Hardware

Mobile Phone

Long-term Field Test: 30.09.2021 to 19.09.2022


Fairphone 4 5G

Fairphone 4 5G, exclusive colour version with 8 GB RAM, 256 GB internal memory

Photo: Fairphone 4 5G with 8 GB RAM, 256 GB internal memory, colour: speckled green. Base: fitBAG Nappa leather sleeve

Fairly produced Phone with 5G – Fairphone 4

I don't buy anything from Apple anymore; leaving the Apple ecosystem …
As already mentioned in the introduction to the test of the Fairphone 3+, Apple will use a surveillance technology soon, which I do not agree. The predecessor model Fairphone 3+ with /e/OS from the e Foundation served as a test of how I get along with Google-free Android OS. Unfortunately, some important apps require Google services. I also like the technical specifications of the new Fairphone 4, therefor I pre-ordered it directly from Fairphone on the day of its launch. Smiley

Purchasing

Memory Card

26.09.2021: Memory card SanDisk Extreme Pro microSDXC 400 GB ordered online at Saturn for self-collection (85.99 EUR).
Will be made available tomorrow.
27.09.2021: Memory card collected. Temporary use in the Fairphone 3+.
After that, the good old SanDisk Ultra microSDXC 200 GB will move into the Fairphone 3+.

Mobile Phone

30.09.2021: Pre-order in the Fairphone shop:
Fairphone 4 5G (8 GB RAM + 256 GB internal storage, exclusive colour: speckled green – so only available at Fairphone.com) for 649.00 EUR.
Also ordered: Long Life Cable USB-C to USB-C 3.2 for 34.95 EUR.
Price together with postage (UPS standard delivery): 692.90 EUR.
Delivery time: around 7 weeks. Deceleration already starts in the shop …
12.11.2021: Fairphone apologises to me by email for further shipping delay: delivery is now scheduled for week 49.
08.12.2021: Fairphone emails that the goods have been sent and will arrive within 2–5 working days.
10.12.2021: Had to collect the parcel from a copy shop today because UPS had announced the delivery incorrectly: the driver was already there yesterday morning, which I did not expect. So he had left the parcel for collection at the nearest shop with UPS service.

Nappa Leather Sleeve

06.11.2021: Order a nappa leather sleeve (fitBAG Beat black, Base price 19.90 EUR). Plus 4.90 EUR for integrated lining “Microfibre Premium (IFP)”.
Quote: “Highly innovative microfibre with an antibacterial efficiency of 98.04%. Neutralises unpleasant odours and blocks microbial contamination to the greatest possible extent.”
Including postage (2.50 EUR), this custom-made bag costs 27.30 EUR.
12.11.2021: fitBAG mails dispatch notification + invoice.
13.11.2021: Nappa leather sleeve from fitBAG has arrived. Smiley
10.12.2021: The nappa leather sleeve for the Fairphone 4 fits perfectly!

o2 Multicard as eSIM Profile

05.12.2021: Order an o2 Free S Boost partner card with 50% discount.
05.12.2021: Receive order confirmation for “o2 Free S Boost Online”.
06.12.2021: Telefónica Germany emails: Start package has been sent.
08.12.2021: Start package (letter with 2 Multicards) arrived. Activating the SIM cards makes the beautiful new phone number visible. Smiley
Multicard #1 goes into my iPhone 11 Pro, Multicard #2 into my iPhone Xs.
10.12.2021: The eSIM chip in the FP4 will serve as my main SIM. I therefore use the "My o2" app to order an eSIM profile as Multicard #3. According to the order dialogue text, this costs a horrendous 39.99 EUR connection fee! But the text is wrong. Smiley
The contract conditions e-mail lists all 3 Multicards as “free of charge”!
25.12.2021: The invoice confirms: the order dialogue text was wrong. Smiley

17.05.2022: To convert an old tariff in a reasonable way:
Tariff change: o2 Blue All-in Extra becomes o2 Free Unlimited Max.
18.05.2022: Replacement eSIM ordered and installed via “My o2” app.

Equipment

Tech Specs

Model name Fairphone 4 5G
Operating system Android™ 11
Processor/Performance Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G (SM7225)
64-bit Octa-Core processor
Processor speed up to 2.2GHz
GPU: Qualcomm Adreno 619
Storage 6 GB/8 GB RAM • 128 GB/256 GB internal storage
external storage capacity: microSD up to 2 TB (SD 3.0)
Battery/Performance 3905 mAh removable Li-ion battery
200 hours whilst idle
13 hours with phone calls
50% charge in 30 min with minimum 20 W charger
Display 6.3 inch Full HD+
LCD (IPS) touchscreen with Pixelworks technology
19.5:9 aspect ratio
1080 x 2340 resolution
410ppi pixel density
Corning Gorilla Glass 5, 0.7mm, fully laminated
No. of colors: 16.7 million
Cameras Dual 48 MP rear cameras • F/1.6 and F/2.2 with HDR support
25 MP selfie camera • F/2.2 with HDR support

Primary Camera – OIS Camera
48 megapixels resolution with 48 megapixel output
0.8um, 8000x6000 (48MP)
Dual LED flash, detected single tone
1/2" sensor
f1.6 aperture
Autofocus (Closed Loop)
Image Sensor IMX582
Optical Image Stabilization (OIS / SMA)
Color Sensor and TOF sensor
Up to 8x digital zoom
Max video resolution 4000 x 3000 (4K UHD)
Video capture 1080p @ 30/60 fps 4K video resolution at 30fps
Slow-motion @ 120fps and 240fps

Sub Camera – Ultra-Wide
48MP resolution
0.8um, 8000x6000 (48MP)
1.6um, 4000x3000 (12MP output)
Macro focus
Autofocus
Color Sensor and TOF sensor
120 degree angle
f2.2 aperture
Dual-tone LED flash

Selfie Camera
25 megapixel resolution with HDR support
Image sensor IMX576
1/2.78" sensor
f2.2 aperture
Digital Image Stabilization
Fixed focus
Color Sensor and TOF sensor
Up to 8x digital zoom
Video capture 1080 at 30fps
Wireless & location WiFi dual band (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz) • Bluetooth® 5.1 + LE
NFC for card payments & more

• WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
• WiFi direct support
• GNSS standards: GPS, Glonass, Galileo, Beidou
• A-GPS support
• max SAR head (W/kg (10g)) = 0.494 W/Kg
• max SAR body (W/kg (10g)) = 0.993 W/Kg
• max SAR limb (W/kg (10g)) = 2.916W/Kg
Network Dual SIM, both 5G enabled
one physical Nano-SIM slot (4FF), 5G enabled*, one eSIM, 5G enabled*
*only one SIM card slot can be active on 5G radio technology at a time

5G
• Downlink: 2.3Gbps Uplink: 200Mbps
• 5G supported bands
   Sub 6 NSA bands: n1/n3/n5/n7/n8/n20/n28/n38/n41/n71/n77/n78

4G (LTE)
• Downlink: Cat. 18 / 1.2 Gbps Uplink: Cat. 13 / 150 Mbps
• MIMO – 4x4
• 4CA Carrier Aggregation
• VoLTE + VoWiFi (depending on local network)
• 4G supported bands: 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/18/19/20/28/32/38/40/41/71
• max download speed 1.2Gbps
• max upload speed 150Mbps

3G (HSPA+)
• HSDPA – Cat 24
• HSUPA – Cat 6
• 3G supported bands: 1/2/4/5/8
• max download speed 42Mbps
• max upload speed 5.76Mbps

