Surely there is a not so small group being perfectly fine with what the FP2 is for years and years to come. I am rather doubtfull, if it comes to ‘new technology’-promises. For 95% of phone users, 5G will make no difference to its predecessor. If you look what Apple et al produce now, you will see: no real progress, not really more value than what we already have.
Must say this seems like the right time for this - over 3 years on & it feels like mine is limping along with the workload rhat Android & apps place on it, I did keep my previous iPhone4 for 4 years but that was even slower! But less glitvhy it has to be said…but definitely proud to have been part of the FP2 process & will definitely consider a FP3 when it arrives. Just being able to replace the battery after 18m or so makes the whole thing justified on that basis alone imo!
Allow me to clarify my earlier point. 5G as a technology on itself may or may not interest the user. I agree that swaths of users at this point don’t care about their mobile internet speed, as the status quo with 4G allows them to use their phone in any way they desire. However, as a side-effect of carriers upgrading their network to 5G, existing service for 3G and 4G will gradually get worse at the detriment of current-generation phones like the Fairphone 2.
Here’s why: let’s simply assume that every network cell your phone can connect to amounts to better coverage. A 4G phone like the Fairphone 2 can connect to most (but not all) 3G and 4G cells used in Europe. This means today you can get a fairly good signal anywhere using the FP2. In the coming years however, carriers are gradually going to replace these 3G and 4G cells with 5G cells. Where currently most cells/sites share a 3G and 4G antenna, they’ll probably start sharing a 4G/5G antenna in the future. Let’s for the sake of argument assume that they’ll replace a 3G antenna with a 5G one on the same frequency, and leave the 4G ones in tact. This means that once the upgrade to 5G is complete, the FP2 can no longer connect to 99% of all the cells, but rather only connect to the half of the available cells offering 4G. Now, whenever an area is covered by a 5G antenna but not 4G, Fairphone 2 simply can’t use the network.
Of course the full story is more complex. Carriers have limited frequency bands to use all their signals in, and different frequencies have different bandwidth/coverage trade-offs. 5G requires higher frequencies for full bandwidth potential, meaning you need more cells for full coverage when compared to 3G or 4G. However, to meet radiation emission requirements and to limit the carriers power bill and maintenance cost, existing 3G/4G cells will still most likely have to be shut down as 5G adoption picks up. 5G upgrades and 3G/4G dismantling will happen gradually as users switch to newer phones. FP2 only supports a selection of frequencies on 4G (but for instance not band 1 and 38, which are already being used by European carriers), and providers might be forced to concentrate their current 4G signals into these bands during transition - worsening the FP2 experience further.
THANKS Fairphone !
My FP2 is about to be 3yo…working fine !
(just struggling with battery life…but usually a full cleaning/formatting and switch to lineageOS makes it better.)
I trust FP to design a great FP3 at a right price. Specs are not so important nowadays as most of midrange smartphone are already “overkill” for 99% usage. just try to make it a bit thinner and lighter, please…FP2 is kind of a brick
I will definitely not complain about duration of their product. I really have the feeling that FP is trying is best in an industrial world that don’t give a shit about long lasting design, fair materials and better working condition. What FP already achieve is remarkable
I’m a little bit disappointed by this announcement. I kept my previous HTC one X 5 years before buying un FP2 in 2016. So I planed to keep it 10 years ! It sounds logical that a long lasting device live twice longer as a classic one. Of course I’m happy that my FP2 uses fairtrade components but as a lot of clients I first want to buy less things and decrease my main ressources consumption. This is what I can do with my desktop PC, the same since 8 year. I hoped that Fairphone allow me the same.
I believed that hardware modularity and sofware excellence should be the recipe to make a long lasting device.
I really do want to know the technical Fairphone analyse and strategy about it behind this purely communication publication. Don’t you want too ?
Look at the post of Urs:
In my opinion Fairphone is doing a great job to increase longetivity. 39 months of shipment plus 3 years of modules for repairs in stock, is a great achievement. Talking about Software, it’s also a big improvement towards FP1. A regular update from Android 5 to Android 7. With LineageOS you can even have Android 8 now and Android 9 is just arriving to the FP2.
