Call quality and noise cancellation (regular calls, handsfree, Signal voice/Microsoft Teams messages and video calls)

@FPWulf did you already find a solution to this problem? I have exactly the same issue, did all the tests technical support from Fairphone asked me to do and they recently told me it is probably the SIM card. I had to replace that one, which I did but as expected I still have the same problem.
In your case does the receiver also hear an echo if you talk via the speaker? Mainly the ‘s’, ‘sh’ and ‘ch’ sounds seem to reflect after 1 second or so.

I know this question wasn’t directed to me, but what you described is exactly what this topic is about. Yesterday someone even asked if I was on speaker phone because the quality was so poor. And I laughed at the Pixel 3 for having poor call quality. It can always get worse :nerd_face:

Hi there,
I also own FP4 and suffer from the low call quality problem.
I used to put the middle of my ear on the top speaker while talking and my phone partners complain a lot.
Now I put my ear as low as possible on the phone on a position where I can still hear loud and clear and I have the impression that the complaints reduce a lot.
This could fit to the theory with the noice cancellation. Just by getting closer to the microphone …

For me this didn’t solve the problem but it makes it a bit better.

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@Vince_Ma I recently had a reply from Fairphone Support and they are currently running me through their standard script: ‘send us screenshots of your OS build, battery history(?), SIM info screen’. They mentioned a lot about the SIM card being faulty (if it is ‘old’ get a new one, maybe even two(!??)) - which I can make no sense of. What has the age of the SIM card got to do with it? Are they like milk that goes off or something? (I know they are not). Fortunately my SIM card is brand new, so I will refuse that test.

I’m waiting for the inevitable and dreaded ‘we suggest you try a factory reset’ which will show they actually have no idea what the issue is.

In my situation all that happens is the receiver of whatever call I make simply cannot hear me at all, which makes it impossible to use the device as a phone to make phone calls with.

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Did you also link to this topic on the forum? Because I noticed that sometimes not all support staff is up2date on widespread issues. So then this playbook of checks they do makes sense to rule out local causes. By pointing to this forum topic you may have a shortcut to an update in the main issue in their support desk, which I hope they link related issues to. Hopefully some progress is made regarding this issue and some more information is available in the parent issue in their support desk.

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I will see how the issue with Support develops and if it heads in an unhelpful direction I will link them to this. For now, I will give them a chance to do their thing and not muddy the water.

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Seems like this issue finally got some more attention! Signal voice messages have improved in the latest update. What do you think?

Will test the other mic related issues when I have another video call.

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I really hope they have fixed the problem with this update, I’ll install it later to night. I bought a FP4 to my father but it’s nearly impossible to hear what he says when I call him. I have the same issue with my FP4. And when I make calls the 4G/5G symbol disappear and instead I get an X. If they don’t fix this I have to buy another phone to him as this is his lifeline, he must be able to make calls in an emergency. I have been using my FP4 since the launch and in the begining the call quality was ok but a couple of month ago it has been very bad. I even tried using a third brand new FP4 with the same result. I’m using standard Fairphone/Google installation with all system and app updates.

The update solved EVERYTHING for me! Signal, SnapChat and Instagram voice messages working perfectly and are even louder than on other phones I think :eyes: I really hope that you guys have the same improvement than me.

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I talked to my operator, Telia, here in Sweden and I got this answer:

  1. Fairphone has not had Telia in mind when they developed their software and this means that the quality of our network will not be 100%.
  2. The problem is that Fairphone has not activated VoLTE with Telia. This causes customers to have poorer quality of calls, both in coverage and speech quality.
  3. After we turn off our 2G/3G networks, the Fairphone will stop working completely. This will take place in 2025.

I do have VoLTE support from my operator, as well as calling over WiFi. But the quality is still quite poor. So not sure if this is really to blame.

I haven’t tested the voice/video call quality with this latest update though.

I would def #contactsupport to ask if they can add your provider. I assume there are many out there and FP might not think about all of them from beginning. Sweden is the first country in the EU I’m aware of that will shut down both 2G and 3G, most countries keep one as a fallback for calls when VoLTE is not available/possible. Shutting down both, means all older Smartphones will become useless…

It might be a combination of things. When I call my own FP4 with an iPhone 13, the quality is super bad through the iPhone 13. I then hear a choppy robotic voice coming from the FP4, it’s almost incomprehensible. But when I call my own number with my FP4 and leave a voicemail message, the quality is okay when I replay it. It’s not the crispy iPhone quality, but it’s definitely not what I hear when I call my own FP4 with an iPhone either. Maybe the iPhone 13 is the problem, I’ll check that sometime later. I also tested with Nokia’s and Samsung phones in the past, people then complained about poor quality. I haven’t called myself with those phones.

For now I’ll mark this issue as resolved. Since Signal is indeed much better now with voice messages and people say the quality with video calls is okay as well.

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I have now updated my FP4 and my fathers FP4. It’s better now but not ok. When we have the FP4 close to the mouth its ok but as soon as you move the phone away about 10 cm from the mouth the robotic sound is back. I tried to call both from my own FP4, a Samsung S20 and from my operators softphone on my computer to my fathers FP4 with the same result. Hope they will fix it. I didn’t have any problems with my old FP3, that one worked fine both with cellular and VoLTE.

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By calling myself and leave a voicemail I was able to do more tests without bothering other people.

The robotic voice with choppy audio starts when blocking the side microphone. I usually don’t block this mic myself. But when I call myself with an iPhone, the other caller holding my FP4 likely does this every time. Maybe you block one of the 3 mics as well?

The mics are positioned poorly, and in no way people should be taught how to hold their phones. That sounds a bit like the antenna issues of a certain iPhone release. But at least if we can identify the issue and reproduce the fix, we can move forward in some degree.

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Thank you very much @UPPERCASE ! I’ll do some tests to night and let you know the results.

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It for sure fixed it and improved also the Assistant. I would say it works more reliable that my Pixel 3 (or this is due to recent Google software improvements). This one can be crossed off the issue list.

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Very good guess: I just disabled VoLTE and my call voice problems disappeared.
To do so, OMG, please search around in the so many Android-Setup-Flavours.
(Google: Pleeese do once some very basic work to streamline setting-menu structure to keep the stable at least some of the next releases!)

I experience this issue now with Microsoft Teams, people can’t hear me, they say the quality is unaudiable. Will report to FP support.

Oof, just when I thought all is well… Is it just like the previous Signal issue, where it doesn’t matter whether you use a headset or not?

Anyways, Signal voice messages are now working well for me, too! Yay!

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