2G (GSM, GPRS, EDGE)
• 2G supported frequencies: 850/900/1800/1900 Mhz
Connectors & sensors USB Type C
Fingerprint scanner
• USB 3.0 with OTG
• Display Port Support
• Accelerometer
• Gyroscope
• Proximity
• E-Compass
• side-mounted fingerprint sensor
Media & audio USB Type C
• Dual SPK, External speaker loudness: 98db @ 10cmd
• external Display, Video out support via Miracast (WiFi)
   or DisplayPort (wired via USB-C port)

Supported video codecs
HEVC, H264, VP9, MEPG-2, H.263, Divx, Xvid

Supported audio codecs
AAC, LC, AAC+, eAAC+, AAC ELD, AMR-NB, AMR-WB,
FLAC, MP3, Opus, WAV, Vorbis, ALAC, AIFF, AP
Design Unique modular design with IP 54
• Length 162 mm
• Width 75.5 mm
• Thickness 10.5 mm
• Weight 225g
• Drop test according to MIL810G test standard
Sustainability TCO Certified
• 9.3 out of 10 repairability score (256GB variant)
• 9.2 out of 10 repairability score (128GB variant)
• Fairtrade gold integrated in the supply chain
• Fairphone is B Corp certified
• Fairphone received the Ecovadis Platinum medal in 2021
Variants 6 GB RAM + 128 GB internal storage/Colour: Grey
8 GB RAM + 256 GB internal storage/Colour: Grey, Green + Speckled Green

You can move this table horizontally!

Power Adapter

Fairphone 4 use a Qualcomm SoC.
Therefore, the charger must be compatible with Qualcomm's SoC protocols to achieve optimal charging performance.
FP4 can be charged with any charger from Qualcomm's official list.

Charger and cable for the FP4 must meet the following specifications:
5 volts (5V)
Minimum output power: 1 ampere/h (1 A, 1,000 mA).
Note that this will result in slow charging.

Maximum output power: 3 amps/h (3 A, 3,000 mA)
Qualcomm Quick Charge Processor compatible, version QC 3.0.
The cable must have a USB-C connector and be manufactured by a USB certified brand (a product without a brand is not certified).

Practice

Setup

10.12.2021: The Fairphone 4 supports Dual SIM with a SIM card slot for a nano-SIM and an eSIM chip on which you can load tariff profiles from mobile phone providers. It also has a memory card slot for a memory card up to two terabytes in microSDXC format.

The Deutsche Telekom nano-SIM temporarily used in my Fairphone 3+ switches to the SIM card slot in the Fairphone 4.
However, the eSIM chip in the Fairphone 4 serves as my main SIM.
As mentioned under Purchasing, I order an eSIM as Multicard #3 via the app “My o2”. It is set up within minutes, but activation takes an hour.

Before the SanDisk Extreme Pro microSDXC 400 GB memory card moves from Fairphone 3+ into the new Fairphone 4, I back up data from apps which support this via the menu. I also make a data backup via USB cable from the Fairphone 3+ to the external SSD connected to the MacBook Air.

• Silence can create an encrypted backup in the internal memory
• Threema can store an encrypted backup on memory card

Thereafter the Threema app moves from Fairphone 3+ to Fairphone 4.
Tip: To prevent ins messages from landing on Fairphone 3+, I switch it to flight mode!
After Threema has been successfully installed on Fairphone 4 and Threema ID has been imported, I can delete Threema ID and chats on Fairphone 3+ and finally the app itself (may only be installed on one device).

Silence replaces the existing SMS app on the Fairphone 4. The backup from Silence on Fairphone 3+ is imported immediately after installation. This means that I also have access to all previous text messages on Fairphone 4.

21.05.2022: Nano-SIM by Deutsche Telekom in Fairphone 4 and Multicard by Telefónica in Fairphone 3+ swap their slots. So I can use preferred tariffs and phone numbers with Fairphone 4 and less important tariffs (Deutsche Telekom MagentaMobil S & Fonic) with Fairphone 3+. All older devices are supplied with Multicards & Datacards thanks to the Connect option of two Telefónica tariffs o2 Free S Boost & o2 Free S Boost Online.

Energy consumption and heat generation are too high when streaming TV regardless of 5G. That's why I order a second Multicard as eSIM for my tariff o2 Free Unlimited Max to use it with my iPhone 11 Pro Max and relieve the Fairphone 4.

Battery Performance

Accu Runtime, Usage Time, Accumulator Treatment, Charging Time

Accu Runtime (Time after Battery Charging until next Charging)

I am cautious about making a statement about the regular runtime. During the set-up and familiarisation phase, a smartphone is used much more intensively than later in everyday life. Hopefully, my notes will help you assess how long the battery could last in your everyday life.

Usage Time

According to the manufacturer, one battery charge lasts 200 hours of idle time or 13 hours of continuous phone calls.
How long the battery lasts in practice will become clear after a few weeks of use, and I am logging that for a while (see below).

I immediately noticed the high energy consumption for 5G mobile communications: TV streaming from the internet media library consumes ten times more energy with 5G than with LTE when the Fairphone 4 serves as a WLAN hotspot. Instead of one per cent every ten minutes, it then consumes one per cent of the battery capacity every minute! So the battery is drained just as quickly as it takes to charge the MacBook Air.

Pure standby time: I couldn't test it yet because I use the Fairphone 4 as my main phone.

Low use: approx. 64 h (some emails/SMS, calendar, minimal web).
Good mobile coverage (4G/5G), Dual SIM, Bluetooth on, Wi-Fi off.

Moderate use: approx. 48 h (some emails/SMS, calendar, occasional web).
Good mobile coverage (4G/5G), Dual SIM, Bluetooth on, Wi-Fi off.

Frequent use: approx. 14-20 h (reading a book [Kindle app], Threema messages or SMS, many emails, calendar, calls, 5 h listening to music, 3 h web).
Good mobile coverage (4G/5G), Dual SIM, Bluetooth on, Wi-Fi off.

Extreme use: approx. 3:30-6:00 h (as WLAN hotspot).
Good mobile coverage (4G/5G), Dual SIM, Bluetooth on.

Accumulator Treatment

The battery is easy to change without tools, but I rarely let it reach its limits, because that wears it out unnecessarily.
When there is about 35% remaining charge, it is charged up to about 65%. Deviations only occur when I check on the Fairphone too late.
If you let the battery get almost empty and charge it up to 100% (e.g. overnight), you stress it and also use up a full charge cycle every time.
Modern lithium-ion batteries can cope with 300-500 charge cycles. In practice, these are achieved within 1-5 years, depending on treatment.

Automatic energy-saving Mode

Android OS automatically activates the energy-saving mode at five, fifteen or twenty-five percent residual charge if desired. Because my favourite app BatteryBot Pro can only warn below/above values in increments of five, I set 35%. And as soon as 65% is exceeded, I also let myself be warned and continue charging until 70% or disconnect at 66% if I am not sitting next to my Fairphone.
Somewhat hidden in the settings menu is the setting “Energy-saving mode/extend battery life”. Battery > Energy Saving Mode.
Tap this, then at the top there is “Set schedule”.
Here you can also set higher values than 25% as the start for the energy-saving mode. I will set it to 35%. I charge the Fairphone at 35% anyway, but if I don't think about charging, the energy consumption is throttled and up to 30% residual charge I certainly check again in good time, which the battery thanks to its longer life.

Charging Time

Battery-saving slow charging: to do this, I plug the USB-A adapter of the “Long-Life Cable USB-C to USB-C 3.2” into a socket on the D-Link DUB-H7 and the USB-C plug at the other end of the 1.2 m long nylon reinforced charging cable into the USB-C socket on the Fairphone 4.

