Tomorrow morning, I will ship my second hand FP2 to a new owner. I feel kind of sad, to let it go. The reason is: For my job, I need stable support for Android 8. Since about 26 months ago, I sold my used FP1 after about 2 years of use for roughly the same reasons, I would like to share my thoughts and impressions.
I only had the FP2 for 7 months. I don’t sell it because I don’t like it. On the contrary, I really enjoyed the FP2 – and compared to the FP1 it aged much better. But I still work in Android Development in a Start-Up and I feel as a developer, it’s important to have access to the latest and greatest in Android updates (You’r experience or requirements may differ ).
To me, the FP2 is and was still a huge step forward from the FP1. With Google Services integrated, it was turn on and use for me. It took me 8 minutes and Threema was installed and a few minutes later, my backup was restored. I mention Threema, because that actually took the most time to transfer. Setting up K9mail and Davdroid was snappy and easy. And the FP2 was stable. I kind you not, I did not have more the two crashes in 7 months of heavy use. I had some problems encrypting the FP2 after installing the new camera, but once you know the workaround, that’s not a real problem.
The camera upgrade was huge for me, I really did not like the old camera module, but was happy with the new one. Custom ROMs support? Wow, Lineage OS is stable on the FP2. Security Updates? Way better the all I knew except for Google.
The only thing that was missing for me? Really only Android 8. Well, maybe the storage could be a bit faster, the processor could have been 64bit and support the latest hardware encryption extension (required for Android 7 and newer) and a bit more RAM would have made the device more snappy. I think all of that is possible today at roughly the same price point.
That brings me to my only critique: You opinion might differ, but I cannot really recommend a new FP2 today. The only reason for that is the older SoC and, because of that, the old Android version. I love what FP2 is doing, but atm, I cannot really recommend a new FP2 to the people asking me. I think the improvements in Android 7 and 8 are significant, and further improvements are coming with Android 9 this year: Be it file-based encryption, project treble, seamless updates, better power saving, better restriction of permissions, Quick Replies, Notification dots. All these really improve the UX of an Android device. And, wow, does Android 8 feel fast.
I do not argue for a lower price, but a more future-proof hardware. I will keep being active on this forum, i will read the blog and I subscribed to the Newsletter. To, with all the improvements of the FP2, I got a lot of confidence in Fairphone. Count me in for FP3 pre-orders. And rest assured: If the FP3 does improve in those areas the FP2 lacks today, I will be able to recommend it again.
What are your thoughts on this?