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Fairphone 3 heating problems?

Hello everyone,

I just received my fairphone 3 a few days ago and I have to say that I am in love with this phone. (I come from a Nexus 5)

I have concern about it’s warmth in normal usage. In daily use when using the phone the highlighted area in the pic bellow feels hot, and when monitoring the phone heat can go up to near 50°C.
IMG_20200718_220525~2
To my knowledge, the fairphone is supposed to not have difficulties with heating.

I want to know if my fairphone 3 have a problem with heating. But I did not find much data about this topic.

Here is a pic of a review from Les numériques, a French tech reviewing website, where the phone was kept during a moment with the camera on. Here we can see that the heat do not exceed 35°C in the problematic area in my phone.

Here is a thread but the problem seems to be not related. My fairphone is updated the the last available update.

Here is a Reddit thread in which people discuss about this subject, but there is no more details.

Something that could be a way to help me could be to share here the temperature of your fairphone 3 and of the room/region where you are for several times in your daily use? For the phone temperature you can use the (proprietary) app CPU monitor or this if you prefer open source free softwares.

If someone have info about this topic, I would be glad if they can share. :slightly_smiling_face:

Maybe I would have to join the support, but before I do that I prefer to ask here.

Here is some data for my case:

46°C with a weather temperature of 31°C
55°C when in a church
40°C when in a room at 27°C

Have a good day!

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Hello everyone,
Since my topic did not had any answers during last week, I friendly double-post to tell you to do not hesitate to give me any feedback about my post. Excuse me if my English is imperfect, it’s not my mother tongue ^^ I can improve things if necessary.

Nerdly yours

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Sorry … I appreciate the in-depth analysis you gave your FP3’s temperature. To be honest, I guess there weren’t any earlier replies because the peak temperatures you have mentioned do not appear really excessive for a mini-computer (which a smartphone is) – especially on a hot day (31°C is a really hot day to me :wink: ). As I am writing this, my (admittedly old) desktop computer reports a peak temperature of 84°C.

Anyway, if you want to find out better what exactly might be the “heat core” in your FP3, iFixit might be a good source for finding out more about the exact anatomy of the FP3:

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Thank you for your answer!

I agree on you about the heating of computers! It is inevitable. (Here, my boyfriend will say something about thermodynamics I suppose)

What surprises me in this situation is that I can feel the warmth easily in this particular area. Something that did not happen a lot to me with other smartphones in medium use.
But maybe that’s because of the conception of the fairphone 3.

Yeah, I read the Ifixit review (I gazed a lot about the conception of this phone before buying it) ^^
The area concerned contains the processor (and these things have a tendency to warm), the internal storage and two power management chips. So it is logical that this region is heating up during usage. But my question is more about how much it is supposed to heats in normal usage. In my other phones, the processor was more in the middle of the phone, but because of modularity and openness, fairphone had to make things differently. Maybe it’s more noticeable for the user in this spot. But if it’s the case, then I will not be alone to feel it.

Did you ever felt the warmth in this region in your medium usage? Did you ever felt any warmth in this region and in which type of usage? That could be a better way of investigate.

(Anyway I understand that this forum is not technical support, I am nerdly investigating on this subject but I will contact the technical support if no clear consensus about normal temperatures emerges :slightly_smiling_face:)

Edit : And indeed, hot days temperatures are to take into account!

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I cannot provide any real experience with FP3 temperatures because while I am currently borrowing an FP3 from Fairphone, my primary phone is still my trusty old FP1U. Hopefully others can provide more valuable impressions.

Just one more thought: At first sight it seems odd that you found the highest temperature in a usually cool place like a church. Maybe there was really bad reception (mobile connectivity, WiFi, GPS etc.) inside the church – so in turn the phone would “work harder” to pick up the weak signal there is?

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As I have an infrared camera, I can share some infrared pictures of my phone :slight_smile:
I removed the back cover and the dumper for taking pictures



EDIT: typos

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I can confirm that’s the FP3’s hotspot. Video chat sends it up; I’d say to around 50°C, just the point where it’s almost uncomfortable to touch. I usually try to keep a finger there to help transport heat away.

According to ifixit, this is a pretty intense region: the processor, memory, and their corresponding power circuits are all right there. I suspect one of those power circuits also is responsible for battery management, since it also gets warm there during charging.

Sometimes I dream about putting something more thermally conductive there so that the phone could charge and do a video call at the same time; it thermals out every time right now.

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Thank all of you for your answers!

And especially thank you @HolosericaCaligo for these precious pics!
Mine can have 45°C in a normal day in WiFi but it takes longer than what 5 minutes of 4G 1080p newpipe does.

@arizonadeux, I thought the same about power circuits. This area can get indeed get really warm during charging. In fact I was also concerned about this at first, because I did not felt that on my previous phones. But my previous phones did not had fast charging at all :slight_smile:

Do you experience heating in this area only during video-calls? (Those can be pretty intense, my Nexus 5 was heating only during video-calls) Or is this area also an hotspot in other moments of your usage?

Anyway, it start to seems that my fairphone 3 is not an outlier. That’s comforting!
Have a good day

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The most severe heating is definitely during video calls. Normal video playback does not cause any noticeable increase in temperature. It does get rather warm during some phases of charging, but nowhere near uncomfortable to the touch like during video calls. This is also my first QC-capable phone.

Apparently I don’t use any other demanding apps.

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Hi @TrueCherry,

I have the exact same heating problem as you have. When I first got the phone this was not an issue. But some month later two probably correlated problems emerged: The battery was draining somewhat faster than when it was new, and the spot on the back of the phone you described became quite hot when using the phone while it was charging or when I was using the phone more intensly for longer periods of time.

Then the update to Android 10 happened and both problems vanished! So I thought it was a software problem that got fixed. Fast forward a few month later and the problems started again, heat and battery drain. So I thought thats curious, I wonder if it has something to do with some misbehaving apps. Deleting some apps and the cache was my first approach to try to pinpoint the problem, but that didn’t work.

Then I did a factory reset and lo and behold, the problems were gone again! Fast forward another month to today and the problem emerged again. So I guess for now I will have to periodically reset my phone to solve that problem, but I came looking here first, to see if someone has the same problem and found a solution. I hope what I wrote might be of some help until a permanent solution can be found.

Kind regards,

J_B_T

Edit: formatting

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Hi and welcome to the forum.

You may like to just do a ‘Safe mode’ start, this will disable any apps you have installed but not clear your data, the apps will come back on a restart although you will have to reset any widgets on the screen.

You may find the heating issue goes away and then you can experiment with disabling individual apps etc.

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Hello @J_B_T. Currently, I did not experienced any overheating problems since last year. Hot weather is returning back here, so I will see if overheating returns too. In any regards, will be glad if you can keep us updated of your experience (and tests). I will do the same.

Thank you very much @amoun for the Safe mode idea, I will test that if it happens on my FP3 again.

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Overheating is coming back with hot weather. I will contact fairphone support this time. I will take measures of its temperature without and with safe mode next days, and keep you updated about it.

I use the last (8901.3.A.0107.20210513) build downloaded a few weeks ago by OTA.

I can reach 55-60°C just by browsing this forum while Citymapper is working in background, after scrolling Twitter for 30 minutes.