Flickering screen FP3+

My Fairphone 3+ shows a flickering screen. It is not possible to handle it anymore, I cannot use the touchscreen. The phone is one (!) month old. The problem came up during the night and showed itself in the morning. I’ve seen at the forum that this happens more often, and the helpdesk adviced to press the edges of the phone. This helps for a short period. All in all I’m surprised and especially angry that this glitch is happening on a new phone that I’ve only been using for a month. I have to send the phone in now, which means it will be away for 10 working days. To be able to work I need a smartphone with a number of apps. They don’t work on the old Samsung (Android 8) that I’m using now. I am therefore considering purchasing a cheap Motorola E20 for 99,- for temporary use.

Often resolved by dismantling and reassembling the phone.
Modules can come loose in transit and use.

You do not void the warranty by doing so. But if you have sent it to official support you will now have to wait awhile :frowning:

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The ability to repair a Fairphone and replace parts is one of the reasons I bought a fairphone. But a smartphone that breaks after a month is - to me - absolutely unacceptable. I know my possible self-repair won’t void the warranty, but the ability to do something about the phone yourself shouldn’t be the route to take when a brand-new phone breaks down. If the windscreen of a new car leaks after a month, does the garage say that you can disassemble the window yourself and then put it back? I don’t think so. They make sure that they replace the window as soon as possible, because they are afraid of loss of trust and it is warranty.

Of course you can reset your phone to factory settings, ship it, wait for the return and buy a separate phone for the time it will last.

Or you can try a simple repair by yourself first. It’s your decision. I know what I would do :wink:.

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That can happen to any phone and any device, and as you know it has a two year warranty.

The issue is that as you did not buy it from a high street shop where you can return it, nor a huge company with massive resources, it will take time for Fairphone to resolve it.

If you have sent it, it just a matter of waiting :frowning:

It may only have been a loose screw or two. If it happens again, hopefully not ,then you may want to consider having a quick look at the phone.

All the best.

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My Fairphone 3+ has now been replaced by a new one, I received it today. The flickering screen turned out to be a serious problem, is my conclusion.

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Hello,

I believe I have the same problem. The screen will flicker on/off, or with different colors, and during this time it is unresponsive to touch. This problem will appear and be severe for some minutes/hours then disappear for some days or weeks.

From what i can tell of my experience and reading others’ posts on the forum, it is an issue with an electrical connection between the display and main phone module. Though I cannot guarantee that it is not an issue within either one of the modules. For myself, i am able to reliably repair it by applying pressure in the area of the connection. This is near the bottom right of the screen side, or bottom left of the rear side of the phone. The goal is to press exactly where the connection is. This has reliably worked for me to fix the flickering after just a second or so of pressing, so far every time.

Image of the internal “touch-contact” electrical connection. This type of connector is vulnerable to disconnection from slight misalignment of the phone that could occur from vibrations, cold, or being dropped.
image

I do admit that it is frustrating that this problem occurs at all, but i am sympathetic since it is a modular phone, and therefore this type of faulty electrical connections are intrinsically necessary. I also note that they put multiple screws directly around this point, which I interpret as them knowing that this was an issue and trying to solve it. It is frustrating that the tech support couldn’t be more open about this, if what I describe here is indeed the source of people’s screen problems. From my experience in tech, it does companies more harm than good to give correct/helpful advice about this sort of thing. The customers that they lose from admitting their phone has a problem is more valuable than the customer satisfaction that they gain from giving good tech support. Take that as you will.

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Hi and welcome to the forum.

Your method may be fine now and again but it would seem wise to dismantle and reassemble. It may be loose or it may be tainted contacts which you could clean.

Yes good idea, will do!

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I just have the same problem. I have reassembled the phone 4 times and always it works fine for some weeks and then, it starts again flickering… :frowning: I’m a bit surprised that there is no save connection at the touch module. I’ll try it again with cleaning solution for electronic devices.

Send it back. A smartphone should not have these problems. You are, in my opinion, diffused by the fact hat the Fairphone has een replaceable screen. Great feature, but the connection with the body must be stable. I have returned my Fairphone 3+ and received a new one.

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Yeah for me it has now been some weeks and the problems are not totally eliminated but are so minor that I really don’t care. For my case, there is no need to send it back. But good to hear that this was an option for those who might have a more severe case.

I dropped the phone today, resulting in a flickering screen. Even my fingers were not recognized by the touchscreen any more. I am highly dependent on a phone and started to worry :worried:

Then, as @amoun proposed above, I dismantled the screen, cleaned things a bit (just with a tissue for cleaning my glasses), and put it back together. Now, everything works again. It took me 30 Minutes in total, including reading the instructions to dismantle on ifixit.com

I loved this experience, made me super happy. This repairability of the Fairphone is very innovative. Many heads up to the Fairphone team!! :partying_face:

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I find it concerning that the FP3, whose screen was designed to fix this kind of widespread issue from the FP2, still has it to an extent.

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Maybe it’s not that comparable, as
a) without a count there is only a small percentage that have this issue
b) there are a lot more FP3 and FP3 manufactured, sold and in circulation

For example 14% of 14% is less than 2%

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In my case, even cleaning solution did not help.
However, I bought usual contact spray and moistened critical surfaces/contacts. I was a bit wondering if this could lead to short-circuit because the contact fluid dried very slowly, but fortunately this did not happen. Now, since around two month, touch screen is working very well, no flickering and very good sensibility and precise when touching it! puh! :slight_smile:

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Hmm! and I only have three to compare 2 x FP3+ and 1 x FP4 amongst three family members and none have the problems you refer to, in fact no problems ??

In my case, in summary in had 4 different issue types within around 2 years (several screen-issues related to moisture and/or flickering, earspeaker defect (probably also related to moisture), charging problems (also here contact problems)). Other FP3-experience: One friend had ghost touches (was finally fixed by a friend of him), another family had flickering problems similar to me on both/two devices; and the fourth person had some issues I don’t know exactly, anyway he sold his phone and bought a different phone. So, none of them had no issues. But nice to read that you know people without any issues occured. Now, in my case I hopefully have fixed everything, and I strongly avoid moisture (even dew in the evening).

Absolutely, though one of my daughters dropped hers FP3+ down the toilet. It took a few days to dry but that was over a year ago and no problem since ~ of course the warranty is void with the red indicators :slight_smile:

Damp is an issue and I reside in the south west of the UK which is damp and my home is in a valley 60m from a tidal river. The fruit trees do not like it, they get canker etc. Lots of lichen, moss etc. but somehow I must be taking care of the phone.

But even though I’m OK I wouldn’t recomend an FP to anyone unless Fairtrade is the focus and not the phone :slight_smile:

All the best

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I got an email alert about messages in this thread, I thought I’d come back and mention that I haven’t had a single issue for months now. I cleaned and tightened the contact and since then it’s been completely error free. I’ve also regularly gotten the phone wet, using it for music in the shower, and no issues. Just thought it would be nice to have not only the people with problems who speak.

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