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Fairphone 5: Keeping it 10/10?

486 points2 monthsifixit.com
frabcus2 months ago

Really loving my Fairphone 5 - basically smartphones are enough of a commodity now everything feels really high quality and fast physically. The sky blue colour is really nice. AND also it avoids conflict metals, is repairable.

Much much better than my last Fairphone (which was the Fairphone 2).

I switched from an iPhone this time. I'm also enjoying that Android is a bit more programmable without rooting it - running a full Unix distribution in Termux, scripting it with Tasker to run Python scripts on events etc. Actual Firefox.

sspiff2 months ago

Have you tried the camera? How did you find it?

I honestly don't care much about processor speed, if it can run a browser, messaging and banking apps I'm fine. But I need to be able to take family pictures which are good enough quality for occasional full page prints.

I've always been disappointed with these kind of niche devices in the past, where the cameras were barely of the level of 2 year old sub-$200 phones, especially in capture speed and low light performance. You can't ask kids to reenact something in better lighting if you missed it the first time.

Contortion2 months ago

Wired has a good review of the Fairphone 5 including camera performance here: https://www.wired.com/review/fairphone-5/

maqnius2 months ago

My gf has a fairphone 5 and I guess you will be disappointed. The pictures are really not stunning. She had a huawei p20 pro (from 2018) and it definitely took better pictures.

dakial12 months ago

But is it the hardware though? All the new flagship phones are using software/AI to enhance the photos well above the hardware raw, so I imagine that you might be able to fix this with a better camera app.

maqnius2 months ago

I don't know, might be. Didn't really bother to figure it out yet, since it's not so important for her.

There are a few other things (I'd call bugs), that are more annoying to her. And I also don't really no what to think about it. Maybe it's because of the uncommon processor.

For example, it starts to vibrate (like it's being unlocked) repeatedly sometimes when it downloads updates from Playstore and it doesn't stop until it's finished and there's nothing you can do about it.

And Firefox crashes when you want to switch a video to fullscreen.

But she's fine with it, because she knows it's the fairest phone she could buy and it hopefully lasts long and maybe updates will solve the bugs above soon.

And I guess that's the attitude you must have to buy a fairphone, and then it'll be fine. I hope it shines when we smth is broken the first time :)

tuhriel2 months ago

I'm running the FP5 at the moment and compared to my OnePlus 7T the camera quality is not on par, especially the whitebalance has some issues

turbo_fart2 months ago

How does it feel performance wise to the 7T?

Contortion2 months ago

Happy to read how much better it is than the Fairphone 2. I had one when they first came out but I got rid of it after 1.5 years and bought a Pixel 2 (which I am still using currently and looking to replace with a new Fairphone ironically) because it was so slow, oversized and seemingly cheaply made.

mlinksva2 months ago

I was curious what the DRC map on https://valkyrie.cdn.ifixit.com/media/2023/12/06065751/disas... (included in the post) could signify.

Search found (view HTML or click "More about our materials") on https://shop.fairphone.com/fairphone-5

> In addition, we account for 100% of the cobalt used in the battery by buying cobalt credits, which support the improvement of working conditions for artisanal cobalt miners in the DRC.

Presumably that's what the map signifies. Good to know/in case anyone else was curious.

Related discussion 10 years ago, only one I could find on HN https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5813730

Added: https://www.faircobaltalliance.org/supply-chain-wide-collabo... and presumably what the improvement mention above is about https://www.faircobaltalliance.org/approach/professionalizin... ?

wryanzimmerman2 months ago

Sorry, wrong comment

pachico2 months ago

I never broke a phone, not even scratched the screen but I feel force to buy a new one every 3 years because they become obsolete (I guess apps require more and more memory to the point I cannot have two open at the same time, which kills my ability to pay online).

I bought a Framework laptop for the same reason and I successfully managed to upgrade it, not repair it!

Is there a phone that allows me to upgrade over time and not only fix it?

lucb1e2 months ago

> I feel force to buy a new one every 3 years because they become obsolete

Nowadays that's plainly not true anymore because chips hardly get faster year-to-year, but also my 2012 phone lasted 5 years before software support started to get mediocre for Android 4.4 (the hardware was still fast enough and the battery you could still replace in 20 seconds). I've only ever bought new phones for software support reasons (scheduled obsolescence) or because the GPS chip broke after they stopped supporting rooting and so I couldn't get it repaired (out of warranty) without forfeiting that.

What phones do you buy that you feel they're unusably slow after only 3 years?!

Night_Thastus2 months ago

Part of why people think they need to still swap phones is because of either battery degradation, or software bloat.

Generally, a battery swap and a factory wipe would bring most people's phones back to an acceptable performance.

q0uaur2 months ago

my asus zenfone 6 was a really great phone, but all updates stopped after just 2 years. It still has plenty of power, but due to not getting security updates since 2021 i feel i have to upgrade. getting the fairphone soon.

it's really crazy how wasteful we're being with electronics in general. my old work laptop became unusable with windows 10, just extremely sluggish for even simple tasks. putting linux on it, its working great again (in fact writing this comment on it right now.) I wish we could put more focus on performance in the more mainstream products, but at least there's FOSS for people like me. can't wait until i can put an alpine linux on my phone someday.

maga_20202 months ago

>it's really crazy how wasteful we're being with electronics in general.

Indeed. from non-replaceable batteries, to weak headphone and charging port connections, to breaking cables, to mobile phone OSes. Most of consumer-oriented hardware manufacture seems to rely on obsolescent-by-design to get consumers to spend on the same type of device, in short cycles.

Probably similar to the big pharma that may appreciate the economic benefits of a chronic diseases.

neurostimulant2 months ago

While chips probably won't get significantly faster, apps memory requirements are still steadily increasing to the point of current flagships are starting to have 24GB or RAM.

rglullis2 months ago

This is the one thing that is makes me feel a bit scammed about the Fairphone. When I bought the Fairphone 3 plus, they gave the impression they were going to stick with form factor and make the modules upgradeable. Those hopes were shattered when they came out with the Fairphone 4.

I am just hoping now that I cling to this FP3 until frame.work gets bold enough to expand into phones as well.

k__2 months ago

I noticed two ways.

Either you don't get any updates and at one point you can't use any app because it's outdated.

Or you get all updates and at one point you can't use any apps, because your phone became unbearably slow.

rekoil2 months ago

The problem is really that the SoCs aren't maintained for long, and the complexity of the SoC concept makes maintaining it yourself as the device manufacturer at best impractical, maybe even impossible if the SoC manufacturer won't release necessary source code to you.

They want it this way because then they can sell more SoCs because users end up upgrading more often, and device manufacturers (besides Fairphone) don't complain because their interests are aligned.

On the Apple side you see devices getting support for much longer as Apple designs and maintains it's SoCs in-house, and at least to a degree value device longevity because that keeps second-hand prices relatively high, and that aligns somewhat with Apples interests.

Not quite 10 years, but we've seen feature updates for just under 7 years with the iPhone 6s (released 2015), and it's still receiving security updates and bug fixes.

fsflover2 months ago

> The problem is really that the SoCs aren't maintained for long

Why is this not a problem with laptops?

+1
rekoil2 months ago
pachico2 months ago

Yup, that's what I'm dealing with and it sucks.

I am typing this from a phone that I am already considering replacing for this very same reason although it does everything well and I looks brand new (rubber case, screen protection, etc.).

I understand phones are harder to upgrade because space is very limited but the e-waste we're generating (and the money impact) seems something that needs to be addressed.

zelphirkalt2 months ago

I think it is also about the use cases and apps you use. For example: I have 1 phone older than 10y serving as a music player, almost never having Internet connection, almost always being in airplane mode. Another phone as my normal phone, also nearing 10y old, with a screen that is partially broken, but still accepts touch input fine everywhere, inherited from someone else, used usually only for Signal and Hackernews reading, rarely browsing in Firefox, nothing really feeling slow. Then I have one much newer phone, but waaay cheaper phone and it felt terribly slow right from the start, got it only to separate concerns, and as a throwaway. Not sure what its issue is really.

My point is that with reasonable apps old phones work just fine. Just don't install crap apps or facebook or something like that, stick to well working apps. Use a phone as a phone, not as your universal computing interface and you should be OK for a long time.

+1
xnickb2 months ago
Levitz2 months ago

Depending on how comfortable you are with tinkering with your devices (in terms of software) I recommend you take a look at LineageOS and check if your device is supported.

I used a motorola moto g (the one with 1 GB of RAM!) from 2015 until last year.

robertlagrant2 months ago

> and the money impact

I imagine if this is something that lots of people want, it will result in more alternatives, but also raised prices. So it might not save money, but it might well result in less waste.

trenchgun2 months ago

There should not be a need. There is enough performance, and it has plateaued.

ratg132 months ago

I also don't understand their comment. I've been buying either a flagship Android or iPhone every upgrade and don't remember not getting at least 5 years out of a phone.

Even at 5 years I only ever felt like I was upgrading because it was 'time', not out of a direct need.

I can only imagine a person getting 3 years out of a phone if they are buying junk.

johnnyanmac2 months ago

They talk about online games. Mobile gaming has become night and day in the last 4-5 years, so if you're trying to play the newest ones you may not even meet minimum specs.

I feel it's a temporary problem like PC's, where eventually they will plateau on performance and a 10YO potato will (eventually) be able to play 99% of "high end" games in some capacity, similar to how a Steam Deck can play most games (even most AAA) without special accomadations. But I imagine there will be at least 5-6 more years of moore's law before it falls off (like it did on PC around... 2015-6?)

----

could also just be a low end phone. My Asus ROG 5 lasted 2.5 ish years before it literally died (sent it in for repairs to the motherboard based on online symptoms, for 3 weeks. paid $100 for shipping... died 2 months later) and instead of buying a brand new phone I just purchased the same model for half the price I bought it at launch. Still chews through pretty much every game despite being 3 years old.

doublepg232 months ago

I'm not sure if you've built a PC recently but 2016 is about when Ryzen was truly the better choice and gave Intel a swift kick in the butt. CPUs since then have gotten very nice gains YOY.

Granted, GPUs are the usual bottlenecks for gaming yes.

cogman102 months ago

I truly only upgrade my phone because it has fallen out of security support. I'd still be using my old Pixel 2 if it had security support.

Fairphone looks mighty tempting with a replaceable battery as the only annoyance I have with my current phone (Pixel 6) is the battery is starting to lose steam.

rekoil2 months ago

When the modular phone concepts appeared online (in the early '10s?) I was convinced that this was where it would take us, so when I heard about Fairphone, I really thought it was going to be that.

Slightly disappointed it hasn't happened yet.

lopis2 months ago

I really really hope FairPhone has a plan to start making their phones upgradable. They gave us a taste of it with the 3T. The FP5 is so similar to the FP4. I imagine they will eventually be able to estabilize the design and start offering backwards compatible parts. Until the 4, the hardware was just not up to industry standards.

whazor2 months ago

You would not upgrade from the 5 to a 6, as it would be a small upgrade. You would likely want to upgrade from a 3, but the design is too old, the cameras are too small, and probably other problems. I think we need a very stable upgradable base.

lopis2 months ago

But that's what I mean. In 3-4 years I don't want to upgrade my phone, but if I need to replace some broken parts, it would be nice to be able to upgrade them. I replaced my FP3 cameras at the time with the better ones in that exact scenario.

cassepipe2 months ago

I am only buying second hand galaxy s7 (2106) and they work fine. If needed battery replacement is rather easy to do if you follow a tutorial.

I use it watch youtube videos, browse the web (probably not the fastest but fast enough), use Google Maps, take pictures, listen to music. Basic phone usage you know.

rexreed2 months ago

I also have some s7 but the version of android won't support the latest banking apps so it's becoming rapidly obsolete. What are you doing about app support on the android on s7?

cassepipe2 months ago

I haven´t had any problems with any app, even my banking app

wkjagt2 months ago

I’m using my original iPhone SE (2016). I replaced the battery a couple of weeks ago, and I’m often at 80% by the end of the day. For regular phone use, I find this phone is perfect. So small you don’t feel it in your pocket, and still does the basic things really well.

cheese_van2 months ago

With WI-fi and all connection turned off (except simple texting with no images), and with all apps deleted that can be deleted, I have 80% remaining after a couple of weeks or more.

I suppose its somewhat of a privilege to use a modern phone only as a phone, but there's a certain smug peace of mind to be had - as well as security.

I'm also tempted to politely ask you to get off my lawn in the off-chance you are wondering about my demographic.

ilkke2 months ago

I have the same problem and no real solution. FWIW I've been able to make my (mid-range android) phone last for 7+ years now by uninstalling some apps whenever memory becomes an issue. Also I update apps only when forced.

tetris112 months ago

Samsung j3 mini, running Android 11. I think there's even a 12 Lineage available, but the current one is so stable as a daily driver that I don't feel the need.

onion2k2 months ago

Is there a phone that allows me to upgrade over time and not only fix it?

Turning off app updates would have the same impact if you're right about the increasing memory requirements.

pachico2 months ago

I wish I could simply run 3 year old apps. In many cases I am not allowed, especially the bank ones, which are the ones that I cannot run in the background as the OS kills them.

digging2 months ago

Bank apps seem to be a bottleneck in many aspects of phone development.

