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

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

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Indeed. Fact is, you never hear about the happy customers, so a forum will always be full of people complaining. It’s the type of problems people complain about which makes the difference: On one side there are the user-created issues from people trying unexpected or stupid things, on the other the real, recurring and thus confirmed problems with the product. Ideally you should only have the first kind.

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still what I said: you wont find a perfect product without real failures. There will always be “Monday Products” and issues caused by updates etc. Thats nothing Fairphone specific.

I never said or even implied this.
To make things clear, I’m not dissing Fairphone, I’m still betting on them (else I wouldn’t be here, my time is limited).
What I am saying is, Fairphone has still some efforts to make, and I do hope they are aware of this. It’s an outstanding idea, a fairly (no pun intended) good product, but it still has teething troubles.

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And votes seem to indicate that user satisfaction for FP3 was better ;-(

@urs_lesse Thank you for doing polls and maths!

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Overall I am… disappointed?

Not because I think the product overall is bad, but because of a lot of small issues that you wouldn’t expect in a product that already solves much bigger issues.

As a simple example, it has no ARcore. Sure, my fault for not checking before but I really did not expect I would have to on a €650 phone released in 2022.

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I voted “Satisfied” because my FP4 does what I need of it without excelling in any one area.

My particular use case might not fit within the expectations of the company. The ethical side is admirable but not what attracted me. I have a very specific set of requirements and the big one is no OLED screens, followed closely by repairability. I sit up and pay attention when a company says it will provide hardware AND software support for more than the usual 2 or 3 years. Being able to buy parts for self-repair for 5 years from date of purchase is what sold me on Fairphone.

The phone is mid-range and does what I expect it to do. I do think the camera could do with improvement but I use my “proper” camera if I want to take “proper” images.

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I changed my vote from “neutral” to “satisfied” after 3 months.
You can read my previous comment if you want, which i’m not allowed by the forum software to edit. expletive you, Discourse!

  • Camera: the problem of an unusable camera has been fixed (this doesn’t mean that the user experience is good though).
    Only the FreeDCam app allows me to use both camera’s (on the back), but it can’t reliably control the LED. It’s kind-of useless if it turns your flashlight OFF when taking a photo, isn’t it?
    Its auto-focus is lacking. Sometimes it doesn’t save the photo or video,…
    … But that’s unlikely Fairphone to blame.
  • Battery: It’s surviving days instead of hours on one battery
  • Features: everything is just running fine for now, all hardware is functioning.
  1. I haven’t had any bluetooth connection problems, unlike my Samsung Galaxy S5.
  2. Even the 1x1 WiFi hasn’t been bothering me, now that i make backups mostly via USB.
  3. Even though the FP4 has a LCD instead of an OLED, the quality is just fine.
    Note that i have rarely played games on my phone before, so a high framerate isn’t necessary.
    Even though the phone is capable of running games, i can’t because they often rely on Google services (which i don’t have support for).
  4. Now that i don’t work for an ISP anymore, i have little need for the IR blaster.
  5. I’ve yet to buy a USB-C to 3,5mm adapter for my headset, but haven’t needed the 3,5mm jack yet because the only app i needed it for (Teamspeak) isn’t working on the phone (because i’ve degoogled the phone and some apps are hell-bent on checking subscriptions with Google)
  6. I don’t really miss the notification LED, i rarely get sent- or called for important things.
    The only time this bugged me was when i was in another room and my mother was calling me for a medical reason, and by the time returned, i had no idea i had a missed call. Luckily she kept calling until i picked up the phone!
  • General: Most of the problems that i’m experiencing aren’t to blame on Fairphone, but Google. The phone itself is quite good.

Edit: the fingerprint reader reads too quickly on CalyxOS, but it’s not a huge problem and i’m not the only one complaining about this.

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I voted unsatisfied, although I will admit this is partially on me. I did not research whether the phone has ARcore, although in my defense I really did not expect a 650€ phone past ~2017 to not have it, nevermind the Fairphone 4.

Sadly, this also makes the phone unusable for me as I need ARcore. I tried hacking it in, and while it sort-of works, it becomes too unstable to be useful.

Anyone feel that you’ve paid a significant amount of money for a beta quality phone? I seem to have issues with it each day with it glitching and being buggy. Lots of UI issues like this morning my phone having a mind of its own continually scrolling without me touching it.

I work for a tech company and things do happen with systems but feels like there are fundamental issues. Perhaps my expectations are too high?

  • Lack of quality assurance and product testing
  • relying on the eco side of the product to justify the investment
  • knock on impact of my customer happiness and satisfaction
  • lack of recommendations (which helps to drive brand reputation and sales)
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Moved your post here, you will find many opinions above or in other topics in the forum.

