Why a new FP5 now?

I see your point, but I do see potential benefits considering the average user’s habits: Realistically most old phones are not reused. So if the availability of new parts causes people to reuse their phones at least partially by upgrading instead of completely replacing them, that is already a win in my eyes.

Also what if the main module breaks? If the Phone is a bit older already, you might face the choice of either buying a new one or repairing it. The ability to upgrade gives you a third choice in that scenario that is equally sustainable and could even help if some older parts are out-of-stock.

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If you think of it like with discarded and handed on personal computer parts, then it makes sense again.
The parts I don’t need anymore in my FP might still be an upgrade for my mothers FP.

That doesn‘t change much, it only shifts the problem.

I think it’s great that the support lifespan of a Fairphone is 5 years, but the release cycle is more frequent. If the release cycle would follow the support lifespan, even with a 1-year offset, people who are not “in sync” with the release cycle have a problem.

E.g., my phone breaks beyond repair / gets stolen 4 years after the release of a new Fairphone. I have to buy a 4 year old model, only to replace it 1 year after. Most people would not buy a Fairphone in that situation, and it wouldn’t be sustainable anyways. With a 2-year release cycle, the worst case is buying a 2 year old phone with 3 years of support left, which is much more feasible.

And even if you are perfectly “in sync” with the release cycle, buying a new Fairphone every 5 years just when it comes out, your phone breaking or getting stolen after 3/4 years can still put you in above situation.

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This is not comprensible by me, it’s totally different from my mental attitude.
Replace a new phone 1 year after have bought it is nonsense. But I’m a strange case probably, my previous smartphone was a samsung s5 mini that have hardware problem on antenna, but I have used it 7 years, and honestly will use it today if in good condition.

But I can understood your point of view.

That’s the point about longer product cycles, from a safety point of view it is necessary, if it is not supported anymore.

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Ingo needs to read the tread again… several people gave an answer…me included … repeating the same thing doesn’t make for a good thread

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Hey there!

When Fairphone 5 was announced my mouse was already hovering over the “buy now” button to use it as a replacement for my smashed up P30. The specs were nothing to write home about but definitely “good enough” for my use-case (although I would love it to be smaller…). I love the possibility to replace parts by myself and up to 10 years of software updates sound great! Only judging by the specs it’s surely not a cheap phone but I would have been ready to pay the price to get a “fair” phone.

However, after investigating a little more, here in the discussions and on the official page, I was asking myself if Fairphone as a company would really be able (= have the resources) to provide hardware and software support for multiple generations of phones. There are some quite disturbing cases of flaws in the older phones that have never been fixed (at least it seems that way by reading the forum). The availability of spare parts (especially for FP3) is very problematic (the shop lists many essential parts as not available). What good is a modular phone if I can’t get the parts? Support also seems to be rather slow. I also find it strange how disconnected the company is from the community. Why isn’t there an open issue tracker or a more direct exchange with (possible) customers in this community forum? A lack of resources?

I’m not sure about software updates. How fast are they at rolling out security updates? I don’t care too much about feature updates but at least security should be high up in the list.

Some side developments, like a not really fitting protective case, are also rather unfortunate and wouldn’t be a problem with a “mainstream” phone as there are 50 other options.

Am I just being too pessimistic?

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Hi and welcome, I moved your post, there was some discussion, please read above

Hi, @AnotherMike!

I understand and share many of your concerns. I think sometimes it is te commitment to do things in a non-majority way, the “toll”, the “risk” you take to be “different”, “fair”.

However, keep in mind that people on the forum come in many cases because they have problems, and not to say how good they are without any problems. Therefore, there can be an overrepresentation of the first group, a kind of “bubble” can be created in which it seems that everything is worse than it really is.

I suggest you to take a look at these two surveys in which people vote on how happy they are with their FP3 or FP4:

Greetings and welcome to the forum! :slight_smile:

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Hi @Mixigodo

Thanks for the warm welcome! :slight_smile:

Yes, I get that. Most happy customers are silent so you just read about the complaints.
According to Fairphone they have about 70 employees. I myself am a software developer and I have worked in companies with about they same number of people. Only providing enough support for our software could be a challenge at times (after all, the engineers often make up the smallest part of the company). I imagine doing the same thing for the software AND the hardware can’t be easy. That’s the origin of my concerns. I guess a more open communication would help a lot in that regard. But I guess that’s the difference between being “fair” and being “open”.

Anyway, I get it why they had to release a FP5. You just can’t stay in the market selling a 2 or 4 year old phone - sadly I guess that’s a tradeoff you have to make.

