I want FP2 to be waterproof!

Hi everybody…
…And, in first, congratulations to all the workers of FairPhone (from Europa or everywhere else in the world), for their next new “baby”!
I’m already very glad to know that it will be tough: this is a good thing for its durability. BUT I wish that FP2 will be also WATERPROOF (at 10 meters at least), as the cheapest and slightest watch is! FP2 cannot make less: it happens more often to put a smartphone in a pocket when we are sweaty (or to let it slide in a washbasin when we wash our hands, or to need to wash it after cooking, etc.)… that to let it fall from 1,80 m hight!
“Cordiales salutations à tous”… from France. Rémi D.


I don’t think it’s going to be waterproof. It’s kind of at odds with that other goal of Fairphone: repairability. Waterproof devices are often made out of one single piece of plastic that cannot be opened.

Also, my personal opinion is that it’s not that much of a problem for it to be not waterproof. With regular usage it shouldn’t be a problem (I’ve had a bunch of different phones in my life and sweat or usage in damp environments (swimming pool, bathroom after showering) or in the rain hasn’t ever caused problems for me. The rest of it is quite simple: don’t drop your phone in a body of water :slight_smile:

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No, the really waterproof devices are on the contrary built with nestable pieces, but bound by O-ring seals (look at the waterproof cameras … and at watches!). It is thus enough to plan a groove for these seals from the conception / design of parts (at 525 euros each FP, it is not a big additional cost!). Because even if YOU didn’t have any problem up to here about humidity or else, one uses today more and more its telephone in more rough even extreme conditions (running, trekking, sailing, etc.).**
And I don’t speak about the actual utility to be really WASHABLE for many good reasons of hygiene! (You know that more bacteria can be found on a phone screen than on a toilet seat!) :frowning::wink:


I like the idea, which is why I added it to the modules wishlist:


I changed the title, to make it more distinctive.

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What about a hydrophobic coating (eg. http://www.nanoskin.be )?

About the bacteria: you know you can clean your phone? Cleaning Fluid for glasses does an excellent job, or a lint-free cloth moistened with a 50/50 mix of lukewarm water and vinegar works wonders too. Of course keep it as dry as possible, and make sure nothing actually enters any cracks/holes/connectors, …


Bump that.

In my limited experience watery things are the major killer of phones (and cameras) … orange squash is specially bad for them.

IP56 min 67 better. But if you want to take it scuba diving, or even for a swim, then a special case seems sensible.

That nano skin - it will make moisture bead off surfaces, but can it stop entry through cracks etc? A few carefully placed O-rings might work better.

At present, more and more users settle their smartphone on the handlebar of their bike, to use it as GPS or to measure their effort. For this sport (and other different outside practices but of course not scuba diving!), a “normal” waterproofness (like for a Swatch watch, for example) would be sufficient against rain or sweat, and very appreciated!
Anyway, I’m now afraid that we’ll have to wait… for FP-3! :°(

But it’s a pity, because this improvement would have had THREE ADVANTAGES, one technical one and two marketing ones:

  • By making the FP more resistant against the attacks (dust, humidity, etc.), a good increasing of its sustainability (and it’s the FP project purpose, isn’t it? ;));
  • a competitive advance compared with the greatest brands, which no one of them proposes this characteristic, even on their upper segment!
  • A best response to the needs of the “heart of target” buyers of FP, because the customers who have an ecologist conscientiousness, who care about our planet, etc., are, at the same time, the most numerous… to practise biking, riding and trekking and other outside sports!

A waterproof device would definitely appreciated by many users, no question. Would these O-ring seals still work properly after the phone has been opened up several times? Also for me it seems difficult to place these seals in the design of the Fairphone 2, especially the slidable screen appears troublesome to me.

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I’ve a couple of Motorola Defys which are waterproof. I wouldn’t take one swimming but it’s OK if you drop it in the bath. They are also modular to a degree: the back cover comes off to replace battery / SIM / SD card and you can access the main electronics and screen modules by removing 8 screws. I’ve had mine in bits several times and the battery cover comes off daily; it’s still water proof.

