Is it worth to buy F4 now?

Hey guys. I am currently using Pixel 6 that I purchased a year ago and battery life in this phone is horrible. It will not last until end of the day. So I was thinking to buy Fairphone 4 and extra battery since it’s removable and I have got external charger I could just swap them when needed instead of looking for an outlet in bus or train station. However, I made my research and I have realized that Fairphone is releasing new phone every September so I don’t to be like, I buy F4 and two weeks later F4+ or F5 is available. When I buy a phone I would prefer to buy the latest available and keep it for next 3 years at least. I am looking for your opinion, a word from experienced Fairphoners. Should I go for F4 today or hold on to wait for a newer edition?

If you have a Pixel 6 at the moment, the FP4 will be a downgrade when it comes to the technology.
All you gain is better repairability.

The more sustainable approach would be to buy a powerbank, the FP4s battery isn’t meant for the constant exchange you had in mind anyway.
People have been able to wear out the back cover only by opening it a few times (mines still fine after 100x though).

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My reason why I like the Fairphone it’s the message that the company have. I am not really a power user and I don’t look at the specs when I buy a new phone. What I need is clean stock Android, good battery life and reliability.

I got Pixel 6 because my friend convinced me that it will be the best choice for me. Since then I have had issues with overheating, battery drain, unresponsive screen at times and unreliable finger print scanner. This is why I want to change my phone as I cannot put up with that for another year o two. I need something that will just work and will last for more than a year.

All F4 reviews are great, this is why I started considering this phone. My other contender is Samsung XCover 6 Pro but I don’t know how annoying or how good OneUI is.

I will trade-in my Pixel 6 in CEX so they can refurbish and resell it. I will for sure not allow my P6 to end up in the landfill to soon.

One thing that I am sure about is that I can’t keep using such a unreliable device. Just typing this post drained the battery from 60% to 51%.

Before you decide to ditch your Pixel, take some time to read through this forum.
I can wholeheartedly recommend the FP4 to people who understand the mission, fair electronics and sustainability, but the phone isn’t without issues, make sure you know what you buy :slightly_smiling_face:

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I pretty much doubt that we will see another FP model this year. There is not really a room for FP4+ in my opinion, as the camera HW is good enough (unlike with FP3). But maybe they have something up their sleeve, we’ll see.

I’m definitely not trying to discourage you, it’s a great phone, but there are issues, mainly with camera, proximity sensor, call quality (or microphones in general), etc. The developers are working on it, but some tickets have been open for several months with no sign of improvement. More info here:

OneUI is “fine”. But if you want to go for clean Android, I would say it’s not a good choice for you.

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@Razem

Thank You for the info.

I’m definitely not trying to discourage you, it’s a great phone, but there are issues, mainly with camera, proximity sensor, call quality (or microphones in general), etc. The developers are working on it, but some tickets have been open for several months with no sign of improvement. More info here:
✏ Known reproducible and reported issues of the Fairphone 4

I would not mind the camera issues as I barely use camera anyway. Sporadically shooting a pic of my dog while walking in the woods is all I do most of the time. However, call quality is important to me. I can’t have an echo or robotic voice as it will not sound professional. I am not sure that do you mean by “proximity sensor” is it really needed?

OneUI is “fine”. But if you want to go for clean Android, I would say it’s not a good choice for you.

I thought so, this is why I found Fairphone. I was very hesitant about buying Samsung due to heavy skinning of Android. Unfortunately now I am also hesitant about buying Fairphone.

The only phone that lasted in my pocket for more than a year was Xperia XZ1 that I had from 2017 to 2020 but then with the new approach of Xperia 1, 5 and 10 was not my cup of tea. I was hoping that F4 would be another one to last or beat XZ1 but… Now, I just don’t know. :scream:

Note that this doesn’t affect everyone. I guess it’s related to specific network operators. For example on my network (T-Mobile CZ) it’s absolutely fine, but for some users on other networks it’s really horrible from what I’ve read.

The proximity sensor is mainly used to detect when the phone is held to your ear (i.e., the proximity is 0). There are currently two problems. Sometimes during a phone call (when you hold it to your ear), the screen randomly wakes up because the proximity sensor is falsely reporting a positive distance (even though it should be reporting 0). That’s actually not that bad, you can always manually turn off the display using the power button. But on the contrary, on direct sunlight the proximity sensor sometimes falsely reports 0 when you’re just holding the phone in your hand. This is problematic, e.g., when playing WhatsApp (or Facebook Messenger, or Signal, etc.) voice messages, as the phone can become completely unresponsive. So if you spend a lot of time outside and use voice messages regularly, you’re gonna have a bad time, especially in summer.

Well, you can always return it if you don’t like it. Before I purchased FP4, I tried Poco F3 and had to return it because of a horrible green tint issue (which AMOLED displays are quite prone to). Also there was the thing with the bloated MIUI, I just couldn’t get used to it.

Still, FP4 is a great phone and I believe that all the issues will be eventually fixed. But I just cannot sugarcoat it. It’s not perect (yet).

Knowing my luck for this kind of thing it will affect me :sweat_smile:

That’s how I use my phone most of the time, maybe not as much for voice messages but video calls and normal calls. Voice messages are mostly for my friends, partner and family as I trek a lot.

Thank You for all your advice. I don’t think there is such a thing as perfect. I just would like something reliable that I don’t need to worry about just use it when needed.