Are you not able to use your bank's mobile or desktop website in your phone's browser? I don't think I've ever installed a banking app. I also use a credit union though, maybe they're less incentivized to force people onto their apps.

abdullahkhalids2 months ago

My Canadian bank occasionally will block a bank transfer if done from my computer. I have called customer support, and they can't even tell why the transfer is being blocked. Possibly because there is some opaque ML algorithm at the backend.

Customer support has requested that I use the mobile app, and that usually allows the transfer.

br3d2 months ago

Sorry if this is obvious, but have you tried the options in Settings to avoid the OS killing certain apps? On my Pixel it's Settings > Apps > App Battery Usage > (choose app) > Unrestricted

pachico2 months ago

Not obvious at all, my friend, or at least not to me. Unfortunately, I don't have such option in my Redmi but I'll look for something similar, thanks!

sspiff2 months ago

Is this still the case? It certainly was in the early days of smartphones, where every update it felt like you needed double the memory to keep up.

But I've been using devices with 4GB-6GB of memory for the past 8 years almost, and they don't feel that bad to use. My phone still has 6GB of memory and does all I want it to just fine.

majani2 months ago

Unfortunately this company would be hated by component manufacturers and they would actively sabotage it

suslik2 months ago

Interesting. I have iphone xs max which was made in 2018. It doesn't feel obsolete at all. Works great, in fact.

sunshine_reggae2 months ago

My solution is to get rid of all but 1-2 apps. It's a truly liberating feeling.

nicoco2 months ago

I honestly don't think you have to. If banking apps are a bit slow, so what? I know that individual actions have limited impact, but do you realise what's at stake when it comes to environmental issues? FWIW I run a 6yo xiaomi and I avoid crapware, it's working fine, I can AV call, message, browse HN and other forums/links aggregator, navigate, track my sports and calories... The resources (some) apps and websites use are the issue. You're part of the educated crowd, resist, FFS.

pachico2 months ago

It's not that they are slow. When I pay online, I need to confirm the payment through my bank app. When I switch to it, the browser or shop app closes and I cannot complete the transaction.

wryanzimmerman2 months ago

That seems kind of odd, my iPhone 12 Pro has zero issues with things like that and it’s three years old.

I did upgrade a few weeks ago because the iPhone 15 cameras are amazing and I care a lot about that but I honestly had zero performance reasons to upgrade. I’ve never had an issue with a 5-6 year old phone and I always keep my old phone as a backup specifically for banking.

pachico2 months ago

Trust me, I only use browser, travel apps, Slack, bank apps and nothing else and I've been having issues for a year, I'd say. Maybe that OS is crap and I the phone too, I don't know.

Somehow, I thought 4+2 GiB of ram would suffice.

nicoco2 months ago

Wow. Without a < 3 yo phone, it's not possible to switch between 2 apps without one of them being killed?

When I think about my atari 1040ST and what it could do with a single core running at a few Mhz and a few hundred kilobytes of RAM, it makes me realise how wrong we've gone with smartphones.

(before someone mentions it, I know that my atari didn't have wifi, couldn't play full HD videos, etc, and that it was harder to develop software for it, but still, something's off IMHO)

+1
pachico2 months ago
KronisLV2 months ago

> I honestly don't think you have to. If banking apps are a bit slow, so what?

Many phones are essentially abandoned by the manufacturer and don't receive any security updates not too long after release, which might just be an issue: https://source.android.com/docs/security/bulletin/2023-12-01

Not only that, but many apps won't run on the older versions of the OS either, due to the API level deprecation in Android: https://support.google.com/googleplay/android-developer/answ...

In other words, you don't really get much of a choice, unless you are buying a flagship device and not everyone will be able to do that. The same goes for the comparatively expensive iPhone devices, the cost also being a factor there for many.

wryanzimmerman2 months ago

But based on this it seems like the right comparison is between a three year old iPhone and a brand new mid-level android because they’ll last you the same amount of time, and three year old iPhones aren’t very expensive (though it depends on where in the world you live. In plenty of countries ~2yo iPhones cost the same as brand new iPhones at US prices, because you can use them for so much longer than local market android phones).

nicoco2 months ago

Fair point. For android, choosing a phone from https://wiki.lineageos.org/devices/ or https://www.replicant.us/supported-devices.php helps getting security updates for longer.

llamaInSouth2 months ago

You are one of the rare people that never broke a phone, probably.... or you just started using a cellphone... or you dont really use it or armored case, or something similar

zelphirkalt2 months ago

Is it that rare? I also use smart phones for over 10 years and have never broken one, only inherited a broken screen one. And I have never even used protective hulls or anything. I sometimes do consider myself even rather clumsy and yet I still did not break a phone.

mrweasel2 months ago

The worst thing I ever did to my phones over the years is ever so slightly scratching the screen because I put it in the same pocket as my keys.

To be fair my first smart phone was a Nokia Lumia 720, that thing did some damage to anything it hit.

Some people just seems to smash phones left and right and claim that they're just using them normally. I think it's just how some people interact with the world. Put an iPhone in a case and they aren't that brittle, I dropped mine plenty of times.

DamonHD2 months ago

I have been using mobile phones since at least the 90s and have never broken one.

(Motorola Sapphire was my first, 1G, and I still have it somewhere. Powering it up would probably break several laws at this point. The SIM was an entire credit-card size also...)

projektfu2 months ago

StarTAC? MicroTAC? Sapphire seems to refer to Motorola dashboard radios.

have_faith2 months ago

I think I cracked a screen on a single phone. Maybe some small scratches on others. Historically I haven't used a case, but my current one uses one of those Apple ones that doesn't cover the screen.

pachico2 months ago

I lost one 20 years ago, that was the closest I've been to breaking one.

ksec2 months ago

I mean if you are on an iPhone. Replacing the battery every 2 years would have be enough for it to last 4 - 6 years before buying it for a new one.

My only problem is replacing an iPhone battery is now $99.

sowbug2 months ago

Motivated by this article, and already thinking about handing down my current phone to a family member as a Christmas gift, I visited the Fairphone store (https://shop.fairphone.com/ though likely available only on Amazon in the US) and read one review (https://www.theverge.com/23895548/fairphone-5-review-price-f...). Here's why I'm holding off.

1. No wireless charging. Switching to this phone would require a big change in my household's ecosystem (sorry to use a big word for a small thing, but I can't think of a better one). We have $10 wireless charging discs all over the place, and it's nice to be able to charge whenever we set our phones down. I don't want to take a step backward.

2. The Verge's review suggests the camera is OK but not great. I've been taking Pixel photos for years, and my phone is always the one people ask to use for group shots at social events. I don't want to fuss with taking a picture ten times just to get the lighting right, and the Pixel almost always meets the bar on the first shot. It sucks that a consumption device like a phone has this one critical input feature, and that there is still so much of a computational photography gap between certain brands and the rest, but that's how it is, and it prevents me from seriously considering any of them. (This isn't unique to Pixel; I hear Apple does well in this area, too.)

3. Just a nit: why is the case 40 euros? I expect to pay a premium for the phone because of the specific compromises in the design and the resulting low volumes. But this is just another run-of-the-mill TPU case that I expect I'd have to routinely replace every couple years. I don't use screen protectors, but I have an even more allergic reaction to the 33-euro price of the one for sale. I know there are aftermarket options, but I'm already taking a risk of poor part/accessory availability in the future because it's a niche product, so I don't know whether they'll still be available when I need them years from now.

By the way, I do own a Framework laptop (11th-gen CPU), and I like it a lot. I plan to swap out the motherboard next year. Unlike the Fairphone, the Framework didn't impose cost and performance compromises right out of the gate. I support sustainability, but there's only so far I'm willing to go.

Buxato2 months ago

1. Always sad for me to know how much popular are wireless chargers, wasting 47% more energy aprox for charging the same as a wired charger. https://debugger.medium.com/wireless-charging-is-a-disaster-... (too much catastrophic conclusions in this article but that percentage is real, you could check it in another tests, articles, whatever ..)

2. Totally agree with that, if camera is fundamental for you maybe not the right choice.

3. They also take compromises to have an ethical production, try to guarantee there is no exploitation as much as they could, from the extraction of mineral, manufacturing ... (they didn't do it for all, but they are advancing as far as they could, also with all existing certifications for that, so it's normal that is expensive. So our choice to value that things, if we could afford it, or not.

gruez2 months ago

>1. Always sad for me to know how much popular are wireless chargers, wasting 47% more energy aprox for charging the same as a wired charger. https://debugger.medium.com/wireless-charging-is-a-disaster-... (too much catastrophic conclusions in this article but that percentage is real, you could check it in another tests, articles, whatever ..)

The percentage value looks bad but how much is that in absolute terms? Using the figures from the article, wireless charging uses 6.75 Wh more per full charge. Assuming you charge that much every day, that's 2.46 kWh per year, or 42 cents at average US electricity prices[1]. I think that's a price worth paying for the convenience.

[1] https://www.bls.gov/regions/midwest/data/averageenergyprices...

GuB-422 months ago

Maybe it is, but we are talking about the Fairphone. A phone that the company pitches as more eco-friendly than the competition. Lacking a feature that is known to be wasteful in terms of energy is fitting.

Maybe it is negligible, but I suspect that in the grand scheme of things, the whole "fair trade" thing is negligible too, it didn't stop the company from building on that. At least, it sends a good message.

audunw2 months ago

Given the cost of the “wasted” electricity I think it’s reasonable to say that charging with wires could easily be more wasteful. All it takes is just that wireless charging saves ONE broken/worn-out component, and it’ll easily have saved the world an equivalent amount of resources. If it’s a screen (like cause someone accidentally pulls on the charging cable dropping the phone to the floor), it could equate to several phones over several years. Maybe you are careful, but others aren’t.

One giant caveat though: wireless charging could wear out the battery faster due to the heat generated. But fast charging over cable is also bad for the battery, and that’s becoming increasingly common. At least wireless is always slow charging

+1
hsbauauvhabzb2 months ago
asolidtime12 months ago

>> 1. Always sad for me to know how much popular are wireless chargers, wasting 47% more energy aprox for charging the same as a wired charger.

Sure, but compared to everything else we use, smartphones use almost no energy. The one I'm typing this on has a battery capacity of 12 wh; if you have a resistive electric water heater, standing in a hot shower during the winter for an extra second would offset half of that.

delecti2 months ago

This nerd sniped me and I had to do the math to confirm, but you're right, at least depending on where you get your estimates and regional power costs. The energy equivalent between a cell phone and shower time is on the order of seconds.

My phone's battery is 4385 mAh @3.7V, or 0.016 kWh, and my power costs $0.1252/kWh, or about $0.002 per phone charge. Based on some super surface-level estimates from googling, a typical shower is about 2 gallon/min, and the cost to heat water is about $0.01-0.02 per gallon, meaning for me it's actually about 4 seconds of hot water per phone charge.

wryanzimmerman2 months ago

And the parent comment said “47% wasted power … extra second … would offset half of that” and 47% of four seconds is about two, half of that is one second, so I’d say that was shockingly accurate, wow!

asolidtime12 months ago

Yeah, the math I did was for heating water by 50 kelvins for a 9 l/min showerhead, which in hindsight was probably overestimating it. It'd make sense if the actual answer for most people was 2-4 seconds

sowbug2 months ago

Ouch! I already feel bad about shaving in the shower! That is an evocative way to put it.

zlg_codes2 months ago

This is the one less eco-friendly thing I'm not letting go of. Hot showers are amazing.

+1
wizardwes2 months ago
chrisweekly2 months ago

Ice-cold showers are also amazing. And healthy!

maegul2 months ago

> 1. Always sad for me to know how much popular are wireless chargers, wasting 47% more energy aprox for charging the same as a wired charger.

Lots of sibling replies pointing out that the absolute energy loss is negligible and reasonable price for the convenience.

That’s fine.

But there’s a bigger point. This convenience is being used as a justification for sticking with big brand phones. Which maybe tips the balance on the reasonableness, and, more broadly, raises the general issue of how much buying for convenience is a slippery slope. Maybe just charge with a cable?

fnord1232 months ago

But sowbug has 10 dollar wireless charging pads all over his house. How can we use a cable?

topaz02 months ago

Honestly might as well buy a new house at that point

calamari40652 months ago

If you use fast wired charging, which most phones do, you're causing significant wear to the battery. With daily fast charging, I've seen phones chew through their battery in under a year.

Conversely, the rather slow charge rate of wireless helps extend battery life quite a lot. This is why I never use fast charging, avoid wired charging in general, and limit my battery to 85% max charge. It's been three or four years and my battery is still at ~80% health.

Which is worse, wasting a small amount of power or trashing your phone's battery in a year or two? One has significantly higher monetary and environmental costs.

Besides all that, wired charging is not nearly as efficient as you think. The charge circuitry in your phone is optimistically 80-90%. The wall adapter can be anywhere from 50 to 90%, and scales pretty closely to how much you paid for it. Efficiency also goes down with faster charge rates.

I design switching converters and lithium charge circuits for my job. They're pretty great, but not nearly as good as you'd think.

gruez2 months ago

>This is why I never use fast charging, avoid wired charging in general

Wireless charging isn't a silver bullet either. It generates tons of waste heat, which is also bad for batteries. I'm also not sure why you're so against wired charging, especially since you have to go out of your way and pay a premium for fast charge capable chargers. If you buy a bog standard 5W/10W charger, you're not fast charging. If you plug your phone into your computer, you're likely getting slow charging (0.5A to 1A).

