General Fairphone 3 discussion

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.


Tweakers.net 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:

For tech marketing purposes, 4G and LTE are considered the same thing, but …


@Lidwien : Yup, it will!
@Wolf.K : I agree CPUs last much longer than smartphones. I have a desktop I built in 2013 that still works just fine. No gamers in the family so no need for high end GPU or else.
As for 5G support : no way FP could have come out with an affordable phone (ie less than 800€) meeting ethical values and supporting a technology that hasn’t been widely rolled out in Europe yet. As previously stated, only a handful of phones currently on the market support 5G, and they are mostly flagships.
And I can’t see FP ever considering an 5G upgrade as that would mean changing the SoC=the whole core module which is the phone’s most expensive part. That would also certainly raise compatibility issues with the other modules.
What I understand is that FP’s first goal with the modular design is easy repairability. If they can throw in a module upgrade during the phone’s life like with the camera on the FP2, why not, but I don’t think you’ll ever see a core module update. It doesn’t make sense from a design and engeneering point of view, not with the way SoC’s are designed nowadays anyway. And FP doesn’t have and will never have the power to design and produce its own SoC. Not even Samsung has!


It will work, but won’t charge at full speed unless it supports Quick Charge 3.0.

These are used pretty much synonymously. Both FP2 and FP3 support 4G LTE-Advanced, but the FP3 can achieve higher speeds (if the network supports it): FP2 max. 150 Mbps down / 50 Mbps up, FP3 max. 450 Mbps down / 75 Mbps up. It’s all in the tech specs. But it shouldn’t be that relevant in most real-world scenarios.


For me it is to simple to see the SoC power as limited. My FP2 is enough for me which was even older by the introduction. I am doubting to order a FP since I don’t see really the light in the tunnel for Android 7 on the FP2.

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LighteageOS 16.0 Android 9 Pie (couldn’t resist :slight_smile: , see also #lineageos).


In my case it is a little bit different.
I orderd the FP2 just when it was possible and got it in January 1915. Normaly it worked quite well and I was quite lucky and proud to own this phone.
I baught it to take it with on my bike holydays just to be able to use the internet and to do the navigation whilst my journeys and bike tours. But with the navigation application (OsmAnd) I have got into trouble very often because of phone reboots. So I decided to sell it to somebody else, who would not use it for navigation. In exchange I baught a used Galaxy S5 at ebay for 60 €, and that device with same processor and very similar specs as the FP2 did and still does the job without problems. And it even has a removable battery.
But now I looked for a faster device and found a “BQ Aquaris X” with just a little bit less specs as the FP3, it runs on a Snapdragon 626 and has 3/32 GB memory and got it for 90,- €.
Now, when the FP3 arrived, it is tempting me of course! I would like it very much to own a Fairphone again, because it stands for principles I support.
But lets wait, how the BQ device with Lineage custom rom performs, and lets see what experiences others will gain with the FP3 - hopefully better ones than mine!
May be, some day I will come back to Fairphone again.

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Very good article, answers most questions asked on this thread about FP’s goals and everything they do behind the “phone selling thing”

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