Material and longevity of FP3 bumper

With the FP2 I eventually ended up with two deformed translucent covers (as described here (Original/regular) Cover issues (deformed, splits, cracks) (see first post)) before buying a slim coloured case out-of-pocket in January 2018. Obviously constantly getting new cases delivered made of yet even more plastic is bad for the environment. Does anyone know more about the FP3 bumper’s material, which is apparently made of “TPU from bio-diesel”, and whether it might be prone to similar issues? I’m thinking about pre-ordering the FP3 but I don’t want history to repeat itself.

There’s a constant learning and improving process at FP. This is why regular cases were replaced by (also more stable) coloured slim cases.
So I’d expect FP3 cases to be stable too.
Anyway I think at the end time must show…


Afaik the cover is at least partially made of recycled plastic. At least that was the case for the FP2 and according to the ad-video for the FP3 it “is made with recycled plastic”.

Personally I wouldn’t 100% trust that the new translucent covers are now really sturdy and FP might not switch to matte covers again in the future. But - the cover is the part of the phone that has the least impact as long as you make sure the plastic doesn’t end up in the ocean, but at a proper recycling facility.

You could e.g. give a broken cover to nearby #fairphoneangels - they can gather broken parts and send them back to FP in bulk to minimize the transportation footprint. Fairphone worked with VanPlestik to upcycle broken covers to 3d-printed furniture. They will definitely find good use for broken FP3 covers too.


As you can read in this blog post the back cover of the FP2 makes only 0,3% of the CO2 emissions during production.

If the rest of the FP3 is as sturdy as it seems a not so durable cover wouldn’t be an environmental catastrophy.*

*Opinion of a still happy owner of a FP2 with case no. 4 (already with some cracks)


Well, the question was about the bumper, not the back cover. From what I quickly read on Wikipedia, TPU* is an elastic material, and the photo in the Fairphone online shop also suggests it will be of a somewhat rubber-y quality. So this should not get cracks very easily (it might eventually start to rub off though).

* By the way, where did you find that bit of information? :slight_smile:


Anyway if there were to be any issue with the cover, it would be covered… by the warranty :wink:

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First of all, it is a discussion about something only very few people have had in hand already.
Long-time experiences there are none present here.

Please keep in mind, that the bumper is just some protective stuff, that is a part of it’s own and that is fixed around the rim of the phone.
Even if it should break , the phone is fully functional.
Some users even might decide to not use it in the first place, because it might not suit their aesthetics.

My thoughts on the materials of the cover as such:
Fairphone for sure has learned it’s lessons. The modules are more compact, the display is fixed by screws and the cover is no longer just fixed by “clipping” it together. In my opinion the different design surely will lead to more durability.


The bumper definitely feels like rubber.


Nobody wants [this] history to repeat itself.

When one designs a product, one is going to take risks. That such history can repeat itself is because risks are being taken. Risks related to the experiment of reducing environmental waste. If such risks are not worth the sacrifice for you, then the current Fairphone iteration might not be your cup of tea.

Agreed. Time will tell.


Pretty sure I saw it on the product page on the Fairphone shop website, but it’s not there anymore, very strange!

It is on the support page:

The Fairphone ships with a protective Bumper in the box. This can give you a better grip and will offer extra protection from falls and scratches.


  • Material: TPU made from bio-based oil
  • Specifications of the Bumper:
  • Length: 161 mm
  • Width: 74 mm
  • Thickness: 12 mm
  • Weight: 10 g.

And TPU is linking to the wikipedia page:


Wondering if there is any timeline in when the bumper will be for sale in the FP store?

It seems that the bumper is not planned to make it into the spare parts shop for the time being:

As I replied there, it might actually not be such a big problem once the new protective case arrives at FP3 owners who will buy them.


Too bad as I do like the feel and the look of the current bumper a lot.

I should have phrased it differently … I think once FP3 owners have bought and put on the new protective case on their FP3s, many will no longer want/need their bumpers. This should make it easy to get a used bumper, often hardly used. Actually, already now I think a significant number of FP3 owners might have never used theirs (some third-party cases only fit without the bumper on), and this will probably be true for future buyers as well. Many will be happy if someone gives their unused bumpers a new life.


Yes, that would be great if FP3 owners who bought a new case would indeed offer the TPU bumpers for re-use. I just like the feel of the elastomer. It really stands out because of the rugged, yet comfortable feel of the bumper, compared to the slick and shiny materials you see on most phones these days.


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