+1
calamari40652 months ago
+1
sbierwagen2 months ago
Nullabillity2 months ago

> Besides all that, wired charging is not nearly as efficient as you think. The charge circuitry in your phone is optimistically 80-90%. The wall adapter can be anywhere from 50 to 90%, and scales pretty closely to how much you paid for it. Efficiency also goes down with faster charge rates.

The costs of wireless are on top of all of the costs of wired. You're not getting away from battery management just because you're using the air as a very inefficient cable.

binkHN2 months ago

> If you use fast wired charging, which most phones do, you're causing significant wear to the battery.

I don't know about other Android phones, but Google's Pixel line of phones will do a slow charge overnight and time the top off to be in line with your morning alarm. So, my thought is that effort is being made here to extend battery life by specifically not fast charging overnight.

+1
calamari40652 months ago
fomine32 months ago

Slow wired charging is the best. Just buy a dirt cheap USB-A to C cable.

Al-Khwarizmi2 months ago

In my experience, the best battery care measure is to get a phone with a good battery...

I bought a Huawei P30 Pro in early 2019, never took care of preserving the battery, always used fast charging (which is very fast in that phone, 40 W). 4 years later, the battery is still going strong (now the phone belongs to my wife).

On the other hand, I bought a Pixel 6 Pro in early 2021. From the beginning, I saw that the battery barely lasted a day of heavy usage, so I was more careful (trying to never get below 20%, deactivating 5G, etc.), plus the phone charges slower (around 20 W, I think) and has built-in charge planning to charge slower overnight. Even with all that, two years later, the battery is absolute crap. If I'm going to use the phone frequently (e.g. when travelling) I need an external battery to last though the day.

binkHN2 months ago

> Always sad for me to know how much popular are wireless chargers, wasting 47% more energy aprox for charging the same as a wired charger.

The energy waste is a shame, but the convenience factor is mighty high, not to mention the wear and tear on your USB-C port is non-existent. Maybe one point for less USB cable waste and tossing perfectly good phones just because their USB ports are damaged?

imp0cat2 months ago

You can get one of those magnetic adapters if you worry about your USB-C port that much.

sowbug2 months ago

Your point on wireless-charging waste is valid, but I'm not sure a hypothetical initiative to reduce national electricity consumption should prioritize addressing it. The waste is similar to using a 7-watt LED bulb one hour extra per day (16Wh phone battery requires an extra 47% or 7.52 watts to charge wirelessly from 0% to 100% each night).

The concern about wireless inefficiency is very well-placed, however, in the case of electric cars. EVs will become an enormous consumer of electricity in the near future, so small changes now can have a big cumulative effect. "Charge your car as conveniently as your phone" would be an effective marketing tagline, so to that extent I agree that phones set a bad example for needless energy consumption in the name of convenience.

(edit: oops, bunch of other commenters made the same point while I was writing mine)

Sebb7672 months ago

> The concern about wireless inefficiency is very well-placed, however, in the case of electric cars.

I don't think so. For one, with EVs you are paying pretty directly for the charge and nearly 50% extra for the hassle of not plugging in the cable seems excessive. For a charging station it would probably be more profitable to hire someone to plug your car in instead of going wireless, even disregarding the setup cost.

But, more importantly, fast wireless charging generates heat. This is fine for the miniscule amount of energy in phones, but would probably pose a serious problem with the wattage involved in changing EVs. We're currently at the point of having charging cables with integrated cooling, the inefficiency of wireless would likely either cook the car or limit the speed too much to be viable ("charge your car as conveniently as your phone, in a meager three days!").

numpad02 months ago

Qi receivers on phones don't wear out as fast as physical connectors do. There are no hard reasons why wireless is better in durability but practically they tend to be more reliable.

technothrasher2 months ago

This is exactly when I've used wireless charging the most, after my physical connector has broken. It let's me extend the life of the phone.

+2
ppseafield2 months ago
mtmail2 months ago

This 2016 article puts the cost of charging an ipad at $1.55 per year (iphone lower but I assume batteries got bigger or time). 47% wastage with wireless chrome is not much in terms of energy costs. https://www.zdnet.com/article/how-much-does-it-cost-to-charg...

mcv2 months ago

> Always sad for me to know how much popular are wireless chargers, wasting 47% more energy aprox for charging the same as a wired charger.

That's also the main reason I'm not interested in wireless charging. A wire works fine, and it seems pretty obvious to me that wireless can never be as efficient. But I never had exact support for this belief, so thank you for that.

> Totally agree with that, if camera is fundamental for you maybe not the right choice.

With their modular approach, it would be nice if you could buy a better camera for it. I know that suggestion has been around since Fairphone 2, so I guess there must be a good reason why they're not doing that.

But if Fairphone was popular enough, I bet there would be a massive aftermarket for such upgrades.

Moldoteck2 months ago

I like having wireless as a temporary alternative if the usb-c port breaks

+1
mcv2 months ago
bb882 months ago

> Always sad for me to know how much popular are wireless chargers, wasting 47% more energy aprox for charging the same as a wired charger.

TBH some wired chargers are only 60 percent efficient in converting AC to DC. Then you'll also have energy losses inside the phone converting 5vdc to 3.7vdc for the lithium battery.

But, what? this is ~7 watts per charge completely full charge?

One could do the following and offset those 7 watts with a lot more to spare:

Add another layer of insulation.

Add a heat pump.

Add solar panels to your roof.

Stop mining Bitcoin.

WheatMillington2 months ago

The amount of energy wasted through wireless charging is absolutely miniscule in the context of an ordinary day's energy usage for a normal person.

autoexec2 months ago

I'll add to your list of fairphone shortcomings the lack of a headphone jack. I really don't buy their excuse that including one would make the phone too large to be commercially viable.

Tade02 months ago

Especially that Sony still includes one in a smaller, lighter device.

Not to mention all the previous generations of phones that had it.

caoilte2 months ago

i think the reason is fair, but unfortunately it is a dealbreaker for me. i would definitely have got one earlier this year if it had had one.

criddell2 months ago

So what do you think the real reason is?

autoexec2 months ago

I couldn't say... most likely they just don't see it as a priority, but I'm sure that not including one lowers their costs and takes less effort which could be a motivator.

orthecreedence2 months ago

Same. I've been extremely resistant to any device without a headphone jack. I don't get this weird obsession with removing them. Apple made the idiotic decision originally because they have this weird air of "knowing better than you" but what I don't get is why other manufacturers followed suit.

Oh well.

prmoustache2 months ago

1. People in my household put their phone to charge only once a day, when they go to bed. How hard is it to plug a phone once a day?

stronglikedan2 months ago

Then people in your household either (a) don't really use their phones that much or (b) get brand new phones with brand new batteries every year. There is no phone battery that lasts an entire day for a person that uses their >1yo phone a lot throughout the day.

prmoustache2 months ago

I bought my phone before the covid pandemic and it is rarely below 50% when I go to bed.

The only thing that make it drain faster is if I use a lot the GPS but that is usually when I am travelling in a vehicule and in those rare cases it is plugged and charging while operating.

I think you have a social media addiction issue if you have to charge your phone several times a day.

digging2 months ago

Horseshit. I could charge my Pixel 5 once every other day, and I use it for photography as well as meme scrolling and messaging. If you're using your phone so much that it needs to be be charged twice a day then you're almost certainly using it in a way that's worse for your health than for the battery life. Or you're wasting a lot of battery life on background telemetry.

Do you use battery saver mode? I actually try not to fully charge my phone, but keep it between 30%-70%, which puts less strain on it, and battery saver kicks on at 50%.

calamari40652 months ago

How hard is it to drop your phone on a charging pad?

broscillator2 months ago

it's about 1% more convenient

+1
calamari40652 months ago
mrpopo2 months ago

"Supporting" sustainability, but you don't accept having to plug your phone once-a-day like 90% of smartphone owners, you want to have the best phone camera in your social group, and you don't want screen protectors.

I'm shocked we have come to this as a society. If you don't accept any compromises, just admit that you don't really care and move on.

jLaForest2 months ago

You can buy wireless charging modules that plug into the USB port and are hidden between the case and phone

polishdude202 months ago

Around Christmas time I always consider giving a family member one of my old smart phones. But then I remember I stopped using them because they got old and the battery life sucks.

yencabulator2 months ago

Great argument for swappable batteries in standard sizes.

orthecreedence2 months ago

What are you, a communist?

qingcharles2 months ago

My friend has a Pixel 7 (non Pro) and it takes pretty crappy photos for such a high-end phone. Shooting in RAW with all the hi-res options turned on. Anything that would help? Better camera app than the Google one?

jancsika2 months ago

> I've been taking Pixel photos for years, and my phone is always the one people ask to use for group shots at social events.

If the average social gathering is more than two people, this is already a minority use case.

If the average is even just 10 that's only at most 10% of cell phone users like you.

In short, I believe you've just written the first formal proof of obscurantism on HN. :)

Reubachi2 months ago

1. This is like critiscizing a green energy company for not burning oil. Wireless charging is antithetical to any sustainable device mission. In terms of "last mile delivery", wireless charging for small personal devices is about the least efficient, highest energy waste delivery method there is. I'm talking orders of magnitude more waste versus production than coal, oil, propane, wale blubber, wood. That isn't even to say the effect on your battery or surrounding plastics/membranes.

2. Do you purchase a cell phone in 2023 with "Camera quality" in mind? Not trying to be rude, I'm actively sampling this query. I can't understand this and haven't since modern smart phones proliferated. No matter the phone, set it to raw, take photo ,edit in post. Comes out leagues better than any ios, pixel etc photo. and I don't know who is taking so many photos and comparing them to care.

3. The accessory case is a criticism is a bit more valid but come on. THis phone is losing money on every sale. If they sell one of these cases for every phone, they MAY come out ahead because as you said, the cases are cheap junk. Don't buy the case if this is a problem. This last years, apple switched from leather cases to "vegan leather". Same cost, made in china. More than the cost of this fair phone case.

I feel like if you own a framework, you should understand that the criticisms you listed are.....not criticisms and are in fact features or obvious requirements for a loss-leading edge case device. There is no 100 percent, perfect, sustainable mobile device like there is for workstations, because the walled garden of mobile devices is unfortunatley just more rigidly architectured.

digging2 months ago

> 2. Do you purchase a cell phone in 2023 with "Camera quality" in mind? Not trying to be rude, I'm actively sampling this query. I can't understand this and haven't since modern smart phones proliferated. No matter the phone, set it to raw, take photo ,edit in post. Comes out leagues better than any ios, pixel etc photo. and I don't know who is taking so many photos and comparing them to care.

The whole idea of smartphone cameras is that nobody is editing RAWs. I have issues with the GP comment but wanting a high quality camera is not one of them. Taking decent-to-great smartphone photos, whether inane or artistic, is a staple of modern life. (Although it sounds more like a status thing in their case, like they don't want someone else in their social group to be the go-to photographer? Maybe it was just not worded clearly.)w

sowbug2 months ago

Goodness no, not status, you must not know me. :)

People preferring this phone's photos is just evidence that it actually takes better snapshots, rather than me being biased about my own tech choices. Wrangling a bunch of parents and children for a photo is hard enough. I like knowing that the camera won't be yet another reason why we need to wrangle everyone twice rather than just once.

(Fully agreed on the RAW thing. Photography for me isn't a hobby; it's just a way for the family to remember what everyone looked like last Thanksgiving, preferably not with someone's face silhouetted by poor lighting.)

thih92 months ago

Say I own an iPhone and I’m considering a Fairphone. Which iphone model would I have to own for the transition to make sense, both for user experience and sustainability?

I.e. Iphone 15 surely not. But iphone 5 for sure yes. Where is the cutoff?

I’m choosing iphones because they’re recognizable and have a predictable release schedule. Let’s disregard ios vs android angle if possible.

frabcus2 months ago

I had an iPhone 11 and the Fairphone 5 feels like an upgrade. (Case on the former as it shatters and is expensive to repair and no case on the latter)

thih92 months ago

Is the case really a factor in the scenario of an upgrade? I.e. why not remove the iphone’s case and upgrade when/if your phone breaks?

nerdponx2 months ago

My Rhino Shield "Crash Guard" bumper case has protected several generations of iPhones from my clumsiness, dropping it on all manner of hard surfaces from chest height or higher. Yes it's annoying to pay $30 for a case for my glass supercomputer, but I wouldn't base my phone purchase decision based on the need for a case. If anything, I'd prefer a phone that is supported by this particular case, because there is no phone that I really expect to be built to this kind of spec (and I probably wouldn't want one that was, considering what tradeoffs might be involved).

fancyfredbot2 months ago

I owned a fairphone 3. It was expensive but very easy to take apart and promised years of updates. Then it broke, after about 18 months. Fine, I thought, I'm glad I got a repairable phone. I'll just fix it, it'll be easy. I determined the problem was with the main logic board and found that a) a new one would cost much more than an entirely new, and more capable phone and b) it was out of stock.

I just bought a new phone. I didn't feel good about my fairphone experience.

kwiens2 months ago

Main board failures are hard, they'll kill just about any phone and it's pretty challenging to make the service part economically viable.

For what it's worth, I don't know of any systemic problems / higher than usual error rates with the Fairphone 3 main board. You got unlucky.

