 1,366 TBW”, very fast writes, and with power loss it quickly writes away the last data. Hence my RAIDZ2 (equiv to RAID5 with double parity drive) stays consistent, and very fast. Its even relatively cheap (~200 EUR for 1 TB), given the features.

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Good point, my namesake. I’d rather go 8/256 for future proof sake, and even with my own math, and excluding the essential variables one would consider when buying a FP (sustainability, fairness), if I compare the FP 4 with, say, the Poco X3 Pro from Xiaomi (same RAM and storage version), you can see:

  • The X3 has a more powerful CPU/GPU but not 5G capable, so it actually would mean a win for the FP.
  • I would lose the headphone jack and IR blaster… but neither are indispensable for me, the USB C 3.0 with DisplayPort of the FP 4 more than compensates for that.
  • Assuming a reasonable 40 working months out of the X3, that’d be (if purchased for 220 €, that’s my guess) 5,5 €/month, for around 11 € of the FP 4 (I’m adding shipping and a case). So the initial x3 price difference reduces to x2 in monthly effective use. That is, assuming no malfunctions from the X3 from year 2 onwards (out of warranty period).

So… with this, and if you factor the essential variables in (and you should!), I am sold. Currently saving for the FP 4!


It is a compromise. You only use an adapter is you must, everyone who could choose would choose not to have to use one. And it runs against the principle of using the least possible amount of stuff for the sake of environmental sustainability.
Aside the marketing, what are the technical reasons they had to dump the headphone jack?

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Agreed with everything you wrote, except you don’t mention that for the second lifetime of the device (2,5-3 years) you are using a smartphone with mid-range specs from 2021 while with a budget Chinese or other mid-ranger you’d buy a new one with recent specs from whatever’s there in 2,5-3 years (hint: look at current high-end). I agree the specs are less and less relevant nowadays, but we don’t know the trend in 2-3 years.

Some trends we do know. More RAM, more storage, are a given. 5G is going to become more common, too (both in use as well as availability; for details look at your country’s 3.5 GHz licensing and rollout plans of providers). However, I also notice more and more mid-range smartphones getting an OLED and 90 or 120 Hz. As someone who’s used to a 144 Hz monitor, uses a work smartphone with such features, and who recently bought an OLED TV for a family member… yes I do notice the difference. Its very nice for scrolling and gaming, and also for those who prefer dark mode (hi!).

See discussions here

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Of course you could exclude the headphone jack from the 5yr warranty and/or provide with a separate, addon module with the headphone jack.
Fairphone just chose not to, that’s all there is to it.

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Less user choice.
Lack of backwards compatibility.
Need of more gadgets/adaptors.
More bothersome to users.
More wasteful and damaging to the environment.
This is what I could come up in two minutes.


Not necessarily. What may be more waistful at the end?

  • some users buying an adapter or wireless earbuds instead of their existing ones
  • an additional headphone jack in every sold device and only some use it.



I can concede that, hardware wise, the FP 4 specs won’t be comparable to those of a 2024 mid-ranger, but how about software? I’m currently using a Xiaomi Max 2, 2017 model, bought April 2018, 4/64 model, with a Snapdragon 625 that barely holds, hehe, but… was miserably abandoned in Android 7 (not to speak about the last security patch!). So, I believe this should be more than enough to tip the scales in favor of the FP 4. I, for one, at least, can suffer the 60 hz refresh pain, or not having an OLED panel, knowing that I can rest assured for the next 5 years hardware, and more importantly if you ask me, software wise, with the big plus of being a supporter of ethical business (I believe none of us would be here if it weren’t for this, in the first place).


Excluding the 5 y warranty from the phone is not an issue it’s that it would add a threat of water ingress to the whole phone, presumably.

But an addon module is a nice idea but the same concern with water ingress.

And the jack port and FM radio are related…
I understand the technical reason but this is a real pity: listening to FM radio is very “green”, comparing to audio on demand.


Yeah I get that OLED and 90/120 Hz is subjective. But its also 5 years, a long time in tech land. I’m happy with 5 years for a different reason: resale value. If I am sick of not having OLED with 90 or 120 Hz then I can sell the device in good conscience after X years (where X is less than 5).

The only other company who have consistently given 5 years of support on smartphones, is Apple. These got superb resale value.

Samsung have 3 years IIRC, but they give their mid-range smartphones such as A-series slower updates than the S-series (flagship).

With something like Xiaomi you’re stuck with MIUI or whatever it is called. Not my cup of tea, and these companies are IMO just fronts for China. You end up flashing something like LineageOS but then you’re at the mercy of a third party for who knows how long (not 5 years). Also, ordering from China has become -in theory and practice- more expensive recently.

I’m wondering if there isn’t some kind of USB-C charger with FM? Or 3.5 mm with FM?

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That’s interesting. So if a webcam cover would cover the screen a bit, you could just slide the notification bar down. :thinking:

Yes webcam cover covering the side would work. However, disabling a notch on an OLED creates a nice black background. On an LCD, not so much, and it also costs power to power those parts of screen (the whole time, black, costing the most power). Its an OLED-only feature IMO.