📊 POLL: How satisfied or unsatisfied are you with your FP4?

Indeed it is scandalous a company earns money…

How many years of loss to cover for Fairphone ? I personally don’t know but I would be interested in having the numbers.


So 1 Nov 2017 according to you, the specs delivered with the FP4 were midrange. But May 2019 (2,5 years ago) Google announced the Google Pixel 3a (a-series is their mid-range series), a Snapdragon 670 with OLED screen. That’s a device by Google, one of the biggest companies in the world, part of infamous FAMAG acronym. So you are exaggerating at best. (The repairability isn’t comparable, only thing they got going for it is that they have great support for running a privacy-focused OS like Calyx).

To me the FP4 feels more like a slightly improved OnePlus One. Sure, the FP4 is faster and the camera can do (just) a bit better in challenging environments. And yes, sometimes I could shoot a nice picture with that OnePlus One. It was a phone I bought after my Galaxy Nexus which was from 2011. Now both these phones were capable devices. But not considered high end in terms of price, performance and camera quality.

Below are some of the “best” pictures I could quickly get. Most others are blurry and under/over exposed, like a Fairphone.

Galaxy Nexus (2011)

OnePlus One (2014)

When I look at my old pictures, some already 10 years old, I see the same kind of picture quality as I often shoot with my Fairphone 4. The many bugs and sudden reboots that are not solved also remind me much of these phones of a decade ago.

The “best” pictures I shot with my Fairphone have not really came close to these highlights I took with that phone. And it’s not for a lack of trying… So, that’s what I mean with what I said. The FP4 would be impressive, if it was released 5 years ago as a midrange phone. I’m actually being generous towards FP.

And to clarify, this is mostly about software quality. With the hardware there isn’t much wrong. As you also pointed out. But just releasing a phone with a recent SoC doesn’t make it a good phone.


Random reboots I’ve had on Fairphone 2. But I don’t think they’re that random, I believe they’re just OOM issues or the hardware connection issues of the modules (for some mitigated with a piece of paper near battery). Cause I also had them on my Motorola (G2?).

My Samsung Galaxy S or Samsung Galaxy S3 did not produce such nice photographs (though I dislike the second last picture). Nor did my 2015 midrange successor of SGS3, a Motorola which did not even receive 2 years software upgrades, nor were they regular (Samsung had the balls to give their flagship device, SGS3 only 1 year software updates). The SGS3 however came with an AMOLED screen; it was gorgeous, like Pixel 3a’s.

The FP3+ had the same CMOS as Pixel 3a, but Pixel 3a produced better pictures. You could use GCam (Google Camera) and have a much better experience.

Anyway, its not fair to produce a specific feature of a smartphone with another smartphone. You need to compare everything, all the pros and cons of each device. Not just some. What is a dealbreaker for you, isn’t one for someone else, and if photography is important for you then Google Cam is superb with bad lighting conditions.

Unfortunately, these camera optimizations are software and proprietary so we have to pirate a modified GCam or live with it or buy a smartphone where the camera is a strong plus. A Pixel series is then a nice device, the 6a was on sale for 300 EUR on Black Friday. But its by a large company, who put a lot of focus on security, data gathering, etc. Many work around the latter by switching to Calyx or Graphene, yielding good software support (even firmware for the embedded chips). Repairability-wise they’re not strong though.

But a benefit of FP4 could be that we can eventually upgrade things like the camera or screen or battery. Doing that on an other recent device requires much more effort.

Now, with all the pros and cons taken into account, a FP4 released 5 years ago would deliver high-end performance if you look at things like SoC and RAM. It would not have been a decent midrange smartphone; it would’ve been a good high-end smartphone (provided you used GCam with it in bad lighting conditions).



How many years of loss to cover for Fairphone ? I personally don’t know but I would be interested in having the numbers.

What are you suggesting they should do then? Should Fairphone shoot themselves in the foot by having terrible communication until they get their money back from the investment of the Fairphone as a project?

The average base salary of a Community Manager is 58,721 dollars per year. Half time that’s 29,360 per year. To me, that seems like it would essentially pay for itself over the span of a year. Imagine if all the people that are uncertain whether they should be buying a Fairphone or whether they should be buying something else actually got a great official response by a community manager. I’d imagine quite a lot of people would buy one when they see the support for a Fairphone 4 is, well, fair.

