Fairphone 3 getting very slow and unusable after the third year


I am Giulio, fierce advocate of Fairphone since I started using one, 3 years ago, a Fairphone 3. I still am, but I would like to ask to the community help with the following issue (surely it’s an easy one, just I am not technical and I didnt find any answer n the forum - probably didnt look enough):

I had almost zero problems in these 3 years, a year ago I changed the bottom piece where the charger goes because it was not chargin well all the times, in general some annoyance with bluetooth connection, but nothing so bad.

In the last month though, the phone is getting significantly slower, to the point of becoming a significant annoyance. Sometimes it turns off abruptly, and then I have to restart it not once but twice, because the first time it doesn’t read the simcard. It’s not a lack of memory in the device, there are like 20 gigabytes left yet. Also, many apps don’t work sooo well, some micro tasks requires a lot of seconds where a generic not-fairphone takes 1 or 2 secs

What’s the problem? Is it the battery, and I should replace that? Or something else

Thanks in advance to those who’ll help!



I would say Bluetooth is, generally, and not Fairphone specific, troublesome from time to time. It is just what it is.

The bottom module is a weak point on the Fairphone 3. It will not make your phone slow though in all probability, just fail to charge/make USB connections.

If you power off the phone, remove the back and then the battery, take a look at it, is it swollen? If it isn’t, and you don’t have issues with the battery in terms of charging and lasting a reasonable duration, then your battery is probably fine. You can use apps like Accu battery to monitor charge and estimate capacity and see how well it is doing.

None of the above would seem to have anything to do with the issues you report of the phone being slow as far as I can see.

You don’t say, but I assume, you took the Android 13 update? It is more likely that the recent Android 13 update has had some effect, I note some things are slower and lag more than they used to, but not unusable.

It is possible that 3 years of use has caused a gradual slow down too, then exacerbated by the Android 13 update perhaps.

It seems to be a known issue with many phones that SIM cards can sometimes have this effect as they age. Try powering down, remove the back, battery, then SIM, leave the SIM out and reassemble, power up, does the phone seem much quicker without the SIM? If it does you can probably get your carrier to get you a new SIM and that may fix it.

If that doesn’t do it, I wonder if backing up your data, and reseting the phone to factory settings might help? That would clear out a lot of potential junk built up over the years. Just be careful to back everything up first! You can then restore it and hope it has sped it up a bit!

I hope that helps.


Agree with Nobeone 100%. Just one thing to add : Many members have previously reported problems if the SD card is formatted as internal memory rather than an external drive. This won’t be a problem if you don’t have an SD card or it is formatted as portable storage which I think is the default.


Errant app:
Some process on the phone could be slowing it down in the background, either something misbehaving or something malicious. Starting from scratch as suggested above has definitely made phones much snappier for me in the past with this my assumed reason.


You might have a lot of space left, but if it has been through a lot of read/write cycles it might be wearing out, which can cause unpredictable behaviour including slow downs.


I bought a FP3+ a couple of weeks ago (yes, in September 2023, I might make a thread about why). Sadly it had a faulty screen and the replacement also isn’t working properly.
Why is it relevant? Because the problem partly presents itself as extreme slowness as some sort of buffer fills up. When I put pressure on just the right place (or relieve it by popping a corner of the back cover off) the display whizzes through whatever was stuck and the phone springs back to life.


@TW8punk and @polarsv make good points.

You don’t say if you are using a micro SD card, if you are, and you have it as portable storage, then you can unmount it, power off, remove it, power back on and see if that helps. Even as portable storage I believe a micro SD card could slow the phone down. Don’t do this if you have it as internal storage!

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I also had this problem. This is when I used Firefox as my browser. If you have it installed, try to erase all storage of the app. When I press the button to erase all storage, my whole phone hangs for a few seconds. Afterwards, the phone was much snappier.

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Thank you so much everybody, will try the solutions you suggested and let you know!

Yeah probably it just needs a good factory reset and it will be anew


Hello again. I did the factory reset and now it works smoothly again, in retrospective it was so obvious!

Thanks community for the support <3


I glad to hear you solved the problem of speed, very good!

My Fairphone is 3 Years and 9 Months old, has Android 13 and the same problem of speed:
really extrem slow.

Could you please tell me,

  1. how did you make the back up? phone Configuration? User data? Apps data?
  2. how did you make the restore? After this was necessary to configurate the phone manually again as you did 3 years ago?
  3. did your phone have 64 GB total internal memory, 44 GB used and 20 GB free?
    After your restore did the phone have 20 GB free internal memory again? or more?
  4. how much time was necessary for backup and restore?
  5. did the restore process make a defragmentation or improvement of the internal memory as well?
  6. how did you make the factory reset?

Thank you in advance.


Hello again.

I did the following steps:

  1. replace the old SIM card with a new one
  2. Backup-up using Google One (as recommended by Fairphone-Support)
  3. Execute the factory reset process (delete all data)
  4. Restore the recently Back-up during the configuration process after factory reset

And now the Fairphone 3 is working with normal speed, it is not slowly anymore.

Thank you very much giulioquarta and any who help in this topic.



Sorry I didn’t see this

If you need more help on any specific thing, glad to try to help!


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