I'm interested in a Fairphone 5 mini, but

At the moment I have an iPhone SE 2020 that’s 25 months old and still going strong, without replacing the accu / battery! I have installed over 170 apps on the device, all my music is on it, most of my photos and I own an iMac, so I’m kinda into the Apple ecosystem.

Although I like Apple’s products, they are still a Big Tech multinational. I’m kind of an activist (in the monetary sphere), but I’m not deaf toward other causes. So I have been thinking a while about using something besides iOS.
The problem is that I dislike Windows and Android, so I would be looking into a Fairphone 5 mini with an alternative (open-source) OS.

Is it far fetched to think that such a device will be made and be made available with that OS? I don’t dislike my iPhone. I have used an iPhone 5 and iPhone SE before I had this one. None of them broke down. Some had issues with the accu / battery, but they were all small phones.

Luckily I do not have much subscriptions on iOS, but I have a few LifeTime ones. I’m wondering what I’m going to miss if I change platforms. I’m susceptible to small changes. It takes me a while before I get used to software, so I hope it will user friendly.

A friend of mine doesn’t want to use a Fairphone, because they are not waterproof. Are there waterproof cases for the Fairphone? I have used waterproof cases from LifeProof on my phone in the past. If there isn’t a waterproof case, maybe they could make one?

Accessories wouldn’t be a real problem in my case, because I haven’t got an Apple Watch, just a few lightning cables. And a Lifeproof case of course (but that’s not a waterproof one). My headphones are USB-C compatible and/or wireless.

Which part of the transition is the biggest hurdle? There are some apps I just need to have, like the Proton apps or something like Spark.
I have made this topic, because I really like the fairphone, I’m just not convinced it’s really a good choice for me at the moment. In stead of spending hours researching on the internet, I thought I’d just ask it here.
I hope the people here can help me.


Hi and welcome to the forum

You are unlikely to get a mini version when the FP5 comes out and almost all alternate OSes are Android. Google run the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) which many ‘de-googled’ OS’s are based on.

There are some and quite a few Linux, non Android, but the apps and support on them will be very small in comparison.

Best to try and get used to an FP3 or FP4 before you make a decision or any Android phone and try to either install an alternate OS or de-google it.

All the best


Thank you for your quick answer!

It is very insightful. I will ponder the option some more.
Maybe ask a relative if I can use her Fairphone to see if I understand how it works.


You might consider to use /e/OS as the launcher (look& feel) has some kind of “iOS flavour”, the system is quite “degoogled” and has a decent eco system included.
Anyway you can find OS versions for the current Fairphone models by following this link: #oslist .

I agree with @amoun that I wouldn’t expect a small phone version. There’s just no market big enough for that. AFAIK even apple considers to let the SE line “die”…


I agree, I also wish FP mini.


The last iPhone SE had so many sales it was in the top 5 best selling phones.
That phone was launched earlier this year.
I think there is a market for smaller phones, it’s just that producers do not want to make them anymore, because the profit margin is smaller.
As far as I know Apple is quitting the mini’s, but Apple made a mistake. Making an SE and a mini in the same year.

Anyway, what is a decent method on comparing my current apps to those on /e/OS?
Shall I list a few apps I need?

you could start with watching this video about the latest e/OS updates. Else you can have a look at the play store via a browser to see if your iOS Apps all exist on Android as well and I would check the Murena Forum about issues on specific Apps

I agree. After over 10 years of everything Apple, I recently got a Fairphone 4 with /e/os to replace my iPhone. Took a little getting used to and there were a couple apps that didn’t work with the de-googled operating system, but I’m very happy with it and glad I made the change.


Welcome aboard and to the forum.

Maybe you could name the apps for future reference?

All the best, happy sailing

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The apps I need:

Proton Mail
Proton VPN
Spark (or something similar)
Triodos Bank
Sleep Cycle

I’ll edit this later on with a list of apps I want. The above list isn’t final either.

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I cannot speak to any of the other apps, but both Proton Mail and VPN work fine with Android-11 on my FP3. Proton VPN, in fact, works much better with Android-11 than it ever did before (Android-10): With Android-10, Proton VPN was non-functional without WiFi, with Android-11, it always works, and I am now able to leave the VPN continuously enabled. (I pay for Proton, which may or may not be a factor here?)

