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Fairphone 4

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unix_joe
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Fairphone 4

#1 Post by unix_joe » Thu Jul 07, 2022 6:42 am

Does anybody here have the Fairphone 4?

I am thinking of using it as my next phone. It is an upgrade both hardware and camera wise from my daily driver.

I am attracted to it for being end-user repairable, having 5 years of security patches, and having an open but relockable bootloader.

A modern LCD in the world of pwm, eye straining OLEDs, is also a benefit.

The downside is the cost to import to USA, and the Euro-centric frequencies.

Who uses one? Any experience using them outside of Europe? Or are there similar phones that target a more international audience?
unix_joe
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unix_joe
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Re: Fairphone 4

#2 Post by unix_joe » Mon Jul 25, 2022 12:17 am

UPDATE: I bought one. Waiting on it to arrive.

A modern phone that lets you repair and replace the parts without voiding the warranty is amazing. They have a sort of github for kernel sources and encourage aftermarket OS development.

There are rumours that Fairphone is coming to the USA but that is just Twitter speculation and nothing confirmed yet. There is an FCC code for the Fairphone 4 which is promising. But USA is compromised and I imagine any official release will be plagued with carrier bloatware and delayed security patches from the carrier while they test their backdoors to the OS.

Regardless, I have one one the way. It is an upgrade from my current phone. The only downside is that it is green, when I would have preferred grey with a red case.
unix_joe
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madicetea
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Re: Fairphone 4

#3 Post by madicetea » Tue Aug 09, 2022 1:17 pm

jdk wrote:
Mon Jul 25, 2022 12:17 am
UPDATE: I bought one. Waiting on it to arrive.

A modern phone that lets you repair and replace the parts without voiding the warranty is amazing. They have a sort of github for kernel sources and encourage aftermarket OS development.

There are rumours that Fairphone is coming to the USA but that is just Twitter speculation and nothing confirmed yet. There is an FCC code for the Fairphone 4 which is promising. But USA is compromised and I imagine any official release will be plagued with carrier bloatware and delayed security patches from the carrier while they test their backdoors to the OS.

Regardless, I have one one the way. It is an upgrade from my current phone. The only downside is that it is green, when I would have preferred grey with a red case.
Interesting. Please let me know how it goes. I've been using Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro phones for a while now since LG decided it would not make any more phones (used to have an LG G5 as my main phone) since my two main requirements have always been:
- user-replaceable battery
- dual-SIM capability (standby dual-SIM OK)
- preferably, also the ability to add an SD card for extra storage outside of the SIM cards

I've always heard that the Fairphone might satisfy the same requirements but didn't want to risk trying it myself without someone else trying it, esp. after AT&T tried black-listing my XCover Pro for a good month after the 3G shutdown.
(It literally could not place a call. T-Mobile and Verizon do not support the phone at all - never did and never will. So if Fairphone gives more options for usable carriers and their MVNOs, that would be an attractive point.)
MadIceTea, Thinkpad Enthusiast

Daily: X250 FHD
Museum: PC110 20MB, X61 T9300 SXGA+ LED
Donated: x2001 AFFS i5-530 (to my alma matter)
Past: 701Cs German, 535/X, 760E/XL, i-series 12/14xx, piano s30, R60e, X60, X61, T60, T61, X200 P8700, X121e

That chicken sure looks funny.

unix_joe
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Re: Fairphone 4

#4 Post by unix_joe » Mon Aug 15, 2022 12:06 am

I've been using the Fairphone 4 for about 2 weeks now with Google Fi without issue.

The phone itself is by far the most powerful smartphone I've owned, and also has the best camera(s) of any phone I've owned. The stock camera app is terrible, but I installed gCam and it's been great. Battery easily goes into the second day without needing a charge. Side mounted fingerprint reader is accurate, so long as you register every part of your finger during enrollment. Physical size is great; smaller than my old phone, smaller than my wife's Pixel 6 even. This is a good size for me without being too small to accurately type on the keyboard.

I loaded a 512GB microSD card which, in addition to the 256GB onboard, gives me plenty of future-proofing for music and photos. Youtube Music allows saving downloaded music to the SD card. I also have a ton of old FLAC music that I ripped from CDs.

