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Is the FP3 significantly better than the FP2?

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I’ve owned my FP2 since early 2017, and it’s now on its last legs. I am hugely supportive of what FP are trying to achieve, and the change they hope to make in the industry and market… but unfortunately my FP2 experience has not been good. I won’t list every problem I’ve had with it over the years, but they include repeated microphone/bottom module errors, the camera not working, the phone screen often freezing or reloading even during calls, terrible battery life (I think I am on battery replacement number 4 - by which point, you have to start questioning whether this is actually reducing or increasing e-waste). Very little of my hardware remains the phone I originally bought - some due to wanted upgrades, but mostly due to troubleshooting major hardware problems. Now the phone barely stays on for any period of time, and restarts whenever it feels like it. So while I say it is now “on its last legs”, it’s “legs” were never very good…

So, I need a new phone. And my question for FP3 owners, who previously owned an FP2, is - should I get an FP3? Are the constant bugs and issues now largely fixed and sorted with the FP3, or is it still bad? I dearly want to stay with FP, but only if I have some certainty that it will now be a reliable phone.

Any views, experience, advice - gratefully received.

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Most FP2 users do not experience such problems, I certainly don’t. The biggest issue I ever had with it was that for a couple of software releases I could not shut down, only reboot, but that got fixed by a software update. I wonder if the problem was a higher than typical rate of defective components getting into the production phones, causing big problems for a few people.

My partner has just got a FP3 and it seems to be a big jump in performance and camera quality compared to FP2. The construction is quite different, so I thing they have learned some lessons which could improve reliability. It is also physically bigger, if they offered a smaller version I would choose that.

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Before you buy a new phone, try if you can solve the issues you have with your FP2.
Have you tried reinstalling FPOS manually? While this deletes all your data, it also might help solving e.g. reboots.
For battery life, make sure that you avoid these apps if you can, since they need a lot of power. You could also try to install LineageOS which doesn’t include G00gle Services which could also improve battery life. Also, you only need to change your battery every 2-3 years when it starts losing capacity, changing it more often really is just increasing electronic waste.
Regarding the bottom module… Yeah, they are poorly made, I’m also using the fifth one at the moment I think.

I hope you can keep your FP2 for another year or two, if you have any more questions just ask :slight_smile:

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It is.
Furthermore battery life is awesome compared to the Fairphone 2, and for me personally mobile network reception in difficult environments (e.g. indoors) is significantly better, but experiences with this might differ depending on the carrier used and the respective environment you’re in.

I think so, too, although I also never had a problem with my Fairphone 2 in this regard.
I guess reliability of the Fairphone 3 will be down to whether they also learned to get phones and parts of consistent quality out of the factory, but it’s much too early to be able to judge that.

It’s worth to note that compared to the Fairphone 2 the form factor is surprisingly similar. The Fairphone 3 is about as wide and thick as the Fairphone 2, it is “just” noticeably longer.
I found that to be a really good compromise for me, I didn’t have to change a thing in using/ handling the phone this way.

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If you have really small hands, then you will notice that the FP3 is thicker. For me it’s something I have to get used to.
Otherwise I agree fully with @AnotherElk. The Fairphone 3 is better than the Fairphone 2.
Although I was lucky, I never had to replace a module in the 4 years I have the Fairphone 2.

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Thickness of the Fairphone 2 is given as 10.6 mm.
Thickness of the Fairphone 3 is given as 9.89 mm.

That’s a difference of less than 1 mm (and the Fairphone 3 is thinner).
However, if you use the bumper the Fairphone 3 comes in by default, that’s a different story, of course, the bumper will add to width and thickness in handling, as it can be left off and this way is not part of the measurements.

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Yes, with the bumper.

Just one more idea, besides all the information already given.
Frequent reboots might still be due to the battery compartment being a wee bit too large. FP offers for this case a small self-adhesive plastic shim.
That at least was the reason causing my phone to reboot. Though I experienced none of the other troubles.

I think a similar question has been raised in


So you might find more answers there.

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The hardware is definitely a vast improvement compared to the FP2, especially when it comes to battery / battery life and camera.

