I have been following Fairphone ever since learning about the Fairphone 3.I have never owned fairphone even though i would like to own one (more on this later).I learned about this community very recently and i am very proud to make an account here.This post is gonna be a long one so take your time.In this post i will be articulating thoughts about the fairphone in total.
(This is my opinion and should be taken very lightly because neither have i owned a Fairphone nor have i been here from the start)
#1 Fairphone (the company) and my view on its progression since Fairphone 3
Fairphone as a company really stood out for me from the very first moment i heard about it (i think it was 4 or 5 years ago).The values this company has and the procedures it follows to make sure that these values are actually implemented is astonishing.It might be one of the very few companies that actually gives me some hope for this world.
Fairphone 3 was really impressing.It was a big step up from Fairphone 2 and despite its shortcomings, it felt like the company had many ideas that wanted to implement and was trying to make them possible.I remember when Fairphone 3+ was released, both the company and the phone became well known due to the camera upgrade.It was very revolutionary for its time.I was aware of its shortcomings and even though i wasnt willing to buy it,i was following the project very closely.
Fairphone 4 was better than its predecessors.However the removal of the headphone jack was and still is to this date not viewed very postively.Nonetheless Fairphone was clearly becoming more competitive.Fairphone 4 has a even better design and specs are getting better.
A big problem with the previous phones was the lack of the support qualcom provided to its chips.
This problem is solved in the new Fairphone 5 as its chipset will be officially supported for quite some time.Also it has more features compared to its previous phones
(eco charging and etc) so fairphones are getting noticably better.
Why did i go back in the past?
Because it has to be kept in mind that fairphones are always improving.Sometimes the fierce competition and the problems the phone has, makes it easy to lose track of this fact.
#2 What does fairphone provide compared to other phone companies? (my view)
Fairphone is one of those companies that fits perfectly with the phrase “vote with your wallet”.By buying a Fairphone, you turn your back to the companies that dont have a moral compass and exploit anything that can be exploited for their profit.Also, you support a big effort to reduce electronic waste cause after all overconsumption is a big problem and it isnt in the big companies interest to do something about it (they are the ones that promote it with their practices actually).Lastly, Fairphone is all about ownership and having the right to repair your device.This last one is so important for me because unfortunately the world is headed to a subscription based business model in which you dont own anything and you cant repair anything.Owning something and having the freedom to do whatever you want with your device is very important.It is your right and nobody should take that right away from you.Louis Rossmann covers this extensively on his youtube channel.
(Take note that i write this post with good intentions in mind.I dont want to undermine the company or the phone.However good critisism contributes to making the phone and the compamy better.)
I read this review from Gsmarena (Fairphone 5 review - GSMArena.com tests) and basically it says the phone isnt very good.Some comments on that post are very harsh or dont realise what fairphone is about.The truth is that Fairphone isnt for the average person (yet).It is great to support a company that has ethics and actually tries to make the world a better place but this isnt enough (for me atleast) to justify buying the phone.Lets look at the negatives:
This is very important to consider cause 700 euros (or less with the discount) is a lot of money.We are talking about a big commitment financially.Also obviously not everyone can afford the phone at this price.I know that the company has a very small profit margin (more on this later) but nonetheless we have to state this drawback.
This is a dealbraker for me.Buying a phone that is slow isnt appealing.Considering how expensive it is too,this is enough to make the average person walk away.
3)Reliability (software and hardware)
The phone should be more reliable.I had read a comment saying that he doesnt want to commit a lot of time just to fix the issues the phone has.He is right.This isnt to say that only Fairphone has its problems and the rest of the phones are without issues.I am saying that the phone has to be more reliable both in software and hardware.We have to say props to the company for trying their best to fix those issues.
4)No headphone jack
This has been said to many times but people cant stop complaining about it since the introduction of Fairphone 4.I agree with those people.It wasnt a good decision.
5)Not future proof
I havent seen this being said enough.In order for the phone to last the specs have to be good enough.This isnt the case and it kinda defeats fairphone’s purpose.Having a repairable phone is great but isnt enough.The hardware has to be good enough so that it isnt laggy after one Android update.Also not every person has the same tolerance to the phone being less usable.Fairphone has to do better here.
We wil start from the easiest one:
1)Bring back the headphone jack.
This is a no brainer.I dont believe Fairphones statement that headphone jack produces more waste.This is bs to promote their headphones which arent that repairable (i might be wrong here any correction is welcome).Even if that is case, they understimated how much value headphone jack provides to their current customers or to their potential customers. Personally they should bring it back.Bringing it back is like showing their disagreement on what the industry does.Also Fairphone would provide something most phone companies dont provide and that alone would change the minds of some people.
2)Avaiability of parts
This shouldnt happen at the first place and it is clearly a logistics issue.They can definetely fix it.
3)Increase profit margin
I watched the video from tech altar regarding the Fairphone and the fact the company has less than 1% profit margin, isnt viable.Cut costs (always with a moral compass in mind),achieve economies of scale,expand to new markets.I know this is easier said than done but it is crucial for the existence of Fairphone.Their direct competitor Shiftphone is releasing more devices than just their phone models.This approach will definetely help Fairphone.For example i have observed that there is demand for charging batteries externally.Fairphone could release a charger that does that.It will be welcomed from the community.Also, they should offer more services which would be optional.For example their version of icloud or insurance.Moreover they could try joint vetures with other companies like the Framework.In other words Fairphone should embrace its own eco system without of course enforcing its users to use it.I am well aware that Fairphone doesnt have the resources or the leverage to achieve a cut in its costs but at the very least try to A) make the phone better and b) provide services that are supplementary (at least here it is easier to control your costs).
4)Larger customer base
Fairphone should reach a point in which it does so well that the average person would consider the company’s ethics and the repairability a bonus and not its main
(Better specs and relaibility is something obvious, so there is no need for further analysis)
I admire the Fairphone overall and i am so jealous of its repairability.I hope that in Fairphone 6, specs are good enough for the phone to be called future proof.If that was the case along with better reliability i would defenitely consider buying it.
What do you think? Share your thoughts below.
Thanks for your time!