General Fairphone 3 discussion

My 2p on wireless charging: my previous phone was an HP Pre 3. They were one of the first parties to offer wireless charging, and with quite a nifty magnet-self-aligning technique to keep the thing in place too. I’ll admit I liked having that feature, but mainly out of a combination of laziness and aesthetics.
Upgrading to the FP2 a while ago meant trading in this feature for dual-sim (which is useful for an expat like me) and WhatsApp support. In practice both of these were more important to me, so in my path forward I never really looked back to wireless charging.

Having both had phones with and without wireless charging, I guess for me such a feature is nice to have, but not a deal-breaker.


Thanks for this new product.
What about the SARs (head and body) of the FP3 ?
I can not find those values in the specifications.
It is the most important value for me to buy a phone.
Many thanks for any answer, Brgds


I want to encourage anybody who hasn’t done so yet to read the TechCrunch article linked to earlier (and I know Oath tracking settings are a chore) as it includes comments from Fairphone founder Bas van Abel and answers many questions …

As for me … My backup phone (> 4 year old Lumia 640 Dual-SIM 3G version) finally lost software support back in June and is only 3G, which is being phased out in favour of 5G at least in Germany.
So I was looking for options.

Shiftphone’s otherwise pretty neat 5me is based on a Mediatek SoC, which could spell doom for long software support and Custom ROMs.
The 6mq based on Qualcomm with promised Custom ROM support is a bit larger and way more expensive than the Fairphone 3. And announced for Q1 2020 currently.

The Librem 5 is fascinating, but Single-SIM and way more expensive than the Fairphone 3.

The Fairphone 3 is almost the same form factor as the Fairphone 2, it’s just “longer”, which should be fine with my holding and carrying the phone habits.

I ordered one, but I will wait for Fairphone Open OS or LineageOS as well as perhaps a flip case before demoting my Fairphone 2 to be the backup phone.


€450??? I guess all the Fairphone 3 needs now is a fair price for me to consider buying one.

That article also includes a very interesting paragraph:

Out of the box the phone comes with Android 9 preloaded. A post-launch update will make it easy for buyers to wipe Google services off their slate and install the Android Open Source Project instead.


True !
Ethics is not only about the hardware, it should be in the software too.
For many people having their life monitored by Google is a serious concern too.

I’ve opened a discussion that is specifically about getting a Free/Open source operating system for the FP3 that works out of the box (and could be pre-installed as a buying option !).
See : FP3 : Open OS ?


Yes, me too. Nearly hit the “buy now” button this morning.

However, my FP2 is working pretty well at the moment (it has its ups and downs) and the only real fault is that the main camera won’t focus (despite applying the fixes listed on this forum).

New camera module = €45, new phone = €450.

Guess I’m keeping the FP2 until at least the next module failure - that after all was the idea of the phone … and I did just berate someone for dumping their FP2 because it “only” has android 7 on it.

Do I need more memory? Not really (can always add an SD card). 5G? Not at all. Dual 3G / 4G SIMs, actually yes, but only if I get sent out of Europe for work again. A phone that doesn’t randomly reboot now and then? That would be nice, but we don’t yet know how reliable the FP3 will be.

Decision made, for now; stick with FP2.


It is a fair price. It’s the price of all the other phones that can’t be repaired and which are made using slave labour that are UNfair.

People need to wake up to how much stuff should really cost.

I’ll bet (unlike Apple corp and iPhones) no-one is getting rich on the back of FP3.


Hm, very interesting and FP3 looks great. I bought the FP2 late last year, just before it was sold out. If I had known FP3 was to come in September, I would have used my FP1 a few months more, I think… I am happy with the FP2 and I am happy things go well with FP but with this FP3 coming so soon after I bought the FP2 I also feel slightly disappointed.


Yet somehow I have a €180 smart phone that can be repaired (if it needs to be). The fact that my phone may have been made with slave labour, as well as the entire vision behind the Fairphone is exactly why I came to check it out. But seeing that my current phone has about the same specs I really don’t see the point. Especially since I bought my current phone because it was relatively cheap and I refuse to pay the ridiculous prices of current smart phones (as I don’t want to support their unfair practices to that extend). If the price of a Fairphone is comparable to that of other phones they too are too expensive.

