FP1 Wi-Fi connection doesn't turn on

Hi everyone.

I can’t turn Wi-Fi on (same than this guy Wifi turns off immediately after activating. Any ideas?)

I did a Hard Reset and it didn’t work.
¿Does it mean that the hardware broke and I have to ask for a replacement piece?

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

I fear so… :frowning: If you have a second batch FP1, you are still covered by warranty and Fairphone should repair your phone for free.

Hey, thanks a lot for the answer.
I have got a first edition FP1, bad luck for me.
I have contacted the staff to confirm my fears and be told what to do but I got an automated reply saying they will take longer than usual because they are busy with PF2 presales…
I have looked it up in IFIXIT and I think that is what I need to do. Am I wrong?

Being without Wi-Fi and having done a hard reset is really annoying. Sigh…

Exactly. That’s the part that needs to be replaced. (In rare cases the antenna cable got loose or there is dust somewhere inside the phone. You could examine these parts and see, if it’s this (I doubt though, to be honest).)

I think if you don’t want them to replace that part for you, you could order a daughter board right away, instead of waiting for an answer.

Ok, thank you, Stefan.
I’m off to do just that.
Let’s hope I don’t really need a pryer an a spludger, or whatever those things in the tutorial are called :stuck_out_tongue:

EDIT: just did it. No regrets… yet?

You should at least get hold of a guitar pick to work the midframe and the display unit apart. :wink:

No! That is not what you need to do. This is the GSM antenna, nothing to do with WiFi. If your WiFi is greyed out (Can’t switch it on) or switches off itself after switching it on, you have a problem with the WiFi chip. If it switches on but you have no WiFi reception, it is the antenna circuit which is broken. (Also often the WiFi chip). The good news is, it can be repaired. The bad news is, you will need to find someone who can do it for you if you dont have the skills.

This is the board:

The upper right ground shield needs to be removed for the repair.

Here you see the WiFi / Bluetooth / GPS chip on the upper right side.

To repair your board, all pins need to be reflowed. Fortunally this is not a BGA (contacts underneath) so it can be resoldered on all sides. Once this is done, there’s a very big change that your FP1 is fully operational again. I have done some of these boards and they all had their Wifi / Bluetooth / GPS back. If you consider repair, make absolutely sure that the person performing the repair is skilled enough! I have seen enough horror results from people that 'knew what they were doing" :scream:

PS: Photo’s courtesy of iFixit

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Hey! thanks a lot for your reply, Alfi1966
Sadly, I read it after changing the daughterboard myself and realizing that did not fix it. At least I had fun and felt cool doing it :sweat:
Now, from what I gather from your post, what has happened is that one or several of the pins has detached from the board but the chip is allright. That is why I need to have it reflow solded. Am I right? Please confirm.

If this is the case, it is really beyond my skill and tools. I will have to have someone do it.

Thanks a lot, really

Well, I have just realized that my Bluetooth works…
Does it mean that the chip is ok?
Or is it a different chip?

Do I still have to have it resoldered?

The chip will most likely be ok, but resoldering is indeed still needed for the WiFi part. Find a repair shop that you are comfortable with to carry out the procedure or send your phone to Fairphone’s repair center to carry it out.

Best of luck!


Hi, Alfi1966
Thanks very much!

I got everything sorted out in the oddest of fashions.

I found a repair shop, showed them you advice and photos and left my phone there to be repaired overnight.
They said that was the first Fairphone that ever fell into their hands (in fact, they had never heard about it) but they told me it was going to be ok.

Next morning, they called me on my replacement phone and warned me: “Beware, we’ve found out that on the flip side of the mainboard, just opposite the Wi-Fi chip, are the processor and the memory! If we apply heat to the pins of the Wi-Fi chip, there is a chance we will toast the processor or the memory and destroy your phone! We don’t know the chances there are for this to happen, since this is the first Fairphone we repair. We just wanted you to know that and we ask you to give us authorization to take the risk.

I thought: “well, better a Fairphone with no Wi-Fi than no Fairphone at all” and told them to abort and that I would be picking up my phone this same afternoon.

I was sad, and a little bit hopeless. I thought that I would never get my Wi-Fi working again.

Half an hour later, I got another call from the repair shop: “Sorry, your phone is dead. When I told the technician not to repair it, he told me he already did, and, as he feared, it is no more (it has ceased to be, it has kicked the bucket, it has gone to meet it’s maker)… BUT. As it was us who screwed it by trying to repair it when you told us to abort, we are willing to give you another phone for free. ¡A better one!

I explained that that was not ok for me, and I told them the reasons why I had this phone and why I didn’t want any other “non fair” phone. FP1(U) is not being produced any more and FP2 is too expensive for them to buy it.

So the guy told me to hold on while he looked on the Fairphone web, and came with the solution of buying a spare FP1U motherboard and installing it new on my FP1 for free.

So now I have a PF1 with a new FP1U motherboard (and a new daughterboard, If you have read the previous messages) for free :smiley: and with working Wi-Fi.

On top of that, the guy told me that, even if they lost money, they learned about the Fairphone, discovered it sells a lot of spare parts and they are thinking in adding it to the list of phones they repair.

The guys in the repair shop fixed the Wi-Fi, for free, sort of… phew.


Great story, thank you for sharing it with us! :slight_smile:

I just created a new topic. Could you add your info to the list?

Done. Hope it helps both the users & the shop.
Those guys are pros.
Anyone can screw up, but only professionals know how to fix it so the client is satisfied.

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This is what I warned about, but at least they solved it in a very correct manner. What they did wrong is to try and reflow the chip using hot air or used a reflow machine, where I specifically mentioned that it should be resoldered. Repairing cellphone boards is an art, I have been doing this stuff for many years now and believe me, I have learned about the many pitfalls one will encounter in this business. I am not trying to offend anyone but the shop should never have tried this the way they did. Anyway, having that said, I am happy for you that you have a working FP again :grin:


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