For fast charging, I use Apple's 30-watt fast charger model A1882 from the MacBook Air or the lower front socket on the docking station Anker PowerExpands Elite (labelled as “PD”). Or I connect the Fairphone 4 directly to the MacBook Air using the “Long-Life Cable USB-C to USB-C 3.2”. The latter takes a little longer, but is gentler. The battery does not get very warm (max. 39 °C., most of the time below 36 °C.).

You can expect these Charging Times

Chronologically sorted (from the BatteryBot Pro App's Battery Log)

Battery Protocol

Logged by BatteryBot Pro. This app had already made battery maintenance easier for me back in 2013 (alarm times for under- and overcharging of any charge level in 5 percent steps and any temperature, battery status and log). Above, I list the Charging time with various charging options chronologically.
Here is the actual battery log, unfortunately not from the first charging process, so the first entry does not contain any operating time. No charging display in percent is active ex works and no screenshots are possible during the first commissioning dialogues. Although batteries are generally precharged to 50–60% ex works, this drops to about 20% residual charge after only about three hours. When I noticed this, I plugged the “long-life cable USB-C to USB-C 3.2” on the Anker PowerExpands Elite into its lower front socket (labelled with “PD”) and the USB-C plug at the other end of the 1.2 m long nylon reinforced charging cable into the USB-C socket on the Fairphone 4.

Later it turns out that the FP4 was shipped with a buggy Android version that prevented the SIM #1 (SIM card slot) from establishing a proper network connection on my end, and that had probably consumed a lot of power.

After switching on for the first time, the initial start-up procedure cannot be interrupted and the battery status is only displayed as a small symbol. That's why I can't see the battery status as a percentage. After the half-hour procedure, I can finally switch to the percentage display.

18.12.2021: Until the end of the year, the Fairphone 4 serves as a hotspot to use the data gift from Deutsche Telekom (100 GB data volume in December). Therefore, the operating times now go down sharply and the operating temperatures go up somewhat (about 36 °C. instead of 23 °C.).

19.12.2021: Temperature rises to 41 °C during fast charging in hotspot mode. As the battery charging level is already 65%, I end charging.
Excellent: this night 9:10 h in flight mode with zero% energy consumption!

21.12.2021: Could not stop charging due to ongoing copying action. Therefore, the battery was charged to 90% this time.

22.12.2021: As of today, 5G remains switched off. So only LTE will be used to save energy.

02.01.2022: As of this evening, I have reactivated 5G for the Deutsche Telekom nano-SIM (MagentaMobil S tariff allows 5G). The Telefónica o2 Free S Boost Online tariff used with the eSIM does not currently offer 5G. The Fairphone 4 can use 5G in Dual SIM mode on one line only, anyway.
Until the end of 2021, the Fairphone 4 served as a WiFi hotspot for my MacBook Air and iPhones. Now it uses WiFi itself and one of the iPhones serves as a hotspot. Now a significantly lower energy consumption can be seen.

10.01.2022: Data volume of my Telefónica tariffs has been used up, so I am now using the data volume of the Telekom MagentaMobil S tariff (6 GB) via Telekom nano-SIM in Fairphone 4 (as WiFi hotspot). Energy consumption is therefore increasing again somewhat.

11.01.2022: I book an o2 Day Pack unlimited in the evening. Now an iPhone serves as WiFi hotspot again and the energy consumption on the Fairphone 4 is decreasing.

13.01.2022: Heavier use leads to shorter operating time. I have installed the app RethinkDNS for testing it. Belongs to a service that blocks anti-social networks, malware and advertising. Similar to 1Blocker for iOS and macOS. This app uses its own virtual VPN to prevent apps from “phoning home”. Also reduces energy consumption by blocking unwanted connections to ad networks etc.

26.01.2022: Forgot to switch on the flight mode before going to bed. Nevertheless, only 5 percent energy consumption overnight. Thumbs up! Top performance!

09.02.2022: Was not yet finished with the data backup at 70% battery charge, so this time exceptionally charged up to 77%.
By the way, the consumption in flight mode (approx. 9 h) is 1 percent every night.

15.02.2022: As of this evening, I have deactivated 5G again. The Deutsche Telekom nano-SIM only serves as a backup and therefore the possibly somewhat higher energy consumption for 5G is not meaningful. I check via logbook whether 1% per hour of standby continues to be consumed or whether the energy consumption decreases.

19.02.2022: Result: no lower energy consumption in standby without 5G. With or without 5G it is about 1% per hour (max. 1% per 1.5 h). Therefore, 5G now remains switched on for the Telekom nano-SIM.

18.03.2022: Forgot to switch on flight mode before going to bed. Nevertheless, only 5% energy consumption overnight in 9 h. Thumbs up! Top performance!

09.04.2022: Since 20:27, the energy consumption in standby has decreased: previously, the Fairphone consumed 1% of battery charge within one hour, sometimes even 1.5 hours. Now it takes just under 3 hours to show 1% less.
I'll go through my screenshots from the updates before this date and maybe I'll find out which app is more frugal now.

12.04.2022: Energy consumption for 11:30 h flight mode last night: 0 %!
Previously it was always 1%. Thumbs up! Top performance!
Without flight mode, the consumption is again about 1% per hour.

14.04.2022: Energy consumption for 11:47 h flight mode last night: 0 %!

20.04.2022: Forgot to switch on flight mode last night. Nevertheless, only 5% energy consumption overnight within 10 h. Thumbs up! Top performance!

26.04.2022: Energy consumption for 7:28 h flight mode last night: 0 %!

30.04.2022: Forgot to switch on flight mode last night. Within 11:30 h, the energy consumption was 7%.

09.05.2022: Energy consumption for 9:08 h flight mode last night: 0 %!

10.05.2022: Last night, the Fairphone 4 served as hotspot for my Fairphone 3+, so its battery only lasted 23:40 h this time.

14.05.2022: Energy consumption for 10:41 h flight mode last night: 0 %!

19.05.2022: Last night I ordered a new eSIM online and the installation didn't go smoothly right away. After it finally worked, I used the Fairphone as a hotspot for all devices and that consumed a lot of energy. That's why the battery only lasted 10:01 h ...
... and today it's already getting the next charge after 13:33 h.
But: in standby mode, the energy consumption with the new eSIM tariff profile “o2 Free Unlimited Max” (with 5G) is not higher than with LTE.

20.05.2022: Continuous use as a hotspot for streaming burned up a lot of energy, so the battery only lasted 6:29 h this time! Now I have deactivated 5G on a trial basis.

21.05.2022: After exchanging two SIM cards (see Setup), I have reactivated 5G. From now on, the iPhone 11 Pro Max streams TV online – via LTE. So far, it has not become too warm. It optimally complements my main phone as a WiFi hotspot and I have a real flat rate with (theoretically) max. 500 MBit/s on both.

23.05.2022: Although I only charged the battery of the Fairphone 4 to 60% this time, it still had 30% after 33:34 h with moderate use.
A very good value.

24.05.2022: Energy consumption for 9:38 h flight mode last night: 0 %!

26.05.2022: Forgot to switch on flight mode last night. Nevertheless, only 5% energy consumption overnight within 7 h. Thumbs up! Top performance!

30.05.2022: Only 20:00 h battery life because I tested two messengers on Sunday: Briar and Jami. Briar needs a bit more battery power because it establishes internet connections via the Tor network. But for close-range connections, you can use WLAN and/or Bluetooth. With Briar the energy consumption was not so high as expected.

30.05.2022: After 22:01 h late in the evening, only 30 % charge left, because I tested the messenger Jami until just now. After I found and activated the switch for activating the background update in a somewhat hidden additional settings menu, the connection with my Fairphone 3+ and my iPhone Xs worked better than before and SIP calls were also more reliable, but the energy consumption rose sharply. Even in idle mode with energy-saving mode, the Fairphone 4 lost one percent of battery capacity every 10-15 minutes! Conclusion: App uninstalled from all devices.