Consider giving them another shot sometime!

dymk2 months ago

What’s the point of a repairable phone if parts are out of stock?

josefx2 months ago

One of dozens of parts is out of stock and as the other comment points out itself it is also the part that makes the least sense to replace.

+1
whatevaa2 months ago
crabbone2 months ago

It's just the kind of part that doesn't merit repairs... it's unfortunate, but with any equipment there will be such parts.

smoldesu2 months ago

Having access to donor parts from cheap used models?

+1
whatevaa2 months ago
lock-the-spock2 months ago

Given Fairphone is a rather small company they sometimes have such problems of economy of scale - no manufacturer will prioritise you if you make small orders.

That said, one reason for the Fairphone price is the "fair to the people labouring for the parts of the phone" part. I'm unhappy with the camera quality, but honestly knowing that the premium I pay means fairer working conditions is for me an important element. I prefer to pay the small social enterprise establishing a new kind of supply chain and developing a modular phone, rather than the Samsung CEOs and stockholders.

CarVac2 months ago

This is why I like the Framework way: keep the chassis the same so you can just buy a shiny new motherboard with the latest processor if your old motherboard dies.

It's probably not as suitable for phones what with changes to antenna requirements and such though.

0x6c6f6c2 months ago

To be fair, you are describing a 1:1 comparison of how Fairphone does it here. The issue of economical viability for PC motherboards is easier than smartphone mainboards, but the premise is basically the same- the core component of the device dies and needs to be replaced. There are more modular standards for PC to make the hit here less hard (memory, being the big one) but it's all the same. Fairphone has not done as good of a job as Framework has in making it viable for customers to replace their mainboards, and I will say I think Framework is the odd one here in really stepping up in that market.

codetrotter2 months ago

Sorry to hear that :(

However, I do want to point out that when such unfortunate things happen, perhaps the remaining parts that still works could be helpful to other fairphone users?

Vinnl2 months ago

I'm typing this from my Fairphone 4, which I started using Sunday after almost reaching the six-year mark of my FP2. One reason that obedience managed to last as long is that a friend stopped using his FP2, and I could use his old phone for spare parts.

jaeckel2 months ago

Sorry to hear that! I have a pretty low sample size of ~8 friends on FP3 and I can't remember hearing of a single hardware failure. Some batteries got replaced and some are even still going strong on their first battery. I've updated mine from 3 to 3+ and I'm on my second battery since this summer, I.e. the main board is ~4years old. A friend had some minor issues in the beginning with some internal connector but I can't remember him mentioning it again.

Another friend got rid of her FP2 this spring in favor of a FP4, but only because some apps she uses got really unusable. Otherwise she would've stayed.

IMO it's a fairly good platform and I'm looking forward to how it evolves in the future. Hopefully they will introduce a smaller phone at one point.

vinc2 months ago

I had to replace the USB module on my FP3 because it couldn't charge my battery anymore. At first I tried to replace the battery but that didn't work, and I was afraid that the issue would be from the motherboard, but no I just needed to change that module. Great experience!

keraf2 months ago

I bought a FP3+, still using it after 3 years, but would not go Fairphone again. Despite supporting what the company stands for, I feel they didn't deliver on their promises.

I was hoping for more upgrades to be available over time, but that was never the case. Instead, two new models appeared with a year interval and the 4 didn't even get any upgrades. Worse even, the 3.5mm jack was removed, following the trend of getting customers to buy headphones with a limited life time due to their battery. The promise of being the responsible choice for the planet is fading away.

I also faced issues when it came to repairing my device. After only 3 months the USB-C port died, impossible to charge it and once out of battery, I couldn't get my data from it. I contacted the support and they offered me two solutions: I send in the phone, it will get fixed but wiped clean or I order the part online and they reimburse me (they couldn't just send it from the repair center...). I chose the latter as I didn't want to loose my data and felt it was the more ecologically responsible choice, especially since the phone is so repairable. Well, the part was not available on their store, checked every retailer in Europe and third party parts don't exist. I was stuck with a brick for 4 months. The irony is that if I had an iPhone or Galaxy, I could get it fixed the same day at the phone repair shop around the corner...

I appreciate all the efforts Fairphone put in setting up more responsible supply chains. But in my opinion they still failed on their sustainability promise. The devices aren't well supported, it's difficult to repair them and they quickly fall behind due to the lack of upgrades (that also goes with the main board not being replaceable). New devices follow the disastrous trends of other brands with a new model each year and removing the headphone jack. Sure, they are a business and need to make money, but not by going against their own values.

hyperthesis2 months ago

I had a similar experience with replaceable batteries (1) expensive on the one hand, but at the same time (2) unavailable.

I think batteries are the main consumable of a phone. It seems to me there should be an after-market of smaller batteries, and a set of universal power adapters (like you get with power supplies), and shims to fit it securely within the phone.

But I haven't seen this, so either people prefer to upgrade (demand) or manufacturers successfully made it too hard (supply).

mcv2 months ago

Although I really appreciate Fairphone, I've got to admit my experience is similar. I had a Fairphone 2 until the screen went haywire. Not broken, but showed random noise. Replacing it was expensive. Meanwhile, I've replaced several broken iPhone screens. Even if iPhone's are harder to repair, they're still not all that hard to repair. It just takes time and patience. And instructions from ifixit of course.

fumeux_fume2 months ago

With the incentives our economy is aligned to for things like phones, repairability will be a hard sell on a dollar to dollar basis with replacement. It's more about values than strict consumer cost.

aurareturn2 months ago

Fairphone is a for profit company. What is there to prevent the company from choosing not to use the highest quality parts so that you will need to buy more parts to repair it later on?

holri2 months ago

Did you look for a broken (for example glass) used one?

shinryuu2 months ago

Since the availability is in Europe at the time, you could have contacted their support. EU has a two year guarantee for failures like these.

shalmanese2 months ago

How much would it have cost back then to buy a broken, used FP3 with a cracked screen as a donor phone?

josefx2 months ago

> a new one would cost much more than an entirely new, and more capable phone

That is the case in general with fairphone, if you just want a cheap phone you can buy an iPhone.

Maxion2 months ago

> if you just want a cheap phone you can buy an iPhone.

Out of context, this sounds so wrong.

system22 months ago

This is why people buy iPhone. Unless you drop it from a speeding car, it won't cause any issues for 4-5 years at least.

singleshot_2 months ago

I have an iPhone 11 Pro. The back is made out of glass which is easily breakable. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why, because behind the glass is an opaque piece of aluminum. The glass broke on the third day I had the phone when I tossed it from knee height on to a folded up sweatshirt that was sitting on a rug on a tile floor.

Oh, actually, I guess I do know why an opaque part of a thousand dollar phone is made out of incredibly fragile glass, but I’ve made it two years without cutting myself too terribly badly and I’m not planning on replacing it while it still works.

(Obviously, the front glass is broken too but that’s utterly unremarkable for an apple product).

specialp2 months ago

The glass prior to iPhone 14 is UNREPAIRABLE as well. You are better off breaking the screen. The Apple repair process for iPhone 12 and 13 is to replace the entire chassis. Ebay sellers will sell you a replacement back glass but you have to painstakingly break off all the back glass including a sensitive microphone near the cameras and also the chances you don't break the wireless charging is zero. Polycarbonate plastic would have been ideal

singleshot_2 months ago

I actually had one of those not-Apple-but-we-repair-Apple-gear quote me $579 to fix it. Yes, he was aware this was stupid. We had a good chuckle.

Gigachad2 months ago

It's glass because it needs to be transparent for the wireless charging coil. There is a hole in the aluminum frame for this coil.

The options are basically just plastic or glass. At least with the current phones it's now possible to replace this glass if it breaks.

pjerem2 months ago

I have memories of a time where Apple was praised for their polycarbonate quality. You know, those expensive devices they called MacBook and iPod. They even released the iPhone 5C which, ironically, only made consensus on its good design.

Really nothing is forbidding them to release nice plastic phones.

The only reason they won’t is that they want this shiny aspect in their App Store because the consumer will hide this under a mandatory case if they intend to keep it for years.

Well It’s a shame thinking of all those nice things we could have if we actually decided to break corporate monopolies. But now we are stuck between stupid glass phones without default applications and Google spy phones.

fomine32 months ago

That's why I hate wireless charging trend. Manufacturers adopt heavy and fragile glass due to this, and its heat is bad for battery health.

singleshot_2 months ago

I feel a little better knowing this is necessary, but it's hard to believe they couldn't figure out how to charge through metal (like ever other "put it on the charger thing I own like handheld radios). I guess the radios are more "put it on the charger in the right position" whereas I can slop the phone on the wireless charger wherever I want.

Of course I don't have a wireless charger but hey, progress.

mcv2 months ago

I don't get this either. My OnePlus 7 also has a glass back. These thin, fragile phones all require a case (making it thicker and hiding the sleek looks) to protect them, and my glass back still broke despite the case. What's the point?

I'd rather have a sturdy phone that doesn't require a separate case. In fact, the replaceable body of my old Fairphone 2 is a much better idea.

frabcus2 months ago

This happened to me too. Every committed iPhone user told me - you should have used a case! Ummm... What's the point of a phone being beautiful and thin if I then anyway have to make it large with a case? It was a bad piece of design.

dzhiurgis2 months ago

To each their own. I bought myself and my partner iPhone 13. She kept her in case, mine always case free.

2 years later, she broke back and screen. Mine while all scratched up is still intact. Went underwater at least 5 times. Number of falls on concrete, tiles, etc.

shepherdjerred2 months ago

I also own an iPhone 11 Pro. It's in great condition and I plan to keep using it until it no longer receives major software updates.

rootusrootus2 months ago

You tossed it onto a tile floor, and it broke. That's unfortunate, but not entirely a surprise no matter who manufactured the phone. Glass is glass.

+1
makeitdouble2 months ago
+1
mynameisash2 months ago
Libcat992 months ago

In the same way that your phone, in your pocket, is thrown on the ground every time you take a step, sure.

+1
singleshot_2 months ago
+2
jiminymcmoogley2 months ago
kayyyy2 months ago

no phone manufacturer is infallible.

my iPhone 4 battery went up in smoke after owning it for 1.5 years.

my iPhone 6 plus developed touch disease after 2 years, the replacement developed touch disease after a week, and the second replacement began exhibiting mild symptoms after a couple months, the nand failed after another 2 years. (applecare replacements mind you.) plus I wasn't a huge fan of apple trying to sweep the issue under the rug until it gained nationwide attention.

tdba2 months ago

I dropped my iphone 14 in the ocean. It was in there 2 days until it washed up onshore. A fisherman picked it up and it was still on and it had service. It was in lost mode so he was able to call my emergency contact and I got it back. Aside from minor scratches on the screen it has no damage and works perfectly. That experience taught me that Apple takes reliability extremely seriously, even if they dont care about repairability. I dont know if they could have made a phone this bulletproof while also making it repairable. I do believe it is a good thing for people to be able to repair stuff they own, but there is a tradeoff.

+1
onedognight2 months ago
+1
aqfamnzc2 months ago
ace23582 months ago

Crazy, my day 1 iPhone 6 Plus is still working today with a smashed screen just fine! (Not primary phone anymore, still use for music)

girvo2 months ago

As much as I love iPhones, that's simply not true. Hardware fails, no matter who makes it.

Gigachad2 months ago

Hardware can just fail, but just from what I've seen, Apple stuff seems to randomly fail the least. I've had so many other brands just randomly die without any damage. While the only time I've had this happen with Apple was a macbook SSD that died. I took it in to the store and they replaced it for free out of warranty.

bunabhucan2 months ago

Typing this on a galaxy s20 ...that fell off the roof of my car at about 40mph.

wubrr2 months ago

[flagged]

weweersdfsd2 months ago

Most Android phones get updates only for few years compared to iPhones. That alone is a good reason to choose iPhone over most (but not all) androids.

wubrr2 months ago

Meh, you can switch android phones 4 times for the price of one iphone.

enlightenedfool2 months ago

Nope. I was android user for 13 years. Just bored of switching between multiple android phones and bought iPhone. Not that I particularly like it, but I appreciate some effort on Apple’s part for privacy and security.

wubrr2 months ago

> I appreciate some effort on Apple’s part for privacy and security.

What effort? If you're truly interested in privacy and security you'd use something like grapheneos.

sambalbadjak2 months ago

I thought that fairphone was: you buy once, and you can upgrade modules over time. But it seems that modules of newer fairphones don't necessarily fit an older fairphone. So it's more about repairable for that specific version. Which is still better than no repairability.. but I imagine you can feel quite duped still having to buy a new phone every 3 years and throwing the old one out.

Anyone with experience of having a fairphone for multiple years?

ctenb2 months ago

I own an FP 4 since it aired. No complaints so far. I mainly use it for browsing. I haven't needed any repairs yet, but I like the idea of that being an easy feat. Of course everyone hopes that they can make their phones more modular and upgradable than they do now, but it's also understandable they have to iterate their architecture before they can converge on a design that truely lasts multiple generations of upgrades.

