Apps and System UI crashing, weird noisy pixels, 4g not available in rural areas

I’ve been having some weird problems with my FP2. I’m not that tech savvy, so I have no idea if these are related or not and what to do about them. (Also, I’m probably not using the correct terms, so sorry about that!)

  1. My apps crash quite often. With games etc that is to be expected and I don’t really care, but lately it’s mostly my phone app. When I’m talking on the phone, the phone doesn’t respond (I can still continue the call, but the screen doesn’t work). Sometimes the phone catches up and asks me if I want to force the app to close, sometimes I just have to take the battery out. A few times the screen has frozen when I’ve received a call, so that the phone keeps ringing, but I can’t accept or deny the call or restart the phone. I have to just take the battery out and call them back.
    A similar thing happens often when I’m recording a voice message on WhatsApp, the screen just freezes and I have to take out the battery.
    Also the camera crashes almost every time I use it, but that doesn’t bother me as much, since it’s not really a necessity. (Still, if someone can solve that, it would be pretty great.)
    The system UI (or something similar, not a 100% sure since usually the message doesn’t show on the screen for a long time) crashes also quite a bit, but with that I usually just have to wait a few moments and it will be ok.

  2. Whenever I use my phone for a while, the screen gets all weird and pixely. It’s nothing similar to the other noisy screens I’ve seen on here, I can still use my phone fine and it most definitely isn’t a hardware problem.
    A few example screenshots. This is how it usually looks:

    But, when I do something on the screen, the noise sometimes goes away from the “object” I touched (not always though):

    It’s also “fixed in place” in the app, so when I pull down the menu bar or show all running apps, it stays in place in regards to the app view:

    This doesn’t seem to be specific to apps, it happens pretty much everywhere. It always happens with WhatsApp though, when I’m recording a voice message, so I’m thinking it has something to do with the phone being used more “heavily”?

  3. When I’m in rural areas of Finland, the phone can’t connect to 4g (or 3g or anything). Sometimes it just says H+ and still allows me to use mobile data a bit, but sometimes all connection is lost, even the normal calling/texting network (sorry, don’t know what that is in English). In cities it works completely fine though. It’s not a problem with my operator since people with the same operator get connection just fine. My sim also works normally on other phones in those areas. I’m thinking that maybe it just takes my phone a lot of effort to connect to mobile data or the regular network, so it can’t do much else, hence the app problems? The problems still happen when mobile data is turned off, though, so idk.

  4. My battery drains quite quickly. This might be just me using my phone too much or my battery being old, but I think it might be connected if my phone is constantly working too hard to keep the apps running etc.

Some other important info:

  • I’m running Android 7.1.2
  • I’ve been using my phone since October 2017, haven’t changed my battery (or other parts) since then.
  • I did a factory reset like a week ago, at first it seemed to work but within a day things started acting up again.
  • I’ve tried deleting all apps I don’t need and that usually cause problems (like Instagram and Facebook), that hasn’t helped.
  • There’s plenty of space for my phone to work in, I’ve only used up 11.47/29GB.
  • The memory seems a bit more worrying though, average memory use is 1.2/1.8GB even though I don’t do a lot of “heavy-duty” things on my phone. (I have no idea what amount of memory use is normal though, so I might be totally wrong)

Sorry for the info dump! I’d be super grateful for any thoughts and advice, since I haven’t been able to find any help just googling and reading the forums (might be because I just don’t know the correct terminology to search for). I just really, really don’t want to switch phones. I’m ready to sacrifice a lot of my usual apps etc to keep my fairphone, but I kinda need to be able to use the phone app on my phone :sweat_smile:

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Instead of taking out the battery you can long (>15 second) press the power button and it’ll reboot - even when it seems to be completely frozen.

It sounds more to be related to Whatsapp than to “being used heavily”…

Did you restore your apps “from scratch” (complete reinstallation) after your factory reset - or did you restore a backup then?.

