It is still a really good device but I get no security-updates since more than one year. The battery is running low and there is no way to switch the battery. I tried to replace the batteries from my older Sony Z3 and Motorola E2, without look.
Motorola also broke its promise to update the Z3 Play to Android 10.
Luckily, I was able to install Lineage OS 8.1 on the Z3 Play, so my son can use the old phone. This was my second try. The version of the Z3 Play officially is not supported by Lineage OS. My first try was a failure.
I came from a Pixel 3a. FP4 is as fast and heavier. But i like the weight. FP4 bluetooth music streaming stutters on my carkit, but after a minute of so it streams continiously. Pixel3a used to do this too a few years ago, but Google has fixed this.
And… the well known fact:
The FP4 camera is disappointing. I’m not a photography enthousiast, but even for me - the point and click guy - it’s obviously lacking in image quality.
However, you should not expect too much from a Gcam port.
It will be able to tease out a bit more quality in one situation or another. But no Gcam can work miracles.
Ideally, even if it is the most time-consuming, you have both apps (original camera and Gcam port) installed and use them depending on the situation (which cam is better in which situation must of course be tested in a lengthy process ) the one or the other.
Nothing is easy, is it?
Is it possible to install the stock camera app later on a custom rom? If not, i can at least use open camera as an alternative to the gcam port.
Maybe over time you can share your experiences with us, when which app works best with which settings?
It taught me this: I’ll never go for anything but naked Android again. That UI skin they use is the most atrocious anti-design I’ve seen in years, with absolutely bonkers menu arrangements, hidden functionality everywhere, inconsistent design at all corners and a bizarre set of limitations.
Previously a FP3 (not plus), and prior to that a Samsung Note 9 (work issued).
Changed jobs in Early 2020, so joined the fairphone eco-system, having “lurked” since the announcement of the FP2.
Have tinkered with eOS and Lineage OS on the FP3, though returned it to stock image, before passing on to an elderly family member, once my FP4 arrived on Christmas Eve.
Switched over from Nokia 3310 (not the ugly chinese remake of it, but the good old 3310!).
What I miss on FP4 compared to Nokia 3310:
ability to type blindly
ability to type with a single hand (even with the narrowed keyboard on FP4, this is pretty tricky; better filtering out palm touches to the sides of display would help)
the possibility to tuck the phone in any pocket (~ 70% of my pockets are too small for FP4)
the wow effect when using the phone in front of IT people
the possibility to buy a “new”/spare parts phone for 10€
“True always on display”
the easy to navigate menu
ringtone profiles (combination of DND mode and vibrations only serves a similar purpose, but I liked the fully configurable profiles more)
ability to control the phone in gloves/with wet hands
it’s almost impossible to type without diacritics on FP4 (yes, SMS messages can strip diacritics off, but that’s only SMS messages and nothing else… I’m used to write Czech without diacritics even on PC, so it seems weird to me to be forced to start using it by the phone’s suggesstions)
the “finiteness” of the phone OS - there’s only a limited number of items in the menus, and in 10 minutes, you can say you’ve seen all configuration options of the 3310… in FP4/Android, the settings are still finite, but much harder to go through all of them and be able to say “I’ve checked them all”
What I gained with FP4:
unlimited address book and SMS storage (the 25 or 15 message limit was really hard, while the 250 contacts was more or less enough)
the ability to use maps/read emails on the go comes handy sometimes (although good discipline - planning the route in advance and memorizing it/printing the map used to work, too - and maybe it was better fun to ask people around for navigation instructions )
an easier way to listen to audiobooks (I used a 10+ years old pocket MP3 player before, which still surprisingly worked, but was kind of sluggish and the only way to get new books there was a slow USB)
I can now charge my phone with any of my colleagues’/friends’ chargers, even with the notebook ones
I can use loudspeaker when calling (I was missing that a lot with 3310)
I can now control Spot robot with my phone!
no more unsuccessful covid certificate reads (I was carrying a printed version before, and had lots of problems with it; often it was also because I only cut off the QR code and threw away the rest of the paper; a lot of places were wondering where’s the rest of my certificate and it needed a lot of explaining that what they see actually is the whole certificate and that they should not trust anything printed on the paper with letters)
Stellarium/PlantNet available right when I need them
I now have a camera always with me (which I also used to have before when expecting something interesting to happen, but it was a separate mirrorless cam; now I have greater choice granularity - just phone for not special occasions, or phone+mirrorless for more valuable events)
I can now use rent-a-bikes and similar
I could archive my virtualbox with Android for all these little nonsense apps that were for some really weird reason mobile apps only and not webpages (eshop pickups, settleup etc.)
What remained (almost) the same and I like it:
the ability to check public transport timetables (Czech republic still has SMS info services working that can tell you the departure/arrival times; but the app is of course more comfortable)
the ability to charge the phone from a power bank (had a 3310 charger converter from USB)
reapairability (although FP4 spares are much more expensive and less easy to get)
long life of the phone (hopefully)
battery life (~3 days of normal use)
great display (each in its own ways)
long security support (has anyone found a security bug in 3310? unfortunately, I don’t think FP4 will beat the 21+ years security support of 3310 )
the possibility to hide stuff/paper notes behind the back cover of the phone =)
Why I chose to switch to FP4? A lot of friends/colleagues kept asking me why I won’t upgrade to a better phone from the 3310. My answer was always “I want to, but there’s no better phone yet!”.
