Fairphone 3 not booting/stuck in loop

Hi, having an issue with my Fairphone 3 not turning on/getting stick in a boot loop.

It’s completely dead when not plugged in. When I plug it in the logo appears briefly and then the phone turns off again. It immediately turns back on for a moment then off again, repeating this for ever.

I’ve tried different cables, different chargers, taking the battery out for a while, without the SD/SIM cards, booting safe/recovery mode. Nothing seema to help.

Any suggestions on what to try? I’m on a train going away for a few days so don’t have laptop with me and really need the phone working again!

I had a software update this morning that was downloading but not sure of it installed (didn’t ask to restart/schedule restart).

Hi Tom and welcome to the forum.

So to clarify, the phone was fine before the update.

  • Did you download and install the updtae with a full battery or with the phone plugged in. I’m wondering if the update failed due to power avauilable.

Yesterday I downloaded and the install stopped due to battery being below 40%. Once I plugged in I could continue.
It took quite a while installing after the download and there was a restart
Then this morning I has a notice saying the update had been installed, so some delay there.


Thanks for the speedy reply.

The phone was plugged in overnight so should (in theory at least!) have had a full battery. I do occasionally have issues with it not being fully plugged in so it my well have been low.

The WiFi was off so I was promoted to start/resume the download this morning. I got it downloading and then started doing other things. I didn’t get the restart to update prompt as normal so can’t be 100% sure it tried to run the update, but my suspicions are the same as yours (battery died mid instal).

If this was/is the case, any suggestions on remedy? I can get it in to the recovery/fast boot screen but it turns off with half a second so no time to actually tell it to do anything.

Do you think a new battery may help? Could potentially try to find a phone repair shop and see if they have one in stock

Not really if you can plug the phone into a charger.

You can check the status of the battery by dialing *#*#66#*#* > Service tests > Test Single > Battery status check

By the way where are you located, you may find a #fairphoneangel to asssit with a battery check at least.

I can’t turn the phone on though to test the battery!

Ok so plugged in do you get an LED light?

Maybe it is the battery. I updated my last with #fairphoneangel and location query.

I get a red led for a fraction of a second before the boot screen comes on, it then goes off and comes back again when the cycle restarts.

Here’s a video of it happening - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RWr-fJ3XRkgneP1y-h41IZFbEZq8K5V9/view?usp=drivesdk

It doesn’t look like they’s an angle nearby but I’ve emailed the nearest one to find out!

Unlikely, but can’t hurt to ask: Any sign the power button might be stuck or get stuck sometimes?

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Doesn’t feel like the power button, getting a positive click when pressing and letting go


?? I find the button clicks on pressing and releasing, so two clicks. Even inside the standard case I feel two clicks.

So I would press the power on button agressively a few times to see if it clicks.

Either way then hold it down for a while to ensure the phone is off.
With the phone off, if you plug in a charger you would usually get Fairphone . . . Powered by Android and then the battery charging big icon centre screen.

Yup, a click when pressing down and another when letting go

OK so hold it down for ten seconds to ensure phone is off, or remove battery then plug in to charge but do not power the phone on.

Unfortunately that’s not working either, as soon as I plug the phone in it tries to boot and then goes in to it’s loop

Solved… the battery died.

I met up with a friend and was able to put his battery in my phone. The phone turned straight on and was able to charge. I order a new battery and am now back up and running.

Really pleased to be able to fix the phone myself. That said I’m really disappointed with FairPhone’s service. I contacted them on the same day it broke it’s taken three weeks to get to the point of them telling them to ship it to them. I get they’re a smaller company but when you buy a phone that’s repairable (and pay the premium price for it) I kind of expect better help and support to keep it working. Taking a week between emails isn’t on.

I was considering getting a Fairphone 4 when my current one became completely obsolete. But what good is paying for a five year warranty if you have to go a month without a phone if something goes wrong. If I didn’t have access to a spare phone through work I would have had to go out and buy another one, defeating the whole point and creating more waste.

Rant over, just a bit disappointed with a company that I’ve recommend to so many people.

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Good you have it sorted but the higher cost, as you see it, is for Fairtrade minerals and factory workers. There’s no mention of a premium price for a premium service. :slight_smile:

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