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Why I won't buy a Fairphone

To make extra sure you could use https://www.fairphone.com/en/about/contact-us/ and point them to your post here because this really is the community forum. I could imagine it gains more weight/attention that way.

Do you already know https://www.shiftphones.com/? They are in a similar niche and put out new models regularly. Which would address your point about the outdated hardware.

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Hei, but the price of a shiftphone? Too high. And what about those mtk chipsets? Yakk. Noooo, snapdragon or exynos all the way. Too many don’t know or don’t want to understand how the chipset/phone/OS industries works and why the devices become obsolete (software and hardware) in such a short time. Now smartphones are fast moving consumer goods, no matter the price. Price is only for status. And vanity is devil’s favourite sin.

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Thanks for your answers, I’ll go in order:

I found that in the official web page under “why is the Fairphone 2 more expensive than the Fairphone 1?” but I was suggesting that they could explain instead “why is Fairphone more expensive than our competitors”, in order to better convince people that is worthy to pay much more for much less (and I’m talking only about hardware components).

OK, then I understood that wrong! I was under the impression that the company or some users were promoting longevity because of the modular design and after thinking about it I thought that it is more likely to have more longevity just buying an ordinary phone with better specifications, since that technology would have a better chance to provide computing or other capabilities for unexpected future “requirements”. Regarding this I answer some other comments:

  • Hardware longevity: As I said, I thought people were claiming that wasn’t a problem thanks to the modular design. Galileo was just an example of a new requirement of hardware upgrade that the modular design didn’t cover, other people would say for example that they want to pay with a NFC chip, or play PUBG or who knows. (By the way, in my case I want to use Galileo to avoid depending of USA’s GPS and because I paid those satellites with my taxes :smiley:, not because of speed).
  • Software longevity: its nice to know that the community continued supporting FP1 and you made me realize that community is another very strong point for Fairphone. However, again I think that a phone that has more updated software out-of-the-box will have better chances to last longer that one that relies on the community.
  • Public roadmap: OK, maybe your’re right and to hide the roadmap is better for marketing. I’d personally would prefer transparency but maybe Fairphone will sell more if they hide this information.
  • Reliability: In order to get an impression on how reliable the FP2 is I have read several forums and external technical reviews (and asked just one friend who owns it). What I said is that I couldn’t find other information about that. What do you suggest me to do? What I suggested is that Fairphone could use some transparency and tell the public if they are improving quality, based on statistics, benchmarks, whatever.
  • Support by ticket in european languages: You pointed me to a post that reads: “Calling them. Opening times are 09:30-17:30 CET. Recommended for urgent queries. Experiences reported here on the forum indicate that they speak a range of languages. Support appears to have made improvements to call handling, and are implementing a language choice option”. The improvement I suggested is that Fairphone could advertise this as official information: “We offer support in several european languages!!” is the main page in big letters, (if that is true) is much better than “I’ve heard that people say that if you call them maybe they speak spanish/french/… do you think I could write to them in spanish/french/… too?” in a community page.
  • Device to buy: Longevity is a must for me. Therefore right now I’m considering buying a phone that I have the feeling that it will have a great longevity with a low price, sacrificing the social values and software freedom, since those apparently are impossible to get out of Fairphone. Other option would be to buy a second hand FP2 as some have suggested, but I have doubts about that (warranty, again longevity, costs…) Regarding longevity:

@Dr_Cool you had all of your 10 phones broken in 2 years. I do think this has never happened to me precisely because I buy phones that I feel they have good longevity. So far I have a record of 2 of 2 perfectly-working-during-5-years phones against your 0 of 10, so either it’s a matter of luck or I did choose well :stuck_out_tongue:
@Krell you suggested better hardware is just for vanity, but again I’m talking about longevity as I have explained.
@Ingo I had read many comments against Shiftphones (like in this forum “their approach doesn’t seem to be even close to Fairphone’s approach and IMHO their concept lacks transparency”) and I stopped there.

