FP2 proximity sensor not reliably turning off screen during calls - See first Post for Workarounds

Hi Irina,

yes, that was the app I used to test this. I know now where the sensor is (and thanks for the picture) but doesn’t help me much how I should hold the phone during calls, resp. I haven’t managed to find a position where the sensor works significantly better.

Switching off the screen manually after pressing the call button to initiate the call works for me, so that’s at least some workaround, thanks for the tip.


The proximity sensor is very inaccurate on my FP2 too. My ear is hitting notifications and the backlight is pretty annoying.

I’ve tried the sensor app and it does detect my ear but the phone app does seem to pick it up.

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It’s the same with me.
The real problem is that all kinds of touch actions are being initiated when the screen does not dim.

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I do have the same issue. The screen stays on.

And sometimes I end the call unintentional.


Hey there, having made some calls with my fairphone2 now, I observed that something is wrong with the approximation detection (or something similar).
Whenever I make a call with the FP2 on my ear, the screen switches off when holding the phone next to my cheek. So far, so good.
However, within a period of ca. 30 seconds, the screen lights up and the same moment, the phone recognizes all touches of my cheek. This sometimes makes the phone hang up, just dial some random numbers, or do other weird stuff (like muting the call or switching to speakerphones which is particularly funny having the thing right next to my ear :expressionless:)
The only solution is to move the phone away and slowly moving it bact to my ear, to switch the screen off again. However, sooner or later, the problem reappears. This happens very often and during some calls almost constantly.
How can I fix this? Is there a sensitivity value somewhere or is something broken? The phone is not really useable like this and after all, I want to use my phone for making calls mainly.

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That the screen got active while calling happened from time to time also for me.
I would say it is a combination of these issues

  • problem with the sensitivity of the proximity sensor
    (people complain about a too or a too low sensivity…)
  • the position of the sensor (quite far [2cm] away from the middle of the speaker) and
  • the big size of the phone
    –> so already a small tilt/move of the phone can move the sensor some mm-cm away from the skin and can cause the screen going active.

I have no idea, how to solve this issue properly, as there is no setting for the sensitivity up to now.

Furthermore I found some bad combinations of factors during making a call:

  • speaker is not very loud
  • –> needs to bring it very close to the ear
  • –> the quite hard edge of the FP2-bumper/case presses against my ear, which I find very uncomfortable (especially for longer calls, which ending up with a hot and red ear for me :frowning: )
  • plus: my headset is the wrong to work with the FP2, as it supports only the wrong standard (which the FP1 had)…

I don’t know if we should push the proximity sensor problem to the bug-list or at least to the feature request list?
Similar issues are reported here and here and [here] (FP2 proximity sensor not reliably turning off screen during calls - See first Post for Workarounds) and here and here


I seriously hope it can be resolved with a bugfix. If it’s a Design flaw, this phone won’t work for me.
Speaker volume is an issue for me as well. The Speakers are not loud enough, while my old Samsung headset is incredibly loud even on the lowest volume setting and hurts my ear when i use it.

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I don’t understand your problems.
The sensor is relatively near to the edge, but since I knew that, I didn’t have any problems at all.
In addition to that, I have to set the sound (Press volume keys while talking) to the middle, because it’s far too loud for me. :astonished:

About the question “is it a bug or feature request”: I guess the proximity sensor sensitivity could be optimized a little in general, but since real problems only happen for a few people a setting to alter sensitivity on your phone would make sense too.

So as I see now, the sensor can only detect 5cm in distance.

With this I believe tweaking is only possible very limited here…
I think it It is just in a unlucky position at this large phone near the corner…
With this it is really easy make the sensor active accedently :-/

Increasing the response time is maybe also not the best way, as people complain about a slow reacting screen after the call…as we know form FP1…

For me with FP2 it works perfectly now, but with FP1 it was a real pain in the ass. So I learned to press the on/off button before I started a call (before talking) and to press it again before ending the call. That’s no a real solution, but a quick and easy to get used to workaround…

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The feature request is not about sensitivity, but about reaction time. I don’t know whether it is possible to change the distance when the proximity sensor is triggered.

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Knowing where the sensor is helps. I will try to position the phone better while talking, it worked quite well during a test call some moments ago. Its quite astounding though that it seems to get problems when I move my ear away just a little bit - even before my post I did not move my ear more than 5cms away from that spot. I think support should check the firmware settings for the sensor to possibly fix it and it would also be great to see something like a test-tool to check the functionality of the FP2s hardware components in general. Wouldn’t be surprised if there were just some faulty sensors around (which you could then replace, which is the basic idea of this whole modular thing after all, isnt it?).

Ok even though this issue is not as common and often not permanent I now added it to the bugs list too, because it’s probably related to the opposite problem of screen not reactivating. Both issues seem to be related to a badly calibrated proximity sensor.

I have the issue here, with or without film protection : the one received with the phone was not usable and doesn’t stick from day One, and I just received this week new ones and test it ( I crack a screen once with a bumper: a piece of gravel screen flat down).
Sometimes I talk for a moment, I see that the call is over and apparently my ear enjoys launching random app: it launches and cut the call.

I suffer from the same issue. My ear regularly mutes my mic as the screen turns on and off during phone calls. @Irina_Spitznagel 's workaround seems the only possible solution to me, as of now. I second @therob 's assumptions on a bad coincidence of several factors (hard- & software).

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I’d like to support those statements which say that the proximity sensor is placed quite far to the edge of the phone and quite far away from the speaker. When I make a call, I have to deliberately place the phone further to my face (away from the back of my head) than feels normal in order to get the sensor to turn off the screen.

I have problems with the proximity sensor aswell. The last couple of days I haven’t been able to cancel my phone calls because the screen is not activated when I take it away from my ear. Earlier I had problem with apps starting because the screen was not locked when I held it to my ear.
I installed the Proximity sensor finder that @Irina_Spitznagel talked about. I can not get the app to show anything else than 0.0 cm. Is that how it should be?
Is there a workaround for this? Or is there a fix coming with a future software update? Or is it a hardware issue?

I have made a measurement of my proximity sensor using the tool “AndroSensor”.
I moved my finger down towards the screen in the upper left corner(the place where the sensor is located).
As you can see from the registration below, the sensor showes 5.0 cm until the finger is 1 cm from the screen and then it changes to 0.0 cm and moving the finger back again - when the finger is 3 cm from the screen it goes back to 5 cm.
My phone application turn off the screen according to 0,0-measurement and on again according to 5.0 cm , except for once, where the screen did not turn off. I have only had this error once.
I your case it seems that the sensor is blocked or the hardware is not working correct. Overall it seems that the proximity sensor is a bit unstable in all phones, but more in some phones.

That was a great app you suggested @Halldor. The app gives real time values of the sensors in the cell phone. This app showed me the same result though as the Proximity sensor finder: 0.0 all the time. I can’t get it to show any other value…