Yes. The overall smartphone market is clearly heading towards larger displays. And if you’re a niche player like Fairphone, designing and manufacturing a smaller phone which you will only sell in small amounts just does not pay.


Why did you leave Apple?
How long have you used your Fairphone 4 with /e/OS?

I’m someone who takes a lot of time of getting used to devices, that’s why I ask.

Most of these apps aren’t supported.
Yeah, Proton is, but it would be really weird if they weren’t.

To me it is not feasible to make the transition in the next few years, because of

the price of the Fairphone
the size of the Fairphone
the lack of apps I regularly use.

To me, a smartphone is a notification device. If I cannot have it deliver notifications to my most used apps, it’s pretty useless to me.
Of course, I could use regular Android if I want, but that would be a downgrade in my opinion.

BTW, when will Android 12 be available for Fairphone 4?

My iPhone was starting to have battery issues and I needed something new. I had been following Fairphone for a few years as I liked the company ethos, but I didn’t want to have an android device due to privacy concerns with Google. I watched a youtube video about /e/os and it peaked my interest. I installed the operating system on my son’s old Samsung phone initially to try it out for a week or 2, then decided to take the plunge with a new Fairphone 4. That was end of May/early June, so I’ve been using it for around 6 weeks approximately.


That is really short in my opinion.

Tell me more in 3 months!

Which iPhone were you using and why didn’t you replace the accu / battery?

I just found out that a new iPhone SE (2022) with 256 GB storage is more expensive than a Fairphone 4 with 256 GB storage.
So if my current iPhone SE 2020 fails me, it is cheaper to buy a Fairphone.

Edit: An iPhone 12 mini is also more expensive. How did I miss this?
That model doesn’t even support 256 GB. The Fairphone is even expendable. The Storage I mean.

It would mean however, that I will not be able to FaceTime with my mother anymore. She turns 73 this year and doesn’t want to part with my old iPhone SE 2016.
Which video call app does /e/OS have?
It doesn’t have Skype right?

I cannot change the size of the fairphone.
I can change the apps I use.
This would mean that I have to have a look into the possibilities for running some of my more important apps on /e/OS.

No, it’s not that I want to replace my current phone anytime soon. It’s just nice to have a back-up plan. The irony is that I won’t be able to buy a Fairphone when my current phone fails me, because I bank at bunq (mobile first bank), which means I cannot transfer money from one IBAN to another.

Eek, I’m even considering running ‘normal’ Android on a fairphone and I dislike Google.
Then again, I use Youtube ánd Gmail, so what am I complaining about?

Sorry for rambling, but sometimes I can inform myself a bit, so I know what the best choice is for me.

How do I transfer my music and photos from macOS to a Fairphone? How does that work?

I have found this comparison to be useful, but I guess some of you have something against it:

You can install any app available for free from the Google play store.
So Skype is one of them which you can use on /e/OS.

Sounds like you really should care for a backup plan for your banking account access soon!

Yes, it’s your personal decision if you avoid Google services or not.

That’s good.

I suppose there are a lot of ways.
One coming to my mind is copying all photos and music to a PC and from there via USB to a Fairphone.

Thank you for your answers.

I’m going to visit a store where I can compare the different sizes of phones if I would be able to comfortably use the Fairphone 4.

I can login to my bunq ‘area’ on another phone. I do not have a back-up phone, but I can use someone else’s. I don’t think it’s necessary to have 2 phones. I’m of the opinion that using 1 phone is more sustainable. It has it’s drawbacks of course.

How can you see the maximum capacity of a battery / an accu on a fairphone? On an iPhone you can see in the settings. Does this also work with a fairphone?
How do I know when to replace the battery?
I’d like to replace it before it utterly fails me.

Yes you can monitor the battery ‘health’ but you shouldn’t have a problem for a few years, and even then it will just require charging more frequenently.

  • Length 162 mm
  • Width 75.5 mm
  • Thickness 10.5 mm
  • Weight 225g
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