Technologies for Fairphone 5

Either you use the summarize function at the top below the first post, or you read through it and make some notes about the points and write a summary, I doubt anyone would be able to write such without reading all the posts.


The summary is basically that people have certain expectations of FP and the FP5 and express some emotions :nerd_face: Probably FP themselves aren’t even talking about the FP5 development yet since the FP4 was released pretty recently.

I imagine they are :slight_smile:


Which technology part could be removed from the Fairphone 4 when the Fairphone 5 is created?

Apparently you missed my self-correction (which is not a problem!): NO, I neither need nor want a dongle which powers the headphones. That was an error on my part, the only thing that needs power is the microphone, but most headset microphones are piezoelectric and so, in effect, generate their own power. As such, my point stands: I believe I would be Ok with a dongle, provided I can securely attach it to the headphones (e.g., with tape), as the headphones and dongle are dedicated to the FairPhone. Taping the dongle to the headphone’s cable / connector should significantly reduce the likelihood of loosing the (just) the dongle. (My experiences with Bluetooth — excepting the Covid trace-and-trace app — have been a uniform disaster, and there were(? still are?) security concerns.)

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Powering the phone is the ‘problem’ not the headphones, as the audio dongle blocks the only USB-C port.

I don’t think, that you need to glue or tape the dongle to the headphones, as the audio jack has enough resistance, so the cable won’t fall out.

Very probably true, but since the headphones are DEDICATED to the FairPhone (in my case), it’s simply an additional precaution against loosing / misplacing the dongle (one of the objections someone else initially raised). It doesn’t protect against loosing / misplacing the combination, but my record with headphones is, so far, perfect — I’ve not yet ever ever lost / (long-term-)misplaced any. Cannot say the same with smaller parts (dongle-sized), or even my FP3.

Of course, if your headphones are used with other units, a robustly-attached dongle may not be a good-idea.

As an aside, I would never glue the dongle to the headphones as that would probably make separating them for whatever reason (testing individually, replacement, etc.) difficult; also, using tape means I should be able to tape the dongle to the cable (not the jack), bending the cable in J-shaped turn to use the dongle (for the headphones I use, the cable is adequately robust to withstand that).

no i meant they can charge the phone. For instance if you were to use the phone as your home entertainment system of if you were to go on a 15 hour car ride you’d have to charge the phone at some point but the dongle takes up the charge port…
But again: Very specific rare issue imho.

I concur, that would seem to be quite rare, and is not an issue per se which (currently) concerns me. And speculating, you could use a USB hub: Plug the hub into the FairPhone, your power source into one of the hub’s connectors, and the dongle / headphones into another of the hub’s connectors.

I myself could actually try that experiment (in a modified form): I have a suitable hub, I have USB headphones (rather than a dongle), and I have an external powerpack. The almost-reverse-situation, where the hub is plugged into my (Linux) laptop, and connected-to both those USB headphones and the FairPhone, does work: The headphones work, the FP3 recharges, and I can “talk” to the FP3 over the USB link (e.g., file transfers). If this speculated approach works, people with the presumed-rare problem don’t need such a recharging-capable dongle, albeit the overall size of the kit would be somewhat larger (presumably). However, in my own almost-reverse situation, it’s the laptop (which is plugged into the hub), not a power-source connected to the hub, which is powering the FairPhone, so the known-working situation is not exactly equivalent.

Hmm! the ‘or’ is the issue, why would you think the phone requires charging after 15 hours, sometimes I don’t charge it for 4 or 5 days, very rarely less than 24 hours.

Anyway this topic is about Technologies for an FP5. The ability to charge with or without a dongle, let alone the use and timing is not really relevant, but maybe relevant to the FP4 current use and setup. The FP5 is likely to|may have wireless charging and so would not be an issue.???

I think that rather than ask for expensive engineering miracles from a moderately funded company still looking for financial success, why not be more pragmatic with the fifth design, in line with what customers are already used to paying for, but playing to the advantage that only Fairphone can offer: modularity.

I have read on these forums that there are some looking for both a smaller and larger sized phones outside of the current dimensions. What is technically stopping the Fairphone team from releasing different sized enclosures that can cater for these customers needs, with a single logic board design ?

I wonder just how much of an engineering challenge it would be to maintain the same internals for different display output sizes ?

Naturally, the placement of specifically positioned internals would require several sized components to reach adequately, but if possible, surely there would be profit in it ?

