Leaving a movement (FP3 Era)

Well, then it will never be circular, so you can try some other product. By the way, Shiftphone does offer upgrades (give back your old phone and take a new one for 100€ or whatever… Not 20€ for your old phone + 20€ if it’s a FP2), so it’s not impossible.

I never claimed to know about software or hardware engineering, actually I mentioned what my current and previous job was about. So I do know about engineering in general, and about economic and environmental policy and its interactions, which is more what I am talking about.

I am just saying that without this, a smartphone cannot be so circular / sustainable and last for 5 years or more, as they say, and even less if it’s very far from being top notch when it is sold… Unless you can cope with outdated HW. The truth is most people don’t want a smartphone with 7 year old technology, not becuase they want the latest hardware gimmicks to feel cool but because there are some things everyone else can do with their phone that they cannot. If the device is not even reliable for its essential functions (calls, battery, screen, staying on…), even worse.

So instead of answering me in a disrespectful way because I write things you don’t want to hear as a fun you can explain me why this is impossible (I really want to know).

Anyway, I did ask if it will be retrofitable and I was told something like “not yet, but it would be nice”, they didn’t say “I’m sorry but that’s impossible”, which would’ve been much more honest if things are as you say.

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That is not an “upgrade” that is a swap and absolutely not sustainable.

Like I said. Just talking theoretically is not enough. Examples can be seen in politics everyday. #FFF

My FP2 is nearly 4 years old. Working perfectly with absolutely no flaws. I think about to sell it, as it have the potential to stay functional for another two years.

They are free to sell it to someone and order another (Fair-)or(Shift-)phone.

That is only your personally experience. Like I said, mine is different.

Disrespectful is to talk about things which one did not completely understand. And I did not mean it disrespectful at all. If I do not get behind circumstances, I know I am very welcome to ask, especially here in this forum. Many things are not as bad as they seam to be.

Who did you ask?
Anyway, the developing of hard and software is a burdensome process. Especially when the company is developing just one product. If that would be easy, also in view of sustainability, Fairphone as a company were not needed.
It is your personal decision to support these fair goals.

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I asked Fairphone support before buying the phone.

Good luck selling your Fairphone, how much can you expect getting for it? And why can’t the company buy it for that residual value then?

This is what I am talking about. And why is this “upgrade” / swapping nor sustainable?? The device you give back may be usable, so it can be resold for a lower price and keep it working or its components can be reused. I don’t see any problem there. On the other hand, this makes the product a lot more attractive, which is something one should take care of too - you will save in the long run. This also means that a disappointed FP2 user could still consider buying another FP.

It is not only my fairphone which didn’t work properly, many users have faced many problems. Sometimes, they are bearable and get used to it - until you start using a phone that works well and you wonder how could you cope with so many malfunctions for so long.

In the same way as sustainable development is not only sustainable but also development (which is very easy to forget when you are a middle-class or higher in a rich country), a sustainable smartphone should also be a smartphone. It’s fine that it’s not top-notch, but not years old technlogy. And it’s not fine to expect that people will pay 40-50% more just for the sustainability, you can give them something more in exchange (for example, changing their old phone for a better one for a good price, cheaper components, better service).

If the modular design is what makes FP not perform consistently, why should it be continued? Is really the phone more sustainable because it’s modular? Sure, some people love being able to open it and fiddle with it, but if you can repair it as fast and for the same price, why should you care if it’s modular or a professional should fix it for you?

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So swapping in this regard is just sparing you the burden of selling it yourself, but getting the market price if possible.
This is not sustainable, as it is a kind of incentive for changing a working phone. It works along the lines of all the other companies, in making it attractive to get the latest device.
Fairphone on the other hand is aiming to change this attitude, so that everyone keeps the phone as long as it is working. The most sustainable phone is the one you have.

You need not buy into this concept, but then Fairphone might not be for you.