Fairly often I’ve seen people bail from this community due to them being dissatisfied with the software experience. What do you think is more convincing to these people? Seeing randomers telling them that the customer support told them they are looking into it, or seeing the official community manager telling them s(he) spoke with the developers and being told by him/her that “it’s currently under review, I apologize for the inconvenience, please stick with us, we’ll make this right”?

Also, not to mention that it would strengthen the community, meaning people are more likely to buy another Fairphone device when their old device breaks.

I think an issue that Fairphone will have long term is that their target audience isn’t likely to buy a new cellphone every 2 years like the fans of Samsung and Apple. That means FP should be playing to their strengths and try to get a good reputation when it comes to both fairness for the workers in the factory AND the support on here.

I’m not even upset with Fairphone, it’s just that I have studied and work with media, and from my point of view Fairphone is making terrible decisions that at the moment seem really easy to fix. They definitely have the money for it.


Please read my comment again. Yes, it’s indeed at software where FP fails at. And by comparing it to non high-end phones from 10 years ago, my point is that this quality that FP delivers makes no sense. These were not high budget production devices. OnePlus One was a terrible device overall and the camera wasn’t great. The Nexus line, especially the first few releases were hobby devices to show pure Android to the public. It wasn’t about photography at all. It used I believe the AOSP camera. As were most apps back in the day on a Google device.

I recognize the good parts of FP as well. That’s why I still have it. But when people pretend this device is great or try to make it sound logical that this device is just the way it is and we should find peace with it makes no sense to me. If something sucks by today’s standards, even by the standards of 10 years ago, then that can be said. And it will continue being said by users here until that changes. And I believe FP will change. But I also think they won’t change if a community doesn’t dare to point out these things.


Personally, I think Fairphone should add Camera2 support to their phones, then fork the GrapheneOS Camera app and use that as the official app. It seems easier than making your own camera app of all things :man_shrugging:


What a community manager is useful for ? I would prefer much more this money put in the support or the software development than in somebody spending its time here answering all day long the same questions without satisfying people in the forum.

For example, the question about the release date of Android 12 on FP4 was given if I believe what I read here : Q3 or Q4 of 2022. Is this date beyond us? No so why should there be a communication? I expect one if and only if there is a delay and not before but maybe I am too much used to Debian philosophy.



Things could be better, like being able to warranty or get replacement parts in the US or having a nice camera, but it’s an upgrade over my last phone, and it runs CalyxOS with a locked bootloader just fine. It’s a modern phone with an LCD screen which is great since I am pwm sensitive. For my specific needs, there isn’t much in this category and FP4 is the best of those choices.

Off topic

The Debian security team indeed is somewhat the same. But at least they admit they are understaffed and some software doesn’t get timely security updates or none at all. Also no warranty whatsoever. If vulnerabilities are detected at all since much software already doesn’t have upstream support anymore, so no active maintenance and testing is applied anymore. The package maintainers are not actively developing and maintaining that software by their own. Such as running an end of life PHP version for years. Really great.

Why this pretend to make FP sound like they’re doing a good job? They advertise long software support. When people complain about running Android 11 people say that we should count the monthly updates. Because they matter most. Even though those are late by about a month, people then say we should be very happy with that. By now we’re still running a September update. It’s December. But of course, that too is great! Because FP gives nice fuzzy belly feelings. Only positive thoughts please. No critical thoughts. Hey look, you can replace the battery, don’t look at the bugs and security issues. Did you know you can also install a custom ROM?

By that logic you can also say. Hey, buy a Pixel 6a for 300 euros and have a great device for 5 years with premium support. FP says it costs about 5 dollars per phone to afford fair wages, right? Donate the 350 euros you save to the workers directly and resource preservation efforts. That may be even more effective. And, also fair to the end user.


This is exactly what I answered in my post, thank for reading it before responding.

I would prefer much more this money put in the support or the software development than in somebody spending its time here answering all day long the same questions without satisfying people in the forum.

Yeah I feel the exact same in theory. The problem is that currently, the support is subpar and takes months to respond to people, the software development is 2 years behind Samsung and we can only assume that we’re 3 months behind on the security updates due to them being close to releasing Android 12. The keyword here is “assume”, as we don’t know that for a fact. Because naturally, no one is telling us anything about why.

Q3 or Q4 of 2022. Is this date beyond us? No so why should there be a communication?

