Name’s Peter. After months of dithering, I finally purchased a Fairphone 4. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, and also I needed a phone that let me install a de-Googled Android OS without getting a major headache.
Having to replace my Samsung phone’s battery with a spudger and a lot of patience the other day, as well as the availability of CalyxOS for the FP4 finally pushed me over the edge.
I’m very happy with my purchase. I spent a few hours flashing CalyxOS and backup / restoring everything that was on my old phone onto the FP4, and a couple days using it, and so far it’s been working like a champ.
It’s great to have a well-designed object in my hand that feels friendly and doesn’t feel like it’s a hostile object designed with planned obsolescence in mind to nickel-and-dime me and violate my privacy at every opportunity.
Keep up the good work Fairphone! We need more companies like you in this dystopian day and age of corporate surveillance, locked proprietary hardware and trampled right to repair.
Very nice to read some positive stories
One question. Is the bug with screen light still persistent in Android 13? It happens on the sun, the screen light is on 100%, but the screen gets a bit darker (although it is still on 100%). It’ s impossible to read on the screen at that point.
I’m on /e/ with Android 12 it works great, except this bug
Thanks and enjoy the FP4!
I did not experienced the bug so far on LineageOS 20 (Android 13).
I have seen exactly zero bugs, which is actually why I’m super-impressed with this device running this OS.
I was naturally on the lookout for things that wouldn’t work quite right, CalyxOS not being the stock OS that came with the phone, and I must say I’m quite floored to see that everything works as it should - and I do mean everything.
The only thing that doesn’t work properly is Google Translate - the only piece of Google software that I used to use. It’s Google, so I’m not terribly surprised, and there’s an open source alternative on F-Droid. So it doesn’t matter.
Other than that, it’s clear sailing.
Great to hear this. Try DeepL
Thanks for the hint. I didn’t know DeepL. I use Simply Translate, which is a Google Translate frontend. But any opportunity to do away with Google is more than welcome!
the bug comes from the fairphone firmware that is also present in all custom roms including calyxos. Doesn’t matter if calyxos is on A13. Fairphone introduced the bug in it’s firmware when they updated to A12 and this firmware is also in calyxos on A13. Fairphone has to fix it in their firmware. Unless they do the bug will also occur in all custom roms.
well that’s great to hear. Given the bugfest others experience (including me) you seem to be quite lucky. I’m jealous.
But I had no problems in the beginning too, the problems only came over time and got worse with every update, up to the point that the phone is barely usable now. Let’s hope you’ll be spared.
Had I read this prior to embarking on my little deGoogled Fairphone experiment, I might not have started
I guess I really am lucky: getting the Fairphone, flashing CalyxOS on it and configuring it as my daily driver cellphone genuinely was the singlemost pain-free, trouble-free thing I’ve done in a long long time.
That’s the thing too: I don’t let the phone or the apps ever update on their own unless there’s a good reason to - the good reason being either a bug that I’m walting on a fix for, or some security vulnerability. If I have no reason to update, I don’t. I.e. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
The reason I do that is because I quickly learned to distrust automatic updates: they usually bring more problems than they solve. With Google for instance, when they killed NFC unlocking, I had no say in this; it worked, and then suddenly it didn’t, just like that, because Google decided to kill the functionality.
I’m like dogs: beat me a few times and then I’ll learn to hide. So I’m guessing if I’m careful with the updates and let others play guinea pigs for me before I apply them - if I even need to apply them - then my nice fully-functional Fairphone should stay nice and functional for a long time.
I get roughly a day and a half of not-particularly-careful usage out of my FP4. Most importantly, MicroG ran for 27 minutes and used up only 1% of the battery, compared to the Google Play Services wastefest in my Ulefone (I’ve seen it go up to 8% while the phone was mostly dormant).
Now I’m charging it off a XTAR PB2S battery pack that says it’s pulling 15W out of the theoretical 18W the charger says it can deliver -
but I suspect the limiting factor is the USB-C cable I’m using
(EDIT2: actually it looks like the FP4 itself won’t pull more than 15W: I’m charging the XTAR charger with the exact same cable and it’s pulling the full 18W now).
Good enough for me, since this is only a test to see what the phone can do: I always slow-charge my Li-ion batteries to make them last longer.
EDIT: Done fast-charging in 90 minutes with the XTAR. But it fully depleted two fully-charged 3500 mAh 21700 cells to recharge the FP4’s 3900 mAh battery. In other words, an energy efficiency of 52%. Not great, but at least I know two fresh cells will give me an extra day and a half of Fairphone fun.