While I agree, that they have to grow to make an impact, I disagree to your critzising the way Fairphone has chosen.
As you yourself rightfully stated, the Fairphone 2 was a flawed device. They had to do some learning in developing the sustainable and modular concepts. And this did not happen without errors and mistakes.
Just imagine, they would have mass-produced the FP2 and sold it in shops all over Europe.
They would have been out of business one year later for all the flaws, starting with a cover they had to replace for problems with design/materials. They would have gotten such a bad press, that the next phone never would have been given a chance.
So they - wisely - started devolping the device directed at more tech savvy and forgiving customers. This community shows the outcome and the amount of useful feedback they received.
The amount of community OSs that was developed is another proof.

Just now, with the FP3, they aim at the mass market, bringing it to shops and selling it to much more online-resellers than before. Vodafone (EU-wide) is the latest and most clear example for this.

When it comes to the problems of upgrading a phone hardwarewise; this has been discussed quite a few times in this forum.
Read e.g. this one; the explanation already points out, that this discussion is reoccuring:

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Well, it is easier for the manufacturer to reuse working components of an old device than for a user. Of course, the ideal thing is retrofitability, which you say is not possible - with the current technology, maybe in the future…

Swapping is making things easier. Not everyone has the means to resell his own phone. There could be restrictions - no swapping of devices before a certain age. And there really is such restriction in FP as they launch a product every 3-4 years or so.

Actually, many people keep their phone while its working properly, not only FP users. They save money that way. The circular economy is actually a very old thing, even if people didn’t have much environmental consciousness… And this is personally what I have always done, regardless of the brand of my phone.

The problem when you try to do this while keeping with FP or Shiftphone is that you have to assume staying for 2 months without a smartphone which is something most people cannot accept nowadays, because in most places you can’t just go to a shop right away and buy a new FP or Shiftphone (actually this is why I couldn’t give an opportunity to the latter).

And then again the device should be reliable and durable. I see this as more important than modularity and this is why I want to understand why this movement puts modularity as the top priority - is it really sustainability or also tech geekiness?

As with any sustainable industrial product, price will always be key, and I think you shouldn’t blame the user. When I say price I mean price for the same performance, durability, etc. If you can’t make it cheaper or better, at least make it more reliable, durable and easy to repair when this is needed.

When I had a problem with my FP2 I had the impression the service really didn’t know what was going on, so they don’t really know how their product works. They basically asked me to disassemble and assemble it again, and it didn’t work.

You are right in that such a product was not fit for a wider market. So I really hope FP3 is not like FP2 for those of you who decided to stick with it.

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  • You can not go to a shop and buy a Shiftphone or Fairphone, because they are starting and meaning to change the industry. This is hardly done by doing it like all the others do it.
  • Modularity is a means for sustainability by repairability. Achieving reliability with modularity is the hard thing to do. And when it is done by a small company instead of global player, the means for testing big stile are limited. That’s why the FP2 with it’s flaws by design entered the market. My bet would be, that the testing fell short of the real stress that the phone was put through in reality.
  • Service has to cover all those things. A new product, with a revolutionary design, a demanding community with lots of ideas and many new problems occuring all the time. Then they made the mistake of outsourcing support line; and they brought it back in house only this year (May if I recall correct; there is a blogpost to this).

To me it seems, that you sometimes put the cart before the horse.
You can not buy a revolutionary new product by a small startup and expect everything to work as flawless and perfect as it does with global players that are on the market for decades. And even those companies don’t work perfect. Just do some searching on the internet to find those reports. The difference is the size of the company, and portfolio and purse of those companies.
Just give it some time. The FP3 should be a kind of turning point. But we’ll see, if that really happens.

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Many thanks to make and BertG. The FP2 was undoubted flawed in many points, and if you followed the forum and bug tracker (example:
https://bugtracker.fairphone.com/project/fairphone-android-7/issue/36) it should become clear that this was not just a “personally experience” as ElKrasso describes it.

I sold my working FP2 with accessories for 170 EUR. I see them going for ~150-200 EUR. If it were broken, I would have sold (for much less, perhaps in parts) and/or recycled it.

If you buy a FP3, you can recycle your FP2 with a 40 EUR cashback, and a non-Fairphone smartphone for a 20 EUR cashback.

