Goodbye FP3 with a heavy heart

If your retailer can’t help you (which has been the case for some users) try to contact FP directly - they know far more about what’s repairable and what warrants replacement than a third party. It’d be a shame to not get this fixed while you’re within warranty.



At the moment I am fairly optimistic about my retailer, but let’s see how it turns out. Maybe the process will be easier as I just want to return the phone and get my money back, I really am not interested in another device or a repair. If they do not want to give me the money back (I treated my phone very carefully, but you never know), they can just keep the phone.

As (I think) I said, maybe I will give the FP4 a try but for now I’ve had enough and am really cherishing my current phone.
Sorry if that sounds overly negative but it really was an unpleasant time and the few days until I got my reliable phone back were very, very long. I had to caution every collegue and every client that any call might unexpectedly break off and I would only be able to call back after my phone had rebooted. Which it often did. I have no desire whatsoever to risk repeating that.

I’ll watch from the sidelines how the next phones perform and will cheer on the idea of a fair phone (and watch a lot of Star Trek and Picard, ha!).

Kind regards!


Sad to see you go. I have a similar usage pattern except for that I do not have to rely on the phone in my day-to-day-business. Switching between apps does not take as long as on your side (I keep most apps running in the background and use the Android 9 gestures), and so far I had no problems with my fingerprint reader.


So it sounds like the FP3 may be more for non-business- (home)-users than for people who have to use their phones for business, conference calls etc.

Emphatically, no - the issues described above are defects and they are covered under warranty; they are not part of the standard FP3 experience.

Your phone should be able to make calls, the fingerprint sensor should function, everything should work as advertised and if it doesn’t, that’s a defect that FP is obliged to fix for you. As far as we know, the defects at issue in this thread do not occur in the vast majority of phones.


Keep in mind, that at least more than 42 000 FP3 were sold* already in 2019.
So right now the number will likely exceed 50 000 phones.

One has to compare the number of reported errors in this forum to those sales-numbers to get a more correct picture. (And suddenly it’s no longer “such a buggy device”. :wink: )


Well, fingerprint sensors seem to be a bit picky sometimes.

A friend of mine uses a recent Huawei phone and experiences the same issue described here. I don’t know if it helps to record the fingerprint again, weather it depends on the temperature or stickiness of the finger itself? Since they don’t record so many details of the fingerprint (according to a german IT magazine) I believe there may be some chance of not recognizing the finger as desired.

Is this with VoLTE enabled? Have you tried enabling/disabling that?

I’ve had a few times with fingerprint sensor that it would register too quick (usually under load). Also, when it said there was grease (had it the other day), then this was actually true and I could fix it by cleaning sensor + finger. What I’d do is try to re-register the finger, and/or try multiple fingers.

On the list with the most commonly used apps follow a note and collaboration app, a security app to support 2FA, a password wallet, a browser, a collection of banking, payment and cryptowallet apps and spotify.

It sounds like your device was swapping a lot, had a lot of applications open. I use also 2FA, password wallet, browser, banking app, and Spotify (I don’t use cryptocurrencies). And my device uses maybe 1.6-1.8 GB of RAM with all of that. Switching between these does not take 2-3 seconds. In fact, I can run Netflix picture in picture on top of it. So this is def. not normal behavior.

I do agree the camera application(s) are an exception to that (takes ~ 1 sec to start). Was this with the latest update of Jan 2020 or later (as this included camera fixes)? Have you tried Open Camera and/or Google Camera?

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Also from what I hear, as rather experienced heavy user this just sounds like malfunctioning devices.
Fairphone has a customer service department for cases described by both @Swiss_FP and @Motte
Directly considering the phone as unusable without even contacting for proper support sounds a little bit odd to me.

And a recommendation for the fingertip sensor: if you have issues with it remove your saved fingertip(s) and just add it again, but not once, but just do it a couple of times. You can save quite a bit of them (I only have two, one left hand finger and one right hand finger), but if you are in doubt this for sure would help.


Thank you very much for all the hints.

As I have a masters degree in IT, work in the IT business, use smartphones since the Nokia Communicator and are an enthusiastic supporter of the Fairphone idea, you can be assured that I have tried all of them (two times factory reset, deleting and reregistering fingerprints, trying to optimize the usage of storage, replacing apps with others - as far as I could use alternatives, etc.).
Of course it could be, that I missed something but as far as I could find tips in the community I tried them.
As I stated above, we have two FP3 in the household and the fingerprint sensor of the other device works more precise but the one of my FP3 works too, unfortunately not reliable (even with clean hands). It seems like too wide production tolerances in that component, which Fairphone itself buys from a supplier.
If there are one or more hardware errors - which I doubt - they would be hard to find and I can’t spend time in explanation loops with Fairphone and why should I bother their support team chasing hard to find issues with declining satisfaction.

I think, the Fairphone idea and the products they developed so far are remarkable and still have my admiration.

All I wanted to say with my post is, that it didn’t work for me - for now - and to make thins clear once more: I presume that I represent a small fraction of heavy business users and that for the majority it will work fine.
I will be back with Fairphone and try the next generation even this could be a question of years than of months as far as I got their idea of sustainable produt cycles.

Thanks to all for your helpful tips and hints.


Don’t worry about production tolerances or suppliers - you bought a phone and it has to work, or you get a new one.

