Do not buy Fairphone!

The Fairphone 3+ is mid-range, definitely not “a powerful phone” by what most people consider that. Especially your note “considering the price it should be the case” I disagree with, most phones are too cheap for what they are because they would rather hang up suicide nets at the factories than pay the workers a fair wage.

I can’t confirm any of this, I’ve been using my Fairphone 3 for years. Send it back for repairs, you clearly got a broken unit, this isn’t normal.

Every business is a business. And uhm, yes, Fairphone says this themselves: the most environmentally-friendly phone is the one you already have. Repair is always the best option.

But yeah, contact customer support. I’m sure they’ll replace the device. Yours is clearly broken.


A good solution too in France could be to rent it, or more precisely to rent provision of a Fairphone with services (including entretien), to Commown.

1 Like

I am using Android 10, but had the same issues on Android 9 …
No, I didn’t do a factory reset, how can I do it without losing data?
What are “Fairphone angels”?

1 Like

Indeed this message is a little vehement, but after more than a year of use and updates which did not help anything, I often rave about having put more than 600 € (accessories included) in a new telephone which does not. not working properly …


Thank you for your detailed response.
Obviously my phone is not broken, but how do I know? Bugs / apps that don’t work / crashes seem to be more related to a poor quality system than a technical defect …

Have you tried installing an alternative OS than the native, say for example LineageOS ?
Chances are that starting fresh with a clean and debloated system would provide a much better experience

Obviously my phone is not broken

How do you know it’s not broken? Have you ever contacted customer support?

Bugs / apps that don’t work / crashes seem to be more related to a poor quality system than a technical defect

I mean, generally yes, but hardware issues can also cause crashes. Such an extreme case is definitely not normal.

The only software reasons I can imagine are:

  1. You formatted your SD card as internal storage, which causes a lot of issues (and frankly, I am annoyed at the fact Fairphone still hasn’t disabled this broken feature as it is heartbreaking to me how many people end up in pain from this).
  2. You switched from Fairphone’s OS to something like /e/OS which has microG instead of Google Play which means you will have decreased app compatibility as microG is not a bug-for-bug reimplementation of Google Play Services.

But even then, the issues reported in those 2 cases tend to not be nearly as what you are talking about, which makes me think a hardware defect may very well be the case.

No matter what, you should contact customer support.


Customer support is almost definetly going to require a factory reset, so try and save your data.

Re: The SD card - formatting as internal frequently results in problems occurring.

#fairphoneangels are people at specific locations that may provide more personal support.

1 Like

Hello GIF,

sorry to hear you are disappointed.

To all the other comments, I would like to add another angle - this is one of the rare phones which you can run degoogled, and thus keep (more of) your data with yourself.

I’m happy to pay for my privacy, and that of my family and friends, and I would pay even more if needed. Freedom is tightly linked to privacy, and I value that a lot.

Considering how I learned to navigate the world (i.e., reading maps and street signs), it is definitely a huge improvement. And as stated above, a smaller increase of comfort comparing Fairphone to, say, Samsung, counts much less than the privacy of my data.

In my case, that’s the fault of the providers (e.g., bank and health insurance) who do not accept a degoogled smartphone as “secure” (app starting, with message saying “rooted device”). All other apps (incl. other bank apps) work fine.

So I can’t agree to your “populist”, vehement headline. Just wanted to leave this here for the record. Have a nice day!

Pretty sure you can de-google any android phone ???

This relates to the above. The FP range isn’t any more privacy based than other Android phones ??


My review after 2 years:
I am/was a big fan of the Fairphone 3, bought it ~2 years ago and using it continuousely since day 1. I like the shape and the cover, its very robust. The Case is great, since its just covering the important parts of the phone and you actually get to feel the back cover. The changeable battery is also an awesome feature, instead of a powerbank I just bought anoter battery, changing them when needed.

Now to the not so great part:
The Software is awful, it’s really crap. I’ve had cheap phones from Alcatel before and I’ve seen such shitty software as on the Fairphone. A few months ago an update just rendered the automatic backlight switching useless, as the lowest setting was triggered almost 40% of the time when not in direct light and you was not able to see anything on the display. Around 30% of the camera pictures are not being saved, which happens regularly. The camera quality itself is crap, you cannot even scan QR codes properly, it’s just not working most of the time. where other phones take a part of a second to open the URL.

The internal memory of 64GB was around 55GB full, so I decided to increase it by plugging in an SD card of 32GB. After I did so, a push message appeared asking me to use the SD card as part of the internal memory and copy a few files on it, so the internal memory will be less full. I accepted of course, which was a huge mistake. Around 95% of all my pictures are gone, they are neither on the SD card nor on the internal memory without the memory usage going down overall. WHAT THE FUCK?! Personal pictures of around half a year gone, thank you for nothing. While trying to transfer the data back from the SD card the phone crashed and now the option is gone at all?!

Oh, and the FAIRPHONE letters on the back cover fell of a year ago. I sent in two phones in exchange as I bought the FP3, never got back any mail/giftcard/anything at all, as if it’s just gone.

“Change is in your hands” - well, it didn’t state if good or bad change, but now I know.

So overall, idea is great, hardware not bad, but Service & Software utter bullshit.

How come that photos of half a year are gone? Did your backup drive(s) fail at the same time?

That has been resolved and was only a temp blip, but yes I had to switch off adaptive brightness for a month or more.

There was camera upgrade and alternative apps, I had no problems since purchase.

Yes that a lot of uses memory and quite a few things can go wrong. Then adding an SD card as internal is likely to compound the problem.

No such issue with my phone. Plenty of memory no slowness, no issues whatever.

What backup drives? It’s a phone not a fking company server. I’m doing backups each 6-12 months manually, thats it.

Then it’s purely your own fault. Unsaved data can be considered as already lost.


How should any normal user know that the obvious solution to a problem creates more problems?

Right, I will setup a headless machine in my local network and writing a few scripts to automatically backup data from my phone, because everyone has got time to do this, really nice solution :+1:

Before doing a big change in formatting your SD card, you should have saved everything somewhere else. It is just good sense.

No problem in saving my photos. Do you do it on the SD card ? The problem can come from an old card or of not so good quality. It is a known problem.

Software is bad because a single update went bad in two years :thinking: And the temporary solution even if uncomfortable was easy to implement : turn off the adaptive brightness as said by Amoun.


No need to be sarcastic. A mobile device is prone to get stolen, lost, drowned, run over by a car and so on. Of course you should do backups on a regular basis.


Yes adding an SD card is a pretty obvious option. However if you format it as internal the data will be encrypted and if the phone goes haywire so does your data.

Saving to an external formatted SD is like having a server on tap, then you can just remove and slide the SD into another device.