FAIRPHONE 3 and 3+ A13 - Fingerprint sensor update

Officially by a fairphone employee? If so I can’t find the posts. :thinking: I will look again.

Agreed. I guess that will be early 2024?

I can’t argue with that. You are right.

Thanks for posting your reply from FP . Reply skipped over your question entirely. Everything they told you, we already knew thanks to this community and the guardian angels.

I’m dissapointed with this developement, but it is what it is.

Is it possible to downgrade to A 11 without loss of data?

No sadly :frowning: . . . . . . . .

Not under normal circumstances, because under normal circumstances the bootloader is locked. Unlocking it to do the manual install will wipe user data for security reasons, locking it will do the same.


(Even with an unlocked bootloader there’s still Android rollback protection, which will force a data wipe after a downgrade to an older Android version for security reasons. I know that an older security patch level will trigger this, but the patch level of the last Android 11 release and the new Android 13 release seem to be the same - June 5. What I don’t know so far is whether this would be triggered because 11 is an older version than 13.)

6 Likes

The message is ‚officially‘, not the poster, as this is a user forum.

2 posts were split to a new topic: FP3 Android 13 not possible to enter OEM unlocking code

That may be nitpicking, but you paid for a functional fingerprint sensor and you still have a functional fingerprint sensor with Android 13. Trust and other Android security features are subject to sudden changes by Google. A similar problem could have happened on Android 11, for example through a Chrome API change.

I agree that Fairphone has not suffciently communicated this problem. But overall I still appreciate the upgrade to Andoid13 and extended security lifecycle of my FP3.

3 Likes

A fairphone employee started this thread.

Apparently the changes happened with Android 12.

2 Likes

The UI design changes came with Android 12.
I don’t think the fingerprint issue did. A number of users are using Android 12 for a while already in the form of custom ROMs like /e/OS and others, me too. And while I’m not using the fingerprint reader, I frequently browse the /e/OS forum, too, and at least I haven’t seen this issue come up. Since banking Apps are in wide use and a constant sore point when using custom ROMs, users are quick to point out any trouble with them, so this issue should be somewhat prominent over there, but it isn’t (… yet?). (Edit: Wrong assumption, brain malfumption :face_with_spiral_eyes:)

1 Like

You are not a Fairphone employee either, but are allowed to post here :wink: .

The discussion of who started this thread ‘Fairphone’ [Marta_Artigas] seems very off topic

The fingerprint issue would have been in A12 as well. This is from the beta testing issue by an FP employee

This issue occurs due to updated biometrics test requirements in Android 12 and 13 compared to older biometrics test protocols. Under the new test protocols, Fairphone 3 does not comply with the strong requirements that are necessary for using biometrics (i.e., the fingerprint sensor) for unlocking secure data and credentials on the phone (i.e., Android keystore).

The fingerprint sensor can still be used on the Android lock screen and most other apps.

Custom ROMs don’t need to pass the Google test protocols so they can simply declare the fingerprint hardware to comply with the new requirements (or maybe they just don’t need to change the hardware declaration to a lower standard, I don’t know how it’s done technically).

4 Likes

Ah, thanks for this, I think I can see my error :person_facepalming:.
Either /e/OS was saved until now because Google’s change came and was nullified in LineageOS 20 (Android 13) while the latest /e/OS was and is still based on the abandoned LineageOS 19 (Android 12), or /e/OS developers could of course have handled it proactively the same way so it wouldn’t affect /e/OS.

I don’t know what those values in the config.xml mean, but in LOS there was one change from “0:2:15” to “0:2:255” marked as “Downgrade the biometrics security to WEAK” and later this was reverted back from “0:2:255” to “0:2:15” (your link).

In /e/, there was no change after the “0:2:15” was initially added in FP3: Add fingerprint configuration to overlay (5a9506da) · Commits · e / devices / android_device_fairphone_FP3 · GitLab

So I guess my “or maybe they just don’t need to change the hardware declaration to a lower standard” assumption was correct. The fingerprint config initially got added and marked as “strong” and that config just stayed untouched.

1 Like

For the reasons I stated earlier in the thread, this change simply means a new phone for me, whether or not it was communicated well.

