My opinion about Fairphone 3+

Hello! I just wanted to leave here my opinion about the new Fairphone 3+ and its new modules.

I don’t really mind if Fairphone creates more products lines, but I think that the Fairphone 3+ its unnecessary. Don’t get me wrong, I love that the new version comes with Android 10 and better cameras and a better speaker, but it is just that… not a new CPU and GPU, not more storage nor battery. I don’t want a fully loaded high-end Fairphone “X” but again, seems unnecessary to me. On the other hand, I think that the new modules are an amazing idea, that’s what I wanted as soon as I bought the Fairphone 3 (three months by the way), not only repairability via modules but also upgradeability.

What do you think about it?

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Actually the name “Fairphone 3+” seems to be just a way to rename the Fairphone 3 with new camera modules and more recycled plastics, and I’m not even sure there is a new speaker, it might be a software update.

In fact it seems it’s just like if they called the FP2 with new modules and the slim backcovers the “FP2+”. I think it’s a way to shine in stores for a device to sell that technically is already a year old, except for the cameras and the manufacturing process of using more recycled plastics, which is great but not really a tech spec.

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Hello,
First my customer view:
On the FP2, they didn’t gave the smartphone a new name, when they did the camera upgrade. You need to tell if you have the old camera module or the new one even if you only want to sell your fairly new Smartphone.
On the FP3+ it’s clear for me from the beginning, that this will have new camera module and new speaker. That’s easy. :slight_smile:
Keeping the basic specs the same, also tells that Android 10 will be also available for FP3 Owners.

From marketing side, this is a smart move, that they announce it as a FP3+ and doing marketing around also for the other changes (increasing the amount of recycled plastic in production) to show that they are different. Telling: we are not like the others, we don’t create simply a new Smartphone and leave our existing Customers behind. No, we are different: We improve the production of the existing Smartphone to be more environmental friendly, answering the customers demands (New Camera and better Speakers) and give even the existing customers a upgrade path to use the new features just by exchanging the modules.

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@anon27553248 Could we have more infos about the better speaker?

As it is not in the shop I guess it’s not a new module, is it?

Or maybe is it the small earspeaker that would be compatible with being a full loudspeaker?

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Well, I have to agree with both of you. I didn’t even know that they did another version of the FP2 with better modules. And I have to add that what @Antoine said abaout the earspeaker would be even better than a new speaker module, I think that the one we have now is quite good in fact.

PD: I have to add that in the store in the upper module description they don’t mention anything about the speaker, but the have talked about the speaker in the live video event.

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There are differing specs on the “external speaker loudness”.

Fairphone 3+

96db @ 10cm

Fairphone 3

94db @ 10cm

Now which outlet is meant by “external speaker” … you guys probably know better.

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Well, correct me if I’m wrong, but what they did with the FP2 was to take exactly the same phone and change 2 modules. But if you had the original FP2 and changed the modules yourself, the result would be the same.
What concerns the FP3, not only the camera modules are different, but the rest of the phone has also been modified as they used more recycled materials. So if you take an original FP3 and change the modules yourself, you still won’t have the same as the FP3+. I guess that’s why they changes the name, so you can tell the difference concerning the way the phone was produced.
Some people will think that there is no differences as the specs are the same, but I think that it is very important that they work on producing the phones in a fairer and more ecological way.
So I’m sorry for people who waited for more and were disappointed (I guess I also would have liked to hear something “bigger”), but thinking more about what Fairphone is for a company and what it means to me, I’m really happy that they invest money on “invisible” yet important things rather than on pushing up the specs.
But I also agree with people saying that a better processor makes for a longer lifetime, don’t get me wrong.
As for the camera, I also think that it’s not the most important aspect for me and I hope that people won’t change the modules just because they can, but it was something easy to upgrade and the camera was one of the main critics about the FP3. Maybe it will attract new users.

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I don’t get it.
Having a new motherboard would be equivalent to having a new phone. Even if it was compatible with the FP3 modules, don’t forget that the motherboard is the main module, it is the module that produces around three quarters of the of the environnemental impact of the phone production. Moreover, it’s not easy to do an upgraded compatible motherboard. It would be pushing modularity to its limit, and this is what was reproached to the FP2. I think Fairphone handles the compromise between modularity and functionality pretty well with the FP3(+). It is not as easy as simply putting another SoC in the motherboard frame.

