English

My FP experience, maybe it helps someone

I have owned a FP1, FP2, and now recently got a FP3.

I didn’t want to touch on the ethics - which are why anyone would even be reading anything here. We are down for the earth.

I also won’t touch on the hardware specifics, since we can call them “competitive” and leave it as that. I think for most that are here, that is sufficient.

I wanted to focused on a few other things that are “lacking” from my FP experience, which may not be obvious to most at the beginning, or maybe ever at all.

It’s is true, the FPs are modular, in design, and easily repairable, so IN THEORY, you can always just repair your phone. I am disappointed to say, in my experience, this is not the reality in practice. You are bound to replacement parts being available, which in many cases is not the case. Sure, one could argue, “the phone is older, we no longer support it, you need a new one anyway,” but by that logic, I can just buy a Samsung or iPhone and threw it away in 2 years. I know hardware isn’t infinitely supported, but my last two FPs (1, 2) I had to replace, not because they completely stopped functioning, but because the particular item I needed to replace was no longer available – or was no longer going to be available for that said phone.

I am not a logistics expert, and can certainly grant space for not having a warehouse full of replacement parts that will never be used. But, having NO avenue (other than competing against ebay resellers) for replacement parts after a certain point also seems not too cool.

My wife still uses my old FP1, with it’s cracked screen.

All in all, I still got another FP (3, this time), because of it’s principles, and reasonable price. The only other phones I would consider for privacy/security, were significantly higher priced. I just dropped in an /e/ foundation ROM into my FP3, and am happy with that.

What other thing I wanted to mentioned is that I have considered returning my FP3. It has several unusual design aspects, err rather flaws in my view:

  1. power button on the left side middle of the device? who does that?
  2. If you are right handed, the most “natural” way to hold the phone nicely palms the speaker, muffling all sound from the device.
  3. The device is quite huge. I mean, I can’t fit it into my pockets, almost need to put it in a bag.
  4. Because of those 3 elements, the device is annoyingly unusable in many typical phone holders someone might have – and there is no hope of getting one that will fit.

I don’t want to say I won’t get another FP, because I said that after the FP2, and yet here I am.

But, I will say, I have grown more and more disillusioned with this product.

5 Likes

Thanks for your posting and endurance.
While I really understand your frustration, I understand the decisions made by FP as well.
Both, the FP1 as well as the FP2 were kind of experimental devices. Fairphone was doing it’s first steps in this market and - in addition - changed the way things are done. Modularity was a concept explored (and dropped) by Google in their project Ara.
While the FP1 was a model “off the shelf” of a chinese manufacturer (that by now has dropped producing smartphones altogether), the FP2 was a totally new development. Both were flawed.
The FP1 came to an end primarily softwarewise, because the manufacturer of the SoC did not disclose the necessary information.
The FP2 on the other hand had so many design flaws and was technically rather outdated; so continuing production would not have been met by demand for the phone.
My bet would be, that the stock of spare parts shrunk much faster than expected due to many repairs. Restocking those parts might have been not sensible (economically). The amount of FP2 still used and the willingness of the users to invest in spare parts has to be contrasted to the production numbers (quantity and costs). And I guess, that Fairphone would have lost money and wasted resources producing parts they could not sell in the end.

The FP3 has to be quite differend in that regard.
Since they presented it to the mass market and are aiming at a salesnumber of 100,000 devices per year; which would add up to around 250,000 FP3/3+ for a production period of just 2.5 years. that’s more than what they sold of the FP1 and the FP2 togehter. Stockpiling spare parts and everything else should therefore be much easier and economic. Add to this, that the FP3/3+ is more sturdy, the connections between the modules more durable; making the phone less troublesome.
Therefore I am quite optimistic, that the FP3/3+ will make a difference with regard to the FP1 and FP2.


Regarding the design-troubles.
True, I had to get used to the location of the power button as well, but that was not too hard. On the FP1 it was plade on the top, on the FP2 it was place on the right side and now on the FP3 it’s on the left side. (Keeps one flexible. :wink: )

Size really is a very subjective thing. You are in good company wishing for a smaller phone; but there are those as well, that would like it even bigger. The actual size therefore is a compromise, geared to the mass market, as there are lots of phones of a like size.
This makes me wonder, if it really is so hard to find a holder. Is it the power button, that is in the way?


Once more, I just wanted to add some of my personal points of view and maybe add something to think about. And I don’t have any more knowledge or insight than is offered by this forum and the Fairphone blog. I don’t mean to criticise you and the valid points you made. :slight_smile:

9 Likes

May I ask you which item was not available for the Fairphone 2?

I guess if it was a screen, a battery or a bottom module, you could have needed a part quickly and been frustrated by the waiting time, but have you noticed they’re, at this moment, all still all available in the shop (except for the “new” FP2 camera modules), and with discounted prices?

Even the old camera modules are back for a cheap price, to compensate the loss of the “new” ones… And they all come with a 2-year warranty!

And all this after almost 5 years of FP2… Which other phone company does this?

5 Likes