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This is a software regression in the official firmware. These can be fixed.

The FP2 has a number of hardware issues which occur relatively common enough to consider them hardware flaws. Fixing these is much more difficult.

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Agree, but not having a working WIFI for almost 1 year doesn’t seem to me that they are eager to fix software regressions in a way one would expect.

And don’t get me wrong. The philosophy and sustainability behind Fairphone is great. And I can see and do appreciate all the great work. But in the end, they are also selling a product. And to be really honest, I do not know many “happy” FP1 or FP2 customers in my circle of friends. Is it just a coincidence? I doubt it. I think Fairphone should care more about customers and work on their products. I mean I would not buy a fairtrade banana, when the banana is not like a regular banana.

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I had the same issues as you (very poor battery live, performance of the phone not good anymore, wifi bugs, frequent crashes of apps, very bad camera quality) - timho hey really should have postponed or even cancelled the update to android 7. Instead of buying a new fairphone I think I’ll buy a used Samsung Galaxy S8. My wife already has a used galaxy S6 and it is just soo much better as my FP2 - and she never had to replace any parts of it unlike me. From a waste reduction perspective I’d assume that a used phone is even better as a new fairphone 3.

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I moved your post here because it doesn’t contribute to the question at hand in the Fairphone 3 topic, whereas this topic here seems much more fitting.

This topic was automatically closed 182 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

I’ve worked doing humanitarian work in conflict zones in Africa in places where the minerals (coltan+++) where part -if not just the source- of the problem and I’ve witnessed the suffering it provoked. I am very much sensitized about the ecological problem that electronics and its overconsumptions represent (especially with all the programmed obsolescence thing). I am also very much aware of how the international labor division harms some socities so rich countries can have cheap products while others have to work on almost slave-like conditions. For all those reasons I felt in love with the Fairphone project initially (I crowdfunded the FP1 and patiently waited for the FP2 once my FP1 was getting old enough). Finally, when this modular idea came out it was like the full dream coming true. Even though the more than 500€ looked lika a bit expensive for a phone I though that with all the moduls thing I was going to have mobile phone for at least 5-6 years… so you are paying for a phone of some acceptable specs, that you could just replace moduls when they start failing, but mainly for the whole philosophy behing, isn’t it? But, at least, you should get a working phone that will last… especially if, as many people does, you rely on it for your professional activities.
So I finally got my FP2… and some time -months- after it started failing… the screen, the apps, almost everything. After some ping-pongs and having to send it for repair TWICE to France (with all the inconveniences that it represents about having to set-up again all the phone and the back-up one and so on) I got the screen replaced and something done with the software and it worked for some time on a decent manner (a few weeks). During the first repairs, the support guy admitted that the FP2 came with some design/production issues… something about a problem with the contact of the screen provoked some general performance issues (besides the obvious display ones). Some time after that repair, it started failing again. Same issues: screen doing weird things, the phone not responding to even the turn-on button. Apps crashing. Etc, etc. After contacting the support again the same advices were given: “remove apps to see if its one of them, do the factory reset… but if everything fails, the warranty being expired we could just offer to take your FP2 for 40€ if you decide to purchase the FP3”. Hahahahah. And that’s how my love story with FP finishes. I love the idea, the concept, the philosphy behind it but I still need a phone and I am not rich enough as to be expending every couple of years more than 400-500€ in mobile phones.

Up to this day, when someone would ask me about Fairphone I would be a militant of it. Not anymore. From now on I will get a proper working phone (a cheaper one, of course) and give up with FP. If someone asks about it I will literally say: “the issue with the minerals and with the electronic waste, and with the working conditions of people producing mobile phones is very concerning… something needs to be done and Fairphone is trying to do something about it. But their products are not good enough and are very expensive. So if you just care about the principles and all those things but you don’t need to have a reliable device, you should buy a Fariphone… unless you really care about the product itself and you need a reliably performing one. If that is your case, Fairphone is not for you”.

