Can we please have more openness about the touch screen bug?

Now, I apologise if this comes off as negative and grumpy… so let me first say I still think the FairPhone is an awesome project, and am a firm believer in the cause. And I don’t want to lose my faith… but I am struggling :slight_smile:

The candid “ask me about…” flyer that came with it inspired me to spread the word until I actually turned the thing on. And yes, I have been approached by lots of friends fascinated to hear there is a Fair trade phone you can get, and always have to deliver the same sad message to them: “Hold on to your money, because you definitely do NOT want this phone at this point in time. But fingers crossed things will improve in the next update.”

As much as it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to own this item, it doesn’t make up for the fact that it is a device that frustrates and annoys me every time I use it. There’s numerous bugs I won’t list here, but the one show-stopper (and I think everyone would agree with me on this) is the ghost touch screen issue. A device which adds semi-random noise to the user’s input just should never have left the factory, period.

Because of this, it is quite demoralising to see an update ship without the most serious bug addressed, and the only comment on it being a suggested work-around that doesn’t seem to make any difference whatsoever. With no details about why this issue couldn’t be addressed next to all the minor software bugs listed.

Moreover, as someone employed in the electronics business I know a bit about how the supply chain works and how little control over the hardware/software stack vendors sometimes have. If most of the touch screen’s random behaviour is due to either hardware or firmware components that aren’t under your control, then I guess there’s little that actually can be done about this issue.
(No, this is not another make-it-more-open-source-rant. As much as I like the FOSS ideals next to the Fair trade ones, what ultimately matters for my personal pocket computer is that it works predictably, not the fine print of the source code access and licensing terms)

If it is the case that this crippling bug cannot be fixed and I just have to give up on it, bite the bullet and get a brand that works, then I’d want to know that sooner rather than later. Yes, it was an expensive purchase, but I guess I funded a great dream to make fairer devices, and will absorb the cost and move on with a “hey, at least it was a valiant effort which I contributed to”.

Likewise, if the FP2s modularity is the only way to rescue it now, by providing owners with a new touch screen that actually works, then I’d really want to know that as well. Even if it means us having to spend more money to get a new screen (thoroughly tested this time I hope!). Sure, it won’t look very good for the sustainability profile to bin a major piece of the phone due to manufacturing faults. But again, I knew I was putting my money into a risky project of passion and am fine with accepting a setback… as long as there is a plan forward.

Again, I do not question the Fairphone team’s commitment to the cause, and understand that ambitious projects sometimes fail even with the best intentions in place. It’s the awful silence and lack of openness about this that is really disturbing, and I just want to know whether there is a future for my FP2?


How old is this post. I have the fp2 and have never even heard of this touch screen issue let alone experience it

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Seriously? This is the first one described in this post (“display is over-sensitive”).

That doesn’t mean that everybody experiences this issue. While it’s a serious issue to some it’s still an issue that “only” affects a minority. I’m sure the FP team is giving the issue as much attention as it deserves and will release a fix as soon as they can, but as they stated before: the random reboots issue is currently highest up on their todo-list.

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And? Are we talking about that in this topic, Paul?

There is now months that (all) users are waiting to know when their phone will works correcty.

We just ask a better communication.

If you take in count people who are annoyed by Privacy Impact issues, random reboots, oversensibility - and other bugs - i cannot imagine the “minority” you are talking is so small.

Some people yet resold their FP2 because of that !


Thank you - I could not have said this better.

It might be a idea good to bring some of the mods or devs directly from FP into this discussion.

@Douwe maybe able to help us out here?

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I agree that the ghost touch issue was a real show stopper for me. I opened my package with a lot of enthusiasm, and it killed me to notice the screen jumping around on the very first page.

I get the issue nearly all the time when the phone is charging, it may be related to the heat.


I feel the same way… I am totally frustrated because off all the bugs. Rebot here, Freezed Screen after dailing and it stays black… I also bought the Phone because i belived in it, but it is getting hard… If sombody ask me i called it the “Testphone - Rebot a Movement” - Sorry but its getting better with sarcasm…

Please be honest to your community and tell us the truth…



Well, I can understand your frustration. But this touchscreen issue is not a general bug, like the Privacy Impact bug or the LED issue. My phone, for example, works absolutely flawlessly.

So I guess it’s still not clear why this happens and if it can be fixed with a simple software update or if a certain batch of phones/screens got screwed up during production and need to be replaced.

Did you already contact support? What did they tell you?


Well, it’s complete news to me that this only affects some phones. I guess I should have used the 14-day cooling off period I had, but seeing the issue at the top of the list of bugs convinced me it was a software issue affecting all phones that would be addressed ASAP.

It should still be covered by the warranty though, so I’ve now e-mailed support requesting a new FP2 or a new (working) screen. Let’s see what the reply is…

Whatever the case, it’s pretty disappointing that it’s been over a month with no communication other than “we know about it, here’s some (non-working) work-around”. But maybe I’ve just been unlucky and it does only affect a small minority of the FP2s out there. But in that case, why don’t Fairphone just officially declare it as a manufacturing screw-up in the issues page, and offer to replace the affected devices?

