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

YES! I want them to open their wallets and do something about it!

Perfect! Then they could switch companies. If they have to outsource it they could do it to a team that actually delivers.

I feel it’s more about the software support if anything. That’s the core of the issue here, not the communication, or rather lack thereof. They wouldn’t have to communicate the 8 month old bugs if they didn’t have any.

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Most bugs were there at launch by the way :nerd_face:

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You’re filling my heart with comfort here man!

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I’ve finally bought a Fairphone 4 after a months-long deliberation.
It hasn’t seen much use yet, so i can’t give a definitive response to the poll. I’d say i’m fair-ly satisfied but for now i’ve chosen a neutral response. If Discourse allows me to do so, i’ll keep this post updated.

History & reasoning for buying FP4
My previous (or current, depending on my experience with the FP4) phone was a Samsung Galaxy S5 running LineageOS.
It had everything; OLED screen, IR blaster, headphone jack, 3 physical buttons, 802.11ac WiFi 2x2 MIMO, replaceable battery, SD card slot,…
It’s lasted about 8 years and is still alive, but the batteries aren’t what they used to be and compared to current entry level phones, it’s slow. It can’t even keep three apps in memory without swapping and quickly killing those processes, and every new LOS update since this year fails to install correctly .
If i’m going to buy a new phone, then it’d better last at least as long!

The primary reason for choosing a FP4 was the replaceable battery.
I don’t care about workers’ wages, living conditions, etc. Sure, it’s nice that Fairphone is living on a pink cloud but they’re uttering more marketing than doing the right things. They’re part of the “look at me fishing for likes social media addict” generation.

Experience during the ordering process
First things first, this phone is expensive! Yet, for longevity, i chose the more expensive model.
There were two active discounts at the time; -50 EUR for newsletter subscribers, and -5 EUR discount on shipping. Neither were applied during checkout and it took a couple back- and forths with a customer service representative to get it resolved (order canceled ).
I eventually bought the FP4 via a third-party webstore where it was priced over 100 EUR cheaper.

Customer service
It’s a Dutch company, so it was easy for me to communicate with them in my native language.
The first reply arrived after a painful 7 days of waiting, but subsequent replies took less than a day.
The representative was courteous, offered a 5 EUR discount but refused the 50 EUR discount because i wasn’t already a subscriber to the newsletter. The terms and conditions didn’t say anything about the time one had to be a subscriber to be eligable for the discount, but it did say it’s at their sole discretion to give or revoke discounts.
When i asked to cancel my order, the rep didn’t try to change my opinion or chase the sale for commission, he just did what i asked and that’s admirable.

When i read things like this, i don’t feel bad at all.

The hardware in general
Compared to my S5, it’s a huge step up, but objectively the specifications are weak.
For now, the FP4 has been able to run all of my favourite apps without struggling for resources.

  • No OLED screen, but IPS.
    • More power hungry, worse colours, but less susceptible to screen burn-in
  • No notification LED
    • Guess i’ll have to occasionally check the phone?
    • Perhaps it’ll help people give up on their addiction to smartphones?
  • No 3,5mm jack
    • I’ve recently bought a wireless headphone so it’s less of an issue now but i’d still like to quickly plug in- and out without losing quality. I’ve yet to test any USB-C to AA adapters.
  • The built-in speaker is a boombox!
    • It’s much louder than my S5.
  • Battery life
    • It lasts for over a day with partial use, that’s longer than my S5.
  • Battery cover
    • This may be a good or a bad thing, depending on the number of physical battery changes but the back cover is somewhat difficult to loosen.
  • WiFi only 1x1, no MIMO support
    • It’s a phone, who even needs MIMO speed boosts? I probably don’t, and when used for actual downloads, the eMMC probably can’t handle such speeds (please link me to some technical documentation if you have it), but it’s a bummer. I want the bragging rights to boast about my expensive phone and WiFi access points! My laptop easily reaches double of these results.
      Objective measurements attached:

The software
I can’t judge about the quality their software, because i installed CalyxOS.
At this time there’s no support for the wide-angle camera nor the ToF sensor, but times may be changing.
The camera apps are noticeably slower than the ones on my S5

The fingerprint sensor is fairly accurate at recognizing me when i position my finger the same way i did during the initial setup, but when i rotate my finger it’s rejecting the scan. Is this a ubiquitous response in all phones?