01.06.2022: Energy consumption for 7:20 h flight mode last night: 0 %!

05.06.2022: Energy consumption for 10:40 h flight mode last night: 0 %!

10.06.2022: The music folder on the external SSD could not be copied to the memory card in the Fairphone 4. It took a long time to cancel the unsuccessful copy operation. In the meantime, the battery was already charged to 72%.
Background info: happened to notice yesterday that Apple's music software messed up my well-maintained music collection. Angry Smiley
After hours of work, I was able to put everything back in order, except for one music track that had disappeared. Because my music folder on the memory card was also affected by Apple's disorder, I actually wanted to replace it ...
In addition, Apple's faulty cover loading function on the MacBook Air had swapped many cover images for the wrong covers. Angry Smiley

14.06.2022: Forgot to switch on flight mode before going to bed: 12 % energy consumption within 12:10 h, i.e. 1 % per hour.

01.07.2022: Last night without flight mode: Energy consumption within 11:56 h only 8 %. This means that 1 % of energy was consumed every 1.5 hours.

18.07.2022: This time the battery only lasted 37:44 h because I was in the group chat via Threema Web for almost 3 h yesterday. This consumes one per cent of the battery charge every 20 minutes.

05.08.2022: Last night without flight mode and slightly more frequent use, so the battery only lasted 24:07 h. In the current high summer temperatures (inside: 28 °C., outside: 35–38 °C.) a great battery performance!

8:08 h later I connect the Fairphone to the MacBook Air (2020) for data backup, charging it from 54 % to 70 %.
I switch from Threema's shop version to Threema Libre and have therefore saved a fresh backup to the SD card beforehand. I regularly back up data accessible via MTP protocol/USB cable (internal memory + memory card) to external SSDs and hard drives.

Already 8:33 h later, the battery has to be charged at 30 % residual charge, because I used the Fairphone a lot this time.

12.08.2022: Battery only charged to 58% because Apple's fast charging power supply cannot charge the battery of the Apple MacBook Air M2 while the iPhone 11 Pro Max and Fairphone are simultaneously connected for battery charging via USB. The remaining charge of the MacBook still showed 30% remaining charge at the beginning and dropped to 29%. Besides, the temperature of the Fairphone is rapidly rising to 40 °C anyway, so unplugging is the best solution for all devices.
After disconnecting the Fairphone, the battery of MacBook Air M2 continues charging and the iPhone 11 Pro Max can remain connected for charging.

25.08.2022: Energy consumption for 10:15 h flight mode last night: 0 %!

30.08.2022: Network fault (at Telefónica?). I'm offline. Fortunately, I still have a contract with Telekom with the MagentaMobil S tariff. Its data volume (10 GB) is quickly used up; booking a DayFlat unlimited (5.95 EUR) brings all devices back online. My Fairphone 3+ serves as Wi-Fi hotspot for 24 hours. The constant network search increases power consumption and temperature. When charging the battery, the temperature rises faster than usual, so I stop at 63 % and 41.4 °C.
31.08.2022: Network fault, day #2 – Telefónica's mobile network is very weakly accessible, data connection again reasonably possible. Now the Telekom mobile network is no longer receivable in the flat.
The later the evening, the better the data connection to the web – with Telefónica. I can forget about the Telekom mobile network today. So in the early evening I switch off the Fairphone 3+.
Now the Fairphone 4 serves as a WLAN hotspot. This shortens its battery life to 5:47 h due to streaming and poor network coverage!

01.09.2022: The network fault at Telefónica & Telekom has been resolved – as it affected both in quick succession, the cause is probably to be found in the fixed network. Perhaps the often quoted excavator that hit an important line …

Battery Logging

Thanks to BatteryBot Pro, I don't need to log the battery manually. However, I take screenshots at the start of charging, end of charging and at relevant status changes such as flight mode on/off to be able to clarify discrepancies later and in case BatteryBot Pro does not write an event in the log.

App Store

Google Play (Store) is pre-installed. I avoid it as far as possible, as it is not so secure as is always claimed. I immediately installed F-Droid and get all apps from there as far as possible. And I install as few apps as possible, because every app can become a security risk at some point. Be it through an oversight by the developer or through the sale of an app or entire software forge to a dubious company (the latter has happened several times, fortunately none of my apps have been affected so far).

Backup

Local backup of all personal data from the Fairphone and memory card is possible using the USB cable and the following software:

As a MacBook user, I preferred OpenMTP until 12.02.2022 when I remembered that Commander One Pro also supports MTP. Thumbs up

Safety Advice

The “Purpose for USB connection” must be temporarily (!) changed from “No data transfer” to “File transfer”. Because this always represents a security risk for the smartphone, this should only be changed for the duration of the data backup! Because if malware is active on your computer, it can jump to the smartphone! This can be malware specially programmed for smartphones, but there is also malware that only uses connected devices as a distribution channel.

Music Player

13.11.2021: Also on the Fairphone 4 I will hear from my favourite album “The Best Of The Art Of Noise (1992)” the 2nd track: Yebo (Mbaqanga Mix). It's a good way to test the low bass reproduction! Another tip: 7th track: Legacy.

This is synthesiser sound, which – taken on its own – is not objectively suitable for testing the sound quality of a music player. Electronic music sounds good on any device. But I know this album inside out and have listened to it very often on various MP3 players (encoding with constant quality; dynamic data rate up to max. 320 kbit/s).

Afterwards, I test the sound quality further with the listening test CD “Stakkato” by the HiFi magazine Audio. Musical instruments: Bösendorfer Imperial grand piano, Steinway grand piano, bassoon, saxophone, large organ, kettledrums, double bass, vibraphone etc. help a lot in assessing the sound quality.

In the evening I listen to some of my Depeche Mode albums. Sounds great!

Linear smooth Frequency Response

As an interim result of this test report, I can attest to the Fairphone 4's uncoloured sound reproduction. Favourite pieces of my music collection sound as good as I am used to from other playback media.
The Fairphone 4 5G has a ruler-like frequency response down to the low bass range. As a measuring instrument, I only have my good hearing, various music tracks and …

Audio Test Equipment

As headphones, I use the Sony MDR-EX90LP.
These in-ear headphones in studio monitor quality offer a quite undistorted reproduction.

10.12.2021: For my sound test via Bluetooth, I am using the Samsung Level Link transmitter today, as the newer Bluetooth transmitter “HiGoing BT1002” (made in China) does not want to be “paired up”.

15.12.2021: New attempt – today the small black box called “BT1002” is found and paired immediately. 

Both Bluetooth transmitters are capable by Qualcomm's aptX HD. This improved codec supports 24-bit music quality over Bluetooth. This means listeners can hear even the smallest details in their music.

Messaging

End-to-End encrypted Communication

Silence will immediately replace the pre-installed SMS app. Those who use neither Threema nor Tutanota can still send me end-to-end encrypted messages easily and securely also using Silence on their Android smartphone (available at Google Play Store and F-Droid).
Silence uses the encryption protocol of Signal, but relies on SMS/MMS messages, while Signal relies on internet messages. I consider Signal server compromised because it uses Intel's RAM encryption technology SGX, which has been the subject of several security leaks. However, Silence is not affected by this.

Tutanota I'm using for emails since June 2019. Now with their Android app.

