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How solid/reliable is the Fairphone 3?

Hi there,
I’m considering to finally put my good-old FP2 to rest, it’s been with me since 4.5 years and served me well. However, it also had quite a few issues, like often random reboots, troubles connecting to Wifi, back-cover eroding quickly, SIM slot#1 not usable, and the FP2 that I bought for my daughter needed 2x replacements for its bottom module (and it’s still not 100% ok), and recently overheated and now it doesn’t charge anymore. And I believe I was not alone with this, from what I observed here in the forum.
Now I’m wondering if the FP3 has improved in terms of reliability. How’s experience so far for those who own it? I don’t care much about megapixels or fancy features, but I’d pay extra for reliability and long-term (3+years) software updates.

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Just invest 10 minutes in reading some FP3-tagged threads here at the forum and you will easily find out that the FP3(+) has quite some issues. Not as bad as the overly modular FP2, though.

3+ years of software updates seem possible. My personal opinion is that the advancement of 5G (be it marketing or not) will make the FP3(+) look outdated much earlier. But that ist just a guess, of course.

Best wishes,
Thomas

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I don’t think you’ll get reliable statistics on this from anyone. I have an FP3 and haven’t had any serious issues (no reboots, no problems during calls, etc.). The vast majority of people who responded to this poll seem to be happy with it too.

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Pretty much in agreement.
Had the phone since it went on sale. No problems with it.

It’s a good wee thing.

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Mine works without major issues, too.

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To me it seems, that most problems stem from the Android 10 upgrade.
That raises hopes of course, that the troubles can be solved with a bug fix / update, they are already working on.
See the post on support status by rae, that confirms increased support requests with Android 10 / FP3+.

Hardwarewise the FP3/3+ is way more sturdy. It is bending and twisting less when worn in pockets etc, Therefore the contact problems and troubles with the modules are much less likely to occur on the FP3/3+.
Most visible is this regarding the display.
With the FP2 it was just clicked in with 2 plastic locks, while it is fixed with 13 screws on the FP3/3+.

And mine works without troubles as well; it’s running on /e/.

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Thanks, that’s basically the info that I was looking for!

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I’ve had my FP3 since November last year and love it. This is my first fairphone. I’ve installed /e/ on it, and I wouldn’t say it’s perfect, but for me, more than good enough. If I had a job I would happily use this as my work phone. I’ve gotten the impression that a lot of people are happy to put up with bugs in a personal phone, but not a work phone, but any small bugs I have had wouldn’t be a problem in a work environment. In comparison to what I’ve heard personally from friends who had FP2s, my FP3 experience is an infinite improvement.

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I haven’t any bugs for the moment with my recent fp3+

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Thanks, that is information is useful!
I have a question about /e/. Where does one get its software from? Does it use Google Play Store somehow, or F-Droid or both or something else?

See e.g. this post from urs_lesse, including links to the Fairphone support pages.

EDIT
Seeing @AnotherElk 's post below I realized I misunderstood the question …
Perhaps the link is useful to some anyway.

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/e/ includes an App installer which includes the F-Droid repository of Apps as well as free-of-charge Play Store Apps via cleanapk.org. There’s some controversy concerning the latter because it’s not transparent what or who this is.

You don’t need to use the built-in App installer, though, you can install and use F-Droid and Aurora Store (for Play Store Apps, if needed) directly.
/e/ system and pre-installed Apps get updated via OS updates.

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Besides /e/, LineageOS is on it’s way to official support. Using OpenGApps or alike, you would be easily able to use the Play Store in case you prefer that.

From my experience, the phone is pretty sturdy. I regularly drop the phone, which only lead to minor scratches until now. After changing to a custom ROM, the only remaining imperfection is the fingerprint sensor. It takes some training and regular cleaning to befriend that fella.

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So I got a new FP3 now, speedy delivery on the side of Fairphone! I agree, that build quality seems to have improved considerably, but I guess time will have to tell. So far I don’t have any problems at all, even after the Android 10 upgrade. :+1:

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I had a few smaller issues, most of which are gone over time via updates. So all in all I find FP3 (my first Fairphone) reliable and dependable. Must say that I am not really a power user, use it only for mail, calls, SMS, a bit of internet surfing and GPS assisted hiking. Battery lasts three to four days for me, and I restart the phone very seldom. Usually only if I have one of the two following “bugs”: sometimes GPS fix is darn slow, as if AGPS is not used, and a restart fixes it, and sometimes there is a weird graphics behaviour with block building during display changes - like if the screen update process somehow gets temporarily confused. Restart solves this either.
In general, rather happy with my purchase.

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