Ideas for a range of FP4(+)

Having 5G doesn’t hurt, but here in NL it doesn’t make sense yet to have a 5G phone. The frequencies aren’t available yet. If you do see 5G on your phone you might be just using a test base station that’s not actually using 5G. It may take 1 to 3 years for 5G to become a real thing here. Not saying FP4 shouldn’t have 5G. Just saying that at this point it’s not such a big deal not having it. WiFi-6 on the other hand… :nerd_face:

But the Netherlands are not the middle of the world. And even if it takes three years there, as the FP4 is made to last at least five years, it will still benefit.


The world is a sphere.
Logically, everyone thinks of himself that he lives at the navel of the world. :rofl:
Do we all :wink:

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All of us, really :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:?

As someone who had to buy a new phone because carriers shut off 3G I’m really glad they included 5G, even if it’s completely useless to me for now.
I can live without gigabit speeds over wifi (not trying to move terabytes of data on my phone), but not being able to use the phone outside makes it obsolete pretty fast.


WiFi-6 is like 5G not just about speed. It also improves reliability. With WiFi-6 e.g. you can have way more devices in the same area with less interference. And yes, it’s faster, you can replace a gigabit UTP cable with WiFi in that case.

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Sure, but i can still use most of my older wifi devices on my modern wifi 6 network (or have them talk to another router that speaks their language for the more esoteric ones), but I can’t put a 3G cell tower in the garden.
The difference for me is who gets to decide when my device is obsolete. I can control wifi, but the carrier gets to control the cell network. So the newest cellular modem is more important to me in that regard.


All I’m hoping for is something akin to an updated modular counterpart of my 4-year-old Huawei P20 Pro. Something that is not only built sturdily and gets the basics right while leading the market in modular repairability & ethical sourcing, but integrates quality-of-use aspects that now seem to be more and more standard in “upper midrange” phones between $450-$700.

1. Adding back a 3.5mm headphone jack would be nice, but I can live without it since I have other devices at my disposal when i just want to sit and enjoy music from my favorite playlist for an hour. Also the fact that my “daily driver phone” is the one I dedicate to using when I’m out around town and firing off quick calls, emails, or texts so making the switch to wireless earbuds won’t be too bad.

2. A “standard” OLED/AMOLED, LTPO OLED (idle refresh rates at 1-10hz to preserve battery life & display longevity), or miniLED IPS LCD display (least likely since this is only seen in Apple devices right now, but nonetheless a good compromise between OLED & current IPS LCD displays) upgrade module whichever is most viable to source ethically & sustainably. 60hz would be fine, but a variable refresh rate up to 90hz or 120hz would be appreciated as well.

I know that burn-in is a common concern in this community, but as Linus Tech Tips put it that’s most likely to happen if a static UI element is present on-screen indefinitely and if the display is pinned at maximum brightness for most of the display’s lifetime. Both those factors is why OLED burn-in is so much more of an issue in desktop monitors and TVs.

On phones standard features like sleep timers and adaptive brightness help to maintain display health. Newer features like variable refresh rates (say between 30-60-90-120hz depending on the activity and type of application) and ultra-low refresh rates on LTPO displays should preserve the longevity of pixels even further. My personal gripe against current IPS LCD stems from the fact that I’m almost too used to the improved sharpness and infinite contrast to go back after having used OLED for over 5 years. I sincerely hope that I can upgrade to a Fairphone 4+ or 5 that sports an LTPO OLED or miniLED in the coming years.

3. Telephoto Camera Module to replace the wide angle with a 3X or 10X telephoto. This one’s pretty self-explanatory.

I just think it would be a super neat have the option to swap the wide-angle camera module with a telephoto module since I find myself using it pretty frequently during outdoor adventures and travelling. Specialized camera modules like an ifrared sensor for x-ray/thermal vision, “mantis shrimp vision” (interpreted UV & polarized light), and LIDAR would be really cool offerings as well, but those seem like uber distant stretch goals at the moment.

