The Fairphone is my first smartphone.
I have had e. g. an iPod touch from day 1, so am used to this touchscreen sizes, but never jumped on the iPhone wagon because Apple closedness worries me -and to be frank, Google shadow on Android prevented me to move that way too until just some weeks ago with a Samsung tablet. I also bought a Blackberry Playbook tablet two years ago, basically just because it was neither Apple nor Google.
I’d say it’s the conjunction of Fair trade and root access that triggered my decision for FP.
So, I am a new user with relatively little background on Android… but around me I know quite many people in the same case : “non-smartphone users” that are contemplating the move to FP and will have to learn Android, or at least its phone specificities, along the way.
I won’t expand on the positive features too much; suffice it to say I consider the FP quite close to the performance of a good tablet, when for instance my Blackberry Playbook appears pathetic in comparison.
Currently, the performance glitches I see are rather minor and basic: for instance, I find the screen reaction when ending a call a bit slow - when putting it away from my ear, I distinctly see the black screen for quite a while before the proximity detector reactivates it : I actually have to wait before hanging up, not knowing if it’s actually hung from the other side before, and while we are talking of probably less than one second, this indeed gives a sense of uncertainty and time waste.
One more worrying feature for me (that won’t bother those not into these functions) is the very slow GPS acquisition.
Contrary to nowaday’s tablets and most phones, I find my FP just never converges when only half the sky is visible (e. g., when left on the edge of an open window), and the same applies inside my car where I definitely need to leave it many minutes way ahead under the windscreen.
The contrast with my Samsung tablet is striking, to the extent I’m not sure I’d advertise the FF as a guiding GPS even though I installed the Osmand app which works fast and flawlessly -just only once the GPS accepts to lock.
A newcomer on rooted Android devices, I also have some difficulties in handling the many automatic application accesses to the net. (but this is not specific to the FP)
I did converge to what I find a good Superuser app (among many less convincing… mine is the one by Koushik Dutta), and with it I control some other apps (like Samba filesharing, that allows me to avoid installing the extremely intrusive google macintosh interfacing app and seems to open an efficient sync capability), but it’s obvious this way of doing won’t control which app accesses what -and I’d definitely appreciate to just stay on a given app version just until something else breaks, instead of relying on new versions I didn’t validate yet when starting important things.
In that area, anything like ‘little snitch’ on macintosh or the various linux equivalent would be welcome, but I didn’t fish one up to now… I just installed AFWall+ but this one comes with no “reaction to an app request” like little snitch does…
What I do appreciate in this area is the integration, straight out of the box, of functions like internet connection sharing which generally require dedicated apps to be installed elsewhere -and this is clearly due to the specific independence of the FP. You pay it, but then it allows many things to be integrated right in the system at day one.
… speaking of what, the control of the dual-SIM capacity, which I use intensively, appears efficient but complex to set. My employer provides me with two separate simcards, one for phone and one for data, which I now integrated in a single device, but I spent days before finding the way to set 3G data on the second card (instead of Edge), and how to activate/deactivate it quickly for instance.
All in all I am really satisfied, but it remains clear I’ll need a couple of weeks more before converging to a fluent daily use…