Which again comes back to my main point that the lack of communication about this is terrible, even without taking all those boasts of “openness” and “transparency” into account.

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I have read @michel_iwaniec’s first post in this thread with great interest and find it well balanced and also well motivated.
I’m a happy owner of a FP1 since January 2014 and have had no problems whatsoever that couldn’t be fixed easily thanks to advice from other owners here on the forum. After two years the battery started to deteriorate, but that’s only to be expected.
After reading about the troubles people have encounterd with the FP2, however, the idea of replacing my FP1 (even if it should be necessary should I crash it or lose it) with an FP2 is not attractive at all. Even if only a minority of FP2 users are affected, too many difficulties have been reported here:

  • touch screen issues
  • proximity sensor issues
  • camera focus issues
  • random reboot issues
  • battery charging issues
    and there may be more that I don’t remember right now.
    Tthe FP team seems to have great difficulties coming up with solutions. Frequent reports here about delays in contact with support do not make the picture brighter.
    Even if the rrisk is small, I don’t want to be among the ones that have spent >500 € on a phone, just to encounter malfunctioning and having to send it back, waiting indefinitely for a replacement.
    I’m still behind the FP project - it is, as Michel writes, a “valiant effort”. But it is, as for now, not 100 % reassuring.
    Should I need to replace my FP1 on short notice I would probably look for a second hand unfair phone instead (or a second hand FP1 in good condition). Sad but true.

I have some issues - like reboot and focus - but never had any problem with the touchscreen.
It might be faulty hardware, you could try replacing your screen with a friends one and see if it get solved, and have your screen replaced.

This is also new to me, but thanks for the news.
I will also try to get a new phone - hopefully with less problems.
I am going to call support this time directly - the support via email has been huge letdown so far!

But it still would be nice to have someone from the FP team to comment on this. If only some users are affected then this might really be related to bad batch of FP2s?

From reading all the posts about this issue, I’m not even sure if everybody has the same problem or if there are different problems that show the same symptom.

For some the workaround to set the touch and hold delay to a higher value works fine. So I guess in these cases it could be fixed through a software patch.

In other cases it only appears when charging and another cable/charger does the trick.

I guess there are even some more workarounds/solutions that work for some persons.

But these are only my guesses/observation as a non affected user.

Just to add my 2 cents: I have to fully agree with Michel. The point is not whether an issue is hardware or software related, if it affects all or some / many phones, if there are workarounds or whatever.
The point is (lack of) public, open, honest communication. I was expecting some issues with a phone developed by such a small company. But I also expected them to be very open about it. Fairphone calls us their community but more or less treats us like any big corporation treats its customers.
I have crowdfunded other projects which had huge delays in development and major issues in the shipped product. But they were very open about it - which in the end made it an excellent experience. Sending a weekly, detailed newsletter is the minimum I expect from a project like Fairphone. Just tell us: Hey, these are the issues we are aware of, possibly caused by this or that, this is what we are currently doing about it, this is what we don’t know yet, these are the next steps, this is the estimated timeline. And by the way, we are sorry about that and thank you for being patient.

Be. More. Open.

Fairphone is not Samsung or Apple with corporate communication bla bla and “let’s better say nothing so we don’t say anything wrong” policies. We all make mistakes, but being honest and open about them keeps everyone happy.


This post is right on the money. I have exactly the same problem, the same frustrations, the same hopefulness that FP will succeed. However, if this is only affecting a small number of users then that sounds like a hardware issue to me, and I think I’ll now be looking to get my FP2 replaced.

“Be. More. Open.” Simple and true!

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I’m absolutely with you asking for more openness and regular information regarding this (and other!) bugs. On the other hand I’m very well aware (from my own professional experience in a big company) that frequent and detailed communication takes a lot of time - not only for the communication guys (@Douwe, in this case), but also for the technical experts, who are supposed to work on solutions. Time, that is then missing for problem analysis and solution development. Especially for technicians (if the think like me) it might feel more important to get things fixed than to explain why it isn’t working or when it will be ok.

Please don’t get me wrong: requesting good, frequent and open communication is absolutely appropriate and I can also understand the frustration (I still remember how upset I was when I learned that the FP2 came unrooted w/o an official way to root).
But let’s also have some patience with the Fairphoners - I’m sure they’re having a hard time doing what they can and were a bit overrun by the issues.

Have a good night,


No reply from support yet. But I’ll give it a week before chasing them on the phone. I am curious though if anyone else has gotten a reply to requests for replacements?

As a side note, I must say I wish the random reboot bug happened a bit more often to me, as my phone also keeps dropping its internet connection several times a day so that neither mobile data nor wifi will work until you reboot it. And the ghost touches also seem to go away very briefly after a reboot.

Perhaps making the device reboot itself after x minutes of inactivity could be one of the Fairphone-specific tweaks to the Android distro in the next update? I am actually only half-kidding here, as it would no doubt improve my experience which is currently at rock bottom.