Wifi6 for Fairphone4?

Hi,

Is there any possibility to add wifi6 instead of wifi5 to the fairphone4?
Wifi6 is more efficient than wifi5 for smartphone’s autonomy.

Regards.

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It’s not in the specifications:

WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac

Would you care to explain in what sense Wifi 6 is better for phones apart from higher bandwidth?

Hi,

In the wifi6 standard, some idle time is added in the protocol so client will not use same battery when client is not in active state… also the coverage is better as the client connect themself with the two band simultaneously which is better for optimize the battery usage.

Regards.

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Since this is a hardware thing, the answer is no.

Nope. If they waited just a few more months, they could’ve done the 778G SoC, which would’ve been more future proof. Now we get a midrange device which is already obsolete on release.

And I’m not saying that because I had the expectations of a high end device with the latest greatest. WiFi-6 isn’t that new anymore. Midrange devices have these things as well. I hope the device is still doable enough. Otherwise it will be a Pixel 6 for me.

We don’t know yet what wifi chip is in the FP4. Hopefully iFixit will do a teardown soon, and then we’ll see it.

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And if they had not just waited a few months but half a year, then they could have choose the SoC XXX. Thinking in this way, it never will be the right time to make a new model.

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Except not in this case. We’re not talking about a niche feature. We’re talking about supporting the next generation WiFi. That tech doesn’t change that often. If you are going to keep users happy for 5 years. The goal should be to support the latest bluetooth, 5G and WiFi. Those things can’t be fixed with a software update.

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I have the feeling most of the normal users don’t even know WiFi 5 exists and they won’t ask for the WiFi 6. In fact they will get it when they will have a problem with their internet box and will replace the previous one. Maybe they will even get to WiFi 7 from 4.

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That’s because many people are not aware of the huge improvements of WiFi-6. 5G is all the rage. WiFi-6 has fixed most complaints people have about WiFi (disconnects due to busy networks, speed, latency). Once people will realize what WiFi-6 could mean for them, they probably want it. And then they find out their brand new phone is actually not new…

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I fully agree. Actually many people up to now did not realize that there are premium manufacturers just doing it the other way. Why launch a new model with the latest possible features if customers will also rush their shops to just have any new model with a few new features. There will always be a next model in the pipeline and again customers will come and rush their shops or how did the wormy Apple get so fat.
Just as Samsung did some years ago with their mobiles with troublesome batteries. After some time they couldn’t conceal that there were serious issues. So after they started to dump that model it was only a matter of very few weeks until they launched the successor.

Another important point to mention, there is no mixed mode wifi5/6. If one has only wifi 6 compliant devices he or she may only advertise wifi 6 or there are still some older wifi5 compliant devices remaining in the household. If the latter, then it’s the way to replace older non wifi 6 compliant devices, but then again what’s the sense after all. Staying in compatibility mode and stick to wifi5 looks like an acceptable way to go.
Alternatively one could split up his wifi networks which depends on the routers capabilities. Advertise 2,4GHz network as wifi4/5 and set wifi6 with 5GHz as long as there are also older functional devices in use. Seems an acceptable compromise to me. E.g. some Fritzbox models can do this (Standard Vodafone Arris station router cannot afaik).
If one tend to get older (functional) devices therefore “replaced” to fully go with wifi6 I would be highly confused about the overall sense.

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The problems with mixed mode that you are talking about are for WPA3 security, which is an optional and can be used regardless of the wifi standard. Given WPA3 compatibility problems mostly affect older devices, I don’t expect problems on the FP4.

Mixing different wifi standards using WPA2 security is well possible, the problem is just that devices on older standards use more network capacity.

The 2.4GHz band is always using at most 802.11n (wifi 4). If you have a different security protocol on both, you would be able to use two wifi networks separately. but you will lose the ability to use both at the same time to have the most bandwidth.

Thanks for your explanation which shows me that my statement wasn’t comprehensive enough to all readers.
I never mentioned any security feature like wpa2 or wpa3.
Obviously the latest AVM Fritzbox 6660 firmware is unknown to you. Just some days ago I configured such a box. The main issue was about wifi 5 and/or wifi 6 propagation as there were also some old non-wifi 6 compliant devices in the household, it wasn’t about wpa security. Yes, I believe you do know the difference.
On the other hand my Fritzbox 6890 LTE offers wpa3 since the firmware rolled out somewhen last year, but it’s not wifi 6 capable. These are simply two different settings in different menus.
Btw. in my Fritzbox firmware it’s wpa+wpa2 or wpa2 (ccmp) or wpa2+wpa3. No sole wpa3 mode selectable. So any registered device will use what its hardware and driver supports, be it wpa2 or wpa3 no matter to what wifi network it’s registered.

If an old devise simply does not register to wifi6, what’s the use then?
If one only has the upcoming FP4 in his household then it’s fine. But if there’s also an older printer, notebook or something then the game is over, they will simply not register. So setting up a pure wifi 6 network will only help the lonely FP4 but no other older device around.

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I was mistaken about my last sentence, I thought devices could connect to both bands at the same time if the settings matched, but it turns out that that is not true.

It may be you’re hitting a bug in the FritzBox firmware. Wifi 6 shouldn’t prevent any older device from connecting except if you explicitly disable older standards (ie it is possible to disable old standards like 802.11a/b/g (“wifi 2/3”) in many routers.) Older standards just eat up bandwidth because they’re somewhat less efficient.

I don’t think Fairphone is responsible for fixing bugs in FritzBox hardware if they cause wifi 5 devices to have trouble connecting.

Or do you mean to say wifi 5 doesn’t reach far enough away from the router?

Yes, sure…you are not completely wrong. It’s a bit tricky though and I know most of it due to personal experience.
Generally up to wifi5 many devices can be registered to the 2,4GHz + 5GHz wifi network. But only for being registered not using both networks at the same time as some may assume like “aggregation”. There is a setting in mobiles that let one chose to connect to a propagated 2.4GHz network or the 5GHz network alternatively fixed! But also there’s an automatic setting that switched autonomously whichever net has better reception/stronger signal.
But on the router side one can propagate both network types with individual names (SSIDs), let’s say 2.4GHz-slow-wifi and 5GHz-fast-wifi. So ones mobile if preferred can be registered
to only one network or both networks just to increase reception chances for one of the two networks in reach when moving within your home vicinity. That’s only beneficial if the wifi selection option in the mobile is set to automatic. The device then will switch/connect whenever there is a better option.
Also there is the possibility depending on the router model to propagate both network standards with only one SSID (e.g. homenetwork). This is called band steering afaik.
One would only have to register to this sole propagated wifi network. Although my Fritzbox offers both options my FP2 does not feel to well going combined with only one SSID and tends to reboot at times. This way can be a cause for some devices to randomly reboot. So I rather keep it with two different SSIDs.
With band steering it’s under the routers control to which network the device will be connected also taking care of a soft handover (should work without carrier/packet loss).

That’s only half the way. Wifi 6 isn’t backwards compatible. One has to decide to go purely wifi 6 if already having all devices wifi 6 compliant. If not and there is just one old non-wifi 6 compliant device in use, one will have to fallback to wifi5, not connect the device or at last replace this device. There is no mixed mode possible. This is independent from any specific mobile or so, it’s a general fact about which many network carriers don’t waste too many word when offering new wifi 6 capable routers or end devices. One only can use wifi 6 if the entire hardware to connect is compliant to it as well. :wink:

As alternative I can only think of the before mentioned compromise in my other post. I think it’s better than replacing functional hardware.

Do you have a source for this? For all previous standards, this wasn’t true and I can’t find any source saying that it is the case for wifi 6.

Wifi on 2.4GH and Wifi on 5GH is different terminology to Wifi 6

Whereas Wifi 6E does use 6GH ~ Wifi 6 uses both 2.4Gh and 5GH and is backward compatible, it you believe what you read.

As usual, Wi-Fi 6 devices are backward compatible with previous generations of Wi-Fi. You can get a phone with Wi-Fi 6 and connect it to your Wi-Fi 5 or Wi-Fi 4 router. You can get a router with Wi-Fi 6 and connect your older Wi-Fi devices to it, too.

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Yes sure, I agree. I am speaking of pure wifi6 network propagation. It’s a matter of configuration after all. Stepping down from wifi 6 mode is possible but maybe not ones intention.
I had one Lenovo notebook ~3 years old with dual band wifi in a household which did not even see there was a wifi 6 network available. Sometimes manually updating wifi drivers may help though as it’s no Windows issue itself.
Anyway how about printers, many aren’t even able to connect to 5GHz network, so how would that work with wifi6? Or heating regulators are often just 2.4GHz wifi compliant. One having such will probably loose them when sticking straight to wifi6 pure. That’s what I mean with backwards compatible. It’s given, but at which sacrifice if not all devices are fully wifi 6 compliant.

@AlbertJP
These facts are not mentioned in the headlines, my quick search brought me there:

https://www.cyberport.de/blog/lifestyle/neuer-standard-wifi-6-mehr-bandbreite-mehr-geraete/2019/10/05/

It’s been spoken about general backwards compatibility - yes, but reading closer into the text reveals that if wanting to stay backwards compatible it won’t work having the latest standard/highest speed available → downgrade from wifi6 setting.

The settings in the Fritzbox 6660 are clear. One button for 2.4GHz another for 5GHz. Set one or both to wifi6 pure. If one can’t catch all available devices with this wifi setting there is only the option to stepping back from wifi 6. The next lower option is wifi 4+wifi 5 (5GHz) and wifi 4 (2.4GHz).

That’s how backwards compatibility looks in reality.
Please feel free to enlighten me if I got something wrong here.

As I understand the article, it just predicts that there may be issues with devices initially that might cause you to downgrade until you got a firmware/driver fix, but nothing fundamental. Just like any new technology that can contain bugs at first.

About wifi 5 devices it says:

Most of these clients will be compatible with a Wi-Fi 6 network without having support for the very latest standard.

So in theory everything’s fine. We just have to await how things are in practice once wifi 6 routers get rolled out.

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