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Was answering before your post was moved and It’s possible you were not referring specifically to the FP4 :slight_smile:

Note also: This topic was initially a Poll on the FP4 not a place for questions, but your post directly asks for opinions and views

.
So here’s the reply I had written:

No.

I’m not sure which phone you have but I have two FP3+ and nothing has been wrong with them for over two years each.

A daughter has an FP4 with a loose battery which is being attended to officially

The investment is on the human aspect not eco, as in better conditions and pay for the miners and factory workers, which probably still don’t get enough.

Sure there have been some software issues, but I’m not sure they are a problem to most people, hence the small percent that use the forum.

However given how slow support can be, not being a high-street shop, I would not recommend Fairphone to anyone but a human rights freak.

This is probably ghost touch due to dirt on the screen.

As for the rest I 100% agree. The UI likes to hang entirely after installing Android 12, the camera is still meh for a 600 € phone and it feels like the developers/people at FP don’t use the Fairphone themselves, as is evident with some bugs being around for months while being really easy to find.

In general, I think the Fairphone 4 is the phone I’ve owned in the past 12 years with the most bugs. It feels like I encounter something new every week. I’m hoping this will be fixed this year but honestly I doubt it.

Phones are literally bricking due to the bootloader bug, requiring repairs in the Netherlands, and they have been doing so since release day ~16 months ago. And they don’t seem to care in the slightest. Not very environmentally friendly for a company named Fairphone :man_shrugging:

My current plan is to use it until it breaks and then never buy a Fairphone again. Hopefully they will change my mind before then. They have about 4 years to do so, but then again, even if they fix the phone to be 10/10 two years from now I’ve still had a beta product for two years.

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Despite all the potential problems, aren’t you highly satisfied at least on an ethical level? Knowing that you have selected the phone that has the highest probability to have respected those who built it, from raw materials to assembly?

I have been a FP4 user for about 4 months (I had a pixel 2 before), the only difference is that I have installed CalyxOS straighaway, and this has been fantastic so far to use Android 13 with regular security update. I can only encourage people to switch to this OS (if by the way anyone is in London and need help to do this, I am happy to help).

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Well, the question is if you want to

  • keep on producing a phone in beta state for a smaller group of people considering themselves as a “movement” and are used to / happy with having to work with their phone, installing other OSs

or

  • sell a less- beta- state phone for a pretty normal user who wants to buy a more sustainable product.

I’m definitely in the second group and replacing an “ethically satisfying” Fairphone prematurely with a less sustainable and less ethical satisfying phone wont satisfy me at all…

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Despite all the potential problems, aren’t you highly satisfied at least on an ethical level? Knowing that you have selected the phone that has the highest probability to have respected those who built it, from raw materials to assembly?

Fairphone advertised itself in several different ways. For example, I am largely skeptical of fair trade marketing rather than actual regulation, but bought an FP4 because I wanted a reliable, repairable, and long-lasting phone. These are ostensibly core goals that Fairphone also prominently advertised.

One of the significant disappointments with the phone has been seeing, on these forums, not only how much these were, at best, distant secondary considerations for the phone, but how much any problems with the phones, even their considerable deficiencies in basic functionality, seem to be discounted with the argument that users should be satisfied because they were ethically produced.

Fairphone would be more honest if it focused its advertising solely on fair trade during production, and stopped making claims about repairability, support, or basic functionality.

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Ethically I’m very impressed, but honestly I could as well have bought a Pixel 6a and donated 300 bucks to charity and I feel i would have made a bigger impact to improving the world.

My primary issue with the FP4 is that the software is pretty much terrible compared to the heavy hitters. Yes, FP can never compare to Google but honestly I get the feeling that the software is made by interns.

They could have put all their effort into adding Camera2 support and then they can fork the GrapheneOS camera app and use that instead and then the camera would be very usable all of a sudden. Instead it took them 14 months to make the better of the two back cameras available on Gcam.

As for CalyxOS, trust me I consider it every day. But I really like Google Pay and the credit card I’m using at the moment doesn’t support Fitbit or Garmin Pay. If I ever get around to buying a smartwatch to measure my pulse like I’ve always wanted, I’ll probably go for CalyxOS and another credit card. But at the moment it just seems like too much of a hassle.

I really hope Fairphone will get it together but it feels like they are working on the FP5 now, which is understandable because money. But I still can’t get over the fact that I had a Pixel 3a with a better camera.

