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Battery bloated

Yes. The first reply was quick with a promise that the battery will be replaced when I send a photo and battery number. But keeping the promise is something else.

I got a mail today from Fairphone. Because a support member was on holiday this week they did not reply promptly. Also the battery are out of stock, again.
The few thousand batteries from August 27 are now gone in two months?!
Does this mean that all first batch Fairphones suffer from bloated/bad batteries?
They say that the bloated batteries are dangerous. Why did they do not do a recall? Why do they not warn users by sending all users a mail about it?

Probably not. We’d hear a lot more about it here on the forum if 25.000 phone were defective. Though it may be the case that there is an exceptionally bad batch of batteries, or the design of the phone makes the battery more susceptible to physical shock when the phone is dropped, or the thermal design of the phone isn’t optimal (see for background for example this CNET article on battery and lifetime). There’s a thread on smartphone failure rates in which some information may (or may not) surface soon.

Any battery of the type used in the Fairphone (and most other smartphones) is susceptible to this problem. Unless the failure rate is exceptionally high, I don’t think there will be a mass recall and they’ll stick to warranty exchanges for those users affected. Going onto the forum (and support pages) of any other manufacturer will list a number of threads about swollen batteries, it’s not a unique or new problem. You’d get recalls if it turns out that the battery, on failure, doesn’t swell but for instance explodes or catches fire.

There are at least 10.000 devices out there that have a battery that is nearly 2 years old (and another 50.000 that are anywhere up to two years old), at which point battery performance can be quite degraded depending on how heavily it was used. Rechargeable batteries still suffer from aging effects, and this is normal for the product type. This is why battery warranty is usually shorter than the warranty on the device itself - battery expected lifetime is always shorter than the expected lifetime of the device. So people are starting to replace batteries that haven’t failed, but have started to wear out based on normal wear and tear.

There’s nobody who can lend you a phone for a couple of weeks? Seems a bit drastic and wasteful to throw out a phone just because you’re waiting for a warranty replacement part.

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Thanks for your reply.

My experience with other products with batteries are that batteries tend to decline slowly over time. Not suddenly in a couple of weeks.
I noticed about 2 months ago that the battery of the Fairphone did started to decline somewhat. Three weeks ago it did drain within a day. Two weeks ago the battery did go down from 100% to 15% in 2.5 hours. (After that it did go down to 4% in minutes as always.) Because I know someone that did get a bloated battery I looked at my battery carefully I noticed that it was not straight anymore. If I did not knew about the issue I would have bought a new battery myself outside the warranty. Two days later the battery did drain in an one half hour! The defect is now clearly visible. I think several people that are buying a new battery do that without knowing that the battery has a defect, just thinking the battery is from a poor quality.
Off course others are buying a battery as spare in case they cannot reload the battery when it is empty.

I planned to replace my Fairphone somewhere beginning next year because I have several issues with the Fairphone. Original I did plan to do several years with this phone not knowing about the issues and thinking Android will be updated for one or two years. Before the Fairphone I did use second hand phones till they where 4 years old.
I thinking about a Windows phone because the (security) update police of Microsoft.

One week ago I did get a mail from Fairphone.

Quote
"Our apologies for the late reply to your email. My colleague who handled this request is now on a holiday. Next to that we temporarily ran out of batteries at our warehouse so we have some delay in shipping them to customers.
I can send you a new battery from our office next Monday, so it should arrive in <****> Tuesday or Wednesday. Our apologies for the inconvenience! "

Tuesday: nothing
Wednesday: nothing
Thursday: nothing
Friday: nothing

No battery, no email !
So again: only promises.

Summary till now:
-The delivered Fairphone is not according the spec. on what I based my decision to buy it. (cheaper processor)
-Fairphone did promised impossible delivery dates (according the handling speed of the first batches) and failed big time.
-Software updates where promised for the next month while it did take a half year
-After sales; lying

And what about ‘conflict free minerals’? Why should that be true? I do not believe Fairphone anymore.

I understand that you’re upset, but this is just a users forum.

I cannot tell you anything about what’s going on “inside” the fairphone project. All I can see from the outside is that the FP1 was a prototype that they try to support with their limited resources, while also trying to develop a better FP2 at the same time. The battery and the usb port seem to be the FP1s weak points.

Here is what I read in the forum mostly in posts from project members:

Recently they changed the manufacturer of their batteries and the location of their warehouse. (I think mainly for easier logistics, nothing was mentioned about battery failure rates or the average live cycle of the batteries). So maybe it will take a bit longer until the new batteries will arrive/send out. But maybe these will work better and last longer? One can still hope …

The question for me is: Is it useful to only allow one kind of battery to fit into the phone? This is something that should be thought about for the FP2. But I don’t know if this was tried designwise. The usb connector at the FP2 was also designed by the fairphone project this time (the FP1 was a fixed design but really with some fair materials). So maybe those problems will be fixed with the FP2.

Like I said, I understand you, but I guess they just don’t have enough resources for everything. So they have to manage PR-wise somehow. It’s still a good idea.

I’m sure there will be enough batteries soon.

If you have access to a stable power supply or a hacker space you can try to power up your FP1 with a stable power supply (3.7V, limited to a few mAs [do not trust me, double check how to do this!]) with a self build connector and move your data/phonebook to another phone until the new battery arrives?

That’s all that comes to mind here. And also: Without a FP1 there wouldn’t be a FP2 :smile:

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Hi there,

after about three years the battery of my Fairphone FP1 stopped working. It was swollen and had lost a large part of its original capacity, lasting only a couple of hours after charging. Clearly, it was only a matter of time until it would fail completely. Unfortunately, the replacement batteries are out of stock at the moment. So I decided to try using a off-the-shelf Samsung battery I had lying around.

See this page for details and pictures: http://truthbox.ch/batteryfix.html

Best, BadElvis

@Jan4: I have the same problem. I wrote the support on 8th of November and they told me
"We expect to resume shipments from our distribution partner in the week of 16 November. […] Once batteries are back in stock, we will inform you directly, so you do not need to follow-up to this email. We will email you immediately when batteries are back in stock."
Until now I didn´t get any email so I think it will last at least 1-2 more weeks until I finally have the new battery.
I just hope it´s only coincidence that a LOT of the Fairphone batteries seem to bloat after using them for only about 1 year…

Have a look to this thread:

@therob: thanks for the link.

28-10 Ask for support about bloated battery
29-10 Mail from Fairphone asking a photo and battery number
31-10 After getting a camera to make the photo I send the photo + battery number to Fairphone
2-11 (monday) nothing
3-11 send a reminder
4-11 nothing
5-11 nothing
6-11 mail from Fairphone; will send battery next Monday because the batteries where sold out on Friday
10-11 Tuesday, nothing (I live in the Netherlands so the battery should arrive the day after sending)
11-11 nothing
12-11 nothing
13-11 nothing
14-11 nothing
16-11 end of the day, forum post from Douwe; batteries on stock
17-11 nothing
18-11 nothing
19-11 nothing

I’d suggest giving them a call:

Mon & Tues 10:30 - 18:30 and Wed-Fri 9:30 - 17:30 at +31 (0)20-788 4400

(From the support page)

Probably a good idea to have your support ticket number ready.
Not ideal that you have to chase this, I agree.

I’m very happy that after reporting my battery as bloated (it passed the spin test and the middle was thicker by 1 mm compared to the edges) on Saturday 14 Nov 2015, today I have received a new battery free of charge.

Where can I find instructions / guidelines on performing the first and subsequent charges correctly please. I’m using a FP1U model.

I apologise if this has already been answered before - just not sure where to look!

The battery guide is the place to look: :smile:

I contacted fairphone support on friday and expected a reply soon (monday) as they state “Contact our Support Team with the subject line “Bloated battery” and we will make your issue a priority.”. Well that hasn’t happend. I cannot wait any longer so I’ve ordered a new battery. I understand that there may be shitloads to do at the moment, but customers having a bloated battery should get priority treatment imho. Especially when fairphone states they would do so. I hope they refund my costs because the shipping costs are almost as high as the battery costs.

The new battery is finally arrived.

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Did you think about to give them a call?
And you are sure that the replacement battery is not already shipped out to you (without a notification)?

They didn’t have my address so that’s impossible.

Yesss, everything’s sorted now. I will just wait for the battery to get room temperature. In the meantime I will study the wiki about handling the battery :slight_smile:

1 Like

It’s worth mentioning that you should dispose of the bloated battery asap, mine wasn’t that bloated so I left it in my bag as an emergency spare when my new battery arrived, a month later I happened to look at it and it was hugely bloated, too much to even fit in the phone, I’d hate for it to have burst on me.

2 Likes

Oh yeah, good point, thank you!