You can only hold Fairphone accountable for what they themselves planned and announced, not for what you yourself perhaps interpreted into it, wanted to get out of it or hoped to achieve with it.
And … How do new phones being sold out and spare parts estimated to being available for three more years keep you from trying to use your phone far beyond that time?
I don’t get this. Why are you ending the production? Now this mobile phone is determined to being tossed away in the next few years as every other device. How can this be sustainable? I don’t get this! I was a strong supporter for Fairphone but this is ridiculous.
It’s not PRODUCED/SOLD any more. As it’s still supported (and even when there might be some day no longer official support) I can’t see a reason to toss it away.
The most sustainable you can do is not owning a phone at all. If you wish sustainability in it’s purest form I can suggest pursuing a lifestyle that places no value in impermanent objects at all, following perhaps Buddhist teachings.
Sure, I’ve just taken the point to the extreme, but the claim that FP isn’t sustainable because they decided to end production today, three-and-a-half-years or so after starting production, is equally so. Tit for tat
Truth is that for most people, sustainability (which by the way is not necessarily the same as longevity) plays a role in decision making, but not the only. We also weigh in functionality, price as relative to our budget, and moral values. You own a smartphone, so you care about functionality. Most people live paycheck-to-paycheck, so probably price matters too.
On the sustainability front Fairphone has done something unprecedented. They produced a smartphone that even if bought two days ago will get three years of proper support. Early buyers get over 6 years. And you can probably still use it for a year or so after support ends. Compared to other market parties, who mainly offer 1-2 years of support and a phone that tends to break down to the point of it being uneconomic to repair, that’s a lot more sustainable. Not to mention they made it easier to repair when stuff breaks, meaning that fewer materials are wasted on breakage when compared to conventional phones.
So the question we should be asking isn’t “is FP2 sustainable?”, that’s a binary choice between shite or perfection. And perfection, in the words of my colleague, tends to be the worst enemy of good. Rather ask yourself “has FP2 been more sustainable than the alternatives?”. I believe the answer is yes.
Hi Fairphone community and workers.
I own My FP2 since more than 2 years now. It works really fine, and it’s a perfect phone for me.
I decided to buy this phone even if its price was really high.
What made me buy it? Because I spent too much money with cheap (or not) smartphones that didn’t worked fine for more than 6 months, because any phone/battery/screen repair was very expensive, and need to find someone who can do it…
So I told myself " instead of buying a 100€ phone every 6 months, you’d better have to spend 500€ in an ethic and durable phone, and keep it as long as possible".
And the fact that you, at Fairphone, are trying to change the way electronics are designed and made, especially about child labour or responsible and ethical suplying, just speak to me, as the world goes crazy about more and more technology to the detriment of some other people…
So, I’m really happy about the choice I did 3 years ago, when I finally ordered the FP2, and I’m still happy at this time, it works fine, you have a great aftersale service which is really reactive and effective, and the modular design works really good. And that phone is robust, it fell a few times , and I never had to change any screen or other part (exept changing battery one time), as some other phone may splashed at the first bump…
I read your last article about the end of the FP2 production, and it makes me sad…
It’s a great thing that you continue to support FP2, and that you want to update it again for a few more years, but I think that making a FP3 is not a good way to achieve your goal.
I’m not a tech-specialist, and don’t know about what can work or not, but I wonder why do you make that choice of doing a brand new FairPhone.
For example, it is possible to design a brand new mother board, able to support new networks and features needed today and in the near future (with a new chipset ect…), but that can also been fitted in the FP2 case, and still compatible with FP2 modules? Like you did with the photo-module?
I think it can be the most ethic and environment friendly way to aim to a more responsible phone industry, as you will only design and produce one module, instead of producing a whole new phone, like all other phone brands can do… but yes, you’ll make a new phone 5 years after FP2, other brands are selling a new phone every 6 monthes, and that’s a good point for you!!
However, as some people said in that thread, Fairphone already did a very hard work through past few years, showing at the world that a phone can last, that matter supplying don’t means child labor, death or human exploitation, and that’s a great improvment!!!
keep going this way, it’s THE good way to do…
Unfortunately I have to agree.
I can only speak for Germany. But even 4G coverage is far from being what you call “complete”.
