This is my next (dream) Fairphone

I preodered the first Fairphone in 2013 and after two years with a Sony, I am back with a used Fairphone 2. I upgraded the camera and really like the FP2 which is a lot better the first Fairphone, I think.

However, the FP2 was released in early 2015 and some components where not the latest and fastest at that time already. I am pretty sure Fairphone is already hard at work and chances are the next Fairphone will look nothing like I imagine. But anyways, here is what I think would be a great next Fairphone.

The next Fairphone should be a kind of Fairphone 2S, following Apples concept of updating a model once before introducing a completly new model. This kind of happened already with the new camera module which really improved the picture quality. Since then, the greatest weakness of the FP2 is no longer the camera, but the SoC. The Fairphone 2 SoC is decent and still well equipped for a smartphone today. But people buying in 2018 should be able to use their smartphone for 5 years and more as well. And I that regard, the Snapdragon 801 just doesnt cut it anymore. Apart from performance, the biggest weaknesses of the Snapdragon 801 is no support for Android 7.0 (officially, because of missing support for a new, fast, graphics api), being 32bit only and missing some hardware accelerated encryption and image processing capabilities. Whe n upgrading the SoC, it makes sense to touch a few other parts to. With that, my FP2S/U would get the following upgraded parts:

  1. A new SoC, I would love the Snapdragon 835, but a recent 6XX series would work too. Important is support for Vulkan, for RAW image processing, 64bit and with all that, for newer version of android.
  2. More RAM/memory: Apps and Android get bigger everyday and more RAM makes multitasking snappy and makes sure you can browse with several tabs, for example. Anyone who used a device with 4GB ram and more, knows how fast everything feels. 4GB DDR4 ram seem the perfect balance of speed, power and price for me. More is gimmicky at the moment.
  3. Fast UFS2.1 storage. To really feel the speed of the new processor, the internal storage should be UFS2.1 compatible for fast app installs, data transfer and fast boot times. 32GB is a must, 64GB is better.
  4. The last hardware improvement: Dual Nano Sim support with 4G on both sim cards and an embedded SIM (eSIM) which can be used instead of the second sim slot.! Edit: @Stefan reminded me of eSIM.
  5. Last but not least: The next Fairphone should launch with the latest Android Version, probably Android 8.0.1 Oreo. Really important is support for project Treble, Googles new Android Hardware Abstraction to allow for timely and easier software updates. If possible give an update gurantee and beat Google: 2 to 3 years of Android System Updates, but equally important: 5 years of security updates after launch or until 2 years of stopping sales, whichever occurs first. (Note these are minimum time frames!)

I read that the new E-SIMs will have support for up to 10 different providers or and/or contracts. That would save some space on the SoC.

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Yeah, sounds interesting. But I believe it could be a bit to early until all providers really support eSIM. Until then, I think using the most common sim format today, a nano sim, is a good compromise of space and usability. It makes trying out and changing to a Fairphone easier. Maybe eSIM and dual nano sim? Of course with the limitation to use either the second sim slot or the eSim.


i would love some more system stability on a new fairphone, like that i could use the touchscreen while charging or that the mainboard lives a bit longer than my last 2 fairphone 2 mainboards, also there could be an upgrade with an external back battery, the connections are allready there, just a backcoverupgrade would do the job, so i’d vote for an Fairphone 2U


Dear Ben,
All of that sounds very interesting and you sure know your smartphone technology. I would now like to add to your technical wishes a few practical ones.
In addition to technical advancements, I would like to see downward compatibility as long as possible. If the design and size of the individual modules remain the same, longer working span should be achieved.
I had the idea, that released working modules - like at present many “old” camera modules - are put together into full devices over time. This would make fair electronics affordable even for people who simply cannot afford expensive devices. The design of the FP2 I personally deem perfect and timeless. This can be maintained for decades. (on the back covers one can certainly still work :slight_smile:

Furthermore, on my personal wish list the availability of all modules is very high. Thanks to the modular structure of the FP2 and the implemented user-friendly hardware diagnostics, Faiphone could easily surpass all competitors in this discipline. To do this, only a few copies of all the modules would have to be available in each larger city, either in a repair shop or in an “Angel center”. If a user now detects a defect of a module, he sends the appropriate hardware check to the support and can, after appropriate (immediate :slight_smile: feedback, decide whether he wants the replacement module to be sent, or to go to the next shop/center , and to get the replacement module there immediately.

