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Still worth buying the FP3?

With the Fairphone 4 now out, is it worth still buying the Fairphone 3? I absolutely love the design of the 3 (and it’s a bonus that you can buy it pre-loaded with a DeGoogled ROM), but if its parts are going to be obsolete in a few years, would it be worth just getting the 4?

I guess I’m just a bit anxious that a few years down the line, I won’t be able to replace the parts that may have failed, which makes the whole endevour of buying a Fairphone a bit pointless.

Hi Welcome to the forum

I would by the FP4 unless you really want a headphone jack or a notification LED on the front.

5 years warranty only 2 on the FP3 ??

That is true, and you can actually install that custom ROM yourself on the FP3+ as well. It’s not rocket science.

But I think it’s just a question of time when the FP4 can be bought from Murena (formerly /e/), too.

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If everything else is fine for you and you like the design of the FP3 better, than buy it. Most spare parts for the FP2 are still available in the shop. And with a little patience you can even find a working bottom modul in the market place. I don’t think there will be a problem to get spare parts for the FP3 too soon.

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That’s true - I’m not going to replace my (barely working) iPhone just yet. If Murena work their way into the FP4 by that time I’ll consider getting that instead.

That’s reassuring to know, thank you for the info!

I’m not even too bothered about warranty, I’ve never had to use it on anything I’ve ever owned and hopefully never have to. Plus 2 years is plenty. I just really like how the FP3 looks more so than anything else. Having it sold by Murena for the custom ROM and still having a headphone jack are just bonuses.

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There’s three reasons why I’d say the FP3+ could be a better choice: its slightly smaller form-factor, its up-front expense and its 3,5mm jack without a separate USB-C converter. In all other cases, I think FP4 works out as a better deal.
If you look at the cost-per-year of both phones under reasonable assumptions, I’d say they’re pretty similar. These assumptions are that the FP3+ has 4 years of support, spare parts and software updates left, while the FP4 will still have 5 years of that in the pipeline. That means that the cost-per-year of the FP3+ today works out to €439/4=€110/year, and the FP4 is €579/5=€116/year. In other words, their price-per-year is pretty similar. For the FP4 you get overall better specs (more RAM and storage, better camera, bigger battery). and with its 5G support I’d say it’s more future-proof too. Unless the FP4 is significantly more wasteful to produce or is built to a lower quality than the FP3+ requiring more repairs over its lifetime (which I doubt, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating), a longer life also means less waste.

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IMHO, SoC-wise the FP3(+) was already outdated when it came to market. Also, it does not support 5G. I would go for the FP4 if I were in your shoes.

Best wishes,
Thomas

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Sure, the capacity of the FP4 battery is higher compared to the FP3. But if it consumes more power the net result of how long you can go between charging might still be in favor of the FP3.
I can pretty well remember first feedback about the FP3 when people said they would never buy a phone with such a small battery. Still there are lots of reports about people who manage 3 days between two charges.

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You’re technically correct of course (which is the best kind of correct!). The FP4 battery is 28,4% bigger. The screen has 8,3% more pixels. Since it’s density is lower, they may have added slightly more backlight than 8,3% more to illuminate the entire surface. Meanwhile, the SoC is produced on an 8nm technology rather than 14nm for the FP3+’ SoC. For comparable cores, that means a significant power saving. Unfortunately the cores aren’t comparable though, there’s a lot of secret sauce over Qualcomm’s Kryo cores. I suspect their battery usage works out similar, and in any way with normal usage only takes a fraction out of the power budget.
Based on that, as long as the software is equally polished, my magic 8 ball predicts ~15% better battery life out of a single charge on the FP4. Would be good to see in-depth benchmarks though… why hasn’t Tweakers done this yet?

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@ReissDJO, would you think you’re a “power user” or a light user? Is your phone your primary internet device? I think whether the FP3 would suit your needs long enough or not probably depends a lot on this.
I for my part actually used my Fairphone 1 from the summer of the year 2014 to this spring (when I replaced it by an FP3). While my smartphone remains only my tertiary internet device (behind a 30 kg MacPro from early 2009 and a tablet I bought slightly used in 2016), its superior connectivity has made me use it considerably more than my outdated FP1. Still I usually just charge it every 4th to 5th day with power saving permanently activated (for comparison: I charged my – lesser-used – FP1 like every 8-9 days). But as I hinted at two sentences before, I remain far below average in my demands and usage of a smartphone.
Last but not least, I probably agree with you on the form factor. Apparently the FP4 has rounded edges, something which I always found esthetically bad design (although it probably serves a function) and I definitely prefer clear edges with rounded corners.

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I don’t use my phone for anything more intensive than watching videos or browsing the web. Apparently my current usage is ~4 hours a day so I’ll probably charge a lot more frequently than yourself. So I wouldn’t really put myself in the ‘power user’ category at all.

But totally agree, the form factor is actually what attracted me to even look at Fairphone as it reminded me of my old iPhone 4 that I adored.

I had a Iphone 4 before the FP2 and its hardly comparable. The FP2 (143x73x11) is already bigger than the Iphone 4 (115,2 × 58,6 × 9,3). The FP3 (158x71.8x9.89) is different (more height, less width) compared to FP2 and the FP4 (162x75.5x10.5) is the biggest Fairphone.

I loved the measurement of the Iphone 4 as well, but adopted fast to the FP2 and I’m sure would adopt as well to the Fairphone 4, although I assume for me it would be difficult to handle it single-handed due to the width.

I would suggest to check if there is a community close, so that you probably hold the phones in hand before you decide to order one

Yes of course. You con enjoy 3 more official software updates and some retro-features like LED, jack, no-notch and a kind of brick design which is really good in my opinion. Moreover, it is sold at a lower price than the new FP4. Last but not least community has developed many custom rom like LOS, Ubutu Touch (now with official installer) and many more.

:slight_smile:

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The bigger size of FP4 is something I don’t like. From tech specs I would for sure go for the FP4. But the main reason why I would not recommend FP3 is the low water resistivity.

I don’t think anyone has mentioned that the FP4 only has one physical SIM slot. It has eSIM capability for a second line but if you do need two SIMs, check your providers to see if one of them can provide you with data to set up an eSIM.

Comment : Omitting the headphone socket and status LED from the FP4 is mean.

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