I wanted to love it but

I’ve had my second Fairphone (the first one was completely faulty) for 1 year 4 months and 1 day as the screen pointlessly reminds me when what I want to see is the time!

Since the beginning, I wanted to LOVE this product but I’m afraid that it’s been impossible. The amount of annoying perpetual bugs keeps growing, some of which are just unforgivable. The latest one, the alarm going off one hour before the time it was set to go off at. On the positive side, it wasn’t an hour later!

I have ongoing problems with the distance sensor, calibrating it never really resolves the problem. In the end, I’ve become used to holding the phone well away from my face to avoid pressing keys with my cheek as I speak. I often can’t answer calls as the phone refuses to unlock. The screen often flashes around for no apparent reason. I get crashes while doing…almost anything on the phone, from taking a picture to sending an sms. There’re apparent “solutions” to some of these problems on the forum. Some simple some not so. In any case, I really don’t have time to spend hours searching for solutions, trying them out and finding that they were pointless. When I buy a product I don’t expect to spend hours getting it to work as it SHOULD. On the positive side the Fairphone is easy to open which is great when you constantly have to take the battery out when the phone becomes unresponsive.

The overall user experience has been abysmal. I’ve been forgiving because I sympathised with the ethical values associated with the Fairphone but it’s got to the point where I have a completely unreliable object which I use for work and leisure and which has given me unlimited amounts of stress and frustration. No reception while everyone else around me on the same network had reception, the inability to answer important calls as the touchscreen became unresponsive, the inability to use automated phone systems and conference calling as the screen refused to light up after dialling, calls being cut mid-conversation as the screen refused to shut down and my cheek ended the call… the list is endless. I’d really want a FAIRPHONE, one that is fair both on the planet AND the user. Now I’m in a situation where I’m considering a new phone as I really can’t trust my current one so this apparent Fairphone has had a shorter life than any of the other phones I’ve previously owned… Maybe my second Fairphone was faulty too… what are the chances? I’ve never had a faulty phone in the 18 years before the fairphone. In any case returning it would’ve meant having to buy another phone in the meantime, not very eco-friendly or cost-effective. Rant over.


I’m just guessing here, but you said that the lock screen reminds you of the time since you got your FP. Does this mean that you haven’t updated it once in the entire 16 months?
If so, do it, maybe some problems will disappear :slight_smile:


Also you can get rid of that 1 year, 4 month display by just tapping it - again, assuming you’re still running Android 5.


Update to current OS and there is a chance to fall in love again! (Assuming you are still on Android 5). Until then I would not use any of Mobile Internet, WiFi, or Bluetooth functions. Probably your phone is infected already due to the many unpatched gaps. And by the way, you posted one topic 16 months ago which ends without a final answer to Johannes. And now you give us a story complaining about what’s going wrong.

Get out of your jungle, mowgli! :slight_smile:


I’m afraid it is fully updated and I have a busy life, I can’t spend my life on forums when all I want to do is have a phone, not a tamagotchi

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What do you see when you open the Updater app?
And, what is the build number when you open Settings > About this phone then scroll to the bottom?

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Help us to be able to help you! We all have busy lives! So what’s your phone OS version?

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Just as you still got the “timer” on the screen:
Do you have the Google services disabled (like me)?
Then it might be, you have not got Android 6 (latest OS version is 17.10.1). First the updater app has to be updated, wich might happen automatically when you got an account with google playstore (I have no idea), but it definitely does not happen, when you have no Google account. Only the latest updater app is able to get and install Android 6.
You get the latest updater from the google playstore only. As a workaround I used,
you can download the Yalp store app from f-droid.org, that enables you to get all free apps from google playstore without an account.

I don’t think that all your issues will be addressed when updating, but this should definitely be the first step.
If you actually are on Androd 6, I wonder how you still happen to have that timer working?


Cute. What you have now is a full-blown computer in disguise which can also phone. It needs proper care and some basic problem awareness like any computer even if it ran smoothly.

But ok, it has serious problems and you don’t want to deal with them. That’s all right.

That’s why feature phones are still around, get one of those, because any smartphone can give you trouble and drive you towards all these nerdy forums with all their troublesome nerdy solutions you don’t have time or use for.
Just google the name of a smartphone of your choice and add “problem” to the name … I guess you will not like what you see :wink:


I perfectly understand Mowgli’s frustration and I totally relate to the issues he described . I myself replied to a similar post few weeks back about the same topic:

I agree, no phone is perfect. But, in my case, before switching to FP2, I had a Samsung phone that I used for more than 5 years, without any trouble, even the battery was still decent. A good friend of mine had a XiaoMi for 2 years. He never had constant issues like the one I am having and the phone was much more stable.
Yes, in both cases, the phones are not ethical but they are coming from 2 different types and sizes of manufacturers. This is why, I think that the ethical and sustainable aspects should not be used as justifications for the technical flaws. On the contrary, if you want to convince more people for this kind of product, it should be working as well as the others (if not better). Especially for a larger audience that is not willing/able to come to a forum every other week to fix the different issues.