As long as expanding the 4G network brought winnings, mainly in central city places, carriers invested in further expanding. But against official statements of them we still have plenty of white spots and very often poor or no reception at all (specifically in public buildings - for rather offering wifi to snoop on public data). We are (yet) not even having full coverage of high-speed (>10Mbit) DSL cable network - quite ridiculous.
So full 5G conversion at this rate will be quite expensive and take up several years. I believe 5G will simply never reach a state here of being “complete” either.
5G may come and be implemented/supported in new devices, it’s no drive for me in the near future, as usually it will start ridiculously expensive for customers and will take ages to reach a half way usable coverage.
uhhh… what about the fairphone 2 being the modular smartphone, the last you ever need with all those sweet sweet upgrade modules? i have been using my fairphone2 for more than 4 years now, and i had a 6 month period in that time where i genuinely liked it, the other times it was full of bugs and i thought it would just be beta, and only get better soon, if you make replacement batteries unavaliable like with the fp1 i will propably take a looong time to forgive you and warn more people of switching to the fairphone.
If you have to give up on this phone, then please release all the schematics so the community can maintain it, and don’t screw up the fairphone 3 as bad as the fairphone 2
Nobody ever said that.
Nobody is saying that.
For Europe, you are probably right - 2G is still fully functional here (old Nokias have no problems at all connecting to mobile networks in EU countries) and 3G is still widely supported as well. In US/AU the turnover is faster, with many networks having dropped 2G completely, probably because more people get their phones from their operator there instead of buying a phone themselves. I don’t really expect any problems with the FP2 in Europe when 5G is introduced. 3G also works well enough for me, and I already get that quite often when 4G is out of reach.
For the record: that’s impossible. The FP2 came out December 2015, so it can be 3.5 years at maximum
I thought the same. We need a new badge for having the FP2 for four years
At least from my experience in Vienna, there’s basically only Edge, H+ and LTE. The only times I see 3G in my signal bar is for a really short time between the other signal states. I haven’t tried with a 3G-only phone/mode so it might still be usable there.
For the sake of @AlbertJP’s argument, H+ is 3G .
Just curious: how many of those 5 years did the phone receive updates and how long were spare parts sold?
Not knowing all details it seems to me that you were kind of lucky that no problems occurred. That kind of luck can happen with any phone
It actually did with my FP1 which is now well over 5 years old. Spare parts were discontinued somewhere in 2017, the last software update was even before that. And if I remember correctly they stopped selling the FP1 early 2015. Which means my FP1 is still doing fine around 4 years after it has last been sold.
So from my perspective the end-of-sales isn’t neccessarily a disappointment. Even less so as this time around the software support has improved significantly and the company was able to secure spare parts for several years.
On another note I find the FP3 is almost overdue. I think the FP2 is not really competitive if compared to new phones at half the price. I wouldn’t blame anyone being suspicous that the FP2 wouldn’t receive any more updates because the whole industry essentially doesn’t provide more than 2 major version upgrades. The Android One program represents the longest update guarantee you can get and that just means major upgrades for 2 years, security updates for 3. From the time the phone was initially sold, not when the customer buys it.
On social media I usually see the complaint that the FP2 is just at Android 7 while 9 is current. People don’t trust 4 year old hardware with a 2 year old operating system to last them for a handful of years. That’s why I think the FP3 is important now. And I’m pretty much in favor of calling it FP3, even if it was module-compatible with the FP2 (and would be some kind of FP 2.1 if you will). With a 2 in the name I would fear confusion and people might mistake it for a 2015 model when in fact it is a 2019.
Sorry Fabrice if I posted all this as a reply to your post when half of what I wrote is related to this thread in general and not to what you have said.
P.S.: what I slightly agree with is the disappointment some people expressed because of Fairphone not being specific on what happens next. “Future products” is pretty vague. Of course I could be wrong, but I’m quite sure we will see an FP3 in 2019. But what the specs will be at the moment all seems speculation at best. And I don’t fear the support for the FP2 will be dropped once the FP3 comes out.
Still, not a good time for anyone who considered buying a Fairphone recently. Not knowing how long one would have to wait and what exactly will be released is frustrating I guess.