Fairphone concept is great, phone isn't

That’s really strange, have you downloaded the A-GPS data etc. ? Otherwise, I think we might have to move this to “bugs” or you’ll have to contact the support team.

I concur for 2. and 3.

I don’t take much pictures, thus I can’t confirm 1.

The GPS always takes ages to get position. Not only the first time, and this has been reported many times by many people. It provides wrong information whenever I go running (wow I do 50km/h!) and this is also a well-known bug. I didn’t try yet with the new OS version. Anyways, even if it fixes it, it took 8 months to get here and that is unacceptably long to fix such a bug.

The GSM reception is systematically worse compared with other smartphones. I tried by putting my sim card and can see a clear difference.

About the SW, there is a serious issue here. I would say that there are no fundamental flaws in the HW but the SW messes is up. You can have a good camera, a good GPS chip, a good antena, if your SW is bad the result will be bad. And what makes things worse is that the SW is being developed in a very slow and 80’s oriented way. I expect at least one update per month to quickly provide fixes to users.

I see many people defending FP every time we raise such issues. I undertand that we, early adopters, are enthusiasts who committed money even before any product existed. However it should not blind-fold us. Even if you do not experience such problems, one should acknowledge that those are recurrent problems reported on the forum.

I love the FP concept but the implementation is hurting it. And that is bad.


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I think I have downloaded the EPO file, agps is checked, that is all…

Hi there @Barth,

I agree with the fact that there are multiple post reporting on these issues (GPS etc.) However, I’ve always found a solution by reading thoroughly through the forum. My GPS was bad at first as well, but this, I fixed. I’ve never had any problems with reception/signal (well I’ve had, but this was to blame on my mobile operator.)

I think a lot of (small) issues are fixed with the new software update, and I have the feeling my phone runs even more smooth than before.

I would suggest to address your specific problems to @anon90052001 or anyone from the support team. It’s in my best believe that they’ll try their best to find a solution.

Kind regards

This is very abnormal. Maybe, instead of putting it near a window, try really going outside. Away from anything that can disturb the signal (thick walls, modems, routers, aluminium/steel constructions, in general electronic devices …)


I have had a similar issue since I got my FP1, my GPS has never worked (it triangulates roughly off WiFi and/or mobile masts, but this is never accurate enough to be helpful - and especially not when I’m out of signal range).

I was hoping the Cherry update might fix this, but it has not.

I should add that I’ve not been able to get past ‘Update EPO files failed’. I’ve tried it again post-update, but no change.



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I get that message too when I try to update.

GPS is not a sought out feature by I but now I’m kind of bummed out it doesn’t work.

Trying again at my place, I’m a bit higher. But wait an hour outside to see if the gps will eventually work is not interesting, and I’m not even trying to use it actively, just testing… as i it’s of no use to me either. :stuck_out_tongue:

Unlike yourself, I do use it - when hiking in remote locations, its a great backup as you can reference the coordinates on an OS map. And i’ve used it for field surveying too - which I’d especially like to be able to do with this phone. So it is a bit disappointing.

  • I think I’ll start a separate post actually re: the GPS.
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New topic about GPS issues where you can continue the discussion on the GPS issues and potential fixes and workarounds. Thanks @nick for starting this topic.

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Hi @wjvdv, since not many people have commented on your disappointment regarding the camera, I thought I’d chip in. Yes, there’s a big difference between my Canon DSLR and the Fairphone camera… and yes, the lack of contrast can be annoying. However, there are several things that can lead to better results:

  1. It really needs plenty of light to do its work properly.
  2. I’ve been using the Camera Awesome app instead of the stock camera, which has improved my experience - it gives you more control, and I find the ability to use the volume buttons as the shutter button very useful - just feels more natural / like a ‘real camera’.
  3. The stock gallery gives a wide variety of editing options. Playing around with the curves often helps to get better contrast. After the fact, I know…

Here’s a photo that I’ve taken with the phone a few weeks ago:


Yes, what @Emma said. No matter how high you push pixel count, a mobile phone camera can never be a DSLR. Mind you, the OP’s description sounds more like a broken phone than a simple dislike of the camera.

That said, it’s always well worth experimenting with camera apps, as the default Android camera doesn’t always exploit the full capabilities of the camera hardware. I did a quick comparison with 3 apps I’ve used before, and sharpness varied quite a lot. The quite basic Camera ICS+ has much more accurate auto-focus than the default app, whereas the more feature-rich Camera ZOOM produced disappointingly soft images.


I’ve also had a limited play around with Open Camera which I downloaded via F-Droid.

Seems like it has some good features and the photos are pretty good from it, although I’ve not compared them to what the standard app has taken.

I also have problems with 3G and GSM connectivity. When reception is weak, the phone is unusable for voice calls.

Any one know any solutions for this?

Yes! I got help from the support and “Hard reset” solved my problems with 3G and GSM connectivity.

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Fairphone sells spare parts to users. It would be great if they could provide an improved, compatible camera.

Just for the records, I am experiencing very good GSM and WiFi reception (second batch)

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My connectivity problem wasn’t really solved with hard reset. I it was mainly optimism, after I while I realised that it was as bad as before.

Finally I dissembled It and found out that the antenna cable wasn’t properly connected.

It was probably I that hadn’t connect it properly after another time when I had to dissemble it to dry after it went down in the water in a stream, when hiking.

Now its much better.

I do have a second batch Fairphone, with very satisfying GSM and Wifi reception. Wifi reception is much better than with my huawei g615 phone.

For the camera: I switched to Open Camera, the pictures are much better. The stock camera app makes the pictures quite dark.

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Hi Willem Jan

I was wondering have any of your expectations been improved? (perhaps you had a fault phone?)
I am thinking of buying a fairphone because I love the concept but I sure do want to get a phone that meets expectations of its asking price.
I used to have a samsung S2, the camera worked great on it, I wouldn’t compare it to a DSLR like other people mentioned below but I would expect a phone of this price to take decent photos all the same.
GPS is also important to me and should ‘just work’

hope you reply!

Hi Brian,

Actually the answer is: no. It seems nothing has changed after I received the phone back from the support center.

However I would advise you to buy the FairPhone anyway. If you buy it now, you won’t get the first batch phone and according to all reactions here, the newer batches don’t have the problems that occurred to me.

Kind greetings, Willem-Jan