You may have a look at this topic which says it’s related to “night light”:

And in that topic it is also mentioned that this is an unfortunately still unresolved known bug.


Thanks for the advice! I hadn’t realized that it takes such a long press to reboot, that helps a lot.

I’m not exactly sure. I had to reinstall all my apps but my phone automatically recommended all the apps I previously had and installed all of them with just one click so it might have been a backup? I didn’t think that could be a problem since I did reinstall everything. I’ll try the factory reset again when I’m able to, without doing the automatic reinstalling.

Wow, thanks! I had seen the thread but apparently gave up reading it before finding the parts that actually talk about my problem :sweat_smile: I haven’t been using the phone’s own night light, but I do have the Twilight app which basically does the same thing. I’ll delete it and see if that does anything!


If it restored something from a (e.g. Google) backup then it’s possible that the configuration/data leading to the problems have also been restored. So a factory reset and not restoring from a backup might help.


Okay, so a quick update: I did a factory reset again a while ago without restoring from a backup. Strangely enough, the phone freezes way more often now. For example, it froze today when my alarm clock went off, which it has never done before (the alarm sound was still playing, I just couldn’t turn it off). So the problem doesn’t seem to be related to the backups or specific apps, but I’ll have to do some more digging. If it in fact is related to some specific app, it should (at least theoretically) be pretty easy to narrow down, since I only have like 9 apps installed. I’ll try safe mode and removing apps and report back if that does anything.

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Since factory reset and booting into safemode don’t touch the OS, you can also go beyond these and install the phone from scratch to determine whether perhaps something on the installed OS side became faulty (which can happen) …

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It’s been a while but the problems still persist. I actually managed to install the phone from scratch with @AnotherElk’s amazing guide (thank you so much for that!) and a lot of googling even though I have never done anything like that before. (A small step for mankind, but a giant confidence boost for me :D) That didn’t help though, so I tried installing FPOOS from scratch. That reduced the freezing and screen issues a bit, but after a while they came back. Since I was still feeling all-powerful after figuring out how to switch OSes, I decided to try out Lineage, too. That actually made my phone much more useable, even though I still have the same issues. It doesn’t freeze the whole phone anymore, just the specific app, so I can just close the app and try again. Still, the system UI crashes every once in a while and I can usually only pick up calls with the button on my headphones, but it’s manageable at least for now.

So to me, as a non-techy person, it seems like this is a hardware issue. If I manage to gather enough courage I’ll try to clean the contacts, but if that doesn’t work I’m all out of ideas. Any suggestions are more than welcome, but it looks like I eventually will have to sell my phone to someone who can at least get some spare parts out of it.

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Hey Helmituuli,

thanks for sharing all what you discovered, i am deeply impressed by your work - i have exactly the same problems, crashes, weird pixely screen (different to what i found in this forum, you are the only one who describes exactly my situation), the battery gets hot while loading…
As is can read, you didn’t find a solution though. So your last thing to do is to sell the FP2? I am still in the time of warranty, and i think about asking for a new phone as it is really annoying (and still getting worse…). I am no techy, too, and my self confidence (and also patience) is ending quite soon, concerning these topics. :wink:

So if you discover THE solution, please keep sharing! I’d be super grateful!

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Are you using a microSD card?

@Frieda: I’m glad this has been at least a little bit helpful for you :slight_smile: I’ve actually found a couple of topics that are quite similar to my problems. They don’t have any answers either, but I’ll link them anyway if you’re interested:

If for some reason you don’t want to ask for a new phone with the warranty, I’d recommend trying out a different operating system. Lineage OS really helped me, and one of the people in the topics linked above. Even though changing to Lineage didn’t solve the problem, it has made my phone a lot more reliable and useable. It might be a bit difficult to do by yourself, it was pretty tricky for me at least. So maybe ask a friend/fairphone angel to help if you can? If you want to switch to Lineage and don’t know where to start, ask me and I’ll give you some links that helped me with the process! :slight_smile:

@JeroenH: Not sure if you’re asking me or @Frieda, but I’m not using one.