This also dovetails into the issue of the microphones being soldered directly onto the logic board. Surely these could be modular themselves, as I would like to physically remove the offending element(s) for security reasons. You have an ex-NSA (Snowden) whistleblower telling you to do this, what more proof do you need ?

Some opine for a “kill-switch”, which is fair enough, but being modular the answer is obvious to me.

I still would like to see Fairphone develop its enclosures, the fairphonephone could be so much more:

  • Uninterrupted rear enclosure : which brand on the market sells a security conscious smartphone with no rear cameras ? None, yet there are companies looking for such security, and the cost cuts that come with it. It would also better ensure the IPxx rating of the smartphone.

  • Rugged option : let us no mess around, it’s going to be thicker and have to be fastened with Torx screws, but there is a wide market from weekend campers to those on constructions sites.

  • Tool-free easy access : springs and latches work well enough keep a Glock 19 pistol together, you could even use neodymium magnets which slide apart far easier than being pulled apart.

  • List item

Wireless charging : allow those whom need it to be energy inefficient, with further sales from a magnetically aligned charging puck, and possibly even a second offering that allows for reverse-charing !

As Results45 suggested, forming a hardware standards consortium would go a long way to scaling your challenge(s) across different platforms by sharing resources and suppliers.

That’s the last of my sensible suggestions, how about some more tech heavy requests then:

*The Fairphone team seem to have settled upon the tri-camera design, up from two on the third generation phone. But those cameras could surely be switched out for further customisation, just like on Raspberry Pi with a camera designed specifically for the dark, maybe a camera with no IR filter, one in the heat spectrum…

With so much space taken up by three cameras, by removing two, a periscope option could be installed serious for optical zoom… you’re a modular company after all !


I think you confuse security with privacy. Furthermore, speakers can act as (poor) microphones too. If you want ultimate privacy; don’t use a smartphone. Fairphone builds their devices with sustainability in mind. Wireless charging is beyond stupid. Try to do your part to limit climate change.

You also suggest niche things, like making it possible to remove the rear cameras without leaving a hole. At the same time you want wireless charging to satisfy more people. It’s quite impossible to satisfy such a wide range of people, both niche enthousiasts and the mainstream. Their goal is fairness and sustainability. They do this well. I suppose they found their market already.

Standardization throughout the industry is indeed great! But as you are aware, Fairphone is relatively small and is only now making a profit. It may happen when their resources allow it. The same goes for releasing different FP sizes. FP is big because it’s modular and people have high expectations. Making it smaller is hard. They dropped things like a notification LED to manage the available space and not make the phone bigger.

But who am I of course. Best is to ask these things to Fairphone. We are just users, like you.


11 posts were split to a new topic: Modularity, ethics and Fairphone 5

I see my post has been removed.

It’s that kind of place is it.

No, your post is not removed. Your post is relocated to the thread Modularity, ethics and Fairphone 5. As explained in my previous post.


Yes, I noticed after I posted.

Fair enough.


I’m still wondering which components of the fairphone 4 could be removed in the Fifth version of the Fairphone.

In a household or company with a lot of different phones, the advantages of wireless charging may actually outgrow the backsides, like so:

  • you only need one type of charger, regardless of usb or lightning plug type. So in most places, only one charger needs to be available/running, instead of at least three. The others don’t need to be bought and even manufactured. Actually at our place, we still use some QI charging points bought when usb-c phones were not even a thing. And still they all charge happily on those old buggers.
  • in the car, one single charging phone holder can be installed and used by all drivers, regardless of their phone type. Previous to that they were continuously changed which not only broke quite a number of holders but also ruined the dashboards.
  • on a desk the QI charger keeps the phone charged while it always can be taken single-handedly for use without plugging/unplugging.
  • providing charging points for visitors is pretty much a no-brainer.
  • we didn’t have one single broken charging port at our home or company of 25ppl - in YEARS.

Regardless whether you want to charge wireless or wired, you only need one charger. Only the cable is different. And a cable is necessary to connect the QI base to the charger too.

I never broke a USB connector on any of my devices too. Even without wireless charging.

As already said in this thread several times, QI is handy and convenient, but not good for the battery and the environment.


Everything you mentioned can be solved with magnetic cables/adapters. I use them for all my gadgets (phone, wireless earphones, e-book reader, power bank, bluetooth keyboard, dash cam, etc.) and I just need to bring one charger and one cable with me.

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