The following is both an observation of mine as well as my request for feedback from other Fairphoners who frequently volunteer to help FP2 owners troubleshoot hardware issues. Together with four other Fairphoners, I’m an admin to a (German language) Fairphoners Facebook group which mainly deals with helping folks with their FP1 and FP2 issues. Quite a couple of times, I have suggested to Fairphoners to simply disassemble their FP2 into its modules (see also section 3.2 in the forum troubleshooting guide), clean (dry) the contacts and reassemble everything back. It does not hurt and if it doesn’t help the original issue, people can still contact Fairphone Support and potentially request a replacement module (or get better advice ;))
When it comes to FP2 disassembly, I have come to two conclusions:
It helps. I have had people complaing about reboots, speaker, microphone, camera issues – quite a couple of times disassembling rectified the issue. It didn’t take a replacement module.
Fairphoners resent it. People will offen rather keep complaining and looking for a magic button solution than admit they are wary to open and disassemble their FP2.
Now what I would like to know from you is if you have made the same experience – with regard to both aspects. I also briefly went through the official support articles and found that Fairphone Support rarely suggests disassembly other than with regard to the display. Maybe I’m encouraging FP2 disassembly too lightly?
Of course, I have one or two vague ideas as to how disassembly fear could be tackled, but I thought I shouldn’t prematurely generalize from my own observations and ask for your impressions first.
I think the best would be, if people could test it on another phone before disassembling their own phone. But that is of course not an option on Facebook… Do you link to the iFixit manuals when you suggest people to disassemble their phones? Maybe it takes away the fear, if they see what awaits them inside the FP2.
PS.: Maybe this photo helps too: (Originally published here.)
It’s child’s play.
Great idea @urs_lesse,
I can mostly speak about the forum as I’m not on fb and all the help I give outside the forum is in person (apart from a few emails).
I believe I have suggested people to #disassemble their phones about a milion and one times. I come to about the same conclusion, only maybe the forum users seem to resent it a little less.
A few things that I think will and already do help:
- many success reports
Fairphone’s video where you can see you don’t need a screwdriver to replace the screen
- The pics in out #disassemble guide where you can see what to do when the screen doesn’t come off easily.
#localcommunities and - hopefully soon - the Fairphone Angels program - so people who are still reserved don’t have to do it alone the first time.
- In Austria we are gathering broken spareparts for a Zombie FP2 which can be dis- and reassembled without the fear of breaking anything.
Thanks for your responses. I am really tempted to use the child’s play photo at the next opportunity (should I credit someone?) And yes, I have actually written a little text (see screenshot below) a couple of weeks ago to explain the basics about disassembly. However, it doesn’t seem that it has done much to alleviate people’s worries.
What I am currently thinking about is how to push the Philips #0 into a more prominent spot in Fairphoners’ attention. My guess is that 95% of Fairphoners haven’t got that screwdriver before they get their FP2 (and most don’t get one afterwards either), and my own experience is that you are more likely to get the Philips #0 just a a part of a multi-screwdriver set (I got mine in a set of five different small screwdrivers for 10 Euros in a small nearby electronics shop) than on its own.
Just a few wild ideas I have had – I know that especially the first two are way too bold and too much hassle for Fairphone to consider them, but I think they just might help to spark more creative ideas:
- Deliver new FP2s in completely disassembled state to new buyers complete with a Philips #0 included in the box
- Just include one Philips #0 in every new FP2 (assembled) package
- Offer the Philips #0 in the Fairphone spare part shop
- Fairphone should offer more encouragement to open their FP2 to Fairphoners who contact Support (and through other channels of communication)
Please keep giving feedback to my original post’s thoughts, too
I do like the idea of making the Phillips #0 screwdriver available in the Fairphone shop. This would reduce shipping cost because you’ll need one anyway if you need to replace a module. What does @Douwe think about this?
I made a super easy DIY adjustment to the slim cover.
It makes it easier to take the cover off and sends a message:
There are so many places, locally, where you could get a screwdriver like this. Also they come in many sorts and sizes and you can find one you like the best. I think we prefer to keep the amount of parts offered in the shop as low as possible to keep complexity of maintaining stock and shipping low as well.