Bluetooth 5.x connections have a much further reach than what my S5 offered, and they haven’t dropped out yet.

Conclusion
It’s too early to say. I love to complain (or so it seems when i read my own post).
Most of my opinions are purely subjective, and in comparison to my previous smartphone.
For now i’m fairly satisfied, but the few issues that i’m facing in addition to not fully having tested everything made me choose the neutral option in the poll.

6 Likes

I switched from a Samsung Galaxy S9 plus to a Fairphone 4 a couple of days ago.

I bought it mainly because my S9s battery just dies too quickly and the battery percentage falls dramatically once it reaches like 30%… Replacing a battery in this phone is a bit of a nightmare for me. And even if it wasn’t, finding decent replacement batteries that are not astronomically expensive is pretty much not possible, so that made me think about buying a Fairphone. Now I’ll never struggle with replacing the battery.

The switch from S9’s display to FP4’s display is noticeable, though I’d say that the LCD is easier on my eyes. I was worried about this but turned out to be alright. I don’t watch movies on my phone so I’m fine with LCD.

I installed iodé OS as soon as I got it and so far is doing great. The latest iodé OS update supports the wide-angle lens too so I’m happy about that. It’s also based on Android 12, so that’s nice too.

I haven’t yet taken many pictures, but I’m hoping someone makes a decent Gcam port that can use the wide-angle lens and doesn’t crash.

I read a lot of complaints about the display, fingerprint sensor, and a big etc. But I’m satisfied with it really. Bought the 256gb/8gb version and that + the battery life + it being easy to disassemble + being able to change OS without voiding the warranty really compensates the rest of the aspects anyways.

7 Likes

I just received my F4 (minutes ago!), but while I can’t yet vote, I’d like to add my 2 cents to the big topic of expectations (met or failed to live up to).

First of all, for me a phone is not a fashion statement or a status symbol, it’s a tool, so while I don’t care if it’s “big” or “heavy” (as long as I can still lug it around), what matters to me is quality (reliability) and existing features. A phone is a communications center combined with a ultra-ultra-portable laptop, a navigation center, and my go-to photo camera. All of this should be always available, wherever I am.

So, why did I chose Fairphone among the dozens of current phones? Sorry to say, the “fair trade” argument is for me a nice perk, but not the decisive factor. The decisive factors were upgrades/patches, repairability, and the ability to do whatever I want with the OS. I currently use an old Samsung flagship, it’s a very nice phone with nice features, but Samsung has messed up the software layer to a point I finally decided to abandon them (and that’s after having been a Samsung fanboi since 2012). When I decided a week ago to change my phone, I only glanced over the S22 Ultra I would had normally bought. I pondered the Pixel 7 Pro, but Fairphone seemed the best answer to my requirements. (At least on the paper, I sure hope it lives up to its marketing blurb…)

BTW, I did read all the caveats and provisos about the Fairphone 4’s many problems, bugs and issues before I decided to buy it, but I am confident Fairphone will eventually fix them. I hope they will not let me down.

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Hi together,

Last year, my Samsung S5 broke. I had been the third user of it and the phone was just perfect for my needs. RIP, my friend.

A friend already owned a FP3 and had more than one issue with it. It really is „a pain in the a**“. Yes, still.
But after all, I didn’t have that much of a choice for a new phone. The battery had to be replaceable without spending hours on it (EVERY battery is replaceable, if you have time, sure fingers and the compatible spare part). And I wanted „my own“ OS on it. I lived with Lineage for almost 10 years by then.
I think the only difference between the slightly better Shift Phone and the Fairphone had been 200€ I didn’t have.