Overall, the FP3 is basically a good mid-range smartphone with a close to stock Android (including Google apps and services) and a premium price due to the fairness efforts. This is why I personally bought the device and why I’m really happy with it.

If your main point is trying to live a life without Google, though, then you should IMHO rather wait until Fairphone releases Fairphone Open for the FP3 or until LineageOS or something comparable like /e/ becomes available.

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For the record: approx 10%.

Owning a FP2 was clearly a sacrifice for the good cause. Even while I encountered few serious issues, especially after switching to Lineage, it was kind of a lackluster phone. Battery life was pathetic, charging speed agonizingly slow, the compass never worked, camera was terrible and towards the end some apps got frustratingly slow. Add to that some infuriating random reboot while navigating with Google Maps.

I hesitated a lot before taking the plunge and getting a FP3. I don’t regret it. They finally managed to build an actual phone. It’s fast, battery life is amazing, actually better than that of a Samsung Galaxy S10. I didn’t encounter any issue. NFC works as it should, as does the fingerprint reader.

The only missing feature I would have loved is an OLED screen, but it’s not that important.

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Some people speaks about battery Life, for my experience with other phone, display OLED consumes more battery.
LCD IPS allow more battery Life.
For example i’m very happy about Nokia 8 display LCD with wide viewing angles, Better viewing under sunlight and battery Life.
Today there are very beautiful LCD IPS display.

Then i think Firephone makers doing better choices LCD display.

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(AM)OLED has various advantages and disadvantages. OLED consumes less battery than LCD. OLED requires no backlight, and LCD requires to have light being stopped. OLED also has better view angle than LCD but I consider than a privacy advantage (except for TVs).

With FP2 it was easier to take apart, or remove the battery. The FP2 also has that extension port on the back. It didn’t have fingerprint reader or NFC (some people dislike these), and as of now it supports different OSes.

I also had an early FP2 and found the battery life problematic, as well as having to replace the bottom module a couple of times due to dropping it and the microphone not working.

I’m not going to going into a full review of my FP3, which I’ve had since November, but it has exceeded my expectations. I now never worry about the battery, and even make trips without taking a charger or spare battery with me :slight_smile:

I also bought a compatible QC 3.0 portable battery charger which works very well rapidly charging the battery. Though it rarely drains to below 50%. (Just make sure you have a usb-c cable)

I’m also now using my FP3 with dual personal and work SIMs (my employer insists on the phone being encrypted for work apps/email and I didn’t trust my old FP2 to cope with encryption) I also didn’t realise how I was missing out on the fingerprint sensor - I couldn’t do without it now. As with my FP2, I’m using a 128GB memory card for my music.

Finally, the process for the 40 euro cashback for sending back my FP2 worked fine for me. When I was confident my new FP3 was working as I wanted I reset my FP2 and posted it back, and received my refund something like 4-6 weeks after.

The FP3 is a major step up from the FP2. Reliability wise, since November I’ve had 1 instance of the UI rebooting fairly soon after I received it, but that’s the only hiccough I’ve had so far.

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1:1 the same here with the FP2. For about 1.5 years everything was fine, then

  • the touchscreen lost responsivity on the left edge and had to be replaced
  • the camera in many instances only works if I bend the case (this might be due to a defect of the mainboard),
  • the battery is not to well fixated which might be the reason for the occasional reboots (about once a day)

On the positive side:

  • first and foremost the main purpose: building a business which tries to be less damaging to humans and their environment. That’s why I got in, and that is what matters more than a few Megapixels, minutes of battery duration or features I got along without fine by now…
  • despite all this the phone still works after 3 years while friends of mine had to buy new phones because of broken displays etc.
  • The service: it was no problem to get a free replacement both for my first camera and the screen in the first two years.
  • The efforts to make the phone longer lasting, especially porting Android 7 to the old chipset - respect for that. For me that was an eye opener that the old “wintel” model is alive and kicking. Force people to buy new hardware because new software that needs the new hardware is thrown on the market while the old software (e.g. older windows versions) is not supported anymore. In that way otherwise functioning hardware has to be thrashed well before time. Also works with Android and Apps.

