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FP1 - no sound from me over the phone even after reboot; freezing screen during calls

I can hear others when they phone me on my FP1 but they can’t hear me. If I try recording my voice, it’s very very faint and lots of room hiss if the volume is up high; if the volume is down low, you can’t hear my voice at all.

So I backed up my data (photos, contacts, settings, apps), and did a ‘factory data reset’. No change! Can anyone suggest what I should do now?

Also, recently, my FP1 screen has been freezing when I’ve been on the phone - could this be due to the very hot weather recently? (or my face being slightly damp from sweat when I’ve been holding the phone for talking?) What can I do about this?

Many thanks

Anna

You might need to replace the microphone. Fortunately Fairphone still has it on stock.

However, maybe you can contact a Fairphone Angel first, they might be able to help you further. If you are lucky, there is one in your region.

You should carefully try to clean the little hole in the frame with a sharp needle. It might be full of dust, which covers the microphone:


Source: ifixit

This is easier if you remove the midframe.

Many thanks urs_lesse - those are really good suggestions. Especially the Angels since my cover has split, there aren’t any more FP1 covers for sale so I probably need to learn how to do this (and clean microphone, as Stefan below suggests) on an ongoing basis.

Many thanks Stefan - I understand the logic and live in an area covered by Fairphone Angels so have asked them for some hands-on help if they can. If not, I’ll have to have a go by myself.

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OK, many thanks for the replies. Unfortunately, I’ve had no reply from the London Angels. Also my case is now splitting even more - from being split about 3cm on the left hand side the band around the phone is now split for about 10cm from the left hand side round to the top left corner. If I can’t get a replacement case for my Fairphone 1, I suspect that any repairs or replacements of other components are going to be a waste of money, and that any potential dust issues in my microphone will get worse. It also looks like there’s no repair service for Fairphone 1 - is that correct?

Please advise.

Many thanks

Anna

Pinging @anthony and @Chris_R

Not an official one, no, but there is a community list of #repairshops . I myself would recommend a Restart party. And T-Fix is a professional repair centre in South London

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I’m not in London that often (I’m up north) but I do have plenty of spares and should be able to get down to you or @anthony

I’ll be down one of these days 19th/20th/21st September so if we haven’t got to a better solution by then I’m happy to help. Hopefully Anthony might be better available

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Hi Anna!

Apologies for the late response - I’ve started a new job recently and it’s taken all my time. Would you be able to attend a Restart event? I’ve signed up to come to this one on the 1st of September:

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Hello Stefan, Chris and Anthony

Many thanks for all the replies. The offer of a replacement microphone if needed sounds good - thank you.

Unfortunately, my Fairphone 1 is my only phone - the landlord doesn’t provide a land phone just broadband here, and not everyone I need to contact uses Skype etc. So I really do need a workable phone before 1 September. (The phone broke at the beginning of August and I waited till I was on annual leave to chase forum replies this week.) I recognise the constraints of Fairphone’s business model and that the Fairphone 1 is no longer supported but I’ve contacted TFix to see if they can help now because I do need a workable phone now. I’ve mentioned that replacement microphones are available - would you be able to post one to TFix please, if necessary, Chris?

If I may, some information for the future design of services and marketing to prospects. I’m a big fan of modular technology and fairtrade as principles, and despite a limited income, proud to put my money where my mouth is. But as a busy single mum who also works full-time with no nearby family support, I really don’t have the time or patience to try to work out how to repair things on my own. As I say, I do recognise the constraints of Fairphone’s business model, but it seems to me that Fairphone has committed the classic well-meaning assumption that potential customers will all be just like founders - in this case, fairtrade geeks with plenty of repair skill and/or time to learn such skills - and not recognised or thought-through the implications of seling to fairtrade non-geeks. I know that everyone is very busy and many people do a great deal of voluntary work for Fairphone so I hope some better design thinking can contribute to future improved design of support and services.

I apologise if this sounds like a rant; it isn’t, I’m providing feedback because I really do want Fairphone to thrive and outcompete all other smartphones. Until my microphone issues, I was totally happ with my Fairphone and I remain very proud of being a Fairphone customer.

