Fairphone 3 using without the camera?

Hey everyone how is everyone doing?

So, most here will have seen videos about how to disassemble / take apart / change / upgrade the fairphone 3…

Has anyone, or does anyone know of someone who has removed the camera unit, so that the pohone does not have a back camera?

Can the front camera be removed?

And does removing / not having the back camera or either of the camera’s affect the phone operation?

Thanks in advance


You can use the phone without any of the four small modules (top, camera, speaker, bottom). However, only the rear (main) camera is in a module of its own (camera). The front (selfie) camera shares the top module with other hardware (mostly sensors, but also the earphone and the audio jack etc.), so you cannot remove it alone without these other things as well.


Hey urs_lesse

That makes sense thanks for that.

Let me add, that you can disassemble the top-module as well.
That is, if you are skilful and courageous enough and have the tools needed. (It doesn’t seem too complicated, tbh.)

Just take a look at step 8 of the iFixIT-teardown of the FP3

  • The 8 MP ƒ2.0 selfie camera and earpiece speaker are both removable.
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Hey BertG,

Thank you very much appreciated. stay safe mate. I am just looking at system 76 or purism laptops any thoughts?

All the best


Hey BertG,

So the front camera can be removed also but along with the earpiece speaker, would the phone still operate as normal during phone concersations? As you’ve removed the earpiece speaker?


I can add to the above the somewhat pointless fact that the FP2 will run with nothing but a core module and a battery.

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Sorry, I can’t speak from my own experience.
But as I understand it and judging by the pictures, the speaker and the camera are two different parts, that can be removed from the top-module, since they are not soldered.
I come to this conclusion as well, because the next bullit-point reads:

  • The headphone jack as well as the proximity and ambient light sensors are soldered onto the breakout board.

So, you can take out just the camera and keep the earpiece speaker.
I agree, that you most likely would have to use a headphone if you take out the earpiece speaker as well.

Regarding laptops I - unfortunately - have to admit, that I am still stuck with MS Windows.
But you might want to open a new topic to discuss System 76 laptops, since I don’t remember having seen them mentioned in this forum.

Or you might use one of the existing threads like especially:

(If you are interested, I can reopen that topic, that was automatically closed a few weeks ago.)

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Why do you want to remove the cameras?

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There are companies and places, where camera-phones are not allowed to carry.
A phone with cameras removed might do the trick as well.
Even more so, since it’s really hard to come by a phone without lens nowadays. :wink:


@dvl designed a dummy camera module for the FP2 way back when. I’m sure an enterprising individual could design one for the FP3?


In the companies and places you are talking about you normally have to deposit your phone anyway, especially if it is internet-enabled. So what. Also, I had been asking @LinuxNew about his motivation here :wink:


Well, and I gave my opinion. So what? :wink:

See. There are other places and companies as well.


Hey teezeh and everyone,

Thank you all for your posts and information it is greatly appreciated.

Why do I want a smart phone with no camera’s?

The same reason many people want a smart phone without a camera, if the phone has no camera’s then the camera’s can not be hacked and exploited can they?

This is the reason the Librem 5 have physical hardware kil switch’s on their device which block the camera, wifi, and base band, for users that love the fair phone but want to make it more secure, this is a viable option.

Thanks again.



In the ifixit.com Teardown they disassembled even the modules - both cameras are removable from the module itself. I think BertG mentioned this already but you’re going to find some photos here. Would be nice to know if the top module works fine without having the camera attached so if you’re really going to do this please share the results!

If I get it right, from the postings in this forum, there is a kind of “field experiment” to that regard.
Upgrading your camera to the 3+ modules with the FP3.
Some users did this.
As the FP3 will support the camera only after the update to Android 10, the cameras don’t work, but I can’t recall any mention, that other functions were out of order as well.
This should be no different than taking out the camera, or should it?

It didn’t/doesn’t work, when the phone is still on Android 9 or is running on /e/ (which is still Androind 9)

Maybe a bit of a silly suggestion, but what about a camera cover (or even just a piece of tape) like done on laptops? Then you could always remove the cover when you do want to use the camera.

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Not anymore! You’re late, /e/ Q for FP3(+) is official :wink:

Well… You would be taking something off the board of the module, I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t work anymore…

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