That might be a bit harsh, but the price is indeed… difficult. While it’s less expensive than the FP2, its “fairness surcharge” is much higher:

  • FP2 sold for ~520 €. Phones with similar specs (Galaxy S5 Duos) sold for ~400 € (in 2016). That’s a 30% premium, which seems “fair”.
  • FP3 sells for 450 €. Many people will also need a new 3A charger and USB-C cable (+40 €). Add shipping and you’re at 500 €. Phones with almost identical specs (Moto G7) sell for 200 €. That’s a 130…150% premium.

Agreed. But “I can buy two similar phones for a lower price” is something you will have to be prepared for when discussing the FP3.

3 Likes reviewed the FP3, including the camera.

You can see it here

It is in Dutch, so you might need a translator, but suffice to say they compared the camera of the Fairphone 3, Moto G7, and Pixel 3a and you can see the differences of the pictures. The compare is fair insofar that these 3 smartphones use the same chipset for the camera, and are all 3 single lens.

TL;DR the FP3 camera is no longer the Achilles heel of the device like it was with the introduction of the FP2. It is an adequate single lens camera. Only in dark light, the Pixel 3a is better hands down. In other circumstances it differs per smartphone. Sometimes the FP3 even has the better camera, as it gives sharper photographs.

Reading the review they’re mostly worried that the horsepower of the SoC isn’t going to last for 5 years, same with RAM. For me 3 GB RAM would be adequate, and 2 GB RAM is cutting it because of Electron bloat. So I expect 4 GB RAM to be good enough for most of the FP3 lifetime. But you never know for sure, as you don’t know what exactly happens in smartphone land. 5 years is a lot. I expect we are able to have our phones last longer and longer (hardware-wise).


I already ordered the FP3. My husband is still using the very first Fairphone and has problems with app compatibility, missing 4g, general speed, a loose backcover, a cracked display and a very old battery. We were already looking into the shiftphone. Now he can geht my FP2 and I get the new FP3! Looking forward to it!


That’s the spirit! Congratulations for your perseverance :+1:


The modem is tightly integrated with the main processor (SoC) so it’s likely not upgradeable.


Yeah, I ordered one too today. The specs look just fine for what I need. A bit smaller might have been better, but what the hell…
And Fairphone does look like they’ve ironed out the FP2’s biggest flaws when I look at the first impressions published on some websites. In any case I’m willing to make the bet!
My FP2 with a dead accelerator (which I don’t miss that much in fact!) will become a backup phone for a few months then be handed down to my second daughter sometime next year when she’s deemed ready to have a smartphone.
We’ll then have 4 smartphones in the family including 3 Fairphones, the last one being my eldest daughter’s second hand Galaxy S5 with LOS.


I am still using an old laptop computer from 2008. I had to upgrade the harddisk with a SSD, and Win XP moved on to Vista, Win 7 and Win 10-64 now. Still working very nicely. Does all I need. I guess, with phones it will be the same. I bought a Sony Xperia Compact, new, and could use it for not even 2 years, as it got so slow. Then I bought a Motorola Moto G2 2014, and it got very slow. I tested the used Samsung S5 from my sister, but it was slow. Then I bought a used Motorola Moto G4 plus for 40€. It got an Android 8 update recently, and it is still fast enough. It does not work with Google Sky Map and does not save RAW format pictures, thou. And it started killing SD cards and it also reboots suddenly, as it sonetimes gets very hot. So, hardware starts failing. Otherwise I’ d use it probably for much longer. Now I will read FP3 Tests and then consider to buy one or not.


The cable I use for charging the Fairphone 2 isn’t suitable with the Fairphone 3.
But will my charger I use with the Fairphone 2 work with a Fairphone 3?

I am very confused about 4G and LTE. I duckduckwent on it but it didn’t help.

I thought the Fairphone2 had 4G support, but when I finally got one mobile data was much slower than with my previous phone. Also the network icon in the top bar displayed LTE and not 4G.

I was hoping FP3 would fix this problem but according to the tech specs, it has “4G (LTE)”. :thinking: