Battery problems (wrong charging status / battery might be dying)

I never experienced the “cardinal symptoms” of a battery firmware that has to be reset but I do sometimes register a slight discrepancy in the battery status displayed by my phone when turned off compared to when turned on.

This has been discussed on the forum before. Nobody could say with absolute certainty but the consensus was that “halfway recharges” are not a bad thing. (Actually (maybe) it’s even best to keep the battery status above 60%)

Update: after resetting like above and fully charging my battery lasted for 4 days (my normal habits of use) which is like before. But now, one of the 15% bugs is here: from 15% it takes about 30 sec’s to zero. Experienced it twice now, so it probably going to last. Will try another reset.
By the way: there’s still something funny in the software: charging with phone off I checked: 24%. Enough to restart: then the battery shows 64% immediately. Turned off again and check: 64%.

Check if your battery is swelling! :warning: E.g. do the spin test.

My Fairphone FP1 showed the same symptomps. I sent them a video of my battery spinning and got a new battery on warranty in under a week.

I have the same issues. Either the battery goes like this; down to 1% very quick and stays there for a long time and then dies:

Or it goes like this:

From 100% to 1% in 42 minutes. Tried the starter thing twice without results but will try it again. No bulging what I can see. This problem has been for a week or so, worked fine before that. I have the first edition on the phone. Would be nice with a solution…

Only since updating from 1.8 to 1.85 I also have a similar problem: down to 15% a bit faster then it was before, and then from 15% to 0% (= autoshutdown) within 2 minutes.
Until the 1.85 update no issues at all, and from the day after the update I was treated with this…

My battery is not bloated, and it’s a FP from the first batch.

Sometimes batteries that start bloating are not visually bloated yet so you’ll need to do the spin test to be sure.

If you can’t spin the battery I’d try the “kickstart” again. Watch a video at full brightness in the evening until the phone dies, plug-in the phone without the battery, after some time put it in and leave it charging over night.
If the problems still exist make some screenshots to document them and contact support. Maybe they’ll give you a new battery even without a positive spin-test.
To make sure it’s not something else you could borrow someone else’s battery to see if the problems

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Dear Paul, thank you for your answer. I already did the kickstartt several times, but unfortunately this does not solve the problem.

I’ll try the spin test ASAP.

Regarding the screen shots, of what exactly do I need to make screen shots?


The ‘spintest’ showed no bloating. I did the ‘kickstart’ twice, but to no avail.
And anyway: if the problem would indeed be battery-related, it would be a very big coincidence that the problem only occurred directly after the 1.8 → 1.85 update.

It should solve then, if you downgrade, I guess (Go to Fairphone Updater > Advanced Mode > Android for Fairphone > Cherry 1.6). Could you verify that?

I can’t miss my phone long enough for such an experiment.

I have had the same problem with my battery and it really bothered me a lot. The phone wouldn’t show the proper status and sometimes over night it didn’t charge properly – that was the worst.
At some point I have cleaned the contacts on my battery. I had noticed that they were corroded. Ever since my phone is doing much better. The battery status might still drastically change when turning it off and back on after it has been running on battery for quite some time already, but other than that, if used normally, it also behaves normally.

Hope this helps more people!

I did the spinning test now again and I think it started to bloat… so maybe it has been that problem the whole time… I have written to the support about it now.


A month later and the problem is now clear: the battery is bloated (in the middle it is 1.25mm thicker then on the edge). Support is in the process of supplying me a new battery.

So with hindsight issues like I reported can be the very first sign of a bad, bloating battery.

I have the same problem here, but it appeard like 2 weeks ago… And also i had the problem with the 14%. Today i tried to clean my barttery (as advised). First my battery was at 14%, after the cleaning it was at 19%. Normally when my phone was at 14% it died within seconds. I hope the problem disappeard now

I’m experiencing similar issues as reported elsewhere in this article. Since I upgraded the Fairphone OS from 1.8 to 1.8.5 (end May–begin June), the battery level indication seems to be faulty. The battery discharges pretty linearly for 1-2 days—I didn’t use my phone intensively since I was studying for finals–until it reaches about 30%, then drops to 0% in a matter of minutes, even if the phone is inactive. However, the sudden drop in battery level does not always occur, as shown in the screenshot below

Let’s dig a little deeper. In the past month, I tried to figure out a pattern about the circumstances in which this problem occurs. Unfortunately, I didn’t find a consistent cause. However, I did notice that the problem is most likely (yet not exclusive) to occur when wifi or data connection is turned on. The sudden drop also occurs when the phone (display) is inactive, so whether the screen is on or not does not seem to correlate with whether the problem occurs or not. I included a screenshot illustrating the battery drop problem below. (I’ve taken several similar screenshots, but new users are allowed to upload no more than 3 images, so I only included the most illustrative one).