Personally idgaf about Android 12. I care about them fixing the issues that have been plaguing the Fairphone 4 for over 8 months now. I still can’t go out in the sun while in a WhatsApp call because that makes the screen pitch black until I walk into a shadow. The camera is still subpar compared to way cheaper phones. One of two cameras can’t be used by Gcam at all at the time of writing, so that’s not exactly a solution either. Locking the bootloader can still brick your phone due to the “Allow bootloader unlocking” setting resetting to “no” when you relock it.

Are they working on fixing these things? If so, how long is that going to take?

The way I see it, I have zero complaints about the hardware, I think they nailed that, but everything else about the Fairphone is a lot worse than it could be if they just stopped outsourcing their software development to people that are obviously too slow to give the Fairphone the amazing software support that it deserves.


OK but then you want Fairphone to open another vein and bleed into that ??

Probably are but Fairphone can’t know when it’s fixed until it’s fixed

I’m sure they don’t have the required expertise and Qualcomm and Google have to vet everything, may as well have them do all the dirty work too.

And: This topic is becoming more about the Fairphone support than the FP4

The Fairphone support, tardiness, lack of, frustrating times has been dealt with in many topics repeating it all again call into question those that are complaining, why again, why here, why now?

I give my point of view about spending money in a forum manager and about release date and all you say is about me justifying Fairphone is unsafe… which I didn’t. I already expressed how much security updates are important unlike upgrades.

It seems you don’t know Debian unlike what you think This distribution was famous for its philosophy of release when ready and not at a given date that’s why I named it. And even if you think it’s unsafe it is not more than the OS on your computer.

I don’t know how old you are but I feel like the old guy who knows more than you what fits you. And yes, once again I am remembering you I told you a Fairphone phone was not made for you before you buy one.

FYI only power users care about upgrades and updates and you are among them. Most of the people in the world use a smartphone that receives no updates after 2 years but keep using it for 2 more years in average. Here again, is it good ? No but it is not ,a priority for normal customers and it seems Fairphone knows it and so is not in the hurry to release updates and even less for upgrades.

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My question was rhetorical. I will try to be more straightforward.

I think this phone is not for you so sell it and go for something that fits you more. It will make your life much easier.

By the way, when the FP3 had a problem with automatically adjusting light, a simple workaround until the problem was solved was to manually set the brightness for the about 6 months we waited for a bug fix. Did you try it?

I advised a Fairphone to some people and told others it was not for them. For those who bought one, they are happy with it but they are basic users.


I’d hardly equate communication by FP to the debian project. We have mailing lists, irc, big tracking, sid for those that want to use it. Debian is transparent quite the opposite of FP.


As said above, I mentioned Debian for the philosophy of release when ready.

If someone wants to talk about it, he can send me a private message instead of spamming this thread.


Leaving this topic as I may have been misunderstood.

I have no problems with Fairphone or their phones, :slight_smile:


I’m about to repeat myself, so I’ll keep it short. I already made my point a few times. I replied to your comment because you seem to evade the point that’s being made for a community manager. It seems to me you deflect it. That’s why I replied the way I did.

People are not power users if they expect the promise that was made by the manufacturer. Which is long software support, security updates are the least we can expect. But here I am. No security update for months. While this phone was only released about a year ago. That’s terrible software support and puts user’s data and privacy at risk. Is this really so hard to agree on? Is FP so special that it cannot do anything wrong? Even when they clearly are? And no communication about this. The least they can do is push a message through their app where they mention their strategy. Now we’re just guessing how long we will have to walk around with vulnerable devices because FP seems to cut costs on a proper development team. But that too is just a guess.

Off topic

I’ve been a Debian developer about 10 years ago. Things haven’t changed. Debian didn’t invent the concept of a release schedule. All release based distros do the same. Fedora for example does the same thing. Everyone releases when ready…

In the context of FP it makes no sense. Does Debian stop updating packages to work on the next Debian release? No, of course not. Yet, this is what FP does. Which is anti user behaviour.


Maybe its time to agree to disagree. This discussion is going in circles and will not lead anywhere as its a repetion of a repetion of a repetition.

And just one general comment: Things are neither negative nor positive, its always the view with which we look at them.


So it’s fair to the users to just leave them with vulnerable devices. Right. This type of covering for FP while criticism is in order is not helping. FP will continue to treat their phones software as alpha releases and won’t prioritize security/ privacy for their users. But yeah, only happy thoughts.