Contacts receive SMS with "@" inserted between words or in the end of sentences

Hi everyone,

I received a Fairphone from the second batch a little less than a month ago. I am totally satisfied by the product : looks great, operates great : reactive, sufficient battery life for my use… Only material issue is a dead pixel, but it’s in the upper menu bar (black one) and only seeable from a certain angle, so no big deal :).

I have however a problem with SMS. Some of my contacts who own an older phone (not smartphones) have told me that either the message came with “@” embedded between words or the entire end of the message looks like a serie of “@” and “#”. Is that a known problem with Android ? I have tried to find an option about encoding in the system settings but found nothing of the sort…

For reference, I use Swiftkeys.

Anyway, thanks for making this wonderful phone. The project is great, and the object is up to expectations :).

Hi @Benjamin I am moving your question into the Fairphone Help! category so that it’s easier to find and hopefully you’ll get an answer from the community

Hi @Benjamin,
I’m guessing this is still an issue, so I’m gonna try to help you out :wink:

You could try sending a SMS with the default keyboard, to see if this issue is related to Swiftkeys or something else? Also, do you use the default Messaging app or another one? And is this the case with every SMS you’re sending, or does it maybe depend on the recipient/their phone?

Hi @Kris_S,

Thank you for your message. I haven’t tried the default keyboard yet (I have to try when I have a friend who’s got a phone that shows the problem), but from the looks of it I would guess it’s not a keyboard issue, otherwise the entire message would be compromised. And the keyboard app is only a “sender-side” piece of software, I would guess it doesn’t change anything in what’s sent in the end. But I’ll try as soon as I can ;).

And yes, it depends on the phone I’m sending my messages too, it seems to be with some older phones. Smartphones (either Android or iOS) don’t seem to have any problem.

Hi @Benjamin, that sounds reasonable. I’m at a loss then… :smile:

After a bit of internet research I found out that apparently SMS are encoded using the GSM 03.38 charset (Wikipedia). 7-bit seems to be the default, though the SMS seems to be encoded in UTF-16 when non-ASCII characters are being used (according to these people).

However, I still have no clue how this could result in your error.
On another note, some people seemed to have a similar issue with Windows Phones (here and here). Not sure, but the fix seemed to have come from Microsoft, so maybe you should raise a ticket with Fairphone support?
Another idea would be to contact your mobile operator?

I’m sorry but as you probably already figured out I don’t have a clue what else it could be. Maybe someone else in the community has some new input!

Hi @Kris_S,

Thanks a lot for your answers, you did an awful lot of research :). I still can’t figure out what’s wrong, I guess for now I’ll try to keep my messages to a minimum length (it seems to appears only on longer messages) to friends I know have the issue…

Yeah I sometimes get lost in the amount of information available on the internet :smile:

It’s interesting that you’re saying it might be related to the length of a message. Like it’s said in one of the links of my previous post, the kind of characters used in a message seem to influence the amount of characters available for a single SMS. (For example a SMS with only “abcd…z” can contain more characters than a SMS with only “°°°°°°°°°…°” (yes I just tested this :smile:))
So my guess would be it is related to the used charsets and encoding/decoding along the line.

I hope your friends are patient with your jumbled up messages! If no one else comes up with a solution on here, I’d suggest your best bet is to ask the support. (And if you do find a solution I’d be curious to know what it is!)

have you tried using a different messenger program?
I strongly reommend everyone to replace their standard sms app with TextSecure. maybe switching to a different SMS app might solve your issues? But that’s a blind guess.
You could also try other sms apps like 8sms.


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I also have that problem. Some of my friends who happen to have rather old phones (not smartphones) get a bunch of @@@@@ instead of the end of some long-ish texts. They get the beginning though.

Did changing the sms app work? Other than this issue I’m happy with the standard text app and I don’t want to change if I can avoid it.


I had a similar problem everytime I used an Unicode Emoji. For me it helped just using smileys made from dots, dashes and brackets.

Maybe this can do it for you, too.


Yes. See this post. With SMSdroid.