Thanks all! I’d send the thread to https://www.fairphone.com/en/about/contact-us/ as you suggested, but now I have the feeling that it’s more likely that they will react with a " the grapes of disappointment are always sour" than with a “oh, thanks for the insight!” :smiley: so let it be.

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Please have a look: New FP2 Motherboard

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No, better hardware will be obsolete in 2 years. A galaxy s7 barely receive oreo 8.0 update and cost now as new online 320 euro free of contract. It was launched 2.5 years ago maybe. Same thing happened with FP2. Also, please remember that FP2 is the single phone in the world using snapdragon 801 with android 7. Why? Because qualcomm decided that. For SoC 801 android 6 was the latest OS supported (https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.androidauthority.com/android-7-0-snapdragon-800-801-712930/amp/). Fairphone people were curageous to start develop android 7 from the scratch for such SOC.

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I want to take nothing away from your post subtance-wise, but “from the scratch” is just a little stretch I think.

LineageOS 14.1 was an open-source Android 7.1 and went official - in its terms - on the Fairphone 2 in October 2017.

The announcement of Fairphone’s Android 7.1 in May 2018 said “we’ve been working hard with a community of Open Source Android developers and external parties”.

I have no inside knowledge of the matter, but I cannot help but guess which community of Open Source Android developers they might have turned to, to exactly not having to start from scratch :wink: .

Of course it was still courageous of Fairphone to develop an official Android 7 for the Snapdragon 801, and moreover to get it certified by Google, when seemingly nobody else did … but they had available a non-certified community daily-driver-grade Android 7.1 to have a look at and developers to consult about it.

(By the way … for use cases where “Google-certified” might not be important … LineageOS 15.1 is an open-source daily-driver-grade Android 8.1 and went official - again in its terms - on the Fairphone 2 in August 2018.)

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What a hero! Trying to craft alone a 12 layer PCB without any FP2 documentation available to him. I’m worried that after two months of amazing work and 136 messages in his thread about this very interesting effort, he says he is stuck because he has not been able to contact any Fairphone employee. Is the company reading that thread? Is the company supporting that effort? Is this project OK for the company’s roadmap and marketing? I’d love to know.

(By the way, I should ask this guy to add Galileo support to his board! :smiley:)

You have convinced me however that specially the community but also the company showed more interest than some other companies in extending the lifespan of this device more than the typical 2.5 years (not like in their first try with FP1, when they didn’t own the design). I wish I could know how long they will keep that support. I also wish this hero could had the same support that the company itself had (according to @AnotherElk) when they wanted to develop that Android upgrade!

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You can’t buy any other phone than FP2 with Soc 801 and android 7 from a store (physical or virtual). When was the latest real update on android 6 delivered? April 2018-November update dont count, it was technical. Those people are working hard out there.

But my opinion is different on this matter but I won’t share it here. Anyway SoC manufacturers are first to blame and then we, the users, for demanding someting new and shiny all the time and too soon (even an OS can be shiny now) - it doesn’t matter, it can be fixed on the next update, next please!

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Oh sorry, that explains it: you are a great chooser. It’s a pity though that very few consumers have your skills. In order to educate them, would you kindly give us the scores of your phones according to the ifixit evaluation available in the following link please?

https://www.ifixit.com/smartphone-repairability

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I hope I can get in contact with them, beacuse I think they got me wrong. I don’t want to build my own phone, I want to cooparate with them, to finish this project. I don’t have experience where to manufacture this stuff in a manner that’s fair and good for the environment. They can manufacture and sell it, I just did the design.

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You are correct. Respect!

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@Dr_Cool sarcasm aside, I think I never said anything about other costumers, I only said I’m likely a better chooser than you according to our statistics so far. :smiley: Now seriously, I only meant that in my opinion those numbers show I’m more concerned than you in longevity when buying a phone (or that you have an incredibly bad luck!)

In order to please you I checked that link but neither phone appear there. In any case I didn’t need any repair ever: the phone I bought in 2009 worked with no problems whatsoever until 2013 when it started to reset randomly maybe once every couple of days, then I gave it away as a present, warning the new owner that it had started to fail. Phone bought in 2013, I’m typing with it right now, worked flawlessly until last month when it started to turn off randomly about once a week (I want perfect reliability so it’s time for a change)

I see, how silly of me to not have thought of the possibility that I’m the only consumer of HTC, Samsung and Huawei products! I wonder though, for the sake of enlightening us all, uneducated users of this forum: could you kindly tell us what are the brands and models of those two wondrous phones that you were so skillful and thoughtful at selecting? That would be really helpful as instruction aid, so we can make a better choice next time.

@Leo_TheCrafter I think there is no doubt about what your intentions are. Maybe the company is not interested in a new board component for the FP2 because that doesn’t fit their internal plans, maybe they don’t trust that the work of a lone developer could be actually be good, maybe they don’t pay any attention to the hardware community… There could be many explanations for their silence, but I really don’t think that they have misunderstood you and the whole conversation in your thread.
I used to make very simple PCBs in the past, so I understand that your effort is just amazing, congratulations. I hope you’ll get attention from the company at least to tell you if there is a real possibility of using your work or not.

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It is very wise not to buy a Fairphone! I bought my FP2 2,5 years ago (Summer 2016) and it started to disfunction already after a year: spontaneous reboots, difficulties making phone calls, hard/impossible to enter, spontaneously and randomly starting apps etc. Eventually I refurbished my FP2 Summer 2018. I bought a new battery, a new core module (very hard to get hold of!!), etc. Now all trouble are all starting again. It is dramatic. The FP2 is a very bad and after a short while not functioning smart phone. It is not worth a cent of its relatively high price.

It’s not very wise to use faulty device for a year waiting for the warranty to run out and then complain about it.

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@Dr_Cool Since you’re so upset that you keep being sarcastic and I may add insulting, I’ll answer you: Samsung Galaxy (2009) and Motorola Moto G (2013).

Both started a couple of series that last until today. Looks like you thought I was talking about some obscure manufacturer, they are just two very robust first models. I guess I couldn’t find them in your link because being so old.

I suppose companies put a lot of effort in their first model being perfect, Samsung because they wanted to enter the Android market and Google (Motorola owner in that moment) to further push it against Apple.

I’m not implying that whenever a company starts a series you’ll get a reliable long lasting device: Fairphone itself couldn’t achieve it with the FP1. I guess you need a lot of money too, to assure high quality. And not even that guarantees you a success, there is also ethics and other factors.

For example I’ve read these days that Xiaomi has launched a new company called Pocophone, and despite its first phone has had extremely good reviews, it appears to me based in several reasons that it is not reliable at all. I mention this one because it totally dwarves FP2 hardware specifications while being much cheaper, and anyway I won’t buy it either because I don’t think is reliable enough.

Now, I have the feeling that you would love to reply something along “please educate us with your superior knowledge about why Pocophone F1 sucks” or something like that, but I’m not claiming such superior knowledge at all, I’m just claiming I’m very careful consumer who wants devices to last very long and who hates programmed obsolescence.

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I see, you were happy using a phone that stopped receiving system updates only 3 months after its commercial launch. It’s pretty evident then that your criteria for judging the quality of a product are quite different from the criteria of most people in this forum.

Samsung’s Galaxy stuck in history

This isn’t the Android I was looking for

It seems no one will be updating the Galaxy to Android 2, annoying customers whose purchase decision was based on what it would do rather than what it could do.

The Galaxy was launched in September and has been updated a couple of times since, but it seems that the handset won’t be getting an upgrade to Android version 2 despite the new OS coming less than two months later. This is a decision that some customers see as a betrayal of the Android promise.

Source : https://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/12/30/galaxy_android_2/

Concerning your Moto G, and unless you’ve been using the same battery for the last 5 years, could you kindly explain the procedure that you used to replace its battery?

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