Threema has proven itself to me as a messenger on the iPhone since 23.12.2020; on 17.09.2021 I bought another licence for the purpose of switching to Android OS; this time directly in the Threema shop!
10.12.2021: The move from the Fairphone 3+ workes flawlessly. Now I am using Threema with my new Fairphone 4. Smiley

04.09.2022: Tonight my iPhone 11 Pro Max becomes my daily driver again. I export all chats from the Threema app from the Fairphone 4 as encrypted files and email them to myself via Tutanota, because I have extra storage space there and everything is end-to-end encrypted.
Then I install Threema from Apple's App Store on the iPhone. Unfortunately, you can't move the chats when you change systems, but if I want to look at an old chat, I can decrypt the archive file and read it on my MacBook. Thanks to Threema Safe, Threema ID (incl. public and private key), nickname, profile picture, contacts (incl. trust level) and group memberships are retained.

Telephony

The phone acoustics of the new Fairphone 4 are at least as good as those of the Fairphone 3+. I will report in more detail after several phone calls.

Call Filter

Please do not disturb

This is the name of the professional call filter on Android OS.
Here you can even create as many schedules as you like and individually define the conditions in them (works great!).

Allow Calls

This is configured in the settings menu “Please do not disturb”:

Important Settings of the Phone App

At the top right, the three vertical dots take you to the menu for Call List and Settings.

Settings

Tip! Check and define the many useful configuration options here immediately after initial operation of your Fairphone, as it will save a lot of time later and make use easier! Take half an hour for this ...

Display Options

Sorting of names in the address book, e.g. by last name, but name format: first name first.

Sounds and Vibration

Here you can set the default ringtone, select vibration settings and whether “Do not disturb” should be active during a phone call.
If you don't think much of haptic feedback and find vibrations rather annoying, this is one of the many hidden menus for turning off the annoying energy-consuming vibration.

Short Answers

Four SMS templates for callers who call at an inopportune moment are stored in an editable form.

Call Accounts

Settings, separate for each of the two SIM cards, important for dual SIM and SIP.
Companies or parents find the call number restriction here, WLAN telephony can be preferably started via WLAN or mobile radio. Settings for all kind of call forwarding (always/if busy/if no answer/if not reachable).

The most important thing is hidden under “Additional settings”:
Display caller ID – number for outgoing calls with the options:
- Network default setting (usually means “suppressed call number”!)
- Suppress call number
- Display call number

In addition, you can switch on “Call waiting” here if you do not want to miss other callers during a call and perhaps even want to toggle calls on hold.

Blocked Numbers

View, add or delete “Blocked numbers”.
In my opinion the top item is very important:
Unknown” – Block calls from unidentified callers.
Callers with a suppressed number receive a busy signal or are dropped to voicemail on “Divert when busy”. Smiley sticks out tongue
SMS from blocked numbers will also not be delivered. Smiley

Mailbox

Here, mailbox notification and setup can be achieved for each of the two SIM cards.

Operating Aid

Speech- or hearing-impaired people will find the TTY mode here.
TTY = Telephone TYpewriter.

Info

App version, licence data, privacy policy, terms of use

Accessibility for the eternally Outdated and Stubborn who are nevertheless dear to us

Despite the threat of punishment by the Federal Network Agency, there are still too many dubious companies that do not comply with the law and call us with suppressed or falsified telephone numbers. Therefore, I do not even temporarily switch off the blocking of anonymous callers in order to be reachable for stubborn people and can no longer recommend this to others.
In the meantime, word has also spread that you can reach fewer and fewer people with a suppressed phone number …

For stubborn acquaintances and relatives who do not want to have the free number transmission switched on by the network operator, I would use the mailbox if necessary.
I would formulate the announcement text of the mailbox accordingly:
“… landed on my mailbox due to suppressed call number, … please always call with activated call number transmission to reach me directly!”

As soon as automatic diallers of dubious advertising callers start ringing at short intervals without interruption, suppressing your own telephone number or displaying a fake, constantly changing telephone number, “Please do not disturb” must remain active, otherwise you are no longer accessible to serious callers!

Alternatives to “Please do not Disturb”

Since Android OS version 6, you no longer need a call filter app. Serious call filter developers also point this out in their app descriptions!

I had bought a proper call filter (Advanced Call Blocker by wahooka) on 12.12.2010 for my Android smartphone Samsung Galaxy Note.
Since 24.03.2011 I was already using a location- and time-dependent profile control called “Llama” on the above-mentioned smartphone. Both of these have long since been discontinued.

Blocking individual Phone Numbers

In Android OS, unwanted numbers can be blocked directly from the call list, without having to store them in the address book!

Block dubious Numbers directly from the Call List

  1. calling up the call list
  2. tap the centre of the list entry of the interferer (not on the handset symbol!)
  3. a menu pops up with the options Send SMS, Block number, Call details
  4. tap on “Block caller
  5. a safety query appears: Block (Phone number)?
    “You will no longer receive calls from this number.” Cancel | Block contact

If you make a mistake (e.g. slip in a line, get the wrong contact), you can tap on “Unblock” immediately afterwards.
If you want to unblock the number later or check all the blocked numbers already stored, you can do this in the settings menu of the phone app:
Go to Settings/Blocked numbers.
All the blocked numbers are listed here.
There is an X to the right of each entry. Click on it and the block will be deleted after confirming the safety query.

Firmware

The Fairphone 4 5G comes with Android OS version 11.
Unfortunately, I did not write down the build number.

After completing the start-up procedure, a message appears on the display that there is a new Android version and that the update should be carried out immediately. Because I don't do this immediately, I lose at least an hour of time with unnecessary troubleshooting …

After I finally installed the firmware update, I realised why SIM #1 (SIM card slot) could not establish a network connection. An error in the delivered Android version made it impossible to use a SIM in the card slot (at least with dual-SIM operation with Telefónica-eSIM + Telekom-Nano-SIM).
This update has the build number FP4.FP3N.A.091.20211118.

22.12.2021

An info appears in the notification bar that there is a system update: “Fairphone 4 (FP3Q.A.094) Update”. Quote:

This update includes:
Security patch level: 5 December 2021

Update size: 97.11 MB
The network connection for the download can be selected under the update info text. The default setting is “Connect to WLAN”.
I select “Use mobile network” because I still have about 74 GB left of the data gift from Telekom (100 GB).
After a fast download and successful installation, in the settings menu after tapping on "Android version" I can read “About the phone”:
Build-Nummer FP4.FP3Q.A.094.20211213.

New Function

Finally, “touch unlock” is also possible on request!
The power button then only needs to be touched to unlock the display – which will certainly also extend its life.
To switch on this function: Menu Settings/Security
Under “Fingerprint” there is now additionally:
Fingerprint Unlock Behavior: If you need to touch unlock, turn on switch.
The default is press unlock.

Photo: right side with fingerprint sensor and volume buttons

Photo: right side of Fairphone 4 with fingerprint sensor and volume buttons

05.02.2022

An info appears in the notification bar that there is a system update: "Fairphone 4 (FP3R.A.099) Update". Tapping brings the following page to the screen (Text translated into English for you):

System update available
In 14 days, the update will be automatically
downloaded and installed and the device
then restarted.

 

The software FP3R.A.099 is available for the Fairphone 4.

 

This Update includes:
- Security patch level: 5 December 2021
- Improvements of the camera
- Improvement of the fingerprint sensor

 

A software update can also include minor
bug fixes, stability improvements
and network compatibility improvements.

 

Please keep your device updated for the best experience.

 

Please note that it may take some time,
until the update process is completed.

During this time, your device cannot be used.
This includes that you cannot make emergency calls.

 

Please note that data charges may apply.

