FAIRPHONE 3 and 3+ A13 - Fingerprint sensor update

The correct answer in German to this information is: “But it’s being abolished now, isn’t it?” The new systemrequires fingerprint or an external FIDO token. The latter is very impractical and requires an additional investment.

It is really very annoying that FP has not yet developed any other solution and that - contrary to the basic concept of FP, which I support - you have to replace an FP 3(3+) that you only recently bought in order to be able to work with the government’s “Digital Office”. Incidentally, this is an anticipation of the EU standard and the problem will probably also affect other FP 3 users in other European countries in the future.

In my view, quite a few posts in this thread are trying to minimise the problem. I also find that very annoying.

1 Like

Same here, we would probably buy 2 or 3.

I’m located in Austria.
ID Austria is so far working with A trust authenticator with a pin code. (PlayStore: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=at.atrust.tanapp )
The (recommended) fido2 security yubikey is not working with the web-authentication (chrome and Firefox)

Bitwarden (2013-12-0) is unable to recognize biometric feature

Bison App (v3.17.0) is unable to enable biometric feature

eAusweise (electronic verification of driving license) won’t start because it has no security feature other than biometrics. (PlayStore link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=at.gv.oe.awp.eausweise

(I’m unable to add these apps to the summary-post maybe someone else can add my notes)

Even if the overall performance and security level has been improved the value of the fairphone 3 has been decreased.

I would buy 2 upgraded biometric sensors,too…

Related to FAIRPHONE 3 and 3+ A13 - Fingerprint sensor update - #439 by yvmuell

Sorry, but I strongly disagree to this statement.

As others said, FP is selling an idea of sustainable smartphones and people do believe in the promises they gave. And now, instead of keeping this promise, a key feature is broken and FP doesn’t take care of it like the users expect. This should be said as often as possible by every affected user until FP reacts reasonable. Reasonable means, a solution is provided which brings the feature back as it worked before. I am really disappointed by the behaviour of FP especially because I also received a lot of advertising mails to buy a new FP, which totally contradict the original idea of keeping my phone as long as possible.

1 Like

Surely FP can support us to do a community hack of the fingerprint sensor?

Isn’t breaking archaic big com boundaries FP’s hallmark and stock-in-trade and something to be proud of!

I went with FP because of the whole savvy ethos for repairability / against obsolescence.

1 Like

Software or hardware?

If software …
You are free to use LineageOS, or the upcoming Android 13 version of LineageOS-based /e/OS, or possibly LineageOS-based iodéOS, too, and you will have your hack.

Fairphone support this basically by keeping the phone open to install alternative OSes (not every phone vendor does so).

If hardware …
Yeah, I would have liked a hardware solution, too.


Yes! Both those software or hardware solutions.
Some simple ‘how to’ s/w instructions for the non-techy should be communicated by FP.
Hardware: a) source another smaller(?) sensor, b) design an adaptor kit, c) sell it. People can choose which.

Is that so hard?

Yes, obviously.
That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try to do it, though.

Maybe not exactly “hard”, but at least quite costly. How much would it cost to design such a sensor, have it produced and tested? And how many would they sell? I’m afraid that apart from the unfortunate Austrian users, not many people would buy a sensor upgrade. But maybe I’m mistaken.


Due to exactly this issue my next phone will certainly not be a Fairphone anymore, since it shows they cannot hold to their promise of sustainability… I’m still pissed my internetbanking is practically broken, unless maybe they can show they have long term support themselves for all parts, they are promising something they cant uphold due to conditions they are given.

1 Like

Isn’t that a strange reaoning? FP cannot hold 100% of their promise of sustainability (but only 80%), so you will go to another brand which will probably be much less sustainable.

When the reason would be something like “FP is not big and powerful enough, they cannot force their hardware suppliers to adapt their components, so I don’t trust FP long term commitments”, then I can understand.

I understand that people who really need the fingerprint sensor are really very upset, and rightfully so, but it beats me that there are accusations towards FP that they are not sustainable at all (“greenwashing!”). Like all other aspects of FP are suddenly not important anymore.