Many thanks for your help; I’ll let the forum know how I get on with TFix.

Best regards

Anna

I will happily sort out a spare part for you next week. It’s definitely not something you would want to replace on your own without any skill or guidance so don’t worry about that. If you’re getting a company to help you if we can get the part to them an the ifixit guide they should be able to resolve without problem.

The Fairphone 1 was based on an existing phone design so was built with constraints that meant it was not as repairable as it would want to be, however the Fairphone two brought modular design which is simple to fix without technical skill. Unfortunately there is no way to bring that sort of design to Fairphone 1 but we certainly have the skill to assist in the replacement of parts.

Where would you want the parts sending and I can sort for you on Monday?

@Anna4 can you confirm where you would want the spare parts sending to?

And can you confirm you’ll cover the cost of the postage (which will be minimal)? If you want to donate anything over an above that, this will help us to secure further spare parts to keep other phones running longer, but that’s optional and completely up to you. The parts would have cost £16.50 + postage to buy from Fairphone (I think they sell refurbished parts rather than real).

To confirm, there are two parts that I would send to you, the midframe (the black ‘cover’ that Stefan referred to in the image) which has the external speaker attached and a daughterboard which contains the microphone. All of these are used parts but in working order at the last testing point.

I would not recommend you attempt the repair yourself unless you feel comfortable in knowing what you are doing, and that’s fine anyway if you are taking to a repair shop. They need to follow this ifixit guide: https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Fairphone+1+Wi-Fi+Antenna+Daughterboard+Replacement/20534

As we’ve not been able to attempt the repair ourselves, we can’t guarantee that this is the exact cause of the problem, however it is likely that there is either a build up of fluff inside that is preventing the microphone from working or the microphone part is indeed broken. If this replacement doesn’t fix it there may be something else wrong and I think in that case it would be best that we try to meet to fix with other spare parts.

Anyway, I think this should get you back up and working.

Get back to me asap as I have to go to the post office in the next days anyway and I can get this shipped to you quickly.

Chris

Hello Chris_R

Many thanks for your detailed replies. Unfortunately, TFix have now replied and they don’t repair Fairphones. So I’m left with 4 options:

1 try to sort this out myself; I’m very sorry but I know I can’t - I’m on annual leave and have other things that I really must get done. I’m afraid I don’t have half a day to spend learning how to repair this as well as the other things
2 wait till September - sorry, I do need a phone now
3 get a Fairphone 2 - my Fairphone 1 contract expires in early September
4 get another phone

I’ll contact my Fairphone supplier and see how much 3 might cost.

Many thanks for all your help,

Best regards

Anna

Ok, no worries. I do understand, it’s not the easy living without a phone. Definitely if you could make it to the repair shop event on the 1st I’m sure they’d be able to assist in at least checking the microphone for dust and I could still send the parts.

I take it you got the FP1 via the Phone Coop, they do sell the FP2, it’s £499 as a one off purchase or £27 a month: https://www.thephone.coop/personal/phones/fairphone/

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@Anna4

I forgot to ask and it just came to me. Do you have and have you tried using a wired or wireless headset with a built in microphone? If you haven’t and do have one, that might help you at least making calls in the short term.

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Hey Chris

That’s a really good workaround - I hadn’t thought of that. I don’t have such a headset but I do like the logic. For me, given that there’s only a month left on my Fairphone 1 contract, the best thing is to get a Fairphone 2 contract a lot earlier than I’d hoped. Hopefully FP2 won’t have the same problems. And I’ll make sure to get a see-through case this time.

Thanks for all your suggestions and efforts - all good wishes for your new job.

Best regards

Anna

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@Louisa_Radice Maybe you can attend too and meet @anthony there? You could even join him as an Angel in the Centrallondon heaven. :angel:

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I’d rather find Fairphone users nearer to where I live. At the moment it’s hard enough finding anyone who’s even heard of it. When I explain what it is, the usual reaction is “that must be really expensive”. Er no, UK users can get one for free just by switching mobile provider to the Phone Co-op.

Just discovered there is a Repair Cafe taking place in Leamington Spa on the same day as the Kilburn Restart Party:

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