 

Update size: 143 MB

After 8 minutes, the update is downloaded and can be installed.
Another 4 minutes later, I can unlock and use the Fairphone 4.
Now it has the following firmware version:

Android Version

11

Android Security Update

5 December 2021

Google Play System Update

1 October 2021

Baseband Version

MPSS.HI.2.0.1.c6-00447-BITRA_GEN_PACK-1

Kernel Version

4.19.157-perf+
#1 Wed Jan 12 18:39:31 CST 2022

Build Number

FP4.FP3R.A.099.20220112

07.03.2022

An info appears in the notification bar that there is a system update: "Fairphone 4 (FP3S.A.0103) Update". Tapping brings the following page to the screen (Text translated into English for you):

System update available
In 29 days, the update will be automatically
downloaded and installed and the device
then restarted.

 

The software FP3S.A.0103 is available for the Fairphone 4.

 

This Update includes:
- Security patch level: 5 February 2022
 

A software update can also include minor
bug fixes, stability improvements
and network compatibility improvements.

 

Please keep your device updated for the best experience.

 

Please note that it may take some time,
until the update process is completed.

During this time, your device cannot be used.
This includes that you cannot make emergency calls.

 

Please note that data charges may apply.

 

Update size: 110 MB

The network connection for the download can be selected under the update info text. The default setting is “Connect to WLAN”.
However, I select “Use mobile network”.

After 2 minutes, the update is downloaded and can be installed.
Another 4 minutes later, the software is updated and the Fairphone needs a restart. Two minutes later, the home screen appears and I unlock my Fairphone.
Now it has the following firmware version:

Android Version

11

Android Security Update

5 February 2022

Google Play System Update

1 February 2022

Baseband Version

MPSS.HI.2.0.1.c6-00447-BITRA_GEN_PACK-1

Kernel Version

4.19.157-perf+#1 Mon Feb 21 18:08:36 CST 2022

Build Number

FP4.FP3S.A.0103.20220221

10.04.2022

An info appears in the notification bar that there is a system update: “Fairphone 4 (FP3T.A.0107) Update”. Tapping brings the following page to the screen (Text translated into English for you):

System update available

In 29 days, the update will be automatically
downloaded and on your device; then
a reboot will be scheduled.

 

The software FP3T.A.0107 is available for the Fairphone 4.

 

This Update includes:
- Security patch level: 5 March 2022
 

A software update can also include minor
bug fixes, stability improvements
and network compatibility improvements.

 

Please keep your device updated for the best experience.

 

Please note that it may take some time,
until the update process is completed.

During this time, your device cannot be used.
This includes that you cannot make emergency calls.

 

Please note that data charges may apply.

 

Update size: 89.27 MB

The network connection for the download can be selected under the update info text. The default setting is “Connect to WLAN”.
However, I select “Use mobile network”.

After 2 minutes, the update is downloaded and can be installed.
Another 4 minutes later, the software is updated and the Fairphone needs a restart. Two minutes later, the home screen appears and I unlock the phone.

Checking the software version overview afterwards, I notice that the Google Play system update from March is still missing.
See: Settings/About the phone. Tap “Android version 11”.
So I tap on “Google Play System Update”, whereupon the phone immediately looks online for a more up-to-date version and then reports:

Google Play System Update available

 

Update size: 595 KB

 

Latest security update from Google. Update now
update now to ensure security
and improve the stability of your device.

After downloading and installing, restart.
After that, the software status is still: “1 February 2022”.
So I try again and now the screen shows:

Google Play System Update available

Update size: 23 KB

Latest security update from Google. Update now
update now to ensure security
and improve the stability of your device.

Again download, install and then restart.
This time successfully.

Now the overview shows the following firmware version:

Android Version

11

Android Security Update

5 March 2022

Google Play System Update

1 March 2022

Baseband Version

MPSS.HI.2.0.1.c6-00447-BITRA_GEN_PACK-1

Kernel Version

4.19.157-perf+
#1 Wed Mar 16 17:50:35 CST 2022

Build Number

FP4.FP3T.A.0107.20220316

25.04.2022

In the notification bar I see the info that there is a system update: "Fairphone 4 (FP3V.A.0116) Update". Tapping brings up the following page (quoted 1:1 from the screenshot, then translated for you):

System update available
In 29 days, the update will be automatically
downloaded and installed on your device; then
a reboot is scheduled.

 

The software FP3V.A.0116 is available for the Fairphone 4.

 

This update includes:
- Security patch level: 5 April 2022

 

A software update can also include minor
bug fixes, stability improvements
and network compatibility improvements.

 

Please keep your device up to date
to get the get the best experience.

 

Please note that it may take some time,
for the update process to be completed.
Your device cannot be used during this time.
This includes not being able to make emergency calls.

 

Please note that data charges may apply.

 

Update size: 84.63 MB

The network connection for the download can be selected under the update info text. The default setting is “Connect to WLAN”.
I select “Use mobile network”.

After 5 minutes, the update is downloaded and can be installed.
Another 5 minutes later, the software is updated and the Fairphone needs a restart. Two minutes later, the start screen appears and I unlock the Fairphone 4.
Now it has the following firmware version:

Android Version

11

Android Security Update

5 April 2022

Google Play System Update

1 March 2022

Baseband Version

MPSS.HI.2.0.1.c6-00447-BITRA_GEN_PACK-1

Kernel Version

4.19.157-perf+
#1 Thu Apr 14 02:28:28 CST 2022

Build Number

FP3V.A.116.20220414

01.06.2022

After I have carried out the software update on the Fairphone 3+, I also check the Fairphone 4 to see if there are any updates …
In fact, the Google Play system update from May is already available (until now, it always came almost a month after the Android update). At first it is displayed with a size of 7.4 KB, but 38 seconds later it is displayed like this (quoted 1:1 from the screenshot, but translated for you):

Google Play system update available

 

Update size: 28 MB

 

Latest security update from Google. Now
update now to ensure security and improve
improve the stability of the device.

After successful installation a restart is due.

Then I see in the notification bar the info that there is a system update:
“Fairphone 4 (FP3W.A.0128) Update”. Tapping brings the following page to the screen (quoted 1:1 from the screenshot, but translated for you):

System update available

In 29 days, the update will be automatically downloaded
and installed on your device; then a reboot is scheduled.

 

The software FP3W.A.0128 is available for the Fairphone 4.

 

This update includes:
- Security patch level: 5 May 2022

 

A software update can also include minor
bug fixes, stability improvements and
network compatibility improvements.

 

Please keep your device up to date for the
best experience.

 

Please note that it may take some time,
until the update process is completed.
During this time, your device cannot be used.
This includes not being able to make emergency calls.

 

Please note that data charges may apply.

 

Update size: 57.74 MB

The network connection for the download can be selected under the update info text. The default setting is “Connect to WLAN”.
I select “Use mobile network”.

After 5 minutes, the update is downloaded and can be installed.
Another 5 minutes later, the software is updated and the Fairphone needs a restart. Two minutes later, the start screen appears and I unlock the Fairphone 4.

Now it has the following firmware version:

Android Version

11

Android Security Update

5 May 2022

Google Play System Update

1 May 2022

Baseband Version

MPSS.HI.2.0.1.c6-00447-BITRA_GEN_PACK-1

Kernel Version

4.19.157-perf+
#1 Mon May 16 21:18:30 CST 2022

Build Number

FP4.FP3W.A.128.20220516

29.06.2022

Before I go to bed, I check whether there is a new system update.
Yes, there is, and this time it only says:

Reboot to update.
Your device must be restarted to complete the update.

Two minutes later, it's done:

Google-Play-Systemupdate
1 June 2022

14.07.2022

An update has been available since around 14:00, as indicated by the notification bar:

Fairphone 4 (FP40.A.0142) Update
For more information and to download tap

Tap to open the complete update information:

System update available
In 29 days, the update will be automatically
downloaded and installed on your device; then
a reboot will be scheduled.

