I’ve been meaning to do this, I am so keen on the principles of Fairphone and so want to the project to succeed, so here are my reasons. I do often get asked about the phone, it’s great to say why it’s good and what the point is, but disappointing that I can’t actually recommend it to anyone who might actually be in the market for a phone.
Most critically the screen touch sensitivity and screen response is poor. All the issues below annoy me, but this is the one that actively irritates me every day and the one I can’t put up with any longer.
Screen resolution is poor. It’s not an issue for phone functions, but the more you want to use for internet/email the more it irritates.
OS version was out of date when phone released. It was a disappointing step backwards in functionality and useability from the Cyangenmod 10 running on my SGS2 at the time. This has not improved.
Lack of OS updates has been discussed extensively. I hoped for a while SW updates to catch up with where my SGS2 was, until it became clear that this would never happen. It is good to read that security updates will still be released, though it’s clear it’s not happening as quickly as it needs to.
Camera quality is generally disappointing.
I’m currently suffering the issue with the OS upgrade download fails, repeats and fails.
The 1.6 OS upgrade disaster shouldn’t have happened. Regular users shouldn’t have to take to the forums just to fix a failed OTA upgrade and get their phone working again.
The newer Launcher was a PITA. (Personally I solved this one with Apex, an improvement on the initial and replacement FP launchers, but especially the latest).
The keyboard feels far too cramped, I manage to miss-type on it often enough that even with all the benefits of autocorrect and predict it bothers me more than it did on previous phones. I can’t judge if this related to the above issues, or personal. I’d not long moved from a similar 4 inch screen and it was a positive choice I was happy with to chose the Fairphone with a 4" screen.
The soft Home button means that I hit that frequently when typing, a problem that do not have with any of the other phones, in fact I don’t remember it being an issue on the Atrix which also has a soft home. This one not a fault and I presume it reduces build complexity and cost so I can understand that, but it’s not a design I’m happy with.
Speed - the lack of it.
GPS accuracy makes tracking apps useless and SatNav frequently has location issues. I can see a long, contradictory and confusing thread about this which suggests that some third party app might solve it. This is far from satisfactory for an issue that doesn’t occur on other android phones.
Case fit is poor and holes are too small for either headphones or usb connectors to fit easily, frequently at all.
There is no screen protector available, so my screen now has a couple of scratches.
Messaging app is missing features such as delayed send and cancel.
On the other hand, I do like:
Battery life, better than any phone I’ve had before, even the Atrix which was the best available for a long time, but the SGS3 does match it, (can get 7 days on standby!) even with the stock ROM, so not a USP.
As a reference, my previous phones as comparison, with screen size, nothing high end so far:
HTC Hero 3.5 inch.
Motorola Atrix 4.0 inch.
Samsung Galaxy S2. 4.3 inch.
Samsung Galaxy S3. 4.8 inch. (current work phone, so daily comparison with FP, for better or worse…)
Next Phone, most likely:
Samsung Galaxy S4. 5.0 inch.
It’s always going to be a used phone with good cyanogen support and a replaceable battery.
If FP2 can tick this I’ll give it some serious consideration.