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

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…

1 Like

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.

1 Like

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).

1 Like

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…

No I tried to restart my phone and after that I opened the app. The app Andro sensor presents the value 2.0 inches and the app Proximity sensor finder presents 5 cm. When I move my palm towards the sensor the value changes to 0.0 when my hand is about 5 cm away from the sensor. I continue with taking my hand all the way until it touches the phone and then away from the phone again. The sensor value never changes after that. It stays on 0.0. When I restart my phone the value goes back to 5.0 cm.

So I guess this is a software issue in some way… Is the FairPhone staff reading this thread? This could be valuable information for them to come up with a bug fix and deliver with upcoming software releases. Does anyone know of a workaround in the meanwhile?

During calls my phone regularly starts pulling down the settings menu and changing all kinds of settings, for example entering flightmode or enabling mute, to name only the most annoying. It barely seems credible but my feeling is I’m pulling down the menu by touching the screen with my ear or cheek. In fact it is almost impossible to make a phone call without using a headset … I’ve seen a suggestion somewhere to turn the screen off after dialling - but surely there must be a better way? Shouldn’t the phone just recognise it is held to the ear during a call and be non-responsive? Is there any way to influence that? I quite like using the on/off button as a simple way to end calls …
Thanks, Maak

1 Like

Same problem here. In combination with the crazily erratic touchscreen, it causes a lot of problems. I just started a call, didn’t hear a dial tone and when I looked back at the phone it had put itself in Airplane mode!!

I have less problems when calling if I use my right ear for hearing and holding left side of the phone it little bit away from my face.
With my left ear I can hear calls better then with my right ear, so it is no real sollution for the longer time.

Same problem here too. I do get that awful feeling that I should have bought an Iphone6 instead. I still love the Fairphone idea and want to sponsor this kind of companies. However having a functioning phone comes first.

I do hope Fairphone solves the problem soon with an software update. What do we do otherwise? Send the faulty phone back and get a new one?


Just to use this thread as a log/help for Fairphone staff:
I also - but only once so far - have had the problem that the display did not activate again. Tried to push all buttons, tried to touch the proximity sensor, touch the screen, etc…
As with this call my peer was not a real person but their mailbox, which of course did not hang up just because I was done talking, I needed to open the case and take out my battery in order to hang up… :slight_smile:


i have this problem as well and it seems to be a combination of proximity sensor activating the pulldown menu.
Everytime i put my finger on the upper edge, the pulldown menu appears, instead of the screen getting saved.
i would be happy with deactivating the pulldown menu, can anybody tell me how i can manage that?

This has started happening to me last week. Before everything was fine.

As a little workaround, if you need to call a number that requires you to dial through a menu, you can add pauses and the required numbers to your target phone number:

The 2 second pause will then show up in the number as a comma.

Regarding the sensor itself, I tried the “Sensor Readout” app. It didn’t show any reaction of the proximity sensor. I then opened the phone, removed the screen and tried to clean everything. After booting, the sensor initially showed 5cm distance, but after I touched the upper part of the screen it went back to a permanent “0 cm” distance. Cleaning didn’t help either.