Actually, I have (for this - different - touchscreen issue) - but only after calling the support hotline.
After my call I almost directly (i.e. a few hours later) I got the instructions on how to request a repair. The repair request was approved within less than two days (from which at least half the time they had to wait for feedback from me). I need to turn in the phone to the repair center, it will be picked up tomorrow (sniff…).
I absolutely encourage you to call support via phone in case of hardware issues, they were very friendly and helpful (in my case and what I heard from others).
I agree with the open communication, but I have just spoken to the very helpfull helpdesk (very positive experience) and they said a major software update is scheduled for Monday. The update is mainly focused on the issue that is described here. Fingers crossed!!
That is exactly what I’m talking about! It is great that they told you that, but why not just announce it publicly to everyone? We are all waiting for an update and mostly left in the dark about what they are working on and what causes the delays.
On the issue of “communication takes a lot of time”: Yes and no. Yes, compiling a weekly status update might take a few hours. But keeping your community up-to-date will most likely reduce the number of support requests for well-known issues.
Just as an example: There is still absolutely no public statement from Fairphone about the Bluetooth audio issue. Because of that, many people troubled by that problem contact support. They will reply (after a few weeks) that they are aware of it and working on it. How is that helpful to anyone?
Looking at other projects, I just recently received an email update from another project / product which I backed / bought. They explained their timeline of planned software updates: Version x will be released next week and will address issues a, b and c; version y is expected in May and will improve d, e, f and g; and for early summer we are working on features h and i. That is open communication like it should be!
I think they got bitten a couple of times by things not working out as planned, and people getting upset that they ‘promised’ something they then didn’t deliver. I get the impression they’re currently trying to balance a number of things: the amount of work that goes into communicating versus that that goes into fixing things, but also the balance between updating often and getting it wrong, or less often but have more reliable information. See also this discussion for the latter, and especially the post linked below. I’m not saying this applies 100% to the touch screen issue, I’m just contributing my understanding of the current communication strategy that Fairphone appears to be using.
Sadly this is not true. We are still testing the update and it is very highly unlikely it will be released coming Monday. Sorry.
I’ll ask the support team how and why they thought the update would already be released.
Indeed. That is why we started writing more how-to’sblog posts and an explainer about the issue with spare parts. The last few weeks we compiled a list of the most most asked questions on social media, the forum and in tickets to the support team and these blogs are a direct reaction to that.
That still leaves open a lot of other unanswered questions and I hope we can address those in the coming weeks.
So finally there are some comments from the Fairphone team in this thread. And yet not a single word is said about the actual question that initiated it.
The Fairphone2 is still available for order on the site now, and we have no idea how many of these next batches of phones are broken in the same way. I really did want to be a keen evangelist of this phone, but the longer this goes on the more I feel us early backers have a duty to warn keen people to look beyond the rosy facade here. No matter how fair the production of the FP2 may be, it is really not fair to new potential buyers to pretend things are fine and that they will get a working phone delivered.
It really bothers me how the current site gives the impression that everything is fine with the FP2. At least we who crowdsourced it were aware that we were taking a big gamble with our money when backing the project, and knew we couldn’t be sure if it would sink or swim. But now that the phones are out there, the current state of things should be communicated with a big disclaimer about what to expect.
Many who would like a Fair Trade phone probably have a way tighter budget than I do, and I think it is important to be honest here and let these people know that - in contrast to what the site is telling them - they are not really buying a working phone with their money, but a buggy test kit with almost as uncertain a future as back in September.
There is more than one way to contribute to the fair trade fair goals, and my recommendation to anyone considering the FP2 would be to instead buy an unfair phone that actually works, and invest the money they save into some charities that promote Fair Trade standards in the world. At least for now.
Evidently not - but then that’ the entire point. Almost 2 months after the phones were delivered we still have not been told anything about how big a % of the phones are affected (it was even news to me it wasn’t all of them), what the plan to fix the affected phones is, and whether the next batch of phones being marketed and sold could also be affected or not.
And all this from an business that claims to be “open” and “transparent”. If you don’t see a problem with this, then I don’t know where to start.
I am sorry I have no better news for you. The reason is I currently do not have information that is reliable and sure enough to share. But you can rest assured that this problem is known and we are working hard on a solution.
As far as I understand it now, and as you can read in this thread, it is hard to track down what causes which problems. Not all FP2’s have these issues and the ones that do don’t have all exactly the same issues.
But we’re committed to provide people a working Fairphone and once we are able to isolate the root of these issues and come up with a working solution, those who are affected will be helped.
Regular, public up-to-date information from Fairphone could help reduce such speculation, rumors and hearsay. Just sayin’.