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I can at least report that LineageOS, with Google apps and the appropriate Magisk additions, can fully run Google Pay and make NFC payments with all of my credit cards, and can run every app with SafetyNet-like checks that I’ve tried (eg, banking). While I’m still very disappointed with the phone, and with Fairphone as a company, this has at least convinced me to keep using it rather than getting a phone from a more reputable manufacturer.

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I got my FP4 just a few weeks ago, so my only experience with it is already with Android 12.

Overall I am quite satisfied with it, except a few problems which are mostly caused by Android itself or are software issues, so this will hopefully all be fixed in future updates:

  • Missing support for “Material You” and visual glitches in theming - e.g. white symbols and text on light blue elements where the symbols should be black (e.g. display brightness slider) and black symbols on dark grey elements where they should be white.
  • AptX issues with Bluetooth headsets
  • Strange behaviour of the hotspot (only possible when turning of WiFi first etc.)
  • Issues with the global navigation buttons (recent apps button sometimes does not work - but a workaround is possible, also see this Reddit thread).
  • Google “Glance” widget does not work properly.
  • Placement of text and symbols in status bar and on the lock screen (shortcuts for phone and camera on the bottom) does not fit the rounded display corners very well.
  • When enabling “hearing aid compatibility” in the settings of the phone app, the earpiece is completely silent and you think that the phone is defect. I don’t need that, but it can be confusing.

Besides that the things that count work without any major problem:

  • Everything can be repaired easily, battery can be replaced and there is support for microSD cards, SIM and eSIM (the latter one helps a lot with apps which give you mobile plans when traveling).
  • Bluetooth connection to my 5 year old Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch: with my old smartphone the connection often failed temporarily and the Samsung Gear app regularly asked for permissions it already had when opening it. On the Fairphone 4 the connection is rock solid and I never had any issues with the Gear app. Also using apps like “Navigation Pro” to display navigation info from Google Maps on the smartwatch never had any problem.
  • Mobile networks and WiFi: 5G works without any issue here (Germany, T-Mobile) and also 5 GHz WiFi at my office and at home work without any problem.
  • Banking apps: no isssues at all.
  • Payment with NFC: works fine as well.
  • Camera: yes, maybe not top notch, but still very usable. With the latest update you can also use all cameras with alternative apps like Open Camera. So far I have no issues with that either.

Would I buy it again if I had to decide to? Yes.

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I totally agree! They state that Support is overloaded, but of course they are! Who in their right mind would go from releasing software with a brilliant tracker like GitLab attached to just winging bug tracking?

It’s totally and utterly nonsensical. I’ve used totally proprietary software whose developers quite happily provide a GitLab instance for issue tracking. FP isn’t doing this, even though its device software is mostly OSS (the kernel is, but obviously GApps supports necessitates inclusion of proprietary components).

Just give us access to gitlab.fairphone.org, @Fairphone. After all, what’ll happen to issuetracker.fairphone.org now that the #fp2 appears to have had its last update? (According to the press.)


I must say that although the #fp4 is my 1st @Fairphone device, it seems like since the #fp2, Fairphone has gone downhill. No public issue tracker, no OSS version of its stock ROM (mostly understandable, yet it’s still available for the #fp2, so lack of usage doesn’t make much sense) and importantly, total dependence upon @Fairphone’s website being available to unlock the bootloader.

How ridiculous is that? With that track record, Google of all companies is actually providing markedly more support to its support:

  1. When I post to its community forums, their managers bother to respond to me – this forum has to be administrated by what appear to be volunteers, which is ridiculously unfair. They’re doing Fairphone’s job for them.
  2. If I want to unlock my Pixel 3’s bootloader, I simply enable USB debugging and run some adb commands.
  3. If I want to report a bug, most of the time I can find a report at the AOSP bugtracker (although unfortunately must report any ROM-specific troubles via their forum, too).

However, despite all of these problems, if I could just have a working device, I’d probably mostly forget about these problems. I can’t, though – I had to restart my device 5 minutes ago because SystemUI decided that the back button doesn’t work anymore, nor the volume rocker.

I have barely any apps running in the background, many less than on my Pixel 3. It never showed such strange problems. It still doesn’t. I use CalyxOS on it, and in every metric other than repairability and screen size, it’s a better device. How depressing is that?

Unfortunately, I’m in the same boat as

so it isn’t a solution (yet) for my #fp4.

I’d still purchase another if I had to due to Fairphone’s monopoly on the repairable smartphone market because I’m not rich and thus need a repairable device, but I might consider switching if Framework ever happens to make a good competitor, for instance.


Summarily, I love my #fp4, but it’s difficult to rely upon it or Fairphone in its current state.

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