Hello dear community,
my new Fairphone hasn’t been charging reliably in the last two weeks. It started when I was waiting at a transit airport with a portable charger and noticed that there was a loose contact. Getting home, it wouldn’t get better. Sometimes, I plucked the charging cable in overnight and noticed the next morning that it hadn’t charged at all, or that it had been “slowly charging”, which meant about 6% gained per night. I’ve tried the cable of a friend who doesn’t have a Fairphone, and that worked very well, so I ordered a new charging cable. However, the phone and the old cable had just been two months old, both do not look damaged in any way, and the new cable instantly caused the same issues as the old one.
This morning, I saw it hadn’t charged overnight again, just tried my friend’s cable, and even that didn’t work anymore. There was a yellow light on the phone, but no lightning in the battery symbol, no vibration when I plucked the cable in or out, and no message that it was charging on the screen. I removed and cleaned the battery, and that seemed to help a bit. Now it’s having a loose contact again, most of the time “slowly charging”, but that’s no permanent solution.
Does anyone know what I can do and what might have caused these issues? Could the aeroplane journey have damaged the phone? At least it started that day…
The aeroplane journey may have impacted some moisture effect, although I would check the USB port for debris and cleanliness.
Also which cable did you buy and what charger are you using, cables and chargers can have compatibility problems especially when the phone has ‘intelligent’ charging as in the QC3 specifications. Somewhere I read there was even a learning curve that can be disrupted. For example my phone has only started charging at a reasonable pace, under 2 hours, after some six months.
The USB port looks clean; there’s no dust or dirt I can see is in there, and I’ve cleaned it with compressed air two weeks ago and this morning also, just in case, but that didn’t change much. This is the first cable Fairphone 3/3+ - USB-C 2.0 Cable | Fairphone, which I bought with the phone in April, and this is the second one USB-C 3.2 Long Life Cable - Fairphone 3/3+ | Fairphone, which I bought about a week ago. The charger I’ve mostly used is a 24W 2-Port USB charger from Anker, but I’ve tried different ones and haven’t seen much of a difference. Perhaps me switching chargers so frequently is actually part of the problem? Or could it be that the issue is with the battery instead?
I can’t imagine it is the battery unless it the voltage dropped very low. You can check the battery, ideally in another Fairphone. You can also do a system test by dialing
*#*#66#*#* then selecting Service tests > Test single > Battery status check
You would hope to find a voltage above 3.2V which is low, 2.3V or lower is of some concern.
UPDATE: Sadly I note that when Fairphone charges to 100% the voltage is 4.4V which is a bit much
I’d advise to contact support just in case, perhaps there’s a warranty case … https://support.fairphone.com/hc/en-us.
Else … If you need a workaround to charge the battery, there are universal external battery chargers, in case of need I have this one for the Fairphone 3 battery (I just fetched some links to where it’s available currently, it might be available elsewhere, too, there’s a version with an LED indicator and a version with an LCD display) …
If you want to look up other chargers … The charging contacts have to be thin enough for the Fairphone 3 battery contacts, this is not a given with all universal chargers.
I don’t know if this observation helps you, but I had similar problems with my phone after I had been in the rain and my pocket with the phone in it had gotten wet. I also had the symptom that the yellow light would come on, but no “Charging” message nor sound. The phone appeared to recover somewhat gradually over one or two weeks. One remaining issue after a couple of days was that I had to plug in the USB-C cable in a certain orientation, but even that is no longer a problem.
Thanks a lot for all your help and advice! External battery chargers sound very handy. I shall try to get one, though I’d like to be able to charge the phone the normal way too.
And marcelm, you may be right in my case as well. The last couple of days I’ve seen that charging the phone with a portable charger (instead of chargers in sockets) kind of works again, at least a bit better than a couple of weeks ago. The contact is still lose and it must lie still while charging, and the message still says “slowly charging”, but if it’s charging, it’s actually charging quite quickly again (about 30% per hour). I’d like to be able to actually charge and use it at the same time again (that’s what a portable charger is for, after all), so I’m not entirely happy, but there is some progress.
Perhaps it is recovering over time. I shall try different socket-chargers the next couple of days to see if all of them are still charging as slowly as they used to when I ran the tests the last time.
I don’t know when I’ll have the time for it, but I’ll try showing it to someone in a store and maybe contacting support if necessary eventually.
I’ve had issues with charging in last month too. It got resolved by cleaning USB-C port on phone with old used toothbrush, although it also looked clean before doing it. Toothbrush must be dry while cleaning.
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