Enlargement of the phone case issue

Hello FP3 community,

The subject is about an accessory but its specific to the FP3 so I think the right place to talk about it is here, move it if you think its more appropriate in “Product forum”.

I have a strange issue with my phone case, the official in black https://shop.fairphone.com/fr/accessories/fairphone-3-protective-case-black
The case auto enlarge itself, not only the front, but also the back and the case is now almost too big for the FP3+.

For information I usually remove the phone from the case like, 1 per month maximum.

I try to froze it, to try to reduce it, but it didn’t change the issue.

Do you have the same problem with the official case ? with all the colors ? Because it’s the first time I have this type of case issue.

Regards
Justin

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Hi Justin

I bought my FP3+ with the green case in Oct 2020. I wanted it so I could insert a sliver of plastic in to keep the usb port clean.

I remove the case to charge the phone every 2 days. so some 123 times to date and it is fine.

Freezing may not have been a good idea as rubbers and plastics tend to become brittle and harden, thereby less flexible and adaptable. However all Fairphone products are guaranteed, but after freezing I’m not sure they will be happy to replace it ~ no harm asking.

2.1 The Fairphone smartphone device, the separately bought Fairphone accessories and replaceable smartphone modules (“Modules”) are covered by this Warranty for 24 months from the date of delivery to the original purchaser.
Fairphone 3 Warranty - Fairphone

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I can’t find any post on the forum about that right now, but I have already seen the problem mentioned and have also seen a case with the same problem, it was a green one. I would contact Fairphone support as mentioned by @amoun, they may replace it if you wish.

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Hello,

The freezing is with my freezer, it didn’t change the flexibility of the case, not enough cold I think, the issue was already here when I try it.

If this issue exist but it’s not an usually issue, I just didn’t have luck with a default case.

Thanks, I will try the warranty, I didn’t know a case can be under warranty.

Regards
Justin

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Did the phone itself often get very hot?

The phone become slightly hot when I charge it but like my others phones. He become very hot ones because I use visio, but this time I remove the case to cool down the phone. I don’t think I have a special issue due to an abnormal heat (but some usage are an issue for the phone (visio with telegram) because the phone become too hot and its start to have touching sensor issue and button issue due to the heat, but its another topic).

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It should have something with the weather&temperature I think. Because my FP3 case (black) started recently (when outside temp was around 25-30 C) to have also a space of almost 1+ mm between phone and the case itself (which makes the phone slide down inside the case when you hold it vertical). Since two days the temperatures went down (now around 15-16 C) I notice that the case gone a bit back to its original size. I do not remove the phone btw from the case more than once a month.

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Hi.

When rubbers and plastics get warm they soften, and can stretch if under pressure, but generally will shrink. So if the case is empty and warms up it will tend to shrink but if it is under pressure with a phone inserted and being jiggled around in the pocket it may well stretch a bit.

Silicone rubber is an exception and tends to keep it’s shape.

Silicone rubber, unlike the majority of other rubbers, can withstand extreme temperatures way above 200°C and down to as low as -60°C without deforming.
Melting Point of Silicone Rubber - Silicone Engineering

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One more idea.
The Fairphone Support article mentions an

Inner rib structure to create an airbag effect to absorb 90% dropping impact

@Justin @emre Could you check if this rib structure might have worn off (like it was grinded off) in your cases? This might explain why your cases have become loose. It would actually suggest that the case actually did not expand, but still lost its fit.

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Very in depth thinking, but I’d be surprised if that is the case, (pun not intended) Oh! to be surprised ~ if it’s that simple the case can be padded :slight_smile:

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There’s no visible wear on the rib structure, they look quite in shape. When I touch them I can feel that the upper and lower ribs feel slightly lower than the side ribs. To be honest I do not remeber whether they were already like that when the case was new (it has been used only for 4 months btw) but I’d be very surprised if this slight difference comes from some sort of wear.

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Hi.

Regarding you previous post about ribs top and bottom, so the phone only moves up and down, not side to side.

I can confirm the ribs on my case at the top and bottom are not as prominent as those to the sides, but it’s very little and the case seems OK.

If you can manage to take a picture of the difference then it must be significant and Fairphone would likely replace the case, it may have been a manufacturing/casting flaw or even design issue. After all more weight is put on the bottom of the case when in general use.

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I just wanted to write that I have the same problem.
Green case, I don’t remove it only if I had to, maybe 10 - 20 times…, have it since sept’20
It only moves vertically up and down.

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Hi @tuppabox

It all sounds a bit questionable.

a) I’ve had my green since Oct 2020 too with no problem, though I remove the case at least every two days and frequently more, so I say nearer 200 times since, than my first estimate. However most of the time it is lying flat on the computer workbench.

b) My daughter, has the black since Dec 2020 and goes jogging with it every day so I will ask her if the case is fitting well or not and update this post in a few days.

I do wonder how the phones with the expanded cases are treated.

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My black original case just gets a bit bigger on the top right side. Not a big problem now, I just hope it will not be worse.

Usually remove the case once per month for cleaning the phone from dust. My phone never gets hot as I just do some simple tasks like messaging and office things (not playing games, for example).
Also my phone is always carried very cautious, so there is no stress on the case.

Anyway, happy to hear that I am not he only one having a very “flexible” case :wink:

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I have the same problem with the green case. I’ve had it since October therefore it hasn’t been through summer yet. still, since a few months the case has loosened more than noticeably and it gets annoying sometimes.
I would appreciate a substitution but it probably would happen again, and if this is really heat related I don’t think it would get through summer

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Hi @patruska

True it may happen again but as it is under warranty it could be useful for Fairphone to know so they cannot only resolve your problem but call back maybe a whole batch of them and find out what is wrong.

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I’d second that. At least one of you who is affected should contact Fairphone about it and ideally report back here if Fairphone makes you send back the loose case at their cost (after you got a replacement).

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If I am being honest I know that this type of cases has this problem, I saw it with other cases quite similar in materials to this. It wasn’t a huge surprise when i happened to this one too, maybe the price tag makes it a bit more of a pain.
I wouldn’t send it back because I can live with it and I understand that it is intrinsically impossible for such material to hold ageing well.

But, but, since there’s a need for clarity around, and since the community would benefit from knowing what happens in such cases I think I might open a ticket and see what the support replies.
It might sound like I’m covering my ass or something but trust me that I’m not.

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I know it can be a bit of a burden contacting support but thank you, it is very much appreciated.

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