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What happened with our transparent cases?

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#23

Memolife still offers the FP2 with transparent cover, adding another (assorted) color cover for free.


For everyone looking for a new FP2 this might be an option to ge a transparent cover; you just can not chose the color of the plain cover.


#24

Bring (usefull) transparent cases back! Please!:worried:


#25

Can we get some updates concerning the translucent cases? Or whether there will be a solid black one?


#26

While I have no insider insight into this at all, I would really not expect a return of transparent cases anytime soon. Fairphone burned their fingers with those twice. And frankly I do not think that the failure was down to some production mistake here or some mistake there … I think it is no co-incidence that you never (or almost never) see transparent bumper cases on smartphones in general. Most likely there is an inherent problem with achieving both, a transparent colour and a durable and sturdy smartphone case. People sometimes bring up silicone as an option, but I think its elastic quality would not be sturdy enough to keep the FP2 battery in place (plus I find it difficult to imagine it would allow to “click in” the rim – not sure if silicone allows for such tiny details).

Regarding black, it emerged two years ago that a black case was prototyped, but “didn’t look quite good”. No more explanation. My speculation is that a black case would basically equip the FP2 with 3-4 different shades of black on the outside: Case back, case rim, buttons and shiny black areas at the top and the bottom of the display. I think that rarely works: The same colour with several different kinds of surfaces – looks neither fish nor flesh. It’s neither contrast nor harmony.

As I said: I have mainly speculated here.


#27

I am no expert either but have been trying to use injection molded optical parts in the past. These of course exist, just look a the lens of your mobile phone’s camera, but when it comes to bigger size, at least in my projects, there was always the need for filler materials. These can be glass fibers, e.g. for strength improvements but also other chemicals like softeners are possible. They are needed to make the material more resistant to mechanical damage (e.g. a drop) by either improving the strength or making the material softer. They all have the side effect, that they blur the view. This means you cannot look through, as in the last translucent device. Also the distribution of the adder is given by the mold process and not homogenious so that the part’s color just looks ugly. Therefore I do not think that there will be a translucent back in the near future.

Having said this, I am a happy owner of such an old translucent case. My feeling is it is not very resistant against cracks and creeps when stress is applied, therefore I will not remove it more often than absolutely necessary in order to have it intact as long as possible. It just looks too good.


#28

I think it’s no coincidence that you never see a modular smartphone…wait… :wink:
The general approach to smartphones in the last years (aluminum unibody, glass sandwich) just has no use for plastic covers. The cheaper phones that use plastic covers probably dont wanna show the cramped insides to a target group that is “mainstream”. All this makes the translucent case of the fairphone such a clever design decision: showing the inside 'cause there’s an innovation and being proud of the modular system that translate the values of the company into form. So I’m pretty sure that it’s possible to make a sturdy translucent case. It sure isn’t a top priority of fairphone and I would totally understand if they just abandon that issue altogether because it takes too many ressources. Still, from a design perspective it’s a very strong concept imho.

About different shades of black: while I agree that it could look awkward in this case (no pun intended), it’s not unusual to use different shades/materials/finishes in fashion, architecture or design. Mixing the turqoius cover with the cyan buttons probably is worse than different shades of black.

Probably wrong in all ways but what about https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellulose_acetate


#29

Giving it a second thought, what I described above holds for injection molded parts.
There is also the process of deep drawing / thermoforming where a plastic sheet is thermally pressed in form. This can be done with a translucent (maybe also transparent) sheet with additives. It should not look as ugly as with molding.
A quick Duckduckgo on that subject let me to the side of this dutch company: https://www.schuerman.nl/en/plastic-processes/plastic-deep-drawing (I have no connection to them, never met or talked to them, they are just an example). They state they can do this with PMMA and PETG. PMMA (also known as Plexiglas) is very soft, you can scratch it with your finger nails, and I do not think it is suited. I have not experience with PETG, but the description sounds good.
So maybe there is a chance to get a thermoformed translucent back cover some day?
It would require a full re-design of the cover and thus a lot of work.