I recommended the phone to two people, one of which is very satisfied while the other one already had to replace a few parts and is short before thrashing it. As other people in this thread I suspect that this is more a quality assurance than a design problem, nevertheless it is a problem.

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I am truely surprised about people commenting that “the majority of FP2 users” dont have any problems.
I know couple of peolle who used FP2 and all of them do have issues. Several friends have changed to other phones because they need reliable phones for their job.

I do have problems too. I dont know one single person who did not have problems.
But I know a couple of people who did know buy an FP2 because of people telling them their experience. I honestly dont believe the majority is doing fine.

About FP3 I think it is too early to tell. Most people I know had their FP2 working fine for 1-2 years and problems started then.
We will see in the long run I guess.

Anyways, I am definetely still up with this experiment. Even if I question the sustainability of FP2 due to constantly replacing parts: I still consider human rights an important factor which we often dont discuss enough.
I just dont want to support companies who give a shit about 12 year old kids climbing down mine tunnels barefoot without helmets or protection within a civil war area…

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Hi Tims,

compared to your story my FP2 experience was not remotely that bad, still I was seriously questioning whether to go for FP3 or not.
(I had a multitude of smaller issues, one complete exchange (whole device), but the phone was working stable at least, yet only on Android 6 though…)

I did go for FP3, and did not regret it yet, though also FP3 has its issues with me. Non-critical, but a bit annoying.

I believe most FP3 issues are discussed in the forum (mine are: no notification LED, and something is fishy with audio playback), so at least you can get an idea of what could go wrong.

The general feedback though, which I can confirm, is that FP3 is a solid phone.

Big BUT: if I were going to an adventure like yours with the FP2 I would never ever touch any Fairphone again (interestingly enough though you made it until here ;), considering that life is short and so is my patience, so ultimately your decision would wrap around the question of how much flawedness are you willing to accept until you start regretting your purchase?

Hope that helps!
Sebastian.

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At least I am one of (only a few?) users who are still happy with their FP2. I have had mine for three and a half years now, and mine still works fine. There is not much feedback on the forum about working FP2s at the moment, and we cannot know how many satisfied users there are outside the forum. So we cannot reasonably estimate how many FP2s have problems and how many don’t. Yet I don’t think FP2 is as bad as one might get the impression when you read the posts on this forum. Of course, I can understand that users who do run into (maybe repeated) problems may get very annoyed with their phones.
I admit that I was tempted to upgrade when FP3 was introduced, but at the moment I am quite happy with my old phone. I once bought the FP2 because I was fascinated by its modularity. But most important for me now is that it can run an alternative OS ( Lineage OS 15 with MicroG in my case) so I can ban Gxxgl as much as possible from my phone. As long as FP3 cannot run any alternative OSes, I will stick to my trusted old FP2. Apart from an indigo slim case I even still have one of the old transparent cases which hasn’t split or cracked yet, an this just looks great (I only use it now and again to show off a bit).
Battery life seems to be much better with FP3 (and that would be one strong reason to upgrade), but I manage to get through the day with my phone well enough.
But above all I think that discarding a perfectly working phone (which was designed to work for five years) wouldn’t be fair at all. So I can wait patiently for a FP3 with Open OS (or Lineage or Sailfish or /e/) and maybe more colourful bumpers and semi transparent back covers. Until this will be available, I will be satisfied with my FP2. And, while spare parts for my FP2 are still in sufficient supply, I don’t feel the need to replace my FP2 any time soon.

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Hello there,

Despite I gave up my FP2, still following it with a lot of attention hoping that it may become as reliable as their competitors.

Unfortunately I had exactly the same experience as you did, replacing every single part of the phone so many times. I guess that the FairPhone company had to take those dysfunctions in account and will likely prevent this from happening in the future since this is indeed damaging their principle of e-waste reduction, and transforming the repair it by yourself (each time one component breaks) into a big joke.

Looking forward to seeing more (advanced) users feedbacks to see how the FP3 adventure goes :slight_smile:

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