One example: if we would ship a screwdriver: we’d need to have two types of packaging here: one for people who want a FP2 two with- and one for people who want a FP2 without screwdriver.
I’ve never received a FP2 so I can’t say anything about the size of the packaging…
And many people won’t buy them, because they have no idea what a Philips #0 is, or because they are scared they would buy the wrong one. Maybe it could be sufficient to link to the iFixit store or something like that, but I definitely like the idea of providing a “FP2-proof screwdriver” via the FP shop.
Well, I did not suggest that the screwdriver should be included in some boxes and not in others. I was thinking of offering it as a separate item like the charger or the FP1 case back then.
However, a particular measure isn’t my main focus, it’s how to overcome the reluctance to disassemble the FP2. Right now I think we have module replacements under warranty without the old modules being properly checked beyond the Checkup tests. In other words: People replace (and throw away) working modules just because they cannot bring themselves to just give disassembly and reassembly a try (and end up doing just that – but no sooner than that the replacement module has arrived).
When customers end up on our side for support we often, depending on the issue, now ask them to remove the module from the phone in the first diagnosis step.
We get very little “resistance” (only so once in a while a question if it doesn’t void warranty, which it doesn’t). Customers are, after instructed to do so by us, quite willing to remove modules from the phone.
And as it seems most of them do have a Philips #0 or know where to get them…
What is important to tell customers we think is that you make clear that with removing a module and placing it back from the phone sometimes problems are easily solved and customers do not have to wait for a spare part to arrive or even worse send in the phone.
That’s a question of authority probably…
Maybe it is, but it also shows that most people probably do have a screwdriver in house that is needed (or they know where to get it without our interference).
It sounds all nice and fine that you shouldn’t have any fear of disassemblying the phone. There is a catch though. When I had bright spots on the screen on my first FP2 I took it off and put it back on. As many of you know, the first time you take off the screen it is kind of stuck. Apply a little force and it comes off. What happened after I put the screen back on was that the front speaker stopped working properly and, the bright spots stayed the same.
I’m now on my third FP2. The first was sent in twice, once for the speaker and bright spots on the screen,and, once for random reboots. The second was sent in due to random reboots, bright spots on the screen and microphone not working. Now I’m on my third and it is working fine (except a few bright spots on the screen).
I’m not afraid to use a screwdriver. (I replaced the battery, screen and speaker on my old iPhone 4S. And, you need more than just one screwdriver to do that.) I just don’t trust the built quality of the FP2. The bright spots are coming back on the screen (well known problem) but, I’m not going to disassemble the phone. I’m too tired sending the phone in. I’d rather wait as long as I can before I do it. And, hopefully I don’t need to. I’ll just live with the bright spots.
Most likely nothing will happen if I disassemble the phone. I do love the idea of the repairability of FP2. And, hopefully quality control is better now. If or when I really need to, I will take out my #0…
Sad to read that there are so many issues with the Fairphone 2. I guess I would be better off with its successor. At least I hope so.
Lets hope so. I still haven’t lost hope. I just ordered a FP2 for my wife. And I know I’ll be the one who have to fix things if it’s a Failphone and not a Fairphone.
Ah nice to know that I wasn’t the only one with the bright spots on the screen And now my mic isn’t working too but I don’t want to lose my phone for ~3 weeks again … (cover is seperating too )
Sad to hear that. I see the bottom module is out of stock at the moment. So maybe you can use a handsfree set of some sort. For the cover there are options. I realized that they were not so strong so I ordered a few to have ready for when they break.
I guess I will be using the #0 screwdriver soon. It seems there are new cameras coming soon. Very excited!
The actual cover is still good. What is breaking is the connection between the rubber side and the plastic (see red line in pic)
And yes, Fairphone alone has problems by not having enough spare parts for people to order (and pay for)
Oh yeah, another classical problem.
See here and here and the solution.
Luckily this is an issue I haven’t had. I’m just clumsy and loose it all the time so I get cracks in the corners But the FP2 seems to be able to take a beating.