 

The software FP40.A.0142 is available for the Fairphone 4.

 

This update includes:
- Security patch level: 5 June 2022

 

A software update can also include minor
bug fixes, stability improvements
and network compatibility improvements.

 

Please keep your device up to date for the best experience.

 

Please note that it may take some time,
for the update process to be completed.
During this time, your device cannot be used.
This includes not being able to make emergency calls.

 

Please note that data charges may apply.

 

Update size: 529 MB

 

Download and install

Twelve minutes later, I see on the screen that the download and installation have been successfully completed and the Fairphone is only waiting for my permission to restart. yesAnother two minutes later, I can unlock the home screen, whereupon it is overlaid by a small white window:

System update

The software has been successfully updated.

 

OK

After tapping, this also disappears and I bring up the settings menu with all the version information:

Android-Version

11

Android Security Update

5 June 2022

Google Play System Update

1 June 2022

Baseband Version

MPSS.HI.2.0.1.c6-00447-BITRA_GEN_PACK-1

Kernel Version


4.19.157-perf+
#1 Tue Jun 28 13:33:16 CST 2022

Build Number

FP4.FP40.A.142.20220628

12.08.2022

An update has been available since shortly after midnight, as indicated by the notification bar:

Fairphone 4 (FP44.A.0149) Update
For more information and to download tap

Tap to open the complete update information:

System update available
In 29 days, the update will be automatically
downloaded and installed on your device; then
a reboot will be scheduled.

 

The software FP44.A.0149 is available for the Fairphone 4.

 

This update includes:
- Security patch level: 5 July 2022

 

A software update can also include minor
bug fixes, stability improvements
and network compatibility improvements.

 

Please keep your device up to date for the best experience.

 

Please note that it may take some time,
for the update process to be completed.
During this time, your device cannot be used.
This includes not being able to make emergency calls.

 

Please note that data charges may apply.

 

Update size: 90.96 MB

 

Download and install

Six minutes later, I see on the screen that the download and installation have been successfully completed and the Fairphone is only waiting for my permission to restart. yes
Another two minutes later, I can unlock the home screen, whereupon it is overlaid by a small white window:

System update

The software has been successfully updated.

 

OK

After tapping, this also disappears and I bring up the settings menu with all the version information:

Android-Version

11

Android Security Update

5 July 2022

Google Play System Update

1 July 2022

Baseband Version

MPSS.HI.2.0.1.c6-00447-BITRA_GEN_PACK-1

Kernel Version


4.19.157-perf+
#1 Fri Jul 22 18:01:36 CST 2022

Build Number

FP4.FP44.A.149.20220722

What has changed with the Update

16.08.2022: Only now have I noticed that websites no longer load on the Fairphone. So I deactivate the firewall in the RethinkDNS app and websites load again. Only internet use via browser is affected. Apps that require an online connection, such as banking or weather app, are not affected.
As a test, I replace the latest version of RethinkDNS with the previous version, which unfortunately does not help either.

On the Fairphone 3+ with the /e/OS operating system, everything works as usual, so I can rule out a fault with the RethinkDNS app.

So the only option on the Fairphone 4 is to uninstall it and use NextDNS as a substitute, which even works without an app.

Since I haven't used the Fairphone 4 to surf the internet since I use my new MacBook for web browsing (08.08.), it took me eight days to notice this side effect of the latest Google update.

Software

My new Fairphone 4 with Android OS and Google Services now also runs the apps that do not run with a Google-free Android like /e/OS.
These include the banking app of my house bank and the app of my health insurance. The latter saves me filling out and sending reimbursement applications by post and allows me to scan medical bills instead. I no longer want to do without this. So far, it's only twice a year for dental check-ups, but still.

02.06.2022: I took a closer look at the new app store "App Lounge" on my second device Fairphone 3+ after its update to /e/OS version 1.0 and found that all the apps I needed would now also run under /e/OS! For a short test, I installed the two apps mentioned above and started them once. There were no error messages. I did not log in to the apps on the Fairphone 3+ because this would endanger the operation of the apps on the main Fairphone 4 device (banking app and health insurance app may only be operated on one device for safety reasons).

For lack of a Linux computer, I cannot switch from Android 11 to /e/OS 1.0 (Windows PC is no longer an option anyway). Whether my two critical apps will work under /e/OS in the long term depends on the MicroG version, if they really require Google services. MicroG software emulates Google services as best it can, and Google occasionally changes things so that MicroG doesn't run smoothly forever. A cat-and-mouse game under which the functionality of some apps can suddenly and unexpectedly suffer.

The e-Foundation will also complete its desktop software for installing (“flashing”) called /e/OS Easy-Installer for macOS at some point, then I can reconsider the change.

By then there may already be Android 12 for the Fairphone 4 ...
To avoid having to reflash twice in a row for a short time, it is recommended to first update to Android 12 and then switch to /e/OS. Changing the system takes a lot of time, patience and prior data backup because everything has to be reinstalled. During changeover, I would not be reachable via Threema (I can switch SMS to another multicard via app; calls ring on all devices).

Preparation for Switching from iOS to Android OS

In order to be able to do the same things on the Fairphone as before with the iPhone, I had already searched for corresponding apps and found most of them. This comparison may also help you if, like me, you want to switch from iOS to Android.

The "Apps on the Fairphone" listed here have already proven their worth. Caution: the "Xodo PDF Reader & Annotator" contains not just one, but many different trackers! Therefore, I will only install this app on the Fairphone 4 if I urgently need to fill out and sign a PDF form and thus save printing (=going to the copy shop) and letter postage. And only with a firewall and private DNS installed!
So why this app at all? – Because it has been the best on the iPhone for years and I immediately looked to see if it was also available for Android. Unfortunately, I don't (yet) know of any comparable app without a tracker.

17.12.2021: I find the Pro version of KeePassDX in the Google Play Store. Because I want to reward the excellent work of the developer, I buy KeePassDX Pro for 10.00 EUR. Since switching to Android OS as main operating system, I use KeePassDX several times a day!

13.01.2022: Have installed the app RethinkDNS for testing it. Blocks anti-social networks, malware, trackers and advertising. Works similarly to 1Blocker for iOS and macOS. A firewall that is supposed to make “calling home” impossible for malicious apps and websites. This also reduces energy consumption because unwanted clandestine connections to ad networks etc. are suppressed.
15.01.2022: Battery lasted over 18 hours despite heavy use. Unwanted advertising and anti-social networks are blocked perfectly by RethinkDNSDaumen hoch!

01.02.2022: I am very satisfied how good RethinkDNS works, but I like the easy user interface of the DNS66 app better. DNS66 also offers selectable “Private DNS” and filter lists. So I'll test that …
05.02.2022: Article about DNS66 added. App has disappointed me.

16.08.2022: Replace RethinkDNS with NextDNS. This DNS resolver for private DNS is also a firewall at DNS level and works on all devices. It is configured conveniently in the browser window.

22.08.2022: I now notice that the warning weather app no longer loads any data – it uses the Google Analytics for Firebase and Firebase Crashlytics services, among others, but NextDNS prevents this.

23.08.2022: Decided against subscribing to NextDNS because I don't want to give up the warning weather app and maybe other apps or websites might stop working that I might also not get to work with exception rules.

