Fairphone 3+ not charging

Hi - I have a Fairphone 3+ that’s about a year old and over the past couple of months battery longevity has taken a significant dip. Today I went to put it on charge, at the mains, at about 5% and though the red light switched from flashing to solid there was no other visible recognition of charging. I left it for about an hour and there was only a 1% increase, and battery level quickly dropped when I unlocked it to try to see what was going on.

I have swapped charger cable and power socket, and tried plugging into my laptop too, but the problem persists. I tried cleaning the USB port and removing the back and battery and cleaning, removing the SIM card, and restarting in safe mode. I now can’t turn the phone on at all even when plugged in, whereas for a bit it had been stable while plugged in to my laptop - despite saying battery was at 0%!

Now, when plugged in the phone’s red light flashes rapidly a few times, the Fairphone logo comes up, blank screen for a moment and then the image saying not to unplug as phone is charging at 1% power. Then the same thing just happens repeatedly and it’s not responsive to anything I do beyond plugging it into power or unplugging it.

I tend to use phones til they break down so I don’t have a spare and need a phone urgently for a trip in 2 days. Any ideas, especially fast ones, appreciated!

Hi and welcome to the forum.

If the battery is low and more so if cold it will not charge for quite a while. Recently it said I have 23 hours to full charge ???

If the phoen is off. i.e. you have removed the battery ~ do not attempt to turn it on.

Plugin. It should vibrate, if there is enough charge you will see a falsh screen also then a battery icon.

Whether or not you see any of the above leave it to charge for soem hours, do not be tempted to turn it on.

You can do a quick press on the power button to see if it is charging but only a quick press.

Hopefully it is not too serious else the steps would be
a) contact Fairphone
b) whilst you wait for their response disassemble the moduela and replace. You may find some porr contacts due to dirt, corrosion etc.

Once you have removed the screen to access the bottom module ensure you do not see a red square which indicates water ingress.

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Hi, thanks for responding. The phone is simply restarting itself over and over whenever I plug it in now and does not appear to be charging at all. I noticed the problem as it did not vibrate etc on plugging in or show any sign it was charging, though clearly something very small happened as there was a 1% increase after about an hour. Now I do not think anything is happening. I am going to try to take a look at the bottom module though, thanks for the suggestion!

Have you tried cleaning the battery contacts (both those on the battery and those inside the phone) with isopropyl alcohol? This sounds like a classic case of loose battery syndrome.

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Hi - I don’t have anything like that in the house but can try tomorrow morning! Fingers crossed, if I can’t fix tomorrow I will need to buy a new phone as I must have one for my trip on Friday
:worried: Thanks for replying, appreciate the help.

If the phone is switched off, ensure by removing the battery for a few minutes it should not switch on when you plug it in and try to restart.

If it is restarting it may be that the power button is faulty and permanently on.

Howeverwhat you consider restarting may just be the battery trying to initiate a chargaing sequence.

Given the frequency of your posts it would seem you haven’t given it any time to charge. You will have to leave it untouched once plugged in and once you are sure it’s off for many hours. 4 or 5 to start with before you test the battery by a quick click on the power button.

But it won’t hurt trying to clean. Any strong alcohol will do as long as you dry the contacts thoroughly. Alcohol joins with water and dries things out. 50% vodka will do.

It’s just not ideal to clean with water as it’s difficult to get it out of confined areas that’s why 100% alcohol is prefered.

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Hi, thanks for replying. When I say ‘restarting’ I mean the phone vibrates and the Fairphone logo appears, as I described. Then there is the blank screen for a few seconds and the battery icon appears saying Fairphone is charging on 1%, as it does if phone is put to charge while switched off. Then it vibrates, logo appears, and repeat.

I did leave the phone to charge for about an hour before starting to look into the problem. Thanks for the clarity regarding the use of alcohol, I may have something around the house after all, will have to see.

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When I have this sort of problem with an FP2, I’ll also just blow on the contacts - not exactly best practice, but worth a shot if you can’t find anthing strong enough.

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I know it’s not ideal but I admit I did try it! I have just taken the bottom module out and found a little moisture behind it which may be part of the issue, not sure how that happened. I have dried it off and done some more cleaning, including with an alcohol. Still the same when I plug it in unfortunately. I’m really grateful for everyone’s advice, I have learned a few new things for the future anyway - and gotten more confident in taking the phone apart!

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Drying manually only gets rid of surface moisture, you will need to dry the moduels alone in a cool to silghtly warm air for upto 2 or three days.

Did you notice a red sqaure?

How did it happen? Working in a humid environment, kitchen etc. and then going outside in the winter creates condensation.

Did you see a red square as in the following link? If you did the warranty is void.

If mositure has got into the core module, which is likely, it will take a while to dry.

Take a look at the iFixIt breakdown. You can go past step 7 if you no longer have a warranty i.e. if you see the red square. You can dismantle more and dry a bit quicker and more thoroughly.

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If this is your frequent practice I’m afraid you’ve been stressing the battery. This is not the place for yet another debate on the subject, but in my opinion 5% is too low. Amoun will advise on checking battery charge levels and stuff.

Could have been a while ago. Moisture gets in easily but it gets out with difficulty, hence need to disassemble the phone. Moisture that you can see means there’s a lot, could have been condensation as amoun says (bringing a phone that’s been outdoors in the cold, into a steamy kitchen for e.g.) and if it’s happened several times there’s likely corrosion causing faulty contacts, hence cleaning contacts with isopropyl alcohol (or at least high percentage) a good idea.

A lesson for us all! When I next make a batch of soup I’ll remember to put my phone in another room! :wink:
Have a good trip nonetheless!

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Good morning, thanks for replying. Having my battery down to 5% stresses me a fair amount too :laughing: but since the longevity has reduced in recent months it barely lasts a long day out of the house anymore. I had been meaning to look into a replacement battery, but as it seems I have likely had a bigger problem with damp it is probably for the best that I find out what’s really wrong instead.

I have dismantled the phone as far as permissible within warranty, as there is no red square there thankfully (thanks for the pic, amoun), and will leave it to dry out while I’m away over the weekend. I have a Fairphone 4 on overnight delivery as a smartphone is absolutely essential to my trip, used for all my tickets and banking etc, so I cannot wait for the 3 to dry out sadly. I will persevere with it though, and keep it as a backup or pass on to someone else if it starts working again - or send back to Fairphone so anything that can be salvaged can be reused.

Thanks again for all the replies!

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Hi I’m wondering where you are as a #fairphoneangel may be able to help.

You can dismantle down to step 7 in the iFixIt guide without vioding warranty.

Did you see the other square as white, see image two posts above the one where I show the red square. If they are both white you are doing well :slight_smile:

RE battery voltage. You may find a friend or a shop that can help check the voltage. You will need probably 3.8V to get the phone running.

Anyway you are expecting a FP4 that’s a turn up for the books.

Still try leaving the FP3 charging for a few hours … . . .

I believe the batteries are guaranteed to some extent, find out before buying a new one. But try and be kinder to the new one! :sweat_smile:

The whole phone, including accessories and the battery has a 2 year warranty.

2. Warranty period

2.1 The Fairphone smartphone device, the separately bought Fairphone accessories and replaceable smartphone modules (“Modules”) are covered by this Warranty for 24 months from the date of delivery to the original purchaser.

2.2 The Fairphone smartphone battery is covered by this Warranty for 24 months from the date of purchase by the original Purchaser.

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