Pros:

  • Display is reacting very fast, MUCH better as on the FP3.
  • Fingerprint sensor is really quick and precise.

Cons:

  • What did they think about not having a nice little indication LED? I have to wake up my phone in the night to know if I plugged in the USB-C correctly.
  • Sound or no sound? Another missing part is the audio jack. The bad phone quality I have, mostly depending on hardware issues and partly also Germany being a stone age country, can just be overcome with a bluetooth headset. So I‘m always depend on 2 batteries (phone + headset). I don’t think a spare part for mic and/or speaker would change anything here. Cable headsets just don’t work fully, no matter which adapter I choose.
  • Too tight back cover, see below.

The rest of the phone I would call „okay“. The camera really isn‘t that good. There’s a reason other producers do ads for their cameras: It is much work involved to make them that good, it‘s just about 30% the hardware.

The battery lasts about 3-4 days (ca. 30 mins telephone, 30 mins of app using per day). That is also „okay“. Power users get no more than a day, what is typical these days.

And there’s still that issue with a GOOD case. I have been using flip cases since my first „smart“ phone in 2011. Fairphone still don’t think it mandatory to provide one. Instead I shall be forced to pay 30€ for some sort of plastic rubber case that doesn’t protect the display. It‘s unbelievable.
So for the first months, The phone crashed a few times out of my pocket or the not so fitting flip case for a Samsung S20 Ultra. Thankfully almost always onto the display, which was protected from the first day. Until I found a „real“ case at eBay - sold by Chinese, of course.

The back cover sits too tight. I had to open it two times to get a sim card into the phone. So there’s a little scratch at this „nose“ where you are supposed to open it. Made just with my finger nail.

Of course, the original OS didn’t last for more than three days, Google breaking my nerves about deactivated services I didn’t want to use. I chose IodéOS, which was the only really functional alternative at that time. I didn’t bother to swap, because it works fine to 99% (just a few issues with apps that have to use Google services). And it also doesn’t bother me with backups not being made as LOS does (I use my Linux PC if I want to do backups).

After all, I wouldn’t recommend a „smart“ phone to anyone anymore. They aren’t smart, they have too much hardware and because of that, too much issues.
If someone really needs something with a big operating system on it, I wouldn’t recommend Fairphone. Alone the issues with the sound and the missing flip case let them fail. As long as it is possible to get your own OS onto a Samsung, I would recommend something with an „S“ in the name. Yes, they have very poor support - about none at all.

But Fairphones‘ support is also not that capable, as long as there’s no broken hardware. I lost my warranty when I put Iodé on the FP4. You get this with every producer. They still don’t do anything with those missing contacts on the FP3. And what I really don’t understand:
I bought the FP4 as one of the first. I feel bad about being an „early adaptor“ that I never wanted to be. And to punish me even more, there’s now buds with a new FP4. And you really need them when you needed an audio jack the last 20 years.
Besides the hardware, I found nothing to be really „fair“.

I would be looking forward to a new W200i. Just a mobile phone with SMS, camera, 2 really good games, music, cable headset, offline voice recognition and a everlasting battery. Yes, it has been the same since 2007 and the phone still functions. Lightweight, small and robust. Today I would add Bluetooth and 5G.

Cheers, that were my 50 Cents about that FP4.
It‘s just informal. Your FP4 can have other issues or the same or none at all.

2 Likes

Have to admit I ticked Unsatisfied. Much more accurately I wish there had been a ‘deeply disappointed’ choice because that’s how I feel. The was extremely enthusiastic about the concept and felt it the perfect antidote to the rampant consumerism of today. The reality though is just, well, awful in reality. You cannot buy a decent case, you cannot make normal phone calls and be heard, you cannot take even average (for today) pictures so it’s almost impossible to feel any form of satisfaction frankly.

I was quite sure I’d be singing its praises as it seemed to me the designers were genuinely in touch with what real users need. The truth is very far from that and so, being honest, all I’ve spent my time doing is warning people off buying one. Nothing, but nothing from any major phone manufacturer comes close to being as poor.