DamonHD2 months ago

I first bought a FP1 and I am now on a FP3. The FP1 is still just about operable as an emergency phone, and maybe a tiny bit of browsing. The FP3 is going fine. I have chosen not to upgrade the camera module, though I am still thinking about it. The 'F' has fallen off the backing plate so I in fact own an 'AIRPHONE'. A friend by the same token owns "A PHONE" which I pointed out is an entirely accuate failure mode! B^>

crimsoneer2 months ago

I got the 4 a little over a year and half ago... and I feel mostly happy. I've replaced the screen twice because I'm an idiot, and like replaceable batteries. Would be nice to be able to upgrade the camera, so sad I can't do that.

have_faith2 months ago

Does anyone know of a site that does an "objective" comparison of the various flagships and their ethical claims? like how does Apple's material sourcing compare to Fairphone, compared to Samsung etc.

XorNot2 months ago

A repairable phone is honestly less interesting to me at this point then a seamless user-environment restore experience, which I still can't get.

Even with all the cloud-leeching and I presume data mining, if I crushed my phone into dust today, there's absolutely no way even if I get exactly the same model (which I can't) to get it to restore back to exactly how it was.

At this point I've been considering prodding Ansible and ADB to see if it can handle the config setup part, but given how locked down phones actually are I doubt it's viable.

0x38B2 months ago

Google have worsened backup and filesystem access for power users as they've locked things down; I remember using Titanium Backup on an Android 5 or 6 device to back up my apps and their data, as well as exporting my SMSes and call log to xml, then restoring it all without a hitch.

I wish we had a choice; I'd happily give up some security for an experience closer to my Linux laptop. And don't even get me started on my iPhone and filesystem access there (1).

1: 99% of iOS music players don't expose their music library as a folder in Files; one of the only ones that does is, funnily enough, a cross-platform Android-iOS-Windows app, Neutron Music Player². With Neutron, I can open a-shell³ and 'yt-dlp' a playlist from YouTube or Bandcamp to a new folder in my Neutron music folder - some obscure (esp. foreign) albums and soundtracks aren't available to buy where I am.

2: https://neutroncode.com/player

3: https://github.com/holzschu/a-shell

yellow_lead2 months ago

As an Android user, the sad thing about this is that iPhone seems to have had it for years. Plus, I'm told the upgrade functionality is nearly seamless.

RcouF1uZ4gsC2 months ago

> On the other hand, the Fairphone 5 is hardly a ball of fire when it comes to processor power. Though it comes with the fastest industrial chip (not a Snapdragon) made by Qualcomm, that puts it squarely in the mid-range rather than rubbing shoulders with more exotic devices.

I think performance might be what limits its actual useful life. I have had to replace phones more for being slow (since software is always eating up more and more performance) than for actual physical failures.

jandrese2 months ago

CPU speed isn't usually the thing that kills a phone, it's running out of memory. If they oversize (or allow upgrades of) the memory it could easily last that long.

carstenhag2 months ago

I think only my first Android (Samsung s3) had this bottleneck. The others were slow due to CPU or by being severely limited by the battery.

BenjiWiebe2 months ago

My Samsung s5 that I currently use is also severely crippled by its low RAM. I have replaced the battery (no tools needed!) otherwise that would be pretty bad too, as it had really degraded.

dtx12 months ago

I'm really considering Fairphone 5 as an Upgrade to my Pixel 3a with Graphene OS. Hardware seems fine (5g, Wifi 6e, reasonable SoC, MicroSD, etc.) but the absolute terrible state of Fairphone Software and their abhorrent record on dealing with security issues is really putting me off. So I'm waiting for Lineage OS to officially support it, hoping that they get this done better.

fgeiger2 months ago

What do you mean with "abhorrent record on dealing with security issues"?

And you would even prefer Lineage OS? Isn't that still more or less mandating userdebug builds and entirely open?

Disclaimer: I work for Fairphone.

dtx12 months ago

Hey, thanks for answering!

So in regards to security let me first refer to this thread: https://discuss.grapheneos.org/d/7208-8y-security-updates-on...

And it might sound unfair to compare the fairphone to a pixel device or a pixel device with grapheneos but the practical reality is that if this is going to be my one phone, than it will be the hub for all my private conversations, my bank forces me to use an app based authentication so basically my entire finances are on that device, e-mails, including those with doctors, etc.

It has to be secure and it has to up to date. And I am aware that my Pixel 3a currently isn't but I'm literally between buying the fairphone or the pixel 8. And I really don't want glued in batteries.

Now, let's see what the current state is for the fairphone 4: https://support.fairphone.com/hc/en-us/articles/440585822094...

Release date: 3rd Nov 2023 Security Patch Level: 5th October 2023

According to the Android Security Bulletin there are two more bulletins out right now: https://source.android.com/docs/security/bulletin/2023-11-01

In November and December each there is at least one Critical System CVE, with google noting:

> Note: There are indications that the following may be under limited, targeted exploitation. > CVE-2023-33063 > CVE-2023-33107 > CVE-2023-33106

So...Those aren't patched right now on the fairphone 4, are they? Now I'm not arguing most other companies are doing better, but that doesn't make it a good situation.

> And you would even prefer Lineage OS? Isn't that still more or less mandating userdebug builds and entirely open?

As far as lineage is concerned, i'll be waiting for an official release to even be there before evaluating the security but I am aware of the userdebug issue.

Though let me say that "abhorrent" is propably not the best adjective to describe it here. Unsatisfying would be fairer. As for the rest of the software... I just have to look at the forums dude...

fgeiger2 months ago

Okay, that is fair: I am also not happy about us being late with security patches for several weeks. I am not directly involved in that anymore, but I believe, we currently have a policy to release updates quarterly.

Back when I was still working on security updates, this took up so much resources that we struggled to work on anything else (bug fixes, major upgrades, etc.). It is unfortunately a compromise that we currently have to make with our limited resources.

Still, we are planning to release these regular security updates for 10 years and we have a track record of sticking to such plans. In my opinion, that is much better than having monthly updates for a couple of years. (Btw: outside of flagships, many models don't get monthly updates anyway and not even for long.)

dtx12 months ago

Yeah, I feel you, especially reading the "I would buy a fairphone if..." Thread here. I really appreciate what you are doing.

Google is planning 7 years of Security Support for their Pixel 8...which really doesn't help much when the battery is glued in...

trompetenaccoun2 months ago

Can you talk about GrapheneOS a bit? I'm seriously considering switching over but don't really know anything about the people maintaining the project. Most seem to use pseudonyms and I saw the founder Daniel Micay recently quit the project over some drama. Which is his right, fair enough. Is anyone trustworthy auditing the code and how do I know a competent team will still be around in a few years maintaining it?

Don't get me wrong, I definitely appreciate what they're doing. It's just we do so much with our smartphones these days, it's hard not to be paranoid about security issues or hacks. I really want to say goodbye to Apple though.

ponector2 months ago

Quite expensive. For regular buyer it is better to get for the same money two phones: one new phone now and another new in 3 years.

VoxPelli2 months ago

For the planet: Not much better

globular-toast2 months ago

Then the government needs to add those external costs to non-repairable phones to make the Fairphone competitive on price too. Unfortunately the vast majority of people will consider price first.

VoxPelli2 months ago

Yes and no, resell value needs to be acknowledged by people buying them just like people do when they eg buy a car

But you are right, and the government has done so to some degree, but they did it badly and I believe it also affected refurbished phones, making a phone pay for its production emissions over and over

rootusrootus2 months ago

There's more nuance than that. Total lifetime matters. If the first buyer keeps it 3 years, the next buyer may well keep it 3 more, or even longer.

arrowsmith2 months ago

Or the first buyer keeps it for three years then needlessly throws it away, or (more likely) shoves it in a drawer somewhere until it gets thrown away ten years later.

Moldoteck2 months ago

I really like the concept, but I hate it's size. I just can't buy something that big for daily use. Why can't they make a smaller version, idk, like pixel 3/5 sizes, isn't this more sustainable/eco friendly?

augustk2 months ago

Many people want a "smaller" phone but the only options seem to be iPhone SE and iPhone Mini. Why aren't there more small models? Isn't the market economy supposed to solve this? For me the iPhone SE has the perfect size; not too big to fit in my front pocket.

Moldoteck2 months ago

for me even pixel 5 was ok (mini is even better but let's say apple is another story). Now we have only zenfone 10, that is a bit taller so again not that nice and s23 that is +- the size of p5 but still something felt off. Iphone 13 mini was super nice to hold, super light. I would have got one if not lightning. All my devices use usb-c, it would be a downgrade to use lightning

a-french-anon2 months ago

This, I'm stuck with a Sony Xperia Z3 compact (4.6", microSD slot, jack, microG Lineage support) and I don't see any possible replacement for it.

danwee2 months ago

Indeed! I would buy it if it were smaller (e.g., 4.7')

badrabbit2 months ago

My vision of the future is that there won't be smartphones just wireless touch screens that link to a small computer that stays in your pocket, charging area or linked to a bigger computer but never interfaced with directly, just a small smartphone like box and you can access apps and data at your home compute box (think mac studio) tailscale style.

I'd like to day dream that a modern day steve jobs somewhere is already working on this.

New tech like smartphone gets plateued by money makers. Why innovate when you can play dirty with planned obsolecense, selling data, recycling/polishing turd and playing marketing games and make profit on the cheap. R&D ain't free.

I dislike smarphones as they are but the idea of computing using a handheld screen as thin as window glass and being able to transfer my view to bigger screens/peripherals flawlessly is appealing. The OS could be Linux, windows, macos, android, ios doesn't matter because it isn't this mobile optimized walled garden bs but a full fledged controllable computer running the same apps but it scales/adjust the UI based on display size. You'd be using a handheld display as you are walking to work/office, tap and move it to a 15" display withy keyboard/cam and go to a meeting or start a movie on a projector by tapping the right spot again.

circuit102 months ago

I don’t think many people would want to carry two devices instead of one

asadotzler2 months ago

Imagine it's one device but when you pull it out of your pocket, you pull it in half and only slide out a touchscreen leaving the battery and other guts in your pocket. With some magnetic clips, it could be seamless to slide it back into your pocket to become the larger single brick again which it stays as you take it all out at night to plug in and charge.

circuit102 months ago

Phones are thin and light enough already, I don’t think that’s really necessary

badrabbit2 months ago

The thinness is not the feature, the modularity is. The thin touch screen can connect to your laptop as well as your phone. But it will also look very elegant. And i am hoping such a tech would apply to monitors and desktop peripherals as well. You wouldn't have to worry about the looks of your phone, dropping it and a lot of other annoyances. In the distant future maybe this handheld screen can expand and shrink on demand as well.

badrabbit2 months ago

Yeah, two pieces of one device. Could even be an arm band with the detachable display.

lucb1e2 months ago

Answering the title: yes

wkat42422 months ago

I do have some criticism on it. The way that both the motherboard and main frame are linked and not available as spare parts is pretty repairability inhibiting. The aluminium frame can scuff easily but it's not possible to replace that part :( making it necessary to use a case, the lack of which would have been a huge advantage of a repairable phone.

iandanforth2 months ago

I'd buy one if it had a headphone jack!

Gigachad2 months ago

Seems like the problem with targeting a niche market is that the buyers all have some very specific hard requirements.

It has to have a headphone jack, it has to have wireless charging, it has to have cameras as good as the iphone, it has to have an AV1 video decoder, etc.

Same problem with the Framework laptop. Everyone has a different set of obscure hard requirements.

helpfulmountain2 months ago

Headphone jacks are hardly obscure hardware

geraldhh2 months ago

> It has to have a headphone jack, it has to have wireless charging, it has to have cameras as good as the iphone, it has to have an AV1 video decoder

very reasonable requirements, imho

Siilwyn2 months ago

Same here, sad dealbreaker. I hope it becomes an option for the next phone.

ctenb2 months ago

I bought an adapter cable, works okay! :)

lucb1e2 months ago

Which one? The only ones I've been able to find have either terrible reviews, or I ordered it and it turned out to be terrible. "You sound like you're talking to us from under water or behind glass", was my colleagues' description.

Couldn't get a work phone with headphone jack... privately I dread the day where I need a new phone and need to probably forfeit both headphone and microsd to get something that's not seventeen inches in diameter or released more than three years ago so already out of support. Internal storage is overpriced, and I use that headphone port literally every day when falling asleep with an audio book; bluetooth buds are too thick to lay/lean on and would also get lost under the blanket and crushed overnight.

abdullahkhalids2 months ago

There are "wired" bluetooth earbuds [1], where the bluetooth/electronics hardware is not in the ear-part, but a separate part that is connected to both earbuds by wires.

Also, bluetooth earbuds designed for sleep [2].

[1] https://www.apple.com/ca/shop/product/MYMC2LL/A/beats-flex-a...

[2] https://ca.soundcore.com/products/sleep-a10-a6610z21?ref=nav...

lucb1e2 months ago

The Apple ones look like they're those that go into your ear deeply, which you can't lay on (and I don't find comfortable anyway, but during the day that could be a compromise).

The sleep ones cost 170$ O.o

The ones you get for free with some phones, or the cheapest ones from a vending machine, are currently fine. I don't need custom specialty products... or, well, maybe I do, once a new phone without headphone jack is forced upon me in order to have a normal life where I can run the local transport company's app and other such semi-necessities...

ctenb2 months ago

I have to be honest, and the first one I bought was outright broken. For the second one I paid more attention to reviews and it was also slightly more expensive. Let me check if I can find the brand

+1
ctenb2 months ago
izacus2 months ago

Would you reeeaaally? If you really wanted a phone like this, you'd just get the tiny USB-C to Jack adapter.