Again: when you really need that sensor, then the FP3 is just not your choice anymore. I see this awkward situation as force majeure, but when users are angry enough, they only seem to see the situation as a proof of FP’s bad faith

Isn’t that a strange reaoning? FP cannot hold 100% of their promise of sustainability (but only 80%), so you will go to another brand which will probably be much less sustainable.

Notice that I didn’t say greenwashing, I focused on the expectation for the ability for using the device for a long time, so sustainability on a personal level. Other brands, I can buy a phone from another manufacturer for half the price and expect it to fall apart after a few years, just to replace it then. Its the same cost per year or cheaper, and less loss on risks like theft or damage.

True - I reacted to your post, while I had many other posts in this thread in mind that accused FP of greenwashing, and I mixed that up. Sorry! (Still don’t understand why people make such an accusation, though)

From a purely personal perspective I can understand your consideration. Although I must say that the ability to repair your own display has already paid back considerably (I’m on my third display now after more than 4 years owning an FP). But then, the fingerprint sensor is not important for me.

I also would buy a new fingerprint Sensor .Where can I get one ?

1 Like

There is no replacement available.

Dear @wolfo

I will not be commenting on the feelings, many things have been said already in this thread.
Let me just point out that running FP3+ on Android 11, which is still being provided with the security patches, and works with a fingerprint, seems in my view a better option that using an outdated by any standards Android 8.1 for banking


I haven’t done it yet, because I didn’t feel like 3 years is already time for aftermarket images, and while I’m seasoned on tech stuff, I really just don’t like investing time on mobile. But as far I understand once you go Lineage, the fingerprintreader is fine again, in fact it’s just a flag in some file. (However I also understand that some banking apps don’t want to run when the “kernel flag” or how its called is active, which is by default, but then again there are tools where you can fool them it isn’t).

while a cheap but state of the art mobile phone, than trusting "Green Washers.

Green washers isn’t a fair accusation, but I agree on the first part, that the issue makes a point for cheap throw aways… and I don’t care if its the fault of FP, Google or that chip manufacturer. As customers the promise was broken… and extending life with aftermarket images like Lineage I can go tradiational phones as well, but on my stages of grief I’m alrady on acceptance.

Downgrading to Android 11 should never have been necessary to become a valid workaround, as this means riding an almost dead horse. Android 11 will lose security update support by Google soon-ish (if prior Android versions are any indication), and let’s see how long Fairphone want to or even can backport the necessary patches to their Android 11 themselves. It’s not feasible endlessly.

By just staying on Android 11 because of the issue there would have been time until about now for Fairphone to figure something out regarding the fingerprint sensor. This would have been months of time. They chose not to and we saw how this played out.

That’s not how it works.
The /e/OS Easy Installer has no business installing a different OS than /e/OS. According to user reports time and again it well has its hands full doing that consistently.
And it shouldn’t downgrade to Android 11 anymore now anyway.

It is based on Android 13 for dev channel users now, stable will follow shortly. As the Easy Installer only installs stable, you still landed on Android 12.

Doesn’t matter for the fingerprint sensor issue.

Nope. Some of us can very well distinguish between bad handling of an unforeseeable technical act of nature Google and ill intentions from the start.
But either belief will just have to live with the other.

So, for users still considering their options … the fingerprint reader is now working for you like before with the Apps you used before?


Hello @mikiballester ,

I totally understand the situation and don’t want to add on the general disappointment, BUT I think you should update your post as one important point is not true (anymore?).

Fix not, workaround yes: Affected apps can still be unlocked via PIN/password,

I know at least 2 apps that will never work without valid biometrics: Finoa 2FA and Fireblocks.

For these cases, do you happen to know any external device that would provide the required class 3 security with less convenience? I couldn’t find any, but I don’t see why it would not exist, and that would be a decent workaround, I believe.

Seeing the entire part its already mentioned there might be Apps not offering PIN as an option and you can update the list to document. So for me there nothing wrong, other than that “all” might read “almost all”.

What exactly are you looking for here? Like the Fido keys you can use with Digitales Amt Austria? Did you check with the App developer what could be possible?

1 Like