But IMHO communication still leaves much to be desired: the release note underplays the issue (FP sensor is really important to some people), and is disingenuous about the consequences (not all apps have PIN fallback).

But there is more information I would expect: why was the reader downgraded in the first place? Is it itself insecure? Has Fairphone taken any precautions to reduce the chance of things like this happening in the future?

And why is there no replacement available? I can only assume this was considered, and a certain loss of formerly happy customers was chosen rather than the financial risk of an upgrade path out of this issue.

Unfortunately for me, I am one of those customers, and after almost 10 years of using the FP1, FP2, and FP3, I have just now ordered a non-fairphone phone. I’ll update this one to A13 when the replacement has arrived, and fill in some of my fingerprint-using apps in the overview thread. Then it’ll probably become a playground model for trying out things like /e/, but I can no longer consider Fairphone phones fit for my daily use.

I’m glad for whoever doesn’t mind this change, and wish them many more years of happy FP3 use. I also wish Fairphone the best. But I’m done.

7 Likes

Instead of having a useless phone just go experiment things from time to time and stays in a drawer most of the time, maybe you could think about resell it to give it a second life.

1 Like

@Ingo I have another app to add to your list. As I am new to the forum, I can’t edit the Wiki yet. It’s the app of my health insurance company, KPT, and a budget book app. Feel free to add them yourself.

Other than that I don’t have a lot to add to the conversation except: My wife and I are both really frustrated and annoyed, would love to buy an updated fingerprint sensor if available at any point, and would seriously consider switching to Lineage or even another phone manufacturer (German brand ShiftPhone has a similar philosophy)

Details to add to list

Broken apps:
KPT App | Disables Feature
PriMoCo MoneyControl | Disables Feature

Confirmed working are:
SBB Mobile (verification of public transport ticket purchases)
Signal Messenger
Threema Messenger
Google Wallet

3 Likes

Hi Daniel,
I added your Apps to the list.
I regret to inform you that I had a problem with ShiftPhone even worse. Shift5.3 latest Update was to Android 5.1.1. Shift5.3 was released ~2017 , Android 6 on October 2015. The official comment was:

“Ein Update der Androidversion wird es für das SHIFT5.3 leider nicht geben. Der Chipsatzhersteller MediaTek stellt für den im SHIFT5.3 verbauten Chipsatz leider keine neuere Android Version zur Verfügung, weshalb SHIFT keine neuere Version für das Phone rausbringen kann. Auch einen neuen Chip kann nicht in das Handy eingebaut werden, denn der Chip würde nicht zur restlichen Hardware zum Beispiel dem Mainboard passen.
SHIFT bedauert diese Entwicklung sehr, da es dem Grundsatz von SHIFT bezüglich langer Nutzbarkeit widerspricht. Leider ist SHIFT dabei von MediaTek abhängig, welche die SHIFT-Grundsätze nicht teilen.”

2 Likes

Hi,
I would also happily buy a hardware upgrade for my FP3+ fingerprint sensor.

I just got really annoyed today as I noticed that one app was not working at all and I had to type in my bank’s password. Which is just a pain in the backside as their app does not support password manager.

First I was happy to receive A13 but now I am a bit sour about it.

I hape a solution can be found within the next few weeks. I would appreciate it a lot.

websam, maybe add the following apps to your list:
Bank Austria App does not accept the fingerprint but inputting a password works.
Apobank’ s app (Digital ID) works fine
Same goes for the MS authenticator

4 Likes

I thought it was a user forum :wink:

Yeah you are right. My point is I’m dissapointed (not surprised) that there wasn’t any official follow up seeing as an employee started this thread.

You are usually spot on, we’ll let you off. Just go into the corner, stand on a chair and put your hands on your head :laughing: Thanks for the edit. :+1:

What is you guess with regard to Google? Could the FP3 be redeclared as “strong enough” as it is a legacy device?

I with you, however I’m not going to dump my FP3 just yet. I will stick with A11 (unsupported) until things stop working, then (or sooner) try another OS. As far as Fairphone support goes, my FP3 is now EOL.

Epilogue:
There are a lot of interesting thoughts and sugestions on this thread, but Fairphone (the company) are silent. I know this is a user forum but what a way to run a business eh!

1 Like