Don't Buy a Fairphone 2!

I was one of the first to trust Fairphone, to engage in the project by buying a Fairphone2 to carry the values and the idea of a phone never obsolete, always repairable (in 2016)

After several problems that the team was able to solve:
Sending for a dead screen.
2 times changed the micro module
2 times changed the speaker module

Now my phone has a problem of core module, I have to press behind to bring up the screen, I do not know how long it will last.

Only answer from the Fairphone team?
I can only sent them for repair of the core module: € 378.05.

A new Fairphone costs 529 euros!

Even having it repaired, I can not even hope to sell it on the used market.

And the Fairphone team explains to me that the bill can increase if there are other faulty modules.

So seriously, it will become cheaper and more environmentally friendly to buy a stronger phone, even change it every 3 years!


This topic lists common solutions to bad screen-motherboard contact, have you had a look at that?

And yes, you are indeed having bad luck… My phone lasts for 2.5 years now, with only back cover & one microphone replacement.


But this topic Don t give real solution, then a piece of paper…

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…which wouldn’t be a problem if you were MAC Gyver :wink:

Now seriously: have you tried that solution? Admittedly it is very much make-shift style but still better than a core replacement in case it works.

The FP2s that I know only have had broken back covers and one had a broken microphone. So I am very much “Buy a Fairphone 2!”. How else would you think would the world change? Doesn’t look like there is much hope in waiting for a change in world wide politics or waiting for Samsung and Apple to get fed up with their massive profits and starting to share them with those who actually generate them. Guess our best bet is to hope that FP stays hungry and gets more powerful!


Also one of the first FP2 customers (arrived Jan. 2016 - almost 3 years man and counting!). Also had serious to trivial warranty issues. Actually you can be proud you spent some of your money and helped start making a great change to the industry! So why’d you give up on that?

For your problem:
Have you tried to reach out to one of those “Fairphone Angels”? Maybe he/she can give better advice on what you need. I once had similar trouble and it turned out the battery came lose. And yeah, this can in fact be fixed (worked around) with only two pieces of paper. I managed to do it without further knowledge during a meeting in Africa with bare hands so why shouldn’t it work for you? :slight_smile:


Unfortunately, I have to agree with Matt_Gyver. My experience is similar with FP2: i’ve had to replace the phone within a few months, because it kept on turning off automatically. Than my replaced FP2 needed new modules several times within 2 years. Now it doesn’t do anything anymore, all of a sudden, and i received the same message about the replacing the core module. Now the warranty period has passed, and my FP has been functioning the shortest of any phone i’ve ever had. It’s very disappointing, since i really promoted FP in my surroundings, despite all the returning troubles every one noticed… I’m sorry to say i cannot recommend FP anymore.


About that piece of paper solution… I once had a Siemens dumb phone which had a known problem with SIM cards that are too thin. Or more, the SIM slot was too big. The official solution was to put multiple layers of adhesive tape on the back of the SIM card until it was thick enough to have proper contact. And that worked like a charm :wink:


Agree, I dropped my FP2 after 2 years of constant battle with batteries, camera module, and, the most important, more and more loss of connexion. At the end I could barely call or be called, which is annoying for a phone (to say the least).
maybe one day I will buy again a fairphone, as the concept is great, but I want first to take a break with a reliable phone.


Same here, after 1 year of permanent “little” problems, the other day my fairphone collapsed. Asked for help and performed a factory reset, and, after 3-4 days I could fix it and it seems to work properly now… but I can´t trust. The problem is: I do need a phone for work, so I had to buy a new one when my fairphone stopped working. So, what´s the point?
I hate to say this and I am really disappointed, believe me, because I believe in the idea, but fairphoen is not ok for me now. Maybe I´ll be back when the product becomes reliable.


Dear Matt_Gyver. I wouldn’t say “don’t buy a Fairphone”. I got my FP2 in my 2016 and it is still running. I had to replace the speaker, camera and screen each once, but so far I’m pretty happy with my choice. My friend had to send his Samsung in twice during that time and it was more expensive than my FP2.
So either way you can have bad luck.

I’m glad to be part of the movement.


bonjour - je suis d’accord ! n’achetez pas de fp2 - a peine 6 mois et je ne peux pratiquement plus téléphoner - une hotline en france qui ne regle rien - un support en anglais ( que je ne parle pas) - je pense que c’est un appareil qui convient a des gens de moins de trente ans, informaticien, bilingues et qui passent leur temps sur les forums pour que leur tel fonctionne - désolé, j’ai autre chose a faire -c’est difficile d’etre ethique et de bien fonctionner ?
j’ai gaspillé 520€ - je vais reprendre mon 4S (pas ethique…) mais qui marche toujours depuis presque 8 ans !


I was quite happy with my fairphone fot two years, then I had to replace the screen (that fortunately got broken just a few weeks before the end of warranty period) and after that the battery life, that was already too short fom my heavy use, reduced even more, together with random reboots this convinced me to buy a new phone. I would suggest a fairphone2 only to people that will not use it too much, not for work (I had to accept a few phone stopping in the midfle of a call/of a drive) and that would install lineage (with Android 8 I had problems on voice calls using the external microphone, but the rest was fine and for me it is more future proof than the official OS). Otherwise I would suggest to wait Fairphone 3: modular design was a bold choice and not all went well (I had also a pair other module changes in the first two years), but I’m sure the team learned the lession and I know they are working with an higher quality manufacturer (one with experience making phones for Sony) so I’m confident they will make big improvements. For now I’m happy to have been part of the change.


You said that if you press on the back of the phone it works. This indicates that it’s a BGA problem. Those problems can occur if you misstreat your phone, by extreme heat and cold or just over time by normal usage. It should be working again if you reflow the SoC and put on some new solder. If this doesn’t work try reflowing components that have cracked solder balls ( you will probably need a microscope or a strong magnifing glass). If this all didn’ work try cleaning or if there is obvious damage repairing the connectors. This should fix the problem


You make this sound like it would be a pretty common thing to do … I think it is not.

There are several levels of tinkering with the phone where people may draw a personal line of it being acceptable to go through the trouble to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and tools … or rather not.
But to make that decision at least there has to be a chance to grasp the scope of the task.

So … apart from magnifying tools, which equipment is needed? What do you work with exactly?
How did you approach learning? Are there helpful guides or HowTos or practice projects to work on which you can recommend?


There are several tutorial in written or video form that show how to reflow a CPU. Basicly you need some skill, a hot air rework staion and some soldering equipment like a soldering iron, tin and some solder wick.


I guess, the tricky part here is the “skill”, as that does not come naturally and a smartphone hardly seems to be the natural choice for taking the first steps. :wink:
So, in my opinion, the “cleaning” would be the first step to take.
Still: It’s good to read, that not all is lost and that repair-cafes and phone shops should be able to help. At least, if you use a magnifier and happen to find one or the other broken contact/soldering point.


You should look for some solder balls that are ununiform and maybe have even visible cracks on them. Solderballs should be all uniform and should also have a uniform slightly rough shine to them


So, you can buy me back my Fairphone since you know the repaired?

You could also look for a local Repair Café (regular events helping with repairs) or Hackspace (local shared workshops where there will usually be someone who can lend a quick bit of advice) if approaching such tasks

To find a repair-cafe you might want to take a look at this site: (this site is available in Dutch, French, German and Spanish as well).
There’s more than 1,400 in Europe and they can be easyly located on the site by country, region and city.