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Out of curiousity, what have you already tried to mitigate the issues with your existing Pixel 6? Have you done a factory reset? Analysed which apps are the most power-hungry and replaced those? Checked whether system services can be brought in check (disabling bluetooth, location etc when unused)? Have you tried getting your issues resolved under warranty by Google or through your reseller? Or do you believe that the battery aged badly, in which case: did you consider getting the battery replaced? I know… the idea of handing in your phone for a few days is pretty dreadful…

Not saying you need to stick to your current phone, but from a sustainability POV the best phone is the one you already have. :slight_smile:

For what it’s worth: I received my FP4 in January, and so far I’m happy with it, much happier with the FP2 that I held on to for 6 years. It’s reliable, has all the features I desire and it feels fast to me. I don’t think that my requirements for a phone will go up significantly, so I suspect that for me the point of replacement will be when it’s irrepairably broken. Hopefully I’ll get a 5+ year run out of it with just one or two replaced batteries!

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I am fighting with this phone for as long as I have it. Battery is in good health so far. The problem is with connectivity “mobile network” drains too much power and the only way to fix it is to turn off 4G. Apparently it’s a common issue because of new Tensor. I had my P6 replaced back in March but the issue remained. I tried everything to fix it. I have googled and found a workaround with turning off some settings in “developer options” .

The thing is… When I buy I phone I do not want to bother with workarounds, tricks or repairs. Really, no other brand but Sony can make a phone that just works without a single issue for 3 straight years?

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You can always have good or bad luck with a device and use cases are different, so e.g. people who dont call a lot, are not that affected by call quality/ connection issues than others. My opinion reading here is, you would not be happy with a Fairphone as reparability/modularity have its obstacles and Fairphone is still a small company, i.e. sometimes it takes longer to fix issues than a “big player” would need for the same bug.
And I guess looking into a Sony forum will reveal issues as well, I doubt that 100% of all Sony phones work without issues…

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Sources claim that the September software update should resolve battery drain issues. That said, I understand your frustration, and I’m glad to hear you didn’t start searching for a new phone on a whim :slight_smile:

My experience with Fairphone is difficult. As I wrote, I held on to my FP2 for 6 years. However, this phone too was problematic from the start, having random reboots when the phone was under load, becoming more frequent whenever I used the phone as a navigation device. By the end of it’s life these reboots occurred multiple times a day. I also suffered from the poorly designed bottom module requiring frequent replacement because the microphone would stop working.
So far my experience with the FP4 is a lot more positive, I’m convinced this is a robust device. Since receiving the device in January I have experienced two random reboots, and one annoying issue where Duolingo wouldn’t recognise my microphone until the next Google play System update. The microphone itself is not at fault, I’m able to make phonecalls just fine. Otherwise my experience has been impeccable, which I don’t think I’ve had with any phone I’ve owned previously. Only time will tell how well it holds in the future, but I’m positive.

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I’m just about to buy a FP because the battery in my present, perfectly serviceable, 'phone is dying, and you can’t change it without first removing the screen, which is glued in place.

I got a silicone case for it, and superglued some industrial-strength Velcro to both that, and a cheap power bank. Stick them together, and a short charging cable, permanently attached, should keep you going until the end of September. There probably won’t be a FP5 then, but at least you will know.

(You could also stick the power bank directly to the silicone case, if it’s just a stopgap :slight_smile: )

For my money, being able to open my next 'phone up with my fingernails and drop in a brand-new battery, rather than worrying about the battery life of my new 'phone, is priceless.

The other thing that often fails, and is hard to get at in most 'phones is the charging port. In a FP, you just take the back off and two screws later you can drop in a new one that you bought from the website.

I’m going to get one at the same time as the 'phone, just in case.

Hi, welcome to the forum! Could you please rephrase your post? I don’t understand what the question or problem is.

Hello,
I will try to explain this form my perspective (however, the simple fact that I just made an order of FP4 10 minutes ago probably explains it already).

F4 is a phone that is currently about a year old. So first of all, I do not really think that there will be any new phone for at least 1 more year, there is simply no need for a new one, FP4 has 5G, decently fast SoC, enough RAM, decent camera setup. Fairphone as a small manufacturer has limites resources and supporting too many phones might be exhausting for them (still supporting 3, 3+, 4 and then this new future phone). Also, we are not in a position of FP3 where the camera update was so desired by the community, so I do not even expect anything like 4+.

About phones in general - there is no single phone that is bug-free. Samsung phones have bugs, Google phones have bugs, Huawei phones have bugs, Apple phones have bugs. And guess what, FP also has bugs. As for the original author of this thread, September patch should fix the drain, I also saw someone mentioning that clearing the cache helped a lot - Google Pixel 6 Android 13 Battery Drain FIX! - YouTube - however, this is a possible fix for one issue, it is still not a 100% perfect device.

Now my other concern is that a lot of people are trying to compare phones like Pixel with Fairphone. Yes, it looks like it is the same class of devices, but apart from a long SW support, no other phone (OK, maybe except of something like Shift) does provide such a long HW support. It might change in the future with the proposed EU legislation, but as of September 2022, this is a fact. So buying FP4 even in mid cycle (which we are not yet there) still makes sense. Buying FP3+ fro 400+ € is a little bit too much for me, but there is still a market for a sustainable smaller device, with 3,5 mm jack. For 300 €, it would be a good option.

So my conclusion: are you only looking for a replacement for your Pixel because of those bugs? Then FP in general might not be a good product for you. If you are looking for a device that will last a long time, then it is. Even one year into the current cycle, that’s 4 more guaranteed years of support or 13,50 € per month and a PRICELESS impact on our environment. So calculate for yourself.

I am not saying that other phones are bad, just… you know, not the same class.

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Your usage patterns would be interesting. I have a Pixel 6 Pro and I am usually at 75 or 80 percent battery when I go to bed at night. I charge every morning after getting up and never recharge in between. Only days where my consumption is significantly higher is when I do half-day train rides.

Best wishes
Thomas