My name is Ingo. I'm not exactly new, but as I joined the Fairphone Angels (for Hamburg) about three weeks ago I thought I could write a few words
The Fairphone 1 was my first smartphone ever. I had read about it in the computer magazin c't a couple of times and already knew about the fair mouse by NagerIT. When it came close to the end of the crowdfunding phase and it looked realistic that the target would be reached, I thought "Why not?" and joined the Movement
It seemed a little risky to spend 300€+ on a device where the company didn't actually have experience in producing a phone. What made it ok for me was the fact that they wanted to use an existing design. Otherwise I would have stayed away.
The most important aspects about Fairphone for me are the conflict minerals and working conditions. Fairphone didn't just want to avoid Congo altogether and for the working conditions they had a set of improvements they wanted to implement at the manufacturing site (if only for the time the FP1 was produced). Still, this seemed to be a lot better than any of the big smartphone players. That basically was what convinced me to join. Sustainability was of minor concern to me. The only requirement - which the FP1 met - was to be able to replace the battery myself (also something not too common for other smartphones), as I had to do this for my previous dumb phones a couple of times.
Now, a little more than 3.5 years later, the FP1 was a success if you ask me. Sure, support has ended. But mine still works. No damages. No important app that I cannot run. And in general it's already better than my expectations. From what I read about smartphones in general (typically in use 2 years max, often less) and Android in particular (even big players don't update all their models to new version of Android and often don't fix all security issues), I estimated I would maybe use it for around 2 years and wouldn't get any major kind of update. But it did with the "unified storage" update (some of my friends still suffer from "no space" problems as their models still have some clumsy storage layout).
Ok, other than that I'm a software developer (not mobile, though), have spent a couple of years attending local linux user groups, and am currently helping out people at a local monthly meeting where people from the neighbourhood can come to if they have issues with their laptop, tablet or smartphone.