I’m sure it’s not a problem with the battery itself. My battery is not bloated. It rather seems to be a problem with the calculation of the battery energy level. I noticed another anomaly that supports this hypothesis: once, after turning off and on the phone, the battery level suddenly jumped from ~50% to ~15%. This proves that the problem is software-related, i.e. a wrong computation of the battery drain, rather than the battery itself.

In addition to the battery level drop issue, I noticed a third anomaly: the battery charging does not always follow the pattern I suspect it to do. As shown in the screenshot below, the battery level sticks to a single percentage (1% in this case) for longer than normal, and the increase from 60% to 100% is abnormally fast. I haven’t tested if this is always the case though.

Although the 1.8.5 upgrade was supposed to fix the 14% bug, it only appears to have made the situation worse, and judging from this article I am by far not the only one experiencing issues with the battery calibration. This article proves that it is a serious problem, and it deserves to be flagged as a known issue, and looked into as soon as possible. For me, especially the sudden battery level drop is highly annoying since I’ve lost all trust in the battery level indication. Sometimes a level of 30% means I can still go on for half a day, other times it means that my phone will die in a few minutes (see the first screenshot again).

Until the issue is patched: is there any way that allows me to reset/recalibrate the battery level indication? Anything that relieves the problem even slightly until a definitive solution is distributed is highly appreciated. I don’t mind doing pretty technical stuff to achieve this if necessary (e.g. editing system files).

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Just checking: did you try ‘kicking’ the battery’s software? There’s instructions (as well as other useful information) on the wikipost: A little Guide to … Fairphone’s Battery (FP1 / FP1U). It seems that in some cases this helps, whilst in other cases (e.g. post 163) it turned out to be an early sign of a failing battery.
The battery problems don’t seem to be a universal problem - my battery life actually increased after updating from 1.6 to 1.8.5.

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Not yet—was planning on doing so tonight. Thanks for the link though. It’ll take a while before I know whether it has worked or not, but I’ll get back here when I do. I just thought I’d post my findings here anyway to acknowledge existence of the problem, and I also thought it might be helpful to deduce the circumstances which seem to trigger this kind of behavior (if it occurs) to help troubleshoot the problem for future upgrades and/or devices. Hence the reason why I didn’t try kickstarting the battery yet :wink:

@Gert: your issue looks very similar to what I experienced. And in my case the (visual) bloating only started after the phenomenon showed, so make sure to check the battery regularly. Use a micrometer to see if it is thicker in the middle then on the edge; if the difference is only small it will be hardly visual.
I also had the strange battery loading anomaly as you showed above.
Only strange thing is: in your case as well as in mine the problem occurred only after the latest OS update. Coincidence??? .

I tried kickstarting the battery, it didn’t solve anything. In fact, the battery level drop is even more severe: it now starts from 50% instead of 30%, as shown in the picture below.

The next day, I turned off my phone when it had a battery level of 65%, and when I turned it back on again no more than a minute later the battery level was only 21% anymore:

However, kickstarting the battery is not the reason why the problem suddenly appears to be even worse. I took @Rob_van_der_Does’s advice and checked the battery size again today. Didn’t even need a micrometer: I could feel the battery was swollen, and the spin test was affirmative too. Thus, after months of battery level anomalies without any tangible proof of a bloated battery, the battery has become bloated in less then a week. I’m kinda baffled.

Conclusion: if anyone is experiencing similar issues, it might be an early sign of a failing battery as @Johannes said. But be sure to check your battery often, as it can escalate very quickly!

Yep, same as in my case. Don’t use the battery any more: it may explode.
Support will send you a new one when you create a ticket and tell this story.