Let me start with the following: Fairphone just lost me as a customer.
I have waited almost a quarter of a year by now for them to release the FP4. And I was properly excited when I saw it was ready for preorder today. I looked through the product page. - Which seemed entirely fine.
Only when I decided to watch some first impressions of the device I saw the complete travesty of a design decision that is the removal of the headphone jack in the Fairphone 4.
And that’s where they lost me as a customer.
I have many, well working - even some good - wired headphones I want to use. That’s not something I am willing to give up. And neither am I willing to invest into wireless ones which have a lifetime of at most a few years. (For comparison: My good headphones have been reported to last upwards of 20 years). Not to mention that wired headphones contain way fewer hard-to-recycle components like batteries.
So, apart from my personal annoyedness - if you think about it - the removal if the headphone jack entices exactly the opposite of the behavior Fairphone pretends to support.
And after having looked around for a “why” I have found the reasoning they tried to push is that it was necessary for the IP rating. - And honestly, I’m not buying that.
Firstly, there is a precedent of waterproof headphone jacks (see certain Samsung devices).
Secondly, much in the same vein, I had a phone which was perfectly waterproof in tests (albeit without a rating), which had a headphone jack.
Thirdly, you could make a rubber plug for it, like on an old rugged phone I own.
Fourthly, you could even make it an optional module, which people who want a jack can buy and install.
In conclusion, they have just taken the untrue excuse Apple used to remove that feature and hoped no one would question it.
And last, but that is more of a personal point: I honestly do not care about waterproofing, as long as it is somewhat splash-resistant. Why? I don’t take my phone swimming or to the bathtub. And neither do I hold it over any water if I haven’t got a good grip. - Though I understand some people think otherwise, and it in and by itself wouldn’t be an anti-feature in any way.
All in all, it is a real shame that this anti-consumer pro-throwaway-hardware decision was made.
I am thoroughly disappointed in Fairphone, one of the few companies I believed really cared and will only reconsider them if the next model fixes this.
I just felt I needed to air this, because I don’t think I’m the only one who thinks that way. I also felt it was only fair to let Fairphone know why I chose to shop elsewhere, in the honest hope this misstep will not be repeated.