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helo, I’m a new customer here, and also I spent considerable time reading the forum before committing myself to a purchase. and while I do agree that some of the issues discussed at the forum might be worrying, I do not agree that the company is detached from the community, in fact I have never experienced such a positive cooperation, and the quality of this amazing community was one of the reasons of me wanting to become a fairphoner :smiley:

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The software is not developed by Fairphone for most (all?) the models so you can guess how many people work on software at Fairphone.

Of course Android isn’t developed by Fairphone but someone still has to track down device specific problems and the basic parts of the different models have to be designed by a bunch of engineers. The hardware has to play nice with the software - even if it’s developed by someone else. They might very well be external experts but someone still has to pay them. :slight_smile:

Software development is outsourced is what @Alain_Guillet meant

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Thanks for the clarification.

I can understand your point of view. And, as I said before, I share many of your concerns.

My experience with Fairphone is as follows:

I have been a Fairphone 3 user since it was launched. At first the notification LED only worked to show charging status. After “protests” in the forum (and I guess in support), the Fairphone team implemented that the LED also shows notifications. That gave me a lot of confidence that they do listen to the community and try to adapt to their demands.

Recently, with the fingerprint reader issue from the FP3 update to Android 13, the same thing: the team decided to keep both an Android 11 and an Android 13 updates to mitigate the problem. It’s clearly not the perfect solution, but to me it shows interest and listening (not as much as we’d like, but more than other huge companies that are impossible to communicate with as a user).

On the other hand, I have had several problems with my FP3: I have had to open it 3 or 4 times due to contacts or cleaning problems (1, 2, 3…). After doing so (and “struggling” and learning a lot) I have managed to continue with a fully functional mobile phone with very up to date software almost 4 years later.

However, all said and done, it is not a phone I would buy for my mother (I have thought about it when she needed to change her phone; I preferred to choose a Nokia for her) and I would not recommend it “in general” to anyone. I like it because I share values with the brand and because I am a bit of a “techie”, I like to tinker and learn with my devices. However, in a few years I have had several problems that for an “ordinary” person could be frustrating and perhaps insurmountable.

That said: I think this project, Fairphone, is worth supporting, and I also think (as a regular user of the forum who reads a lot of what is posted here) that with each new model the the usability, quality and reliability is increasing. As I said, and as you say, supporting and being part of such a “small” project (in terms of resources, compared to other smartphone companies) has its problems. However, if you can live with them, they will gradually become less and less and will improve the result, proving that it is possible to do things better and inspiring other people.

Of course, all of the above is just my reflection and my personal opinion.

Thank you for sharing your concerns and promoting reflection!

Best regards!

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Thanks a lot for the insight. As I said I haven’t decided yet on how to proceed. I would rather give my money to a small company instead of feeding Apple or Samsung. I love to tinker so that’s fine for me. I’m simply not sure if the phone can be considered a “ready for production” device if you need to rely on it for work. Even in it’s modular state most problems won’t be fixable by yourself as it’s mostly still a closed system. The info about not having any engineers in-house and outsourcing everything certainly explains the state of the software. From what I read here software sounds more like an afterthought. Eh, decisions, decisions…

As this is a user forum please be aware that people that don’t have issues you seldom see here.
Yes, I am about to change my Fairphone 2 for a Fairphone 5. As the Fairphone 2 suffers from multiply reboots. Beginning of this year we changed to /e Murena for safety reasons. Otherwise it’s oke.
The Fairphone 3 in use by my partner is running smoothly on /e Murena. Because we just wanted to see if we had enought skills to change the os. He doesn’t use the fingerprint reader.
And the Fairphone 4 we use is working good execpt for the issue in bright sunlight.

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Keeping the form factor of all the modules is an interesting thought. Apart from the driver-wise challanges (every old module must be compatible with every future core module – until when?) there is a problem regarding the relativley size of the Fairphone Company:

I recently read an Interview with Fairphone: They said, since they are still a small player on the market, they do not have the possibilities they would like to have in terms of changing the hardware compared to what is already on the market.
I understand it this way: Unlike the big manufacturers who can make parts exactly as they like, Fairphone to some extents has to choose from a smaller palette, and can customize that (e.g. bare screen bought off the shelf and custom it, but cannot produce an own screen in the size they wish). That can become a problem for backwards compatibility of the modules if the form factor of the new modules does not fit.

They also said, that two years is the limit where you can get the same electronics. Afterwards, the suppliers have already new products and do not produce the old ones anymore. So, after a certain time they can only sell off what they already produced, but are not able to order the components again. That’s also a huge challenge for repair parts supply: They must estimate the need of repair parts relativeley early.

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