The ability to repair the phone is a big deal for me, as is the support for unlocking and *re-locking* the bootloader. I use the stock green Fairphone case which fits like a glove.

I am coming from a Nokia XR20, which was a good enough rugged phone, but had a lack of software polish, a terrible camera, some quirky behavior, and a sense of abandonment software wise from HMD Global. Three updates in a year, even though they promised (and still promise) monthly security updates. It was time to move on. Stockholm syndrome, or something like that, describes my relationship with Nokia for the past 12 years. The XR20 is now given to one of my kids.

I was on the fence about getting the Fairphone. The two main selling points for me were lack of an OLED screen (which causes eyestrain for me) and a better camera than than the Nokia, since I have three young kids. I missed too many moments with that Nokia camera. By the way, my kids think the ability to open the back of the phone and pull out the battery is the coolest thing they've ever seen. How times have changed. It's still Android 11, but with backported security updates, and some added privacy features in Fairphone OS. I've had two patches since I received the phone. Think Debian stable.

I use OLauncher. It's amazing. Try it if you have an Android phone. Hope this helps. I can post pictures if you like.
unix_joe
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X201 running Debian
T43p running OpenBSD

madicetea
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Re: Fairphone 4

#5 Post by madicetea » Tue Sep 20, 2022 11:09 pm

unix_joe wrote:
Mon Aug 15, 2022 12:06 am
I've been using the Fairphone 4 for about 2 weeks now with Google Fi without issue.

The phone itself is by far the most powerful smartphone I've owned, and also has the best camera(s) of any phone I've owned. The stock camera app is terrible, but I installed gCam and it's been great. Battery easily goes into the second day without needing a charge. Side mounted fingerprint reader is accurate, so long as you register every part of your finger during enrollment. Physical size is great; smaller than my old phone, smaller than my wife's Pixel 6 even. This is a good size for me without being too small to accurately type on the keyboard.

I loaded a 512GB microSD card which, in addition to the 256GB onboard, gives me plenty of future-proofing for music and photos. Youtube Music allows saving downloaded music to the SD card. I also have a ton of old FLAC music that I ripped from CDs.

The ability to repair the phone is a big deal for me, as is the support for unlocking and *re-locking* the bootloader. I use the stock green Fairphone case which fits like a glove.

I am coming from a Nokia XR20, which was a good enough rugged phone, but had a lack of software polish, a terrible camera, some quirky behavior, and a sense of abandonment software wise from HMD Global. Three updates in a year, even though they promised (and still promise) monthly security updates. It was time to move on. Stockholm syndrome, or something like that, describes my relationship with Nokia for the past 12 years. The XR20 is now given to one of my kids.

I was on the fence about getting the Fairphone. The two main selling points for me were lack of an OLED screen (which causes eyestrain for me) and a better camera than than the Nokia, since I have three young kids. I missed too many moments with that Nokia camera. By the way, my kids think the ability to open the back of the phone and pull out the battery is the coolest thing they've ever seen. How times have changed. It's still Android 11, but with backported security updates, and some added privacy features in Fairphone OS. I've had two patches since I received the phone. Think Debian stable.

I use OLauncher. It's amazing. Try it if you have an Android phone. Hope this helps. I can post pictures if you like.
It's a great description, thanks. I can either DM you my email or perhaps you could post the photos of the device into an image hosting service such as IMGUR.
It's against the rules of the forum to directly upload images into the posts, so perhaps avoid that. Thanks!
MadIceTea, Thinkpad Enthusiast

Daily: X250 FHD
Museum: PC110 20MB, X61 T9300 SXGA+ LED
Donated: x2001 AFFS i5-530 (to my alma matter)
Past: 701Cs German, 535/X, 760E/XL, i-series 12/14xx, piano s30, R60e, X60, X61, T60, T61, X200 P8700, X121e

That chicken sure looks funny.

unix_joe
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Re: Fairphone 4

#6 Post by unix_joe » Fri Dec 02, 2022 1:00 am

There hadn't been a security update since September, and it was still Android 11 as a base, so I installed CalyxOS on the FP4 today.

The install procedures are incredibly simple and easy to follow; the official script handled everything well and I was able to install the new OS without issue **and** re-lock the bootloader. I did this from my wife's ThinkPad running Linux. It's been half a decade since I've run a custom Android, but the ease of install has come a long, long way.