I refused to use a half-working OS (I got my hands on a lot of Android versions and mutations, and until Android 10 or 11 it always seemed to me like “wasn’t this supposed to be a smart phone?”). Plus I refused to use a phone where the flashlight app needs access to your phonebook (this got mostly solved with the newer Androids).
I desperately wanted to have a phone with swappable batteries (yes, powerbanks solve 90% of these issues, but when you’re on a trip in mountains, you want to just swap the batteries and go on).
I wanted a phone with a similar repairability level as the 3310 (hmm, charger port died - okay, I’ll just reach to my drawer, take a working charger port from another 3310 and tadaa, phone is working again; my current 3310 was a kind of Frankenstein stichted together from 2-3 other phones dedicated for spare parts and collected from my friends).
I wanted a phone that would not bother me with these artifical limitations like “hey, your 32 gigs of memory are full, buy a new edition of our phone”.
I really hated the idea of buying a phone and throwing it away after 2-3 years because security updates stop coming.
I did not like the idea to spend €100 for each display repair because the makers make it more and more difficult to disassemble the phones.
I did not want the buy a cheapish sluggish phone that would drive me crazy with its inability to perform the tasks I want it to do (like scroll a map, summon the phone book etc.). I saw a lot of these with my friends and they drove me crazy just as I saw them using these sh*t phones.
On the other hand, I did not want to buy a phone with a price of a decent notebook.
I did not want an iphone due to my strong disgust with their approach to software and closed ecosystem.
I did not want a Xiaomi/Huawei/Oneplus as I don’t trust these chinese companies. I’d rather choose a company from a more democratic and “western-thinking” country. I saw several Huawei devices (not only phones) and all of them seemed to me “too cheap to be that good”… and that’s weird and you keep asking who had to suffer to cut the price that low… Plus EU is now officialy saying Huawei devices are “suspect” or not trustworthy.
It started becoming more and more difficult to get fresh 3310 batteries. What you usually got when purchased as new was a 10-year-old piece lying in a corner of a warehouse. Such batteries did not really have the capacity I expected from them. The last pretty good one I found was around 2016 (that one had 6 months warranty for capacity).
So I was regularly checking what phones are being released, and I was really concerned that the mainstream is diverging from my ideas about what a phone should look like. I knew about FP2 and FP3, but with these, you got the impression that their specs were already obsolete at the time they entered the market. Finally, I read about FP4 and it finally seemed to satisfy most of my needs/wishes and the specs look good for a phone that should last 5+ years. The price is higher, but amortized over the expected lifetime, it’s not that bad.
In the end, I’m still a bit shocked by the clumsiness and size of FP4, but otherwise I’m pretty much satisfied with the change, and I haven’t yet discovered too much pain points in the phone or OS.
PS: if anyone knows a good 3310-style keyboard for FP4, I’d really like to try it. I’m still not really satisfied with the speed/accuracy of typing on the qwerty keyboard. I use typing corrections but they come up with diacritics which I usually don’t want. Spacebar navigation makes corrections a bit faster, but still. Swiping keyboards are probably not for me. I found the “Old keyboard” app, but it’s not really well integrated, and what’s worst, the haptic feedback has >300 ms delay, which makes it unusable.
I have ordered an FP4 (not received yet) because the FP2, that I bought in 2018 is degrading while there is a lack of replacement parts. It annoys me that the lifespan of my FP2 was so short and therefore I considered replacing it by a cheap phone of another make. It was the promised five-year guarantee that convinced me to nevertheless order an FP4.
The microphone in the bottom module does not work anymore and I have problems with the extra SD-card. The card that used to be inside has become broken and I seem not to be able to replace it. Also the camera has often problems to focus correctly.
Hi Amoun, thanks for your help. Initially I tried to find a new bottom-module but was not successful. Then I was afraid that, even if I was able to find a second-hands module, chances are that that will fail on short term, because I read that many people had broken bottom modules. Because of that, and because I had other troubles with my FP2, I decided to order an FP4. After I placed the order, I learned that my daughter is acquainted with #fairphoneangel Robin f. FP2 microphone repair (work in progress) who has a repaired bottom module for me.
Samsung galaxy A3 2016, reinstalled on /e/.
After now 6 years old with me, the phone will be death soon.
1 year ago now, i repair himself the battery (yes, on this phone, it’s not a simple change…) because she was distorted !
Problem, glue was present to “block” battery on the phone ( grrrrblmm ) and my screwdriver touch connector screen. since one year ago, my phone blink on middle of my screen, or unblock can’t work for few minutes : screen work, i can answer to call, mute notification, with screen off , i’m totally crazy to use it for one year
With my patience, i have waiting to buy FP3/3+ and FP4 is get out
and before this phone, I was using Firefox OS on zte open C
At this time, since many years, it’s my alarm for every day and battery it’s always running for 10 days (ok, just use alarm )