How much of a chance that you'd find some other detail that's not ok if it had a jack?

keb_2 months ago

1. Many USB-C jack adapters are poor quality.

2. USB-C adapters are one extra thing to carry around and easy to lose or forget, unless you just never unplug it, which is cumbersome

3. Many people who were born before the year 2005 (me included) have wired headphones that they prefer and have used for years that still work fine and have the sound quality and comfort that fit our needs.

4. Outside of the smart phone world, 3.5mm audio jacks are still very common and not obsolete

5. Bluetooth is cumbersome on many phones and headphones, introduces latency, and affects audio quality

I wouldn't buy a phone just because it had a headphone jack, but it's definitely a draw for me when a phone does (+ a removable battery or expandable storage, but HN is probably gonna tell me those things are obsolete as well).

scheeseman4862 months ago

1. buy a good adapter

2. connect it to the end of your headphones and leave it there

3. do the above

4. buy a good adapter

5. don't use bluetooth and buy an adapter

e: I was a little flippant. Point being: Time has marched on, TVs don't have RCA jacks either. You are an enthusiast and that's fine, I am too, but everyone else has moved on to bluetooth and wifi-enabled speakers and TVs. I'm happy to simply have the option, it's not like half-decent dongles are particularly expensive.

keb_2 months ago

I have an adapter. I still would rather have a phone with an audio jack built-in.

> Time has marched on, TVs don't have RCA jacks either.

Bad comparison. 3.5mm audio is still standard almost everywhere else for audio. RCA jacks are not. Your laptop, speakers, Steam Deck, monitor, and yeah probably your TV still have an audio jack.

> You are an enthusiast and that's fine, I am too, but everyone else has moved on to bluetooth and wifi-enabled speakers and TVs. I'm happy to simply have the option, it's not like half-decent dongles are particularly expensive.

I'm not an enthusiast; I, like probably 90% of the US population, have wired 3.5mm headphones in my home that I like to use with my electronics. It's bonkers to me that people are calling wired headphones obsolete; this makes me think that they either throw away all of their electronics when something new comes out, or are under eighteen years old and have never owned a pair.

crashmat2 months ago

I would say less people have moved to wireless for at-home headphones, with many pairs of headphones intended for use with a pc still being wired, so I dont think 'everyone else' has moved 'on' to wireless in all contexts.

+1
cthulhus_crocs2 months ago
izacus2 months ago

The fact of the matter is that phones that still have headphone jacks don't sell that well. There's always something else that demanders of that feature find wrong with them.

You can list things as much as you want, but the market shows that almost noone puts their money where their mouth is once a phone with a jack is launched.

keb_2 months ago

> The fact of the matter is that phones that still have headphone jacks don't sell that well. There's always something else that demanders of that feature find wrong with them.

This likely has more to do with the fact that the only phones that have headphone jacks are low-end "cheap" phones with worse specs everywhere else. If the new Galaxy came out with a headphone jeack, I don't think their sales would suddenly tank.

astowaway2 months ago

I didn't buy a fairphone 4/5 having previously bought a fp3 that got broken mostly beyond repair. I didnt buy the updated version as it didnt have a headphone jack. I opted for a used phone instead.

It flies in the face of claiming to care for repairability and sustainability. Wireless earbuds (maybe including the ones they sell) I by and large dont have replaceable batteries. That isnt sustainable.

If my USBC jack breaks from wear and tear being in my pocket with a cable attached to them, I no longer have a working phone and need to buy a part to fix it, if the headphone jack breaks, I can live without headphones and still have a functional phone. If the selling point is sustainability, they miss the mark by creating extraneous rubbish, even if its not direct

lmm2 months ago

I consistently bought Galaxies until they got rid of the headphone jack, and switched to an Xperia when they did. Like, yes, there are other features that I pay attention to too, but I've empirically demonstrated a willingness to switch brands and pay more for the sake of a headphone jack. It does matter.

toast02 months ago

I've had phones where I needed a USB-C to jack adapter, and I'm not buying another one. I don't often use headphones with my phone, but 95% of the time, I'm on a plane and I'd like to stay charged while I watch my movie. It's also really easy to leave the dongle on the plane, so that's annoying too.

asadotzler2 months ago

plenty of split dongles that do power and audio, right?

reiichiroh2 months ago

Don’t you still have the adapter?

toast02 months ago

I accidentally left an adapter on a plane, so no I don't still have that adapter.

I do have another one (from my spouse's phone), but my current phone doesn't need an adapter, because it has a 3.5mm jack.

q0uaur2 months ago

not the other guy, but... any advice how to find a decent usb-c to audio jack dongle? i've ordered a cheap one and it's absolutely unusable, horrible sound quality and constant noticeable static. not feeling like gambling on another one.

LeoPanthera2 months ago

Apple's USB-C to headphone dongle works on Android, I believe, and is regularly reviewed to have the same audio quality as comparably expensive DACs. It's $9

russelg2 months ago

It doesn't receive enough power on Android for some reason, you'll find the max volume it can push out much lower than other dongles. It also doesn't support volume buttons on Android. Can't fault the sound quality though.

crashmat2 months ago

It does sound good, but not very durable. I got one recently because i got a phone without a headphone jack foolishly thinking I'd just buy an adapter and it broke the second time I used it, just making clicking noises.

+1
NewJazz2 months ago
mhitza2 months ago

Safe to assume you're in the US? In EU, or another country with reasonable return policy, I'd buy such a dongle in an electronics shops, try it on the spot and refund if it's non comformant.

+1
sentientslug2 months ago
q0uaur2 months ago

europe, but i ordered it online and shipping it back just isnt worth the effort. i guess it's a decent idea, but physical stores around here just add such a massive markup, sometimes triple the price....

beAbU2 months ago

... don't buy a cheap one?

NewJazz2 months ago

Meizu makes a good one IMO. Sturdy cable and good sound quality.

ben-schaaf2 months ago

Yes I would. I have a fairphone 3 and when it gets too old or damaged I'd like to buy something newer and a headphone jack is a deal breaker.

acheron2 months ago

What about a floppy drive and parallel port connector?

circuit102 months ago

This is a terrible comparison, I don’t know about others but I use headphones multiple times per day and needing an adapter is an unnecessary annoyance

keb_2 months ago

What mobile phone has those?

Personally, I've never met anyone who had a need for reading floppy disks or connecting their computer printer to their phone, but I know many people who like to listen to music with their wired headphones on the go.

adamjc2 months ago

bluetooth headphones have a noticable delay for anyone who pays attention.

autoexec2 months ago

bluetooth headphones/audio have a long list of problems, but I generally don't want to enable bluetooth on my phones at all. It's used extensively for tracking and can log your location at a distance of within a foot from where the beacon is placed or from over 20 miles away. That means I need a headphone jack.

kshahkshah2 months ago

Isn't any delay measured and accounted for in syncing playback of videos? When was the last time you've used a great pair of bluetooth headphones

+1
duskwuff2 months ago
throwaway815232 months ago

People use headphones for phone calls not just videos. The delay is annoying. Mobile phones already have lag compared to land phones and BT makes it worse.

kelipso2 months ago

Ever played games with bluetooth headphones? Anyway, who wants radiation directly aimed into their brains.

mikece2 months ago

How many current phones have a headphone jack? When I upgraded from my Pixel 4a to the 6a (both running Graphene OS) I never noticed that the headphone jack was "missing" because I use a Bose bluetooth headset. And when I want to route the audio through my car speakers? Oh... I have a USB-C pigtail splitter which allows for power to be passed through another UBS-C port and connection to the car audio system through a 3.5mm TRS connector.

Seriously: who needs a headphone jack anymore?

cameroncairns2 months ago

Anecdata, but I suspect my current issues with charging my iphone are due to wear on the charging port from using the lightning -> headphone adapter. When looking for a new phone I noticed that many sony phones still provide headphone jacks on their higher end models (xperia 5v, 10v) but generally it seems relegated to cheaper android phones.

I hate the waste generated from having battery powered headphones, and generally dislike the batterification of so many products these days. Wires can be messy but they are usually replaceable and I don't have to worry about properly disposing of them as much as I would for an item with a LiON battery.

IIRC the xperia phones are just as water/dustproof as the pixels/iphones so not really sure why we had to give up the port other than for maybe a mm of thinness and a reason to sell a new series of audio devices to consumers.

bluGill2 months ago

I used Xperia phones for years. However I gave up as if it doesn't come from t-mobile it didn't support all the towers (tmobile uses some weird frequencies in the US) and I'd end up in dead zones all over. Great phones, but too much friction to keep using them.

MostlyStable2 months ago

I almost bought one recently because they are literally the only new phone model that has both of: a headphone jack and no camera cutout. Unfortunately, it seemed like support on google fi was hacky and partial at best (and it wasn't 100% clear you could get it to work at all).

I ended up going with the pixel 4, which was the newest phone I could fine that at least didn't have a camera cutout.

I have since discovered that in android developer options, you can choose to give up the screen real estate around teh cutout to effectively hide it. Given this, in the future, I'll look for phones that have a jack, worrying less about the cutout.

If the Fairphone ever comes to the US with full support, I would strongly consider it, even though I _really_ want a headphone jack. I think that for a fully repairable phone, I might be willing to trade.

It appears like my ideal phone is probably never going to exist again, so I'm going to have to compromise on something.

+1
cameroncairns2 months ago
toast02 months ago

Looking at the GSM Arena Phone Finder [1], there's currently 494 cataloged phones released in 2023, and 286 of them have headphone jacks. I won't buy a phone without one, as I want to charge and listen to the movie I'm watching on a plane, and I'm not doing wireless headsets because I hate bluetooth and I hate unnecessary audio latency.

[1] https://www.gsmarena.com/search.php3

PennRobotics2 months ago

This feels misleading. As soon as you add a minimum price, there are 236 phones---implying those are probably prohibitively difficult to buy in the U.S. or West Europe.

Cursory browsing... There's Infinix (serves mostly Africa and Asia) and Tecno (popular in India) and a few other brands that are mainly released in Asia. Beyond that, can you really count all 14 "Redmi" as separate phones when some only differentiate "5G" or "not 5G"? Same with various "Fan" or "VIP" editions, which typically tweak one or two peripherals?

Are you really in the market for vivo, Realme, TCL, Oukitel? Or a specialist/rugged brand like Ulefone or Doogee?

Ironically, the most popular handset made outside of China for a worldwide market is the Galaxy A24, which has a horrendous single on-board speaker. So much for audiophilia! (In fairness, as soon as you restrict Chinese and Hong Kong headsets, you're down to just a few brands. Weird tangent, it's nice to see Nokia putting out spec-competitive mid-market Android phones. I might get one next because Asus and Sony are sticking with two OS upgrades.)

Then I fell into a rabbit hole and plotted the GSM Arena prices of phones with jacks and without: https://gitlab.com/PennRobotics/permalink/-/raw/main/handset...

From that, I can fathom that headphone jacks are largely bullshit features tacked on to devkit-derived bargain bin phones, which creates a huge peak in jacked sub-$150 units. From $300 up, where you expect good peripheral selection and a normal Android experience, it's clear that headphone jacks are in the minority.

I was in the same boat: gotta have headphone jack. The best player here was LG. Keyword: was. Now I'm convinced that until phone makers actually prioritize wired audio, the better path forward (and which won't be long-term obsolete) is picking the smartphone with the best overall specs/support plus a USB splitter and whichever grade of USB DAC you prefer to drive your headphones. It's easier for the manufacturer to waterproof their case and gives more room for battery, etc. This also lets you quickly transfer your preferred hardware to a tablet/laptop/desktop, which seems like a pain unless you're in love with something high-impedance like HD600, ATH-R70, DT990, etc.

bigstrat20032 months ago

I need a headphone jack. My car doesn't have an aux input (I have to use a cassette adapter), let alone Bluetooth. It's 20 years old, yes, but it's not that uncommon to have a car that old.

More importantly, even if I didn't need one I would still want one. A headphone jack is a universal connection for audio, Bluetooth is not. And wired headphones are strictly superior to wireless headphones, as they don't need to be charged and can't be lost as easily.

prmoustache2 months ago

Their are usb-c to jack adapter, some allowing usb-c passthrough for charging, otherr being full blown otg cable with usb-c, usb-a and TRS (the real name for jack). You would leave it attached on the cable that stay attached to your car and you would be fine.

Also, there are wired usb-c headphones, my partner is using one.

NewJazz2 months ago

Couldn't you keep an adapter in your car?

K7PJP2 months ago

I'm in the same situation, but I just keep a USB-C to headphone adapter attached to the cassette adapter and I'm good to go.

ponector2 months ago

I'm also buying only a phones with audio jack.

But for car you can consider modern cassette adapter with Bluetooth and built-in mp3 flash player.

chrysoprace2 months ago

Nobody needs a smartphone; a dumbphone would suffice for most people. We buy smartphones because we want them. For my personal use case I have an expensive pair of headphones which I used to use (lasted over a decade so far) with my Nexus 6P and while using an amp/DAC is better; it's just more convenient to plug and play.

askonomm2 months ago

Don't know about you, but without Maps I'd be completely lost. Also, all gov services in my country (Estonia) require Smart ID, which requires a smartphone. So if I want to log into my bank account, sign documents, look at my medical records, do tax declarations, manage my business information, manage car parking, and so on and so on, I will need a smartphone. I suppose I could use the oldschool physical ID card and a ID card reader for my computer, but then I'd not be able to do anything on the go, and I'm certainly not going to carry a computer with me to be able to pay for car parking.