I have that issue too. I can however swipe down to get to the notification screen, press on the settings button and then unlock the phone. Then I just have to wait for the “phone app is crashing” message and close the app and call back - no need to take out the battery.

This I have too. Not sure if the two are related. Your other issues don’t sound familiar.

Thank you for all this! I sent a ticket to the support team and now wait for answer. If they don’t want to replace the phone, i’ll try all these possibilities. Thanx!!

Hi Jeroen,
yes, i do. Do you think this could matter? But i did it from the beginning, and the problems showed up much later…

Both of you, and thanks for the info.

You also wrote:

I’ve been using my phone since October 2017, haven’t changed my battery (or other parts) since then.

When did you buy your phone? Do you still have warranty? You should have 2 years warranty, and if your smartphone is from October 2017 that means it will expire within a month. So I would make a ticket for this issue. It is not acceptable that applications look like that.

It could be a faulty microSD card (or even flash storage itself). A complete reformat of the card could help then. If you are able to use the smartphone without microSD card, then I’d give that a whirl.

However it seems @helmituuli does not use microSD card.

I’d definitely contact support if you are still within the warranty period. It seems like you did, kudos. :slight_smile:

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Oh wow, I honestly thought my warranty was only for one year! I have no idea why I didn’t check this first, I feel so dumb :sweat_smile: But thank you so much! I’ll go and make a ticket right now.

Glad you’re giving it a try!

I don’t know if you bought it in The Netherlands or Finland or somewhere else but if you bought it in the EU, this applies:

Keep in mind it differs a bit per country. For example, here in The Netherlands I think it works in the way that after 6 month, it is up to the buyer to prove the device is faulty.

If it is a proven design flaw, consumer law can apply for more than 2 years. For example, on Macbook Pro the coating of screens get detached, and as consumer you can get that repaired for free up to 4 years after you bought the device (as business it is less because consumer law does not apply!) But usually such repair programs only get active after a substantial amount of customers have the issue, and legal pressure is applied to the company…

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Thanks a lot for your advice. Yes, i started a ticket, now waiting…
Best to all of us!
I am really convinced that it is a good thing to have a FP, sometimes it is just hard to accept that such an expensive phone has to deal with so many (and so many different) technical issues…

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You always have to keep in mind, that us FP2-owners are a very special kind of people.
We are kind of beta-testing a revolutionary modular concept.
We can be proud, that Fairphone could learn so much with our help and testing, that they now can sell an even better and more sturdy FP3. :grin:

We went the road almoast all earyl adaptors take.
Well, for some of us it was a really bumpy road, while mine was relatively well paved, with just a smaller hole in it every once in while.
I hope for you, to get your troubles solved soon. :+1:


I just realized I never gave an update on how this whole thing ended! I contacted support as suggested, and sent my phone in to be repaired. I still have no idea what the actual problem was: support thought that it might be a problem with the GPU and the diagnosis I got from the repair center was just “OFF15”, whatever that means. In any case, they switched out the motherboard/core module. Since I got my phone back, it has worked flawlessly. At least on Lineage OS I haven’t had any crashes, freezing, screen issues or anything.

All in all, I’m super happy I had the patience to go through the repair process. I know for a lot of people this kind of trouble might be a complete deal-breaker, but for me it just reinforced my faith in the mission of FP. To me it seems like a good deal to sacrifice a bit of comfort and usability if that means I can be sure that the company will do pretty much anything it can to offer repairs, guides and support to make sure my phone will last as long as possible. As a bonus, thanks to the awesome community, I now know how to remove and install OSes, have some basic troubleshooting skills and know so much more about phones in general. It’s pretty empowering, tbh. So thanks guys for all the help! :slightly_smiling_face:


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