Switching to Fairphone 2

31 August 2016

I had enough of Windows phone so I bought the Fairphone 2. It's been a long time I was considering buying this phone, but I couldn't just buy a new phone when my current one was still working great. It would be against Fairphone's principles. So I took the opportunity that someone of the family circle wanted a smartphone to give my Lumia 925 and to buy the Fairphone 2 instead.

Even the package has been designed to save material and space

Who is Fairphone?

Fairphone is a company working on the fairest possible smartphone by checking that workers have good working conditions, that resources don't come from corrupted mines, but also by building a modular and easy-to-repair phone. It's the first smartphone to get 10/10 at an iFixit review for its repairability and the reason is that they worked together in partnership on the phone. So social and ecological values are the main point about Fairphone and that's what I really like.

With a price tag of 525€ the phone seems expensive compared to technically similar phones and I would otherwise never spend this amount for a phone. However, since I got to know Fairphone, I knew it had to be my next phone because I had to support this initiative. Now that an alternative exists, I could not allow myself to buy another phone which doesn't come from Fairtrade anymore. I would have felt guilty for not making efforts for those workers building phones.

It's delivered open!

Operating system

Concerning the software, it is running Android, but there is also more choice than that. At first, Fairphone offers Fairphone Open which is Android without Google stuff and that is what I'm currently using. Secondly, there are initiatives for more operating systems like a community port of Sailfish OS. So the community is growing and it will help to have a bigger panel of software for the Fairphone 2 hardware.

Now, some things I have to point out. As written above, Fairphone was working with Jolla to support Sailfish OS on the Fairphone 2 in October 2015. Almost one year later there is still no official support. There are little things like this which may undermine the relationship between Fairphone and the community. It may be explained by the fact that Fairphone is still a small company and may have other issues to deal with, but I don't know more.

Fairphone Open: it feels almost naked without Google

From Windows phone to Fairphone Open

As said, until now I was using a Lumia with Windows phone. It worked pretty well. However, they are two big issues: the lack of apps and that Windows phone is a proprietary system built by Microsoft. I couldn't use open source apps, Windows phone was always the last to get apps (whenever it gets) and even Microsoft puts Windows phone on a side. Now with Fairphone, I have a quite open hardware with an open source operating system (Fairphone Open) and with open source apps. Great!

Well, would you buy a Fairtrade phone?