The fact that you could optimize the hardware check software, take the user by the hand, record all the tests, and offer to send the necessary data directly to the support would be a major achievement in this context and another absolute unique feature for Fairphone.


interesting discussion.
My dream is to have all the values (fairness, environment respect, modularity, etc.) that the fairphone project is carrying on since the beginning together with the values (software functionality and security) of purism OS and its librem-5 project.
The main important aspect is the possibility to replace Android with a real GNU/linux operating system capable of creating real convergence with desktop world in term of functionalities and applications.


First, many thanks for this already amazing phone.

I would be happy about a depth sensor in the future. Like needed for googles project tango.

Hello everybody,

For my first suggestion concerns flash memory. This idea makes it possible to increase the reliability of the phone, to reduce the price, to develop alternativ OS safetly and to make a phone more modular phone.

I propose that the main memory (for the OS) is materialized by a standard microSD card like on the Raspberry-pi.

So the phone will have 2 microSD memory slots:

  • one for the OS (’/’)
  • another for storage and custom software (’/opt’ and /home ')

The consequences are as follows:

  • Reduced price because not need permanent flash memories on the mother card. All body know that everyone has micorSD card unused at home so it allows for recycling;

  • Increased reliability for geeks who are trying to compile their own OS with Buildroot. Just buy a microSD dedicated to the test. If a bug occurs during the test with Buildroot, simply format the microSD with a PC. So the phone is not brickable. This programming technique is used for the Raspberry-pi and it is much more practical than the JTAG.

  • The phone is more modular because it allows to adapt the size (and price) of the card to the OS you want to use.

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I moved your post here to avoid duplicate topics.

I’d rather believe having no internal storage will increase the chances of something going wrong. SD card slots can break or become unreliable while it’s hard to loose connection to internal memory.

I think the biggest pro for this would be if it gave the ability to switch OSes by simply switching the SD card, but I’m not sure this would work. Would /systen /boot /recovery and all that be stored on the SD card and only the firmware on the internal hardware?

I personally believe that for a phone to be future-proof, it will have to adopt newer technology. With UFS 3.0 offering up to three times the bandwidth of eMMC/μSD (2,4GiB/s vs. 832MiB/s), there’s a market incentive for pushing towards this newer standard. If not for the raw bandwidth and access times, then for power consumption reasons. I realise this is at odds with the idea that we can re-use existing materials because everyone has some μSD cards lying around, but if I may be so free to make up some arbitrary numbers I think I’d rather have everyone buy a UFS card than replace their phone a year earlier.

I believe this is only now possible (with Qualcomm SOCs) with the new Snapdragon 845.

Android 8.1 is already out ;)[quote=“ben, post:1, topic:33932”]
4GB DDR4 ram seem the perfect balance of speed, power and price for me. More is gimmicky at the moment.

6GB wouldn’t be bad to be future-proof (depending on the price) but 8GB is overkill.

What’s so bad about 32-bit? I don’t see any limitation that is because of a 32-bit processor.

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You need a 64-bit system to use more than 4 GB of RAM.


What about PAE (Physical Address Extension)?

PAE doesn’t really matter for me, since 64bit/ARM64 is about future proofing (is that a word :smiley:?), since most newer chipsets are ARM64 already and I am not sure for how long 32bit processors will be supported by Android.

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FP2 doesn’t have more than 4GB of RAM. So being 32-bit is definitely not a downside (weakness) of the SD801.

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We are talking about our requests/ideas/wishes for future Fairphones, not necessarily weakness of the current model.


I’ve answered to the supposed “weaknesses” of the current model.

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