Again, while you make this out to be simply a limitation of the FP3, the issues in this thread (excepting perhaps the performance issue, though we don’t know what apps you’re using that may be memory hogs) aren’t expected or acceptable: they are likely factory faults and they’re covered under warranty. This is like buying a bicycle, having it accidentally delivered to you without a saddle, riding it for several months and then retiring it for good because apparently, these bicycle things aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

Of course, it’s your decision to do with your device as you please, but not getting a defect fixed for free under warranty is a baffling move to me. Is this device just going to end up in a drawer now, when you could get it repaired or replaced at no charge?


Now I don’t want to be too much a hardass, but if this is the case:

As I have a masters degree in IT, work in the IT business, use smartphones since the Nokia Communicator

I guess you should understand that saying

is not really helpful, if not just plainly stupid.

I would expect from someone having a masters in IT and working in IT business to understand that with reporting your “hard to find issues” towards the Fairphone team they can only learn about it and with this improve the hardware for future batches.
And in return, if they can’t repair your phone they can swap it with a new one, without “hard to find issues”.

Good, that’s my 50 cents worth of thoughts, having worked for a smartphone manufacturer for over 5 years.


How about creating a Self-Check App for the Phone who measure the times and check all possible parameter?

Should be useful for the Support Team as well.

I am currently moving away from the FP3 too. After owning an FP1 and a FP2 I hoped that with the company got it finally right with FP3.

But no! Although the close to stock android is a blessing regarding to former Fairphones… I’m a little disappointed by the mediocre specs and performance of the fingerprint reader and apps which makes the FP3 not suitable for your/my day to day/main mobile phone.

From the start my FP3 seems to have a life on its own rebooting almost with every call.

Getting hot/too hot when charging…

The camera like with the FP2 giving the same connection error.

And no notification LED (why??)

To top it off NO customer support.

I have reached out to them 12 days ago and all I have is a auto responder with a ticket and the promise to get back to me within 1 business day

If Fairphone really wants to be the fair alternative for common smartphones it has to clean up its act.

Poor performance and poor support and service scares people away… Why buy a FP3 for €450 when you can buy let’s say a smartphone with double the RAM AND ROM for €200 less. For the story? Come on

When you ask a premium price nowadays you have to offer a sort of premium somewhere!

You can learn a lot from the other sustainable smartphone manufacturer Teracube

  • Android 9 Pie (Android 10 Spring 2020)
  • MediaTek P60 Octa-core Processor
  • 6 GB RAM and 128 GB Storage
  • 6.2” Full HD+ IPS Display (1080 x 2280)
  • 12 MP + 5 MP Dual Rear Cameras
  • 8 MP Front Camera
  • Dual SIM and Micro SD Support
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Headphone Jack

PLUS 4 years (!) warranty

Wish you all the best!


Well no, for the material benefit to workers. That’s not a story, that’s a very real thing. The price is also not premium, as you say; it’s closer to what a phone should cost if workers weren’t being exploited the way they are by most smartphone manufacturers.

From what I’ve been reading on the forum recently, I think customer support may be a bit swamped at the moment - have you tried giving them a call at +31 20 788 4400? You’ll likely have better luck getting a response on the phone. De beller is sneller (the caller is faster), we like to say here.


The LED is definitely there

There is an LED, but currently it’s only used as a charging indicator. Fairphone’s looking into enabling notifications for a future update.


While I would agree, that rebooting and overheating are a no-go and demand customer support to react, I don’t understand that point:

Didn’t you check the specs before ordering?
That disappointment is totally on you and not on Fairphone, as they were absolutely transparent (unless you miss the FM-radio; that’s another story :wink: )

Well, that depends on how you define sustainable.
In a wider sense, you are right, but then should add shiftphone well, as they claim this as well and even apple, that is renown to produce long lasting phones (they slow them down via software-updates to make people buy new devices).

Focusing on the targets taken on by Fairphone, I guess, you will find no other manufacturer for comparison.
Especially mining, workers welfare, social responsibility, transparency and repairability.

This of course is no excuse for failures and defects, though the soldering and glueing all parts togehter obviously offers a better guarantee for firmer connections and their durability than the modularity.
And even Samsung had their phones going up in flames due to a design-/construction-error.

Finally it remains to be seen, if teracube will live up to it’s 4 year warranty; i.e. if the company stays in business that long. So far, there is no long-term experience or any experience at all.
So, before presenting them as an alternative, it’s rather wait and see.
Up to now it’s just promises. :wink:


Oh, I never noticed that when using the stock rom.
I wonder why it’s not working on stock, it totally works on ArrowOS GSI.

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I’m also a little puzzled by the comment on the mediocre specs. I was a bit wary myself, and I’m sure the phone is mediocre compared to the latest iPhone or Samsung, but coming from my Samsung S5, the FP does everything my Samsung did and does it better and can do other things my Samsung couldn’t. It’s an improvement in every way. The only things that might be missing or not great, are things I was aware of when buying the phone.

I think it’s ironic to talk about sustainability in this situation. Part of that, in my opinion, is making absolutely sure you’re buying something you’ll use for many years, which means doing research. I’m also puzzled by OP switching back to his old phone in that sense; if it works so much better for you, why the new phone in the first place?

When it comes to the phone malfunctioning, that is of course unacceptable, but should not be part of your FP experience and your phone should be fixed or replaced. It doesn’t mean the FP in general is a bad phone.