Hi @emris,

the point is that there are many FP2 users having minimal or even no problems with their devices, for example an everyday user like me, but nevertheless investing their time for the community helping each other using a fair electronic device. To be able to understand and help those users having problems, it’s necessary to describe the specific effects and circumstances as detailed as possible. There is definitely a certain amount of faulty devices out there, but just complaining only leads to more frustration on every side. Visiting a forum every week should definitely not be necessary, but to be honest, posting only one thread within 16 months complaining to have problems over the whole time does not convince me of a constructive approach. In the actual case of @mowgli, up to now we even don’t know the actual OS Version although there where several questions about it.

So what shall we do now? Join the choir of complainers? Ask more and more questions without getting useful answers?

My suggestion to @mowgli is to make use of the 2 year warranty to get a new phone. Having a faulty phone as described above I would have done this long ago.


Of course it would be awesome and desireable, if FP would produce phones of a higher quality, than all the other brands.
But the phones you referenced and the [quote=“emris, post:10, topic:34412”]
2 different types and sizes of manufacturers

are virtually playing in another league.
Here’s a quote from the english wikipedia:

They are not manufacturers of different sizes just because XiaoMi is nearly unknown in Europe. They have about 15,000 employees and a revenue of 15 billion US$. Of course Samsung has about 489,000 employees and a revenue of 305 billion US$ (source: wikipedia), but they have a far wider spread product-range, so just a fraction of those numbers counts for smartphones.
Whatever; both industry-giants are hardly comparable to a company of 50+ employees having sold 100,000+ phones.
Quote from the XiaoMi international homepage

[quote]With more than 61 million handsets sold in 2014, and products launched in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, India, Indonesia and Brazil, Xiaomi is expanding its footprint across the world to become a global brand.[/quote](bold formatting done by me)
That’s 610times as much phones in one year alone! And most likely the numbers will not have decreased in the last years.

So please, let’s be realistic, when complaining.
Not be gotten wrong: I fully understand those complaints, especially from people having bought the phone from a third-part vendor like memolife in Germany, Telecom Austria etc. not diving into the “Story” on this homepage first. Their impression for sure was to get a phone like all the others, just fairer and “greener”.

I am just speaking for myself, when I state, that I have simply come to the conclusion, that I am willing to suffer the hardships coming from being an early adopter (e.g. my FP2 yesterday in the evening decided to turn off or reboot almost every other minute; now it has settled again).

Fully agree!!


@BertG: I reckon XiaoMi is not exactly a small player, what I had in mind was more about how low price those phones are and yet, seem to have no major issues (at least in my friend’s case). Just on a side note, if you compare the total shipments of XiaoMi (that includes all models), then you should compare with the figures of not FairPhone but Hi-P that is the design house and manufacturer of the FP2. You will see that this company is a large corporation, with industrial and quality processes that are certainly similar to the likes of XiaoMi. And the FP2 confirms it since, in my case, most of the issues do not come from production problems on the hardware but from the software itself, that is really unstable.

@KleinerAdmin: I personally bought the FP2 for the ethical and sustainable aspects, thinking that the phone would be working just like any other one. Then, there is another category of persons, a bit more tech savvy / geek, community-oriented that are also interested by the openness of the platform (hard and soft) and willing to dig more technically into the phone when facing issues.
I think persons falling in the first category are most likely disappointed by the FP2. Which makes me sad because this means that yes, this phone is ethical and sustainable but no, not everybody can use it. Still in my view.
It is a bit the same for the fairtrade coffee/chocolate/etc you find in a supermarket. It is as if the thing is more expensive than the others but tastes worse. If that was the case when it started some years ago, this kind of product would have quickly disappeared and never gained all the market shares over the years. That is why I believe it is important to have a phone working just like any other: so that in a couple of years, there will be more ethical and modular phones. And that hopefully this concept will be existing for other electronic products.


Hi @mowgli, looks like your FP has gotten out oft luck some time ago. Let’s not give up hope yet! You deserve a normal working phone if you choose to go the ethical way! :slight_smile:

When you open the apps menu and search for “updater”…

…and then open the “fairphone updater”, do you get the same version number like here?


Hi there,
I can totally relate to the initial comment, got exactly the same problems with my phone. @mowgli have you had any success in finding out how to solve any of the issues?

If you have the same issues then you too are running a old OS version and ugrading will probably fix them.

Thank you, but my phone is up-to-date…

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Then it would be helpful if you tell us which problems you actually have so we can help you.

The same as mowgli mentions:
while on a call the screen keeps “working”, sometimes the drop-down menu comes down and it even switched my phone into flightmode which ended a phonecall and I had to go back into a very long waiting line.
Sometimes when I hang up after I make a call the screen is locked and I need to log-in and close all sorts of screens before I can actually hang up.
Since the latest OS update it also crashes in the middle of all sorts of different tasks. Sometimes when I take my phone out of my pocket I notice it is rebooting for no apparent reason.
Shall I go on? I love everything that Fairphone is standing for but I need a phone I can trust to do the basic things like making phonecalls.


The first issue you describe can usually be fixed with the proximity sensor tool.
For the reboots please check out the first post of this topic for lots of tips and continue there if you have further questions.
If the proximity sensor tool doesn’t help continue here and if you have further issues please search the forum for relevant topics. It’s always easier to get help in topics that are only about one issue and have a descriptibe title.