I'd say being able to live without a smartphone is only in third-world countries at this point, and less and less even there. In Argentina, everything from government services to booking a hair salon appointment to viewing restaurant menus is done via Whatsapp and QR codes, for example.

+1
chrysoprace2 months ago
+1
prmoustache2 months ago
rcarr2 months ago

Hard disagree. Not having some kind of device (be that a smart phone, tablet or laptop) is going to make life very difficult, particularly if you have to access any kind of government service in the developed world. Might be different in the US but in the UK almost everything is digital or moving to digital. For example if you're claiming benefits because you're unemployed in the UK then you would be expected to both apply online and log in to an online portal and register all your jobseeking activities which your job advisor will then review to determine if you're putting in enough effort. Failure to do this would result in your unemployment benefits being withdrawn. If you don't own your own device, the only other option would be to go down to the local library where you normally have to pay fees if you're using the computer over 30/60 mins depending on the local authority. If you're having to do this on a regular basis then it's far more economical to own your own device. This is just one example of many.

+1
tmtvl2 months ago
ponector2 months ago

Who needs jack?

Anyone who has good wired headphones. Or issues with Bluetooth headset. Or need to have wired audio output together with wired charging.

I hope more phones will be available with audio jack.

keb_2 months ago

> Seriously: who needs a headphone jack anymore?

People born before the year 2005 who don't throw away perfectly working electronics when a new shiny alternative comes around the corner.

autoexec2 months ago

> who needs a headphone jack anymore?

Anyone who wants to listen to music with headphones and doesn't want to be tracked via bluetooth. Bluetooth tracking beacons are used extensively and can log your location within a foot of where the beacon is placed or from as far as 20 miles away.

Bluetooth also increases your security risk. There have already been several exploits with bluetooth over the years.

Moldoteck2 months ago

but you can get an adapter, no?

wwweston2 months ago

Bluetooth's downsides:

* Pairing UX is unreliable and has corner cases that even Apple hasn't solved and they're probably the best case. 1/8" is predictable and reliable (and doesn't require extra thought / kit to make sure you can power at the same time).

* Battery life isn't an issue for wired headphones.

* Latency is unacceptable for some use cases (mostly specialized audio), and sometimes audio quality is degraded too.

I like wireless audio, (especially for workout listening) but I miss the headphone jack on my original iphone 5 SE at least once a week.

atoav2 months ago

I do. And I don't even have to explain why an adapter is unpractical foe my applications.

jablala2 months ago

Congrats you have a different use case to GP.

lukeschlather2 months ago

I can't instantly switch audio inputs to my phone with Bluetooth when I'm in an unfamiliar location. If there's a jack I can plug in and play music in seconds. If it's bluetooth... could be 30 seconds, could be 5-10 minutes before I can get the bluetooth working. Meanwhile the music is off. Maybe I just wanted to share one song, but I've possibly killed the party. Not even worth the risk. Headphone jacks are really excellent and just work. I've lost hours of my life troubleshooting Bluetooth.

mtlmtlmtlmtl2 months ago

I prefer wired headsets in general though I do have some bluetooth earbuds. I prefer my headset in the winter. And I'd prefer not to buy a new headset.

orangepurple2 months ago

Not for sale in the USA. I looked at their small whitelist of countries they ship to in the final step of checkout.

Ruthalas2 months ago

Only very recently did they start partnering with a company called Murena to sell phones in the US. Murena currently stocks the Faiphone 4.

Murena does have a note on their site[0] regarding sale of the FP5. They don't have it yet, but they may eventually.

[0]https://murena.com/america/murena-fairphone-5-availibility/

redder232 months ago

Well they have gone a long way from FP3 to 5. I do not things will be out of stock or hard to repair for the 5.

rcarr2 months ago

I wonder how long it will take for tech like foldable screens to make it's way to devices like this. After some scepticism, I've recently transitioned to a foldable and it does feel like the next evolution in phones, even if the tech is currently pretty fragile.

blitz_skull2 months ago

What makes you bullish on that? I had the opposite experience recently. I used a friend’s foldable phone and it felt extremely gimmicky.

kevincox2 months ago

Because being able to carry around a huge screen is fantastic. Being able to play games or use apps with a split-screen layout when I am sitting on the train is amazing. Folding allows it to fit nicely in your pocket and not be too awkward for quick usages such as responding to a message or paying with your phone.

It seems clear to me that all else being equal having a twice as large screen is a major upside. So it is really just a question of when the downsides (such as price, thickness and durability) shrink enough to tip the scales in favour of folding displays.

rcarr2 months ago

I was initially sceptical at first but after a few days you really start to appreciate it. A bigger screen is just better for a lot of things - reading, web browsing, video, gaming etc. I put a quadlock universal mount on the back of my case and then I connect it to a quadlock selfie stick alongside a foldable keyboard and a Swiftpoint ProPoint mouse and it means I essentially have a full computing set up that's both portable and ergonomic that can fit in a cross body bag or even a large bumbag. It's perfect for writing but you can even take it further and use it with codespaces on GitHub to code with it. Or if you're into gaming you can get something like the razer kishi, nacom mg-x etc and then you essentially have something similar to the steam deck. I can't see myself going back to regular slab phones in the future. You do have to be careful with it though and it's also highly recommended to fork out for Samsung Care or whatever the Google equivalent is as the screens do have a fairly high failure rate according to the various subreddits.

crawsome2 months ago

If they offered Graphene or Lineage on it, I'd be much more excited.

But this is Android, at the price of an iPhone. I'd buy if it wasn't running an ad company's OS on it.

sylware2 months ago

I wish risc-v had good smart phone SOC.

baz002 months ago

IP55. Nope. I'd kill that in 30 seconds. My phone case looks like a fish bowl on some days.

carstenhag2 months ago

What are you doing with it? Never had a waterproof phone, never needed one. I guess very few people benefit from it on a day to day basis. Most value is just there in case of accidents

Daz12 months ago

Cool, I've never needed a repairable phone. Ever. Never had anything break on any iPhone I've ever owned. I have accidentally immersed it in water several times though, after which it was totally fine. That makes the Fairphone useless from my perspective.

nicoburns2 months ago

> I guess very few people benefit from it on a day to day basis. Most value is just there in case of accidents

That's true, but some people have more accidents than others! If you're the sort of person who drops their phone in water every couple of months then a waterproof phone ends up being a huge cost saving.

biomcgary2 months ago

My wife's phone died in a bucket of goat milk. All those calcium ions are great conductors.

baz002 months ago

RIP. That's an interesting phone death.

I actually killed a Nokia 6303 because the alarm went off and it vibrated off the window sill into a large pan of potatoes I'd just boiled. You just never know what is going to happen.

baz002 months ago

I live in the UK. It rains here. A lot. And I need to take calls.

sgift2 months ago

I think you are good with IP55 in that case: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_code

> Water projected by a nozzle (6.3 mm (0.25 in)) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.

> Test duration: 1 minute per square meter for at least 3 minutes

> Water volume: 12.5 litres per minute Pressure: 30 kPa (4.4 psi) at distance of 3 meters (9.8 ft)

baz002 months ago

It classifies as submersion when the case is saturated.

Also with these things you never buy at the line. You get something that's a couple of ratings higher than what you expect. That allows some margin for error and uncertainty.

Symbiote2 months ago

Britain generally has light to moderate rain, especially in the places it rains "a lot".

TrueGeek2 months ago

I'm surprised you're getting downvoted. The iPhone has been IP67 since iPhone 7 (so 7 years now). I figured more people appreciated this. I assume most Androids are the same. It's nice to be able to go kayaking and not worry about having to have a waterproof case. Mine once spent 10 hours in a back cycling jersey pocket where it rained the entire time and it was perfectly fine.

sgift2 months ago

There's obviously a trade-off between able to open the case without having to glue it back together - which is kind of needed for good repairability - and having IP67. It don't think it's even possible tbh. If you have screws, you'll have gaps and since IP67 has to be completely dust proof (not only dust protected as IP5) and water proof for 30 minutes in 1m water it's kind of a silly ask for anything repairable.

throwaway815232 months ago

What is the trade off? Diving gear (flashlights etc) has had replaceable batteries since forever.

The culprit is Steve Jobs' obsession with thin phones. Just thicken the phone and add some gaskets and you are good to go. People put those thin phones in thick cases anyway, so it is fine.

sgift2 months ago

That's fair and I hadn't thought about the "Make it a bit thicker again" variant. I would like that. Probably not what will happen though.

BenjiWiebe2 months ago

The Samsung Galaxy S5 pulled it off. IP67 and you can take the back cover + battery out with your fingernail.

Shekelphile2 months ago

No. Mostly Samsung lied and put oleophobic coatings on all the vulnerable points that washes away from a few weeks/months of ambient humidity. Phones like that are not waterproof in the real world, and if you want a hard example of that you can just look at Samsungs folding devices (they have to use the same coating ‘cheat’ there to get any ip rating)

adolph2 months ago

> without having to glue it back together

It's not like using a squirt-bottle. Just buy the seal with the repair part, example below.

https://www.ifixit.com/products/iphone-x-display-assembly-ad...

+2
Ruthalas2 months ago
bigstrat20032 months ago

Yeah, but to be honest the entire time I've been baffled that Apple advertised such a useless thing as a feature. I've never once dropped my phone in water. Not in some 15-16 years of owning a mobile phone. It's not really onerous to take a little care to not get my phone wet.

marcellus232 months ago

> I've never once dropped my phone in water.

It's not really about that. It's about being able to play music from your phone in the shower. Or use it in the bathtub. Or take it on a cycling ride while it's raining. Or put it on a bar table without worrying about spilling beer on it. It makes a big difference not to have to treat it like a delicate flower.

Gigachad2 months ago

There have been several times I've been outside with my phone, apple watch and airpods, and it suddenly starts pouring down with rain. 10 years ago this used to be a really stressful event. I used to carry around a zip lock bag in case this happened. Today I can comfortably just accept being drenched knowing all my tech is waterproof.

baz002 months ago

Yes exactly that. My iPhone 13 Pro has been up mountains, across glaciers and through deserts (no shit it actually has) and it looks and works like the day I bought it.

But the time it really got hammered was when it was pissing it down in the middle of nowhere in the UK when I was waiting for a train that would never come and I had to try and organise a taxi in an unfamiliar place. That would have killed the Fairphone 5 dead. It was soaked. Everything was soaked.

Edit: I also have a Pixel 7a which is the same.

babypuncher2 months ago

I appreciate it. I like knowing my phone can survive a quick rinse in the sink when it gets dirty.

throwaway815232 months ago

I can't wait for the day when we have to lose our reflashed phones in boating accidents on purpose.

prmoustache2 months ago

Having an IP67 phone is of little help if your phone end up at the bottom of a river/lake.

Ask me how I know.

baz002 months ago

I dropped mine in a river in central asia.

I went in and got it out.

prmoustache2 months ago

You got lucky to find it.

stevehawk2 months ago

i think it's safe to say that you're not the average phone user.

sowbug2 months ago

I've heard that in Japan, it's common to use phones while showering. My N=1 observation is that this would be unusual in the US.

calamari40652 months ago

.....but why?

Actually, I probably don't want to know.

Daz12 months ago

Not really use. They play music or YouTube etc. while showering.

KoftaBob2 months ago

Are you a fisherman or something?

WheatMillington2 months ago

I don't understand why this is such a priority for people. I've never had to have a phone repaired, and unless you're buying top-of-the-line phones aren't expensive anyway. Changing my phone out every 3 years isn't exactly adding piles of e-waste.

pwagland2 months ago

Per person, it's not. But if you have 3 billion people changing their phones every 3 years, that's a billion phones per year.

Assuming that the average phone weighs 100g, that's 100 million tons of phones per year.

In the aggregate, it adds up a lot.

daggersandscars2 months ago

1,000,000,000 phones * 0.100 kg = 100,000,000 kg = 100,000 metric tons (tonnes).

solardev2 months ago

I wonder if the decrease in desktop computers, CRT screens, printers, scanners, fax machines, etc. lowered overall e-waste volumes at all. Even though there are so many phones, each one is a lot smaller than personal electronics used to be.

massysett2 months ago

All this assumes that volume is the problem. Deliberately extreme example: cleaning up my yard results in a large volume of heavy waste - enough bags of waste to equal hundreds, maybe thousands, of discarded phones. But surely all the metals in the phones - maybe even from just ONE phone - will have much more environmental impact than a mixture of dead leaves, grass, and old mulch from my yard.

+1
solardev2 months ago
alain940402 months ago

Is your math wrong by order of magnitudes? I try to visualize the amount of waste I generate every year and try to imagine one cell phone next to it. Doesn’t feel very significant.

boudin2 months ago

The waste is not just the end product but all the waste and environmental impact producing it.

massysett2 months ago

I have no idea how much e-waste results from a phone. How many materials are mined to make the metals? How much energy was needed to manufacture the chips?

At first glance yeah, a phone has much less e-waste than a laser printer. Is this true though? Yeah, the laser printer takes up more space in a landfill. But what about everything that went into making the phone, and the waste resulting from these processes? Maybe the lithium ion battery alone is considered much worse waste than anything in the printer.