Comparison: Apps for Apple iOS <-> Android OS

Apps on iPhone Apps on Fairphone
1Blocker (Ad blocker + firewall)
DNSCloak: Sicherer DNS-Client
Amazon Kindle Amazon Kindle
Apple App Store F-Droid and Google Play
Apple Pay Google Pay
Battery Charge Alarm BatteryBot Pro
My Budget Book Pro (short name: BudgetPro) My Budget Book
CalenGoo Simple Calendar Pro
Corona Warn App (CWA) Corona Warn App (CWA)
Apple Music VLC video and music player
Cs Music VLC video and music player
DB Navigator Öffi
Do not disturb, short: DND (system function) Please do not disturb (system function)
Focus (system function) Automation (I do not use)
Shortcuts Automation (I do not use)
iMessage/SMS Silence (SMS with End to End Encryption!)
Mein o2 (My o2) “Mein o2” or “My o2” for British customers
Threema Threema
Tutanota Tutanota
OTP Auth (or Strongbox as complete solution) Aegis Authenticator (or KeePassDX)
Podcasts AntennaPod
Post & DHL Post & DHL
Strongbox KeePassDX.libre/KeePassDX.free/KeePassDX Pro
Xodo PDF Reader & Annotator Xodo PDF Reader & Annotator

You can move this table horizontally!

Camera

In winter temperatures, the Fairphone always stays in the bag to protect it. Otherwise, the temperature change from the cold outside to the warm inside can lead to condensation in the device.
Due to the pandemic, I don't go for long walks anyway, but rather short walks to do my shopping. So no extensive camera test with outdoor shots for the time being. I'll do that when the weather is nicer.

But even the few interior shots taken are promising. I am very satisfied with the image quality. And the camera software offers many setting options.

However, the photo view of the camera app crashed after scrolling through some shots (progress indicator circle endless).

For weeks, the photo view from the camera app has not worked at all. Instead, the camera app closes after starting photo view (a force close error).
10.02.2022: I found out the reason for this: I had deactivated the Google Photos app because it was annoying with vibrations when editing photos. But Google's camera app requires the Photos app as gallery …

Workaround

Since then I have started the camera with the “Camera Roll” app:
In this photo gallery app in the design of a film reel, a camera aperture symbol can be displayed at the bottom right as a link to the camera app … If I tap the photo view later from the camera app, it will be closed (by force close error) and I am back in the Camera Roll app, can examine new photos, crop or delete them. This seems intentional and not like an unexpected crash …

Photos

Test motifs: Goetheturm (Frankfurt am Main). Beautiful photos of the way there (Henninger Turm), view from the Goetheturm (skyline).
Image rights with me, private use only.

I cropped the following two photos of the new Henninger Turm and rotated them a bit, as I had not aligned the Fairphone exactly due to strong glare from the sun (very warm and sunny day).
I only reduced the size of the photo of the Goetheturm.

These three small photos are compressed with low loss by the software ImageOptim. For quality assessment I put original photos online:

Henninger Turm

First of all, an original file from the Fairphone's camera app.
File size: 4,309,911 bytes, i.e. > 4 megabytes!
If interested, if possible in WLAN/with a real flat rate, copy the following URL and paste it into the address line of your browser:
https://tests-and-tips.info/userfiles/images/hardware/mobile-phone/fairphone/photos/original/henningerturm.jpg

It is not the same shot as on this mini version, but closer to the tower at the bus stop looking up at Henninger Turm and clouds. Completely unedited, though, so you can judge the quality of the camera for yourself.

Photo: Frankfurt am Main, Hainer Weg: View at the (new) Henninger Turm

Photo: Henninger Turm, view coming from Lokalbahnhof (Hainer Weg)

Photo: Henninger Turm view from the other side

Photo: Henninger Turm, view coming from Goetheturm in the direction of Lokalbahnhof

Goetheturm

First of all, an original file from the Fairphone's camera app.
File size: 4,892,781 bytes, almost 5 megabytes!
If interested, if possible in WLAN/with a real flat rate, copy the following URL and paste it into the address line of your browser:
https://tests-and-tips.info/userfiles/images/hardware/mobile-phone/fairphone/photos/original/goetheturm.jpg

It is exactly this motif, but completely unedited, so that you can judge the quality of the camera for yourself.

Photo: Goetheturm

Photo: New Goetheturm based on old model

I will add more photos next weekend.
Unfortunately I have not had time yet …

To save the data volume of my visitors, I will display the photos in compressed form as a preview and those who surf in WLAN or have a real flat rate ("Unlimited Flat") can manually call up the photos in their original size. If I were to offer the large original photos via menu or link, your browser could unintentionally and unnoticed load them in advance in the background and quickly consume your possibly limited data volume.
You would first be surprised and later you would be angry with me when it turns out that it must have been my website where you last loaded pictures ...
You can turn off this behaviour of the browser, but many don't even know that their browser loads entire web pages "ahead of time" in order to download them only seemingly insanely fast when needed.

Fairtrade Gold, recycled Materials

Fairphone interprets the term “innovation” a little differently than others. For Fairphone, innovation is about more than technology. The Fairphone 4 is the latest generation with even more fair materials from responsible sources.

The housing is made of certified aluminium* and the removable back of the housing is made entirely of recycled plastic. Behind the scenes, Fairphone is working to integrate fair cobalt and lithium into their batteries. In addition, Fairphone is the only smartphone manufacturer with Fairtrade Gold in their supply chain.

*Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) Performance Standard-certified suppliers

Leather Sleeve

For years, I have protected every mobile phone with a custom-made black nappa leather bag from fitBAG (Made in Germany).

I therefore also bought a nappa leather case (fitBAG Beat black) for my new Fairphone 4.
With postage, the custom-made bag costs 27.30 EUR. A very fair price!

Photo: Fairphone 4 partially inserted into the fitBAG nappa leather bag.

Photo: black fitBAG nappa leather bag, FP4 partially pushed in.

Photo: fitBAG Nappa leather bag for the Fairphone 4

Photo: black fitBAG nappa leather bag, FP4 pushed all the way in.

Photo: View into the nappa leather bag with “Microfaser Premium (IFP)” lining

Photo: View inside the leather bag with “Microfibre Premium (IFP)” lining

Pros

Cons

Conclusion

The Fairphone 4 is an excellent mid-range smartphone with good features. The build quality is excellent and the processor performance is very good. Even when post-processing photos directly on the Fairphone, I didn't notice any delays or jerks when cropping.
Everything runs smoothly and trouble-free as on my iPhone 11 Pro (Max).

Unfortunately, 5G cannot be used with both SIM modules at the same time!
I didn't know that before ordering. But eSIM with LTE and Nano-SIM with 5G (or vice versa) works at the same time.

What Others mean

Marques Brownlee: This Smartphone ist built different … (YouTube)

Alternatives

If you don't have high expectations of a smartphone but like the concept of Fairphone, you can buy the predecessor model Fairphone 3+ as long as it is still in stock. However, it is not so conveniently thumb-unlockable, and in general its fingerprint sensor on the back of the case regularly annoyed me when it did not accept my fingertips (too sensitive to different skin textures).

If you have another smartphone that works well, you should keep it and continue to use it as long as software updates are still available.
And thereafter check whether there is an alternative operating system such as /e/OS or LineageOS with security updates for the old smartphone. This is more sustainable than buying a new Fairphone, because the production of a smartphone consumes more CO2 than the continued use of an old device.

Apple's iPhones are also sustainable, because you can also use them for about 5-6 years if you buy them directly after market launch, before there are no more security updates and operation with internet access becomes too risky.

Photo: Fairphone 3+ (left) and Fairphone 4 (right) next to each other

Photo: View into the accumulator compartment. Fairphone 3+ (left) and Fairphone 4 (right)

Keyword list: /e/, AP, Accumulator, Alternatives, Android, Battery Performance, Charging Time, Conclusion, Cons, Download, Fairphone 4, Firmware, Google Play, IT, Long-term Field Test, Mailbox, Memory Card, Mobile Phone, Nappa Leather Sleeve, Pros, Software, Telephony, Threema, Tutanota, Update, how

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