I’m sorry, but none of the information you referred to is related to the many very real issues troubling FP2 users who depend on a reliable phone every day. “Reducing your screen brightness will make your battery last longer”, “this is how you download an app from the Play Store”… I don’t even know how to comment on that.
Sorry to disappoint you, but currently no one has a fully working FP2. Of course not every FP2 has manufacturing defects. But there are many systematic bugs which affect every single FP2 (Bluetooth audio issues, swapped stereo channels on headphone connector, notification LED not working, just to name a few). You might not notice these bugs if you don’t use the affected features or you just might not care about them. That’s great, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t there. And they are so obvious that it’s almost embarrassing.
I’m sure your team is working really hard on fixing these bugs and I know everyone appreciates that. So just let us participate in your efforts! What are you working on? What might be possible causes and solutions? Sure, sometimes it might turn out that you were wrong later, but so what? Sure, most / all of you aren’t native English speakers (neither are most of us, neither am I) and you will make mistakes when sending off-the-cuff updates. But who cares? That’s authentic, that is what distinguishes communicating with customers from interacting with a community.
For me, in the current state the FP2 works well enough for daily use and I can somehow work around most of the bugs. But I definitely can not recommend getting one at this time. Seeing that Fairphone now starts distributing a phone which is basically work in progress through network operators really makes me worried. And that is sad because I still support the idea and would love getting more people interested in a fair phone!
I appreciate your response. But as others have already pointed out, it is disappointing that nothing beyond the standard corporate we-know-about-it-and-are-working on it cliche is said. And no matter how you justify it, a keep-silent-about-anything-uncertain policy is pretty much the total opposite of what transparency means. So many of us are rightly baffled by this being the media policy of choice for a project that marketed transparency as one of its goals besides the core one of Fair Trade.
The people on this forum have already bought into the project by funding this device, and you cannot share what is known so far (reliable or not) about the major problems, because… we’ll freak and get nasty? Start accusing you of over-promising? I think the community has been incredibly patient and understanding and can’t see why we can’t be told what is known so far about what the issue could (and more importantly, what has been ruled out). Exactly what is the fear here?
Seeing that Fairphone now starts distributing a phone which is basically work in progress through network operators really makes me worried.
Spot-on. I wonder if Fairphone realise how much damage to their brand a more mainstream sale of the FP2 could cause at this stage.
Had this been any other phone brand I would have sent it back with a refund request minutes after unpacking it from the box. The fact that it was a work-in-progress-for-a-good-cause has made me tolerate the state of things, but I doubt a wider audience, who primarily want a smartphone that works, will be as forgiving.
I might have a go at actually opening the phone to see if bad isolation could be the reason… has anyone else had a look?
Using “Developer Options”->“Show Touches” is a good debugging tool for this issue, as swiping my finger horizontally will show the extreme noise in where the software thinks the pointer is located. Can’t help thinking that adding some basic noise filter in software could at least minimise the noise.
Of course, one wishes we didn’t actually have to speculate about possible causes of this issue that could already be known to definitely be true/false…
I have a nagging suspicion that FP2’s modular build might explain some of the issues that owners have encountered, and this might be one of them. On the other hand, “ghost touches” have also affected some FP1 units, see e.g. Buttons pressed randomly - and no definite answer as to why, even if some kind of hardware issue (faulty screen) seems to be at least one possible explanation.
That the problem may originate from a bad connection/ contact between screen and motherboard sounds like a reasonable cause. I don’t have this issue myself but a bad shielding/grounding might create this issue.
And the fact that it’s a modular build with no soldering of the connection explains why not everybody has this issue. Since some phones might have been assembled imperfectly. But it also means that some might resolve the issue by dissassembling the phone and assembling it again.
Yes, I’ve also been thinking the unique-selling-point of modularity may have backfired here. Physical connectors are indeed usually the biggest problem of small-sized electronic device.
Updated to the new version of Fairphone OS today and the claimed improvements to this issue seems to do nothing for my phone at least. So guess it’s time to see if the support team are more contactable by phone than by email. (still no reply after more than a week)
Would be interesting to know if anyone else actually has observed any improvement with the update?
My FP2 (around no 5000) only experienced the dodgy screen issue when trying to move apps around the home screens and when scrolling through menus. The first one is now resolved and works much more smoothly, the second is still a problem.
Regarding connectors - don’t most phone’s have internal physical connectors? Certainly my motorolas and samsungs did; … but they were pesky little flexible ribbon cables and edge connectors … whereas the FP2’s are gold plated sprung pin contacts to solid surfaces … I expect these will be much more reliable, though might need cleaning if you replace a module (or keep snapping the screen off to show a friend how easy it is !!! … I can’t help myself)