Impressive work. Now I am on Android 13 with a November security patch. The cool thing is that I also have multiple profiles, so I can have a WhatsApp for work, WhatsApp for family on my personal profile, and a throwaway profile where I throw all my trash applications (McDonald's, eBay, Delta Airlines, etc). All separated from one another. My banking apps work and Google play services works on the profile where I want that kind of stuff to be.

The open nature of the Fairphone allowed this to happen. I do not regret this purchase at all.
unix_joe
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Re: Fairphone 4

#7 Post by Omineca » Sun Dec 04, 2022 9:27 pm

I agree that CalyxOS is great. I looked at the Fairphone 4, but then came across a pristine used Pixel 5 (also green btw, which I really like!) for a good price, so I bought that instead and loaded CalyxOS on it.

Because of the ease of repair, the Fairphone 4 really does look like the closest thing to an old-school ThinkPadder's phone. Nice to hear that it's going well. :D
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Re: Fairphone 4

#8 Post by madicetea » Sat Apr 08, 2023 5:56 am

unix_joe wrote:
Fri Dec 02, 2022 1:00 am
There hadn't been a security update since September, and it was still Android 11 as a base, so I installed CalyxOS on the FP4 today.

The install procedures are incredibly simple and easy to follow; the official script handled everything well and I was able to install the new OS without issue **and** re-lock the bootloader. I did this from my wife's ThinkPad running Linux. It's been half a decade since I've run a custom Android, but the ease of install has come a long, long way.

Impressive work. Now I am on Android 13 with a November security patch. The cool thing is that I also have multiple profiles, so I can have a WhatsApp for work, WhatsApp for family on my personal profile, and a throwaway profile where I throw all my trash applications (McDonald's, eBay, Delta Airlines, etc). All separated from one another. My banking apps work and Google play services works on the profile where I want that kind of stuff to be.

The open nature of the Fairphone allowed this to happen. I do not regret this purchase at all.
I will keep an eye on the market for these in coming years, and consider getting a Fairphone when I have outgrown my current phone.

I ended up importing the next model step up last summer from Europe: an XCover 6 Pro, and it does a lot of what I want it to do, but this does look like a viable option for the longer-term replaceable battery issue (and yes, multiple profiles is always quite cool).

Wow - it's good to see such an easy-to-install custom Android ROM. Even just 5 years ago or so as a college student, I remember tinkering with a lot of wires and sideloading firmware with terminal commands (and then lots of waiting) still. :lol:
MadIceTea, Thinkpad Enthusiast

Daily: X250 FHD
Museum: PC110 20MB, X61 T9300 SXGA+ LED
Donated: x2001 AFFS i5-530 (to my alma matter)
Past: 701Cs German, 535/X, 760E/XL, i-series 12/14xx, piano s30, R60e, X60, X61, T60, T61, X200 P8700, X121e

That chicken sure looks funny.

unix_joe
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Re: Fairphone 4

#9 Post by unix_joe » Wed Jul 05, 2023 1:08 pm

Fairphone 4 is coming to the USA:

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2023/07 ... o-america/

It will be available for sale, with a warranty, here:
https://murena.com/products/smartphones/
unix_joe
system76 Galago Pro running Debian
X201 running Debian
T43p running OpenBSD

unix_joe
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Re: Fairphone 4

#10 Post by unix_joe » Fri May 31, 2024 4:29 pm

Final update for me:

The Fairphone 4 was stolen in Paris. Thus ends my Fairphone 4 saga.
It was a good phone, not great, but I was very upset at losing it.
I would have liked to have kept it for at least five years but fate can be cruel.
In total, I owned it for 20 months, which is actually a record for me.

I moved on to a cheap OnePlus phone with 108 megapixel camera because I needed a phone immediately and cheaply and this is what was available.
The new OnePlus will get one major update and then end of life next summer, sometime in 2025.
I'm okay with that; it gives me time to save a bit.

If I had more disposable money, I would have gotten the Fairphone 5, since it has high frequency pwm (despite the OLED screen, which I despise) and there are actually nice aftermarket cases for this one from Tudia.
Maybe I'll hold on and wait for a Fairphone 6.
unix_joe
system76 Galago Pro running Debian
X201 running Debian
T43p running OpenBSD

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