Fairphone 3 not charging (or very slowly), LED lights up, no data transfer

Something strange happened to my FP3 this morning:

Suddenly, it will no longer charge. I’m using a standard USB charger with a high-quality USB-C cable, and I’ve also tried charging from a computer with the same (lack of) result.

When I connect the phone to the computer, the LED on top of the display lights up, but the battery symbol doesn’t get the lightning symbol that shows it is charging.

It’s also not possible to activate data transfer as usual. The phone has obviously registered that it’s plugged in (the LED lights up), but yet it is as if there’s no connection.

I’ve tried with a different cable, same result.

This would seem like a hardware error, but the LED’s behaviour is confusing - any experience with that situation? Do I demand a warranty repair or replacement, or can I fix it myself?

I dialed the code to enter the service menu and got this. It seems to think all is good, but the voltage it cites seems very low?

It may just be debris in the phone’s USB port causing resistance, to such a degree that it can’t raise the voltage of the battery.

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Thanks, I could look into that! Maybe I could try to get out what I can with a vacuum cleaner.


Have a look at my efforts to keep the port clean. I lost a Samsung to such and ended up eventually damaging the port with my repeated use of a needle to get fluff and stuff out.

So far it doesn’t seem to be any kind of visible debris, it looks clean and vacuum cleaning doesn’t help. I could try a needle though, because the resistance thing sounds plausible.

I If it’s fixable it’s a better diagnosis than worse & internal hardware failure.

Could be poor module connections, you could remove and replace the bottom module, etc.

and just because it doesn’t charge with either of two cables doesn’t mean it isn’t the cable, even if they are ok with other devices. The Fairphone has an ‘intelligent’ algorithm that communicates with the source and sometimes a really spot on cable is required. Do you have the one that Fairphone sells or something with similar specs.

Thanks, I’ll check that!

I think the cable is good, but it’s not the one from Fairphone, though. What I find confusing about the cable issue is that this is new - it’s been working fine with that cable for a couple of months now. But there could indeed be some microdamage,

It’s been an issue with a number of people.

I also had my FP3 charging issues. And I indeed had debris in my USB port, which resulted in poor connection quality. The debris was some blue/black fibre vom my jacket pockets so it was hard to see.

But this helped me a lot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YxsOsliBSQ Though I used a needle, not a toothpick.


Ther’re a number of posts on this and I used a needle too,. and after damaging a Samsung after multiple cleans I bought a case so I could cover the port.


Thanks for all the feedback!

I’ve tried needles and vacuum cleaner, and I see no debris, and it’s not been fixed - but it got better!

So I’m starting to believe it might indeed be debris. Right now I’m considering taking it to a local repair shop & see if they can help me with that.

Debris can cause resistive coating on the contacts and of course the port connection both soldered and otherwise may have a fault.

Could you tell me the code to dial to get to the service menu you mention please? I’ve seen it somewhere but damned if I can find it now?

Hi this is the dial code *#*#66#*#*


thank you again amoun :slight_smile:

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I’ve found out that if I accept the slow charging I can live with the resulting battery lifetimes (today I got 28% by leaving the phone plugged in overnight) if I have battery saving mode on constantly.

That, of course, means that the phone is currently not really useful for browsing the Internet or playing music etc. It doesn’t matter that much as my daytime job as a programmer tends to pull towards being less digital when off duty.

However, my phone is less than three months old. If it’s so vulnerable to debris, it might be a design flaw, or maybe the phone should ship with a protective lid.

If I manage to fix it I’ll definitely get a casing for it so it doesn’t happen again.

I doubt it’s a design flaw and yes a lid would be good :slight_smile:

Still if the charger can provide 5V @ 500mA, the same as the older USB2 computer ports it should charge completely in 6 hours ~ so I would still question the cable :frowning:

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Any luck with fixing this? - I have a three month old phone too with exactly the same issues it seems and non of the cleaning solutions/new battery/ cable have worked so just about to start a process of consultation with FF helpdesk but just thought id check with you