And don’t tell me you were awaiting a new phone from Fairphone one year after the FP3. I wouldn’t expect a CPU or storage upgrade before two years at least.

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It’s a new module: 19’44 in the video
And 52’34 for the Q/A saying it will be possible to buy the audio module separately.

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I’d not be so sure about this, because there is no module registered as a “speaker module +” in the shop, at least yet…

Furthermore, Wayne Huang speaks about “better video recording”, “better call quality”, which might mean a better microphone.

Anyway, I’m wondering what difference it would make, except being slightly louder (in my opinion it’s already loud enough), if such a module existed… I’d love a front facing speaker in the top module to have stereo sound in speaker mode, though…

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I guess it’s not on the shop yet but will come later. If you watch the video where I pointed to, it’s pretty clear that you can change the module.
Or is it possible that the new module replaces the old one?
I think FP intends to sell both the old and the new camera modules as they will continue to sell the FP3 alongside the FP3+.
Maybe there is a difference with the speaker module, something more technical or something with the chain of production that makes them change the module?

Me too. Which makes it plausible that this is not an upgrade per se, but a change they had to make (like with FP2’s display).

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That’s what I was thinking.

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It’s been 11 months since the release of FP3, they have to wait at least 2-3 years otherwise people would just dump older model and get the new model, what’s the point of being modular then? And I think they can’t wait 4-5 years even if they wanted to.

I’m not sure what to think about the additional FP3+, but if it will supersede FP3 that makes a whole lot more sense.

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Interestingly I often saw people arguing the other way round until today: “it’s almost a year since the initial release and there still are no upgradeable modules. What’s the point of being modular then?”

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Haha yea, I don’t mind new modules, but I thought the point was effortless repairability with potential upgradeability.

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Agreed.
A new and improved speaker is a new speaker.
What sense would it make to offer two speaker modules, when the only difference would mostly be one being 2 db louder? A new camera with a larger sensor and 4-times the pixels is a different piece of cake.
And I doubt, that the old and new speaker module would differ a lot pricewise, so noone would buy the old module.

Regarding new modules and upgrading the phone.
Personally, I would not exchange a working module just to have the latest stuff (except I really would need it for some reason).
But to get a stronger foothold in the market it is a good thing, that people have th choice to upgrade a module, they are not satisfied with or just to get the latest module instead of the next phone.
And all, who don’t want to upgrade don’t have to.

So, businesswise I am with Fairphone and wish them lots of success.

Making it a big announcement was well deserved, even it would have been just for the ethics.
And it is covered by media, keeping FP in the talks. :grinning:

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Sorry if this was already mentioned in this thread, but to me it seems like the FP3+ does not come with a bumper and only a black (= not see-through) back cover. Is that right?

Seems like a step back to me. I know they sell bumper cases now, but it was nice to have a bumper included for free which also allowed to show off the modularity through the see-through back cover when putting the phone on the table.

Apart from that I’m really happy about the announcement.

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As (I guess it was @Antoine) explained in another thread, the tranlucence was not achievable using 40% recyled plastics.

I have no idea concerning the bumper.
In my opinion it’s a bit loose anyway and therefore feels always like coming off any moment; and maybe collecting dust, dirt and debris between bumper and phone. Plus, it makes the (not exactly tiny) phone even larger.
Maybe the bumper could not be done using recyled plastic or a higher percentage thereof? So, doing without the bumper could have a part in the achievement of the high percentage of recycled plastic.

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Absolutely. They can’t just go into hiatus for the next 3 years until new model will come out, they have to maintain their presence.

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I remember initial reactions to the bumper back when the FP3 was launched weren’t exactly enthusiastic. People were asking for a full protective case. (Well, those who did speak out, I don’t remember supporters of the bumper speaking out then.) I think Fairphone reacted to those demands and created the protective cases in black and green. Didn’t Fairphone also survey FP3 users about the bumper and a (then potential) protective case?

Now with the transparency of the back cover and the white Fairphone logo gone an original rationale for the bumper (vs. a full protective case) is also gone – there is no need to allow a free view on the back cover anymore.