Display and/or battery issue - phone won't fully boot

Hey everyone,

yesterday my FP3 fell of edge of the bed (40cm down on wooden floor). No visible damage on the outside, so I just put it back where it was.

However, when I wanted to use the phone some time later, everything stayed black. The battery was around 40% when I last checked, so that shouldn’t be problem.

Since I had a similar problem some days ago, I tried to remove the battery and put it back, but unlike the first time, this didn’t help either.
Then I plugged the phone in and finally “some” life sign: The phone vibrated and the display showed the Fairphone logo for one or two seconds… and then went black again. A second later it vibrated again and the display came back for a second - and died again. This repeated for 10 times until I unplugged the phone again.
Battery out and back in again, some light shaking of the phone. Nothing. Plugged it in again, and the loop restarted: vibration, display on and off. This time it felt like they display died off even faster…

So, well… I’m not really sure what this means: Is it a battery problem? Is there a loose contact between the display and something else?

Also, if all fails, any ideas on how to retrieve the photos/videos/data which is still on the internal storage? Usually I copy everything on the SD card, but only every now and then, so there’s still quite some stuff stuck now in the internatl storage. :confused:

Thanks in advance!


I’d try this (I am not sure it solves your problem, but it won’t hurt):

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Sadly no. I tried pressing every cm on the display and the back, but nothing clicked.

Before I tried to rearrange/tilt the battery around (which is kinda weird I know) and once I managed to keep the display on for like 5 seconds. Then I guess I slightly changed the position of the battery and the phone went off again (unsurprisingly).
I didn’t manage to do it again.

Also over time the problem seems to worsen. Yesterday, I could just plug the phone in to get a reaction, which would repeat (vibrate, display on for a second, then off… repeat). Right now I would have to try several times and wiggle the plug around a bit, to just activate vibration/display once… and then nothing.

Kind of like before it was a loose contact, and now the contact is (almost) broken completely.

Well, you could go a step further and disassemble and put together again the thing:


Hi you may like to consider charging the battery out of the phone and if it works you can then transfer any data from the SD card.

Then format the SD card as external so as not to worry about data loss in any future event that stops access.

Then try and dismantle the phone as suggested,look at the contacts etc, maybe clean . . .

All the best

Seconded. Just guessing here, but it sounds to me as though some connector or ribbon cable may have come loose when the phone fell - this would hopefully be resolved by a quick teardown and reassembly.

Alright, 13 screws later the display is off. Out of curiousity I actually tried to turn on the phone in this state: nothing with the power button, but by plugging in I got the vibration + red light for a second on repeat.
I guess this means the display is not the problem, but rather something around the battery.

I am wondering though why the phone won’t start at all without bekng plugged in. I mean the battery was at 40% when the problem occured and now it kinda behaves as if it was completely empty, how is that possible.

Can you take out all the modules and then put them back in again? It may fix some interrupted connections. There are guides to doing it here.

When contacts get messed up not only can they completely separate causing failure and blackouts but they can just touch and be intermittent.

In the later case power may still flow but with resistance that can cause minute sparking across very small spaces and can flatten a battery very quickly, it’s the same as restarting the phone consistently ~ i.e. rebooting with all the OS demanding cpu usage again and again, maybe dozens of times untill the battery is flat.

Can you check the voltage on the battery, is it much below 3.2V ?



One final update to this:
I had found another fairphone user near me, so I could do some “experiments”.
And what do you know - it was really just the battery. As soon as I replaced the battery, the phone worked as usual; and the other phone experienced the same “flashy screen” problems with while using my battery.
After backing up my photos and stuff (phew!) I then send the phone in for repair, as it was still in guarantee. The battery was replaced now and everything works well.

Still a bit weird, that the battery died after just 4 months, but well I guess/hope this was just some manufacturing fault. Let’s hope the new battery lives longer!

Also, thanks to you all for your answers and hints, even though I wasn’t able to follow every one of them.


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