Multiple problems - very slow phone crashes frequently

Hi everyone!

I have a Fairphone 2 - I’ve had it since March 2019.
It is now running Android 10.
I keep the storage between 85% and 90%.

However, in the past few weeks, I have barely used it as the number of issues has rendered it extremely frustrating to use.
Here are a selected few:
(sorry for what may be a long list but I felt it would be better to give all the main symptoms in order to receive an adequate diagnosis, I’ve put the key elements in bold)

  • Half the time, it doesn’t connect to my home WiFi. It had no problem with it before, and my partner has no problem with the WiFi either (she also has a Fairphone).
  • Getting 4G and/or mobile data is really just up to chance. Some days it will get it, other days it won’t. When it doesn’t, I usually restart the phone. It usually does the trick but of course the battery has a great probability to be drained.
  • App notifications come in seemingly when the phone feels like it. Instantly? Possible. 15 minutes after? Sure. 1 hour later? Not impossible.
  • This problem is even worse when I turn off airplane mode. I usually turn it on at night. When I turn it off in the morning, I know I can expect a few notifications (news, e-mails, sports results, etc.). For a long time there was no issue. Now, it takes the phone sometimes 15 to 20 minutes to bring them all up. In the meantime, it’s virtually impossible to use the phone, as everything seems to slow down to a stop.
  • Which brings me to another problem: everything can take ages. In some rare occasions, the user experience will be smooth, fast, without any hiccup. More frequently however, apps will take forever to load. It’s sometimes so slow I can see the app logo gradually grow before it opens. Actually, sometimes the apps are simply stuck on the loading page. I usually have to leave the phone alone for 3 minutes while it processes what I asked it to do (again, just open an app, not even talking about browsing it) before doing something else.
  • As a consequence, I’ve abandoned the use of “bigger” apps. For example, IMDb has a home page which is too complex and heavy for my phone. I’ve never played games on my phone but I’m guessing I couldn’t today. Even opening Messages, or opening the keyboard when writing messages, can take ages.
  • When faced with a difficult task (say, browsing Reddit with autoplay turned off), the phone will disconnect from WiFi and 4G all by itself, before reconnecting. The move will take a minute or two. The task and the app might have crashed in the process.
  • When I have the gall to receive a notification while doing something else (i.e., using an app), the phone will literally throw a hissy fit. Well, not literally, but it’s very difficult for it to focus on two different things at the same time.
  • I sometimes (a few times a week) can’t turn the screen on. As in, simply trying to look at the time when the screen is turned off: the black screen will turn to a slightly lighter shade of black before turning completely off again. As if that task was particularly arduous and it decided to abandon it midway.
  • I sometimes get alerts like “Fairphone Launcher isn’t working” or “System UI isn’t working” (with the usual option of “close the app” being offered). Which I guess is never ideal.

I was wondering if there was a relatively easy fix (is any single component at fault here or is it a larger problem?) or if it would be better to simply buy a new one.

Thanks in advance!

3 Likes

Sorry no help from my side, but as I have the same problems I am courious about the answer of your very last remark.

I cannot provide a fix for all, but in your position I would give reducing storage use to below 80% a try. We have had people here in this forum who also had just 5GB free and symptoms like unbearably slow responses from apps, too. Their FP2 often speeded up once they had freed up more space. If it works for you as well, keep it below 80%.

If you struggle to make so much “room”, I would recommend an SD card (formatted as “portable storage”! – warning: “extended internal storage” or whatever the other formatting is called has kept causing issues under Android 10) and move photos, videos and audio onto the card.

5 Likes

Before buying a new phone you still could try a factory reset (as a new phone would probably also mean to set it up from the scratch)…

1 Like

Thanks for helpfully sharing your experience. I have owned my FP2 for three years and have similar issues to you, which I believe started after the upgrade to Android 10. My phone sometimes runs slow or crashes, and yet the storage is a modest 55%. I have the same black screen and lighter shade before locking. One of the most annoying issues is the camera is prompted to take pictures when the phone is in my pocket or at other times when I have not chosen the camera button! I am keen to continue using my FP2 for as long as possible, because the current three years is only reasonable, and not remarkable.

How does that happen? Unintended touch or unintended button pressing? Could be configurable.

1 Like

Thank you for the responses. So far I’ve limited the storage to just above 80%, I’m not seeing any change yet but I’ll continue deleting stuff to check that idea. If it doesn’t work, I might do a factory reset.
In the meantime, I’ve received new notifications that I didn’t existed or were possible, like “Google Frameworks Services keeps stopping” and “Settings keeps stopping”.

2 Likes

Following this thread, since I also experience this issue quite frequently with my FP2 (received January 2016) after factory reset and fresh install of LOS 18.1 (i.e. Android 11) w/ microG. Internal storage consumption is at 40%.

The camera used to only operate after I deliberately selected the blue power button and blue camera button. My current issue is that the camera activates probably after the power button and camera button have been inadvertently pressed (in my pocket), and this seems to have coincided with the upgrade to Android 10.

Hi!
After I factory-reset the phone, should I restore my old data? Or would that just bring back the problems?

I would first run it without restoring anything to see if the problem was solved. If it helped you can then start to restore things and hope the culprit won’t be restored, too…

5 Likes

… but if the problems come back, try to make sure you know what happened. Keep us updated and let us know how you get on!

2 Likes

Hi I have the same problem, since 2017 I have been updating and rebooting many times, and I fell like the electronics failing, I’m lured to buy the FP4 but I want to keep my principles and believe in the circular economy. I’d love to run some tests in my phone, perhabs as service if I send it to the company, may be they will decide to replace the CPU, I can pay 300 euros to still using the rest of my phone, I love it so much.

1 Like

Do you have local #fairphoneangels ? They can help with testing parts and cleaning, disassembly and so on.

1 Like

There is a big chance that replacing the CPU doesn’t solve the problem of reboots.
If you buy a new phone, you could send your Fairphone 2 to Fairphone for reclycing in a responsible way.

@AndrewM
The camera opens, when you press the power button quickly 2 times, too.
In my experience, this can happen quite easily if you are wearing the phone in a tight pocket.

My suggestion is to either disable the camera start by power button in the settings or use a bumper case.

1 Like

So, a quick update:
I did a factory reset and the phone was as smooth as ever. Didn’t have a lot to test it on as I didn’t have any real app, but the camera showed no issue and the few apps that were on the phone were fast enough.
I installed a few apps, still no major issue. I wanted to restore my data backup but couldn’t, as the software I used to do the backup is basically holding my data hostage: I have to pay an annual subscription of $20 to restore it on my phone. Would have helped to know that from the start, but hey, then they wouldn’t be able to exploit people.
No worries though as I had done a parallel, manual backup of the most important things (photos, videos, notes…).
I had to manually reinstall all the apps I had before, configure the settings, etc.

Long story short, my phone now kinda looks like my phone a couple of weeks ago, save for all the photos and videos, and two or three different apps.
It is slower now than right after the factory reset and some small bugs reappeared. However, it is quicker and more useable than before the factory reset.
So the problem isn’t exactly solved, but it will do for now. I guess I’ll wait until it goes back to crashing several times a day and then I’ll reassess things.

4 Likes

Hello Freigist, thanks for the suggestion. I discovered the setting for the power button, which I keep ‘off’, and for the interest of other users is accessed from System - Gestures - Jump to camera. My current interest is in disabling the camera button on the side of the phone. Andrew

1 Like

There exists some apps with which you can remap the hardware buttons.
But you might need to root your phone for it and I have never tested them.