I have no idea. It would be interesting to see something that attempts to tally these things.

sbierwagen2 months ago

>I've never had to have a phone repaired

I replaced the battery in my iphone 6S twice. People who drop their phones a lot have to replace the screen.

fsflover2 months ago

> This means that Fairphone might actually make the decade-lasting phone a reality.

This is already a reality with GNU/Linux phones. Even more, they have lifetime updates.

llamaInSouth2 months ago

they probably should have went with 9.5 in case something better comes along

mrweasel2 months ago

That's actually a pretty big issue for surveys where I live. I live in a part of Denmark that is notorious for never using the full scale in surveys, to the point where it screws with data analysis.

Basically we'll never use 5 in a 1 - 5 score, or 10 in a 1 - 10, because what if something better came along?

I've been to training seminars and done surveys about workplace issues where we've been specifically instructed to use the full scale, because clustering on e.g. 2 - 4 will result in NOTHING, it gets removed by HR/software/analysis as average and not worth dealing with, resulting in no change.

I'd still argue that it issue is in how people use the data, but it remains a problem.

mcv2 months ago

I often answer in the 2-4 range. Usually because of the way the question is phrased. If they want different answers, they should ask their questions differently.

buzzy_hacker2 months ago

I find it amusing that you live somewhere known for such an obscure tendency.

0832419455212 months ago

You my

binkHN2 months ago

> Fairphone promises five Android version upgrades and at least eight years of security updates, with an aim for a total lifespan of a decade.

Impressive

IMTDb2 months ago

This is comparable to Apple timeline. The iPhone 6, released sept 2014 got a security update earlier this year.

rtpg2 months ago

comparable to the iOS stuff at least. I was a bit frustrated to find out that a 2015 MBP I had in a closet has been out of support for a while (I have very high doubts that there was any technical reason for the line drawing on that front).

I really appreciate the iOS support window but it's messed up that their laptops ad desktops (which can last _so long_ and be useful!) just fall out of support despite still being very capable machines.

The kicker of course is I at least updated it all to MacOS 12 to give to a friend and everything still ran extremely well. But at one point these machines will stop working for purely incidental reasons

turquoisevar2 months ago

> I was a bit frustrated to find out that a 2015 MBP I had in a closet has been out of support for a while (I have very high doubts that there was any technical reason for the line drawing on that front).

They’re talking about security updates. Your definition of support seems to be “latest bells and whistles with a major release.”

Your 2015 MBP was eligible for a Safari security update released last month and a macOS security update the month before[0].

This means your 2015 MBP receives similar support as the iPhone they mentioned.

We can argue if seven years of the “latest and greatest” is sufficient for a laptop before it is relegated to just security updates, but I don’t understand the lament.

It’s a capable machine, as you said, and it still ran great. If the manufacturer gives you all that was advertised at purchase and then some and then ensures it’s safe to use while not receiving new bells and whistles, how is that a demerit that causes frustration on your end?

turquoisevar2 months ago
tompark2 months ago

Not truly "out of support for a while" -- it was fully supported right up until a couple months ago.

I was worried that Apple was going to discontinue support for my early-2015 13" MBP after their new Mac announcements in the late Oct 2023 event, so I took it to the Apple Store in Sept and had them replace the battery which had been needing service for a while.

It's stuck on macOS 12 Monterey, but got a macOS security update in Oct (possibly its last) and a Safari update just over a week ago.

mixmastamyk2 months ago

We put Mint on a free iMac from ~2010 and it works great.

sneak2 months ago

Well, the phones haven’t been through an architecture change recently, while the laptops and desktops have.

I think you’ll be safe on ARM macs for 10 full years.

+1
rtpg2 months ago
sumuyuda2 months ago

Security updates aren’t the same as major version updates.

The iPhone 6 is stuck on iOS 12 and has missed out on 5 major iOS versions. It launched with iOS 8, so it only got upgrade support for four versions of iOS.

asddubs2 months ago

it's limited to ios12 though, and crucially also safari 12 because of that, which limits its usefulness. so while it getting security updates is great, it does have a limitation an android getting security but not OS upgrades would not have. Though of course most android manufacturers are far worse than apple even if we just look at full os upgrade timeline.

Moldoteck2 months ago

imo it's better than apple. With apple you are pretty limited with apps after end of life. With android, the play store is more decoupled from the system, more apps to install even if not on the latest version. You can also sideload. But still, it's nice we have this

maegul2 months ago

So I’m completely out of the loop on the whole de-googling your Android phone thing.

How workable is it today and how well would it work on a phone like this?

potatopatch2 months ago

The de-google issue is Google's proprietary play/Gapps setup which expects to have higher privileges and sells itself as nicer APIs and cloud services to app developers. Many apps can just fallback since not all regions and devices use official Google Android, etc. The other alternatives to not installing any support for them are, installing them like normal but on your non google distribution, an emulator of the services like microg, or wrapping them to put them in the standard app cage like grapheneOS does.

fgeiger2 months ago

You can quite easily install the Google-freie /e/OS: https://doc.e.foundation/devices/FP5

Murena also sells it preinstalled: https://murena.com/shop/smartphones/brand-new/murena-fairpho...

prmoustache2 months ago

The fairphone 5 is available new preinstalled with /e/os from the murena store:

https://murena.com/shop/smartphones/brand-new/murena-fairpho...

nazgulsenpai2 months ago

LineageOS with MicroG, F-Droid and Aurora store for whatever play apps you might need has served me well for years. Haven't signed into a Google account for anything on here.

lucb1e2 months ago

Can confirm, same setup here

redder232 months ago

VERY ironically just do NOT buy a fucking Google phone to un-google it. I really really like the Grahpene OS project but its a damn shame that is does only support Pixels and not Fairphones or phones that are at least privacy supporting from the manufacturers end.

I think "hardware security" of Google phones sounds nice on paper but you never know if these is some NSA chip or some other exploit build in that the Graphene OS devs never know about. I do not trust Google AT ALL and would love for them to support different Phones, because /e/ is does not sound very secure in comparison, they build on Lineage OS and they actually lowered security to widen compatibility AFAIK and I guess /e/ OS is just copying + de-googling.

imiric2 months ago

There are good reasons why Pixel phones are the only ones supported by GrapheneOS. See the list of requirements here[1]. If other devices met that criteria, they would be considered for support as well.

The GOS team has done very thorough work to audit the supported devices, including the hardware, firmware and software components, to make sure they reach their high standards. They've made upstream contributions to AOSP, Linux and other projects with features and bug fixes to improve security and privacy of users. The project is well regarded in security circles, and I have no reason to distrust the team.

As much as I dislike Google, I wouldn't mind using their products if they respected my rights and freedoms. The GOS project ensures that more than any other modern smartphone, and I wouldn't change it for anything else.

[1]: https://grapheneos.org/faq#future-devices

+1
wkat42422 months ago
wmf2 months ago

What's the chance that any non-Pixel devices will ever meet those criteria? 0%?

aqfamnzc2 months ago

If the NSA chip you describe exists, it's in every android phone. I don't see why it's any more likely that a google product would have a government backdoor than any other manufacturer. (More likely that it's an IP block in the processor rather than a discrete package "chip".)

That leaves backdoors created by and for Google, concern for which I suppose your comment still applies. It seems less likely to me though...

autoexec2 months ago

> but you never know if these is some NSA chip or some other exploit build in that the Graphene OS

I wouldn't be surprised if there were some backdoor in the Qualcomm chip the fairphone 5 uses or the radios in other phones. Without open hardware you really can't trust anything. Not when we know we're all being constantly spied on by the state and by the corporations who design/manufacture our hardware.

+1
j16sdiz2 months ago
onli2 months ago

CalyxOS is a ROM with a similar focus and does support some more phones, including the FP4 and with the FP5 marked as upcoming, see the device list on https://calyxos.org/. It is the more reasonable choice to GrapheneOS anyway, given their recent issues with developer behavior.

+1
yellow_lead2 months ago
nilespotter2 months ago

This is what I do, new Pixel 7 + GrapheneOS. Works great, I highly recommend it.

hedora2 months ago

I tried to switch from iOS to de-googled Anrdoid. Basic stuff is completely broken. Any app that uses Google location services had intermittent problems getting a GPS lock (it was a software problem, not a hardware problem, since things that just directly ask the GPS chip for the device's location worked just fine).

Worse than that, most apps use random google stuff that they don't need, and the developers inevitably forget to check for NULL when they ask for the optional google service. At that point, the app fails with a null pointer exception at startup. Most apps fix this in a week or so, but they don't add de-googled android to the regression tests, so they end up breaking it again in a month or so.

The final straw was standing outside my car in 40F driving rain and staring at a java stack trace that was preventing the charger from turning on. At that point I pulled my work iPhone out of the glove compartment. If I didn't have it with me, I would have been stranded.

On the bright side, my Pixel 6 Pro got something like three times longer battery life than advertised until I broke down and installed the Google crap in a sandbox. At that point, battery life immediately plummeted back to advertised.

I wonder if politicians would intervene if more people realized that 66% of the battery usage of an Android phone is Google surveillance crap running in the background.

turquoisevar2 months ago

> Worse than that, most apps use random google stuff that they don't need, and the developers inevitably forget to check for NULL when they ask for the optional google service.

I say this as someone who's not a big fan of Google. If it's anything like iOS development, there’s a good chance it never dawned on them.

On iOS, there's a slew of things you want to check for as dev due to permissions and the like, but there's so much more we simply assume is there based on the frameworks Apple ships with the OS.

If ever there would be an option to de-Apple iOS, I wouldn't even know where to start to check for nil values, if only because Apple has significantly moved to abstract things away to make it easier on us, and they never allowed direct communication with components to begin with, everything runs through an Apple provided delegate.

lawn2 months ago

I installed CalyxOS and I've painlessly installed (almost) all my apps via the Aurora store.

The only one that didn't work was a podcast app with in-app purchases, which isn't supported.

Everything else just works.

The whole process was easy and painless.

antoinebalaine2 months ago

If you're OK with switching from gapps, a de-Googled android works just fine. I've had to keep a spare googled-android around for the rare occasions I need to use lyft and Uber. That's it.

spencerflem2 months ago

fwiw, I've had an OK time using the web version of uber on my degoogled phone

harry82 months ago

Yep, yet another thing captured. Now if you want take a taxi you have the choice of iphone, android and nothing else. Add that to the lengthy list of modern life you're excluded from (including the govt!) if you exercise your supposed choice not to us apple or google.

The turnkey is right there, who will turn it?

bobse2 months ago

[dead]

toasted-subs2 months ago

Unkeeping, I’m tired of this.

0832419455212 months ago

Dhey dela Ela

sunshine_reggae2 months ago

No headphone jack => No Fairphone.

I'm never going to put my brain between 2 radiation emitters. And that's just 1 reason why I'll always use cable.

hegzploit2 months ago

Mind sharing any source about the harmful effects of electromagnetic radiations coming from ear buds? I always believed these were negligible compared to the radiation we are exposed to everyday.

projektfu2 months ago

USB-C to 3.5mm dongles are pretty inexpensive and unobtrusive. I use one to keep my old tried-and-true noise-cancelling headphones working.

toastal2 months ago

Choosing between charging or audio shouldn’t have to be a choose when you consider it’s common courtesy to not spew your noise pollution into your public surroundings. Dongles big enough for passthru charging are too bulky to fit in a pocket comfortably. Now you also have another wire/hub you have to go out and buy & might easily lose or misplace, for what exactly? It sure ain’t to waterproofing or a significant cost-cutting measure. It can let a device be ever so much thinner but does being < 3.5 mm really benefit the user. I bet the manufactures love the revenue of the discount bundled wireless earbuds tho—whose audio is usually not good but labeled under subjective to all but the nerds looking at frequency-response graphs. And when those irrepairable buds can no longer hold a charge after a couple of months, I bet they like banking on users coming back to purchase that same ewaste again from them.

throwaway815232 months ago

It sounds nuts that they reorganized the phone to increase the battery size from 3900mah to 4200mah. Also this phone is too expensive to be a practical device rather than a statement. Someone please just make a straightforward phone powered by replaceable 18650s dammit. If it runs AOSP out of the box then great.

sbierwagen2 months ago

An 18650 is twice the thickness of a Fairphone 5. The market for phones that big is small. Those people are probably just going to buy "ruggedized" phones with big lipo cells, like this: https://www.unihertz.com/products/tank

22000mAh battery. Giant ridiculous 1200 lumen flashlight. Weighs more than a pound. A quoted "hundred days" of standby time. Why have replaceable batteries if your phone can go three months without recharging?

mappu2 months ago

You're at least on the right post. The only example I could find of a cellphone using 18650 cells was a modded Fairphone - https://forum.fairphone.com/t/making-a-phone-that-would-use-...

throwaway815232 months ago

People have apparently modded other phones for 18650 as well. I will have to look into it sometime.

VoxPelli2 months ago

With a 7-10 year lifespan it’s only the initial cost that may be big, the cost over time is much less and the resell value once one upgrades also holds up much better over time

whatevaa2 months ago

I don't think this will hold resell value :) Fairphones aren't popular enough. You would have problems selling it in the first place.

VoxPelli2 months ago

Well, any serious phone reseller / refurbished only sells phones that are still getting security updates: And this one will get that for a long time.

It’s also going to be real easy for refurbishers to repair these, either by picking parts from other old ones or by buying replacement parts, hence even a slightly broken one may still be worth money.