Anyway, all the best for the Fairphone team… I hope you’ll get to a good product at a competitive price soon. Maybe one day if that is the case I will come back “to be part of the movement” without needing to be rich to do so… maybe by then I will not feel like I’ve been scammed.

Cheers

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I’m sorry to read about your experiences with FP and I totally understand your point. It’s very important that you share your story here, because it is a part of FP obviously. I think every feedback is important - for a person OR a company - to make improvements. And I hope that FP will improve, because this needs to be done to keep the idea working and growing.

I for my part am happy with my FP 3 so far and curious where it will take me.

Take care!

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Sad story indeed. The problem with the FP2 was that it was full of design flaws (quickly dying microphone, screen not well attached because of the easy-removable system, way too small battery, and as you mentioned, a lot of crashes and overheating issues…). Most of these flaws due to the fact Fairphone was designing a modular phone for the first time.

They had to keep selling it until they were ready to launch a new device, if they didn’t want to sink.

As an early user of both the FP2 and FP3, I’ve noticed the FP3 to be much more stable and reliable. I took a leap of faith when FP3 came out last year, because I didn’t want to suffer an extensive use of the warranty like I did for FP2.

Thankfully Fairphone learned from their mistakes and I can only encourage you to give them another chance. It seems it’s really worth it, at least to me. It seems to me there is way less major complaints about FP3 than there were about FP2.

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:100:
One has to take into consideration, that FP is still a project as well. They just make their third phone model.
And they are doing revolutionäre things in Mord than one regard. Besides the social aspects regarding mines and factories, the transparancy and ecological developments (e.g. transportation and recycling). They have taken a way, that even Google did not dare to follow through: a modular phone. With the FP2 they took modularity to the max, making a change of the display a matter of seconds by fixing it with a snap on connection only. That was way to much. So, the FP3 has the display fixed with 13 Drews!

While @Pablo_Grinstein is totally correct regarding the FP2, the FP3 is a totally different piece of cake. The FP2 was rather for the “geek” willing to compromise on lots of things and do some tinkering ever once in a while. For sure no phone for the everyday user expecting just a working phone.
The FP3/3+ is the first model directed at the mass market. They even started it with a big media presentation.
So, @Pablo_Grinstein, while I understand your justified frustration. You can rightfully “warn” others about Fairphone (model 2), but please be honest and tell them, that they have made mich progress and learned their lessons; even if you maybe can’t expect them yet to live up to the standards of the global players.

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Thanks, guys, for your reactions.
Its good to see people that is really identified and commited with the project… I think that, as project, it’s worth it. A different thing is how and what do they learn and how the project is managed. A different story.

On the other hand, I think that part of what a project like this one should learn is about marketing and how to manage customers loyalty. If I was a partner of the company or holder of stock options I would have a different view on my experience and maybe be more tolerant and understanding. But if you produce something that you know that is EXPENSIVE and that you had design/production issues, you try to compensate it, especially when you are in front of someone that was on the boat from the very beginning… and offering 40€ in exchange for my old crappy FP2 in case I would like to spend further 400-500€ less than 2 years after (which means having spent almost 1000€ in mobile phones between 2017 and 2020!!! Madness) than they might have to take a look at the relationship they would establish with their customers. If they want to still learn something here it is: they might have maybe negotiated something with me, asked me what my expectations were instead of just sending a lady from technical support to just copy and paste a prewritten email with general instructions about what to do whan a phone fails. Luckily she didn’t ask me to try to restart it or “check if the power cable was properly connected”… :slight_smile:

Anyhow, is good to know that there is people like you supporting and defending the thing… but I am still out and still convinced about what I will tell people about this project.

Hopefully, one day in the future, once it is a consolidated project and capable of producing good stuff and dealing effectively and with honesty with people I might consider purchasing a FP again… we shall see.
Cheers.

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You had a bad experience FP2, and parted ways. Your experience is about FP2; not FP3. I’m sad to see you go. I think we all are. Its a lot of money (and time), so I can understand you don’t want to retry. I’m glad I did retry with FP3 though. Although in some regards FP2 was better (easier to take apart IMO, but the cost is worth it).

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