4. Interchangeable Core/Compute Module Upgrade ~ this is something I hope Fairphone is taking cues from their modular-repairable laptop cousins at Framework. The main value proposition here is to have the option to conveniently swap in a core module that contains a higher performance CPU/SoC (i.e. Quallcom Snapdragon 768G/778G or Mediatek Dimensity 900/920) as well as potentially more gigs of RAM & on-board storage.

An example of this might look like swapping out the Snapdragon 750G, 6GB of LPDDR4X RAM, and 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage to an upgrade module containing a Dimensity 920, 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and 512GB of UFS 3.1 storage. The original core module could then either be kept by the owner as a spare ot sent back to Fairphone to upcycle into refurbished devices or ethically recycled if beyond repair.

I’m aware that replacement core modules have not been sold on the open market for any Fairphone model so far, but doing so would be a huge step in the progress to make modular repairability more accessible.

5. “Build Your Own Fairphone” is another Framework-inspired solution that’s worth considering to realize in a future model.

This stems from the idea that a higher level of customization can be afforded to tech-saavy customers at a similar or reduced cost if the final assembly of the device (phone, tablet, foldable, laptop, etc.) is done by the purchasing individual instead of workers on an assembly line thus both providing both a fun & satisfying activity as well as reducing labor-relate costs since the components are sent directly to the customer.

6. Finally I would like to pitch the idea of forming some sort of hardware standards consortium between repairability-focused OEMs like Fairphone, Framework, Teracube, Shift Phone, smartphone ODMs (Wingtech, Huaqin, Longcheer), and laptop ODMs (Tongfang, Clevo, Compal, Quanta, Wishtron, Inventec) in an effort to establish some degree of interchangeability of parts in between different models and platforms a bit like desktops and hopefully modular laptops too.

I believe this can be realized in smartphones because large phone brands already use nearly-identical components in between their various lineups of devices. Some examples include BBK Electronics which sources very similarly-specced parts in between their Oppo, Vivo, and Oneplus subsidiary brands or how Pocophone devices are mostly rebadged Xiaomi or Redmi phones with a few hardware tweaks & custom Android skins. Cuz almost every phone model from all six brands were designed to specification by the same three Shanghai-based companies.

Another great example is the Eluktronics MAG-15, Schenker XMG Fusion 15, and Maingear Element. All three laptop moldels offered by three different brands sport near identical configuraions of display, CPU, GPU, battery capacity, I/O port layout, cooling solution, and guess what? They’re all based on the same Tongfang design.

What I’m trying to get at is that since the design and individual components between devices are already configured so similarly then eatablising standards between brands for things like camera module housings, connectors between components, and firmware would enable customers to swap certain types of parts
– say cameras, batteries, core modules, and USB-C ports – between models offered by Fairphone, Shift Phone, Teracube, and other brands that decide to integrate such hardware standards into their designs.

I imagine displays, chassis, and rear covers still wouldn’t be interchangeable since brands would still prefer to be able to design unique phones in all different ranges of size, look, and feel.

More about Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs):

List of laptop brands and manufacturers - Wikipedia
Reflections about rebranded and unbranded electronics | Random thoughts, conocimiento no conocido, yachay mana yachasqachu

Well this turned out to be a bit long-winded of a post, but I hope my thoughts and explanations help form visualizations of what’s possible in the current resurgence of endomodularity – as opposed to Phoneblocks and Project ARA which exibited exomodularity. :wrench: :calling::+1:

@y_cho and @AndreasChris picking out this discussion reg the FP5 Screen for the FP4 as I think that subject covers it best.

In my eyes this will not work still because

  1. FP4 and FP5 are not sized the same and the connector does not fit and
  2. I guess what was recently said about the FP3 fingerprint sensor is true for all modules irrespective of which device.

The fingerprint sensor itself is just one of the components within the fingerprint sub-assembly. The design, pin configuration, and other aspects of the sensor may vary between different manufacturers and models. Therefore, the FPCs (flexible printed circuits) would likely require re-layout, and the module would need to undergo a comprehensive process of review, firmware/driver development, testing, validation, and certification when considering a new fingerprint sensor.