Truth is, I shall be getting rid early in 2023 and buying something cheaper, much more usable & definately protectable. Sadly this ignominious end is hardly the ringing endorse for sustainability it was pitched as…

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Well, I can’t say anything about the rest, but you definitely can buy cases of all sorts (I ordered one which should arrive in a couple days).
You find everything, from cheap fabric sleeves to exclusive leather flip cases (horizontal and vertical flip, all available). Check the Fairphone 4 case & Alternatives thread.

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Thank you for your reply but perhaps you should try asking a question first Kurt.

I am a plumber. Until possessing a FP I used quality protective cases from the manufacturers like Otterbox, Case Armour & Griffin. These kept my phone dry & protected it against the harsh conditions within which I work. NOT ONE of these types of manufacturers, I have emailed them all, consider FP “worth investing in”.

Perhaps you have the luxury of sitting behind a desk? Perhaps you have the luxury of never having to consider the need for real protection aside from sticky finger prints? I do not know, but I also do not assume I know… Some of us FP owners work in less salubrious surroundings and, because we care, do not want to contribute to landfill by having phones wrecked on a regular basis, so want ‘decent’ phone cases because we need them not because we want to look ‘cool’. Please do not assume you know all users’ circumstances.

There are NO decent cases to buy. End of.

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Okay, that’s definitely “special requirements” and those low volume/high cost manufacturers can’t afford to build for outliers. It’s nobody’s fault, neither the manufacturers’ nor Fairphone’s.

No need to get snarky, I was trying to help. You could had lead with that little bit of information, which strangely isn’t obvious for people…

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I voted unsatisfied

  1. Palm rejection very bad, i have to handle the FP4 very delicately often with two hand just to keep it from sensoring my thumbpalm
  2. Proximity sensor not working well, because on/off button is also fingerprint sensor it is sometimes not switched off when putting in pocket leading to unwanted behavior
  3. Ghost touches on the display automatically deleted my friendgroup chats channel with years of chat history gone.
  4. Still no official lineageOS version for the FP4 i bought t 6 months ago and all the forum sad it would com soon, ps. i will never have phone with Google software
  5. On iOde OS the VPN is crashing the phone, it reboots
  6. On iOde i am not able to cast display to projector (still use my old phone for this)

All in all not a happy camper with the FP4

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half of your points have nothing to do with fairphone itself but with custom ROM which are btw maintained by great people in their freetime for free for you.

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Have you asked for help in the iodé forum?

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I voted “Satisfied”. It is everything I thought it would be. The “minus” points are unavoidable. For instance, it is bulky, especially with the cover on, but that is the trade off you need to make in order to have the modularity. And, as many of you mentioned before, this is a midrange chipset, so you cannot expect miracles.
In any case, for the type of usage I have (business, no gaming), it fits the purpose 100%.
On the plus side, I thought the camera system would be worse than it is, and I think it is perfectly OK. Not great, but good.
Overall, I’m not impressed, but I’m satisfied with my purchase.

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I voted neutral. Happy with the goals and the fact that the FP exists. But unhappy with the quality of the voice (often metal), handsfree function (most times the people i wantto talk with, cannot hear me)>> and for me the primary goal of a Phone is the ability to call/speak with another person……

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Easy math breakdown with 200 votes cast (so far; no plan to close down the poll):

votes grade percentage
60 very satisfied 30 %
86 satisfied 43 %
27 neutral 13.5 %
24 unsatisfied 12 %
3 very unsatisfied 1.5 %

For comparison, the same tally for FP3 at (just over) 200 votes (October 2021):

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Depending on where you stand it’s either a satisfying or a worrying result: 73% positive vs. 14% negative. The positive clearly wins, but on the other hand 73% is definitely not a good number, it’s less than 3/4 of the voters.
Votes clearly say: “Can do better”. :face_with_diagonal_mouth:

I think you’d be hard-pushed to find any survey that isn’t at least 70% positive on the product’s official forum :sweat_smile:

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As if this would be different for any other product, there is always someone not happy, having issues…

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