Sony’s Xperias are waterproof … but totally sealed in a glass & plastic block. A nice phone but short lived.

The FP2’s problem is that they insist on making it “zero screws” to access all the modules ( even those you’ll hopefully never need to access) and then it’s full of module connectors which are not moisture tolerant … probably it would be very hard to seal up sufficiently with those design constraints. I’d have been happier with a compromise between ruggedness and ease of dis-assembly.

Re O-rings, scuba diving camera housings are O-ring sealed and have to be opened every time you take the camera out. Tho I had a Canon A-1 underwater camera who’s O-ring got damaged; it leaked salt water and died. So yes, but care required.

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I would be happy if the size of fairphone 2 would allow for an external waterproof case. Armor-X manufactures a nice external case but the phone size is limited to 137x71x9 mm. Unfortunately the size of a fairphone 2 is 143x73x11.
I do agree with @Remi_D that if you want a product with a long life, you should at least make an external case available for your product. And a “case” is a hard case, no soft pouch. Only a hard case will protect it if dropped from your bike onto the road. Does anyone know of a suitable hard case for the fairphone 2?

P.S. O-Rings might leak if old. Use silicon spray - it will make the o-ring soft again…

Although I like the idea of a waterproof phone a lot (as many people manage to drop them into their toilets), I think it is actually not practical. From what I know, O-ring seals need pressure so they are actually squeezed into the two grooves of the phone. Therefore you need a mechanism. On larger devices it’s some sort of metal or plastic snap that hold the parts together firmly, on watches it’s usually screws. I think both methods wouldn’t be an option for a cellphone.

Im working some times in the waddensea and to prevent damage to my smartphone (in case it rains cats and dogs or I fall into saltwater) I seal it in a small freezerbag with double seal-strips. The touchscreen works trough the bag.



With the design of the outer casing being what it is, I would expect that a two piece waterproof replacement casing could be made fairly easily and it wouldnt be as quite as chunky that way.

Since the Fairphone 2 hasnt even been released yet, its hard to expect case manufacturers to be making cases to suit it just yet though.

I won’t be surprised if Armor-X will introduce a bigger “universal-Case” soon, as Phones get bigger and bigger today…
I also think, it should be possible to 3D-print a Case like that fitting for the Fairphone. But to keep it simple and safe I wouldn’t build any side buttons into that case.
Does anyone know if you can wake up the Fairphone 2 without pressing any of the buttons on the side?

I think the activation of the screen without buttons (e.g. by only tapping the screen twice, as seen in other phones) is battery draining so I doubt that the FP2 will have that possibility on default. I’m pretty sure though that there are apps, which can achieve this functionality.

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My friend has a phone case (unfortunately not for a FP) that is made of one piece but still has buttons. So that shouldn’t be an issue.

Sure, buttons are possible in a phonecase. But I was talking about a waterproof self printed case with O-Ring sealings. Buttons would make this much more difficult to build.

my wife bought a microsoft/nokia lumia 830 and no waterproof case is available even though the phone has been available for a pretty long time and is out of production now. I am afraid that the fairphone will not even reach the production numbers of the lumia 830 so I am not optimistic at all that a manufacturer will produce a case.
What is this “talk” about 3D-printing about? Does our dutch friends provide a 3D model free of charge for any fairphone customer that can be printed locally? Or is this all just some nice theory about how it could be? Facts or fiction? Does anyone have real information in this regard?


I don’t think there will be any simple 3D models for “selfprinting”, because if this 3D-printed case should replace the original backcover of the Fairphone 2 it has to be eighter made of elastic material or multiple parts.

I would love to try building one of these “multi-part”-Cases with a 3D-Printer. But for that I need to measure the exact dimensions auf the Fairphone 2 or, better get a 3D-Modell of the Phone itself.

In the case of success I will share the 3D-Model with you :wink:
But don’t be overconfident, my experience isn’t really high :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: