Poll for FP3 owners: camera upgrade or not?

I very honestly doubt it. But let us be surprised :slightly_smiling_face:


Hi Johnnyzg

Are you speaking on behalf of anyone at Fairphone ?
What makes you think anything has been resolved. AFAIK no-one claimed the sound got fixed.

Hi Bas_tien

I’m just speculating and hoping someone will try to reproduce sound issues on FP3+ and post results on forum. Issue with sound did improve for me after last few patches and now it occurs less often. Also I figured that easiest way to check if sound is working is to lock and unlock phone, if there is no lock/unlock sound then I restart it.

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Of course everyone would appeciate tome improvements (sceen, camera, microphone, battery, etc.). But is it really NEEDED ?
You have clearly defined the main point:

If they do follow the mid-range market, they will follow Apppple, Samsung, Huawei, etc. They will compete with companies that just want you to buy new things and trow away old ones. They will loose their soul.

If Fairphone do that, I will laugh until FP5 (end of 2021 :wink:)

As your are an angel, please help them keep ethic and soul!

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Modular improvement is never needed, but if it helps keeping your phone longer, it’s better than buying a new phone. It gives us a new way to support their work for better working conditions. It really makes you want to keep your phone longer, for some techy-people who like a refreshment, without willing to impact the environment too much, because it makes it kind of “brand new” again.

Which is why I was slightly disappointed too, discovering they released the expected new camera modules so soon, as it means the old ones suddenly feel obsolete much faster, and makes me wondering what they’ll release next year.*

By “mid-range market”, I’m more talking of most Chinese brands, those who are around the same prices than Fairphone, or slightly lower (usually between 250€-499€), in opposition to Apple and other over-expensive ranges of brands like Samsung, which will always try to create a new trend (borderless screens, multiple cameras, hidden front camera, foldable phones…) every single year but doesn’t aim to most users, only the richest, geekest and more superficial consumers. However even among the low-range brands, more and more follow these trends, sadly. See how even low range phones are borderless (without being more solid), and have more and more bad quality cameras in the back now (sometimes even fake ones)…

Fairphone is trying its hardest to keep it: one camera but a good one, thick borders around the screen but easily repairable with an included bumper (on FP3 only, sadly no more in FP3+). However if they want to grow, they have to follow mid-range smartphones in their “scale up” logic, because they simply can’t afford to have a huge gap between them and become a low-range brand, especially if they want to have a SoC that would be meant to last smoothly more than 5 years, and to continue growing to be heard and influence the other brands.

They might lose a part of their soul in the process, but not sure, we’ll see, after all they’re a social entreprise. However it’s hard to play challenger when not enough people are following you to keep running.

If Fairphone releases an FP4 next year, I’d not be so surprised, neither disappointed - anymore - because it’ll become harder and harder to sell a device over 400€ with FP3(+)'s tech specs. That doesn’t mean I’ll buy it, as long as my phone works well. I’ll probably wait for FP5+ or FP6(+), if they start to release a new phone every two years.

But they’ll keep their soul if they release new security updates and Android upgrades as well as modules in stock for 5 years or more, for each of their devices.

*EDIT: In the live Q&A on Facebook today, Eva Gouwens confirmed they’d start to release new things every year to scale up the company and be covered more often in the medias.

I’ll do my best, but thankfully I’m not alone :slightly_smiling_face:


Thank you @Antoine four your concern and your message. I do agree with most of it.
The path is very narrow and I guess we all hope Fraiphone will continue to exist AND keep their soul. Definitely with Angel’s help :slightly_smiling_face:


I might buy the modules in the future when I hear enthusiastic reports about increased quality AND there is a decent camera app that works as good as the “Google Pixel port”. Optical zoom would have made a real difference over a “megapixel overkill”, quite a lot of smartphones have it.

I don’t see what an optical zoom is on a smartphone… Are you talking about multiple cameras with different levels of zoom?

If so, sadly as they don’t have enough room for this on the camera module, they simply can’t do it. And I prefer the idea of ONE good camera than several mediocre ones, for the same price. Especially it’s more polluting, and this run to the smartphone with most cameras looks like crazy to me: it started with two, now we can find smartphones with five… And it’s not finished… But it might be something they’ll do for Fairphone 4(+), 5… Who knows?

Actually, I think the real difference made here is to stick with one camera with so many pixels you can zoom in it without loosing definition, because the output will still always be 12Mpx.

Thank you for this new camera module!

The old camera was the reason why I thought about selling the phone and getting a conventional phone. When light if perfect, the photos are ok. But when it is a bit darker, it is far behind the most middle class smartphones. And the autofocus was really slow.
I absolutely want to have a fair smartphone, but when it is important for you to make good photos, then this camera is a real problem. I mean, when you then need to have a separate digital camera to make good photos, then this is not sustainable at all.

So, I hope that the new module makes things a lot better. Looking forward to the shipping.


I would like to have the new back camera, but I’m often playing an internet game that has major problems when running on Android 10. So I’ll wait until that has been settled.

I think this is little judgemental, I know lots of iPhone users who use iPhone specifically because they care about their privacy, and/or prefer buying one device rather than two (a phone and good camera), and all of these people use their phones until it’s completely worn down, and with the more expensive brands, that means using the phone for several years. One of my colleagues is still on the iPhone 3 and is now considering a move to Fairphone. These people are not all the same :wink:


That is true, iPhone is a very good piece of hardware.

The old iPhoneSE has a good camera (not so good as FP3) and is faster as the FP3. Its still software supported by apple.

Is there any indication that the new modules will improve autofocus as well? I will buy them for several reasons but I would certainly appreciate faster focus, especially in close-ups, e.g. when scanning barcodes/QR-codes.


This article says

Faster autofocus and shutter speed

Optimized for the Fairphone processor with zero shutter lag. Never miss the perfect moment again; this camera is ready when you are.


Same here. Will upgrade eventually, but not yet - and we have to see what next year will bring :stuck_out_tongue:

Found this article in German language speaking (very) briefly about the improvement of the new camera module. Spiegel is not a tech newspaper as far as I know



Though this does not neccessarily mean, that there will be upgrades for the FP3(+) every year until the FP4 will be presented.

Possibly (I would even guess likely) they are working on a model for the American market, that will be presented next year. That - in my opinion - would be even more spectacular (marketingwise that is), than just another new module.

My guess is, that they are constantly developing things to improve the current product(s) and to make new ones. At least I hope so, since this will keep the people at Fairphone occupied (just kidding), this is just the way to keep the/any company up and running.
And since they were able to increase the use of recycled plastics and design new cameras, a new speaker module and an update to Android 10, it was good enough to even make it a new phone model, rather than just new cameras.
And to me it seems just consistent, that they upgraded the FP3 with all the new features to a FP3+ while selling all the FP3 they already have in stock.
Waiting to present all those improvements or e.g. just using more recycled plastics for the FP3, just to - artificially - extend the upgrade cycle for the camera wouldn’t have made any sense to me.


I’m wondering if they could’ve released the “new” cameras modules (or better/more optimised than the first ones) from the start, last year, when launching FP3, to have a range of cameras from day one, though… Because in a year is there really a big difference in camera improvements?

Well, the development of the FP3, including the original camera module, most likely started at least one year before the FP3 hit the streets.
Though they sure had a new module on their agenda by then, they had to decide for a certain design maybe 2 to 3 years ago. And I doubt, that the new camera was a possible option at that time, even if it was at the time of release or a few month before that date, as, by now, they most likely could use an even more improved module/camera/sensor. Improvements are in my impression a constant flow in computer markets; therefore everything you buy will be outdated the next day. In a way therefore there never is the correct time to buy. :wink:

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