My 1+ year review of Fairphone 3


and thanks for the positive view. (I own an FP2 with FPOOS and also am quite happy with it.)

Agreed. People using cheap phones (“cheap” in comparison to features and lifetime, including e.g. iPhones) should be asked whether they have met and talked to the poor guys digging their metals and assembling their phones.

Danke & Grüße von


Thanks for the review, I agree with just about all of it :sunglasses:

I also gave up on the fingerprint sensor for about 6 months but then took some time to register mostly one finger more carefully, several times. The sensor now works well and I haven’t had to re-register for a long time. Sometimes I need to touch the sensor for a full second.
Using the sensor is quicker and importantly also reduces wear on the on/off button.

I believe the phone is supposed to be quite rugged, I’ve read stories of pretty harsh treatment.

When you use a plastic pouch for rain, include a sachet of silica gel to reduce humidity and avoid corrosion of internal contacts. You can regenerate the gel a number of times by heating it in a traditional oven.


I believe I read somewhere on the forum that putting a piece of tape over the fingerprint sensor helped, if it can help you.
Here’s a testimony:


@individual-it You speak from my heart!!! :smiley: I can confirm everything you wrote!

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I fully concur. the FP3 is a good and reliable phone. the issue of the “loosening” cover had already plagued the FP2 but a regular replacement (~once a year) is OK with me. I would still want a smaller phone (iPhone 5 size) but got used to the length/width ratio in the meantime.

The echo issue with the Signal app seems to be fixed, so one point less on the (-) list. see Add Fairphone 3 to AEC blacklist · Issue #10466 · signalapp/Signal-Android · GitHub

Sadly it looks like I cannot edit my original post :frowning:

Strangely you still haven’t got the necessary “member” trust level although from your profile stats you have met all criteria a while ago already … :thinking:


It definitely is not. I’ve had one for about that long and now there’s, many fractures around the sides of it. It’s not a part that you can replace, a reality I was hit with not too long ago, and I have to send it out from the UK and back and then pay about half the price of the phone (probably more because shipping costs) just to replace it.

As a student who can’t really throw around 200 euro like that, I am still debating on whether I should just scrap the whole thing and get something second-hand or something of the sort. I really like the phone and all it stands for, but for a phone I had the intention to keep for 5 years failing so bad after the first year I’m having my doubts.

P.S. If anybody knows any rugged phone cases for FP3, do let me know.

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So the frame has fractures although you used a case/Bumper? If not why not? Are the fractures caused by whatever you use to put it to the handlebar and by the fact that the constant shocks while biking are not absorbed?
Overall I think Fairphones are quite good in “accepting” crashes without breaking completly (we have quite impressive reports here in the forum at least for FP1 and FP2 where cars, motorhomes or similar drove over it and it survived).


Unless it’s the motherboard that is damaged, getting a broken casing replaced isn’t necessarily a three digits expense. Going by the official repair price list, the rear module costs 65 Euros.


I’ve always used the bumper and bought the big FP3+ case when I knew it existed. I do MTB but I don’t put it on the handlebars, I put it either in my pocket or in my backpack where its relatively safe from the shocks that come with MTB.
I think its just of how I am with phones. I didn’t realise this before I started thinking of the whole thing, but I actually drop my phone on hardwood floors quite often, so much so that I don’t even bother reacting to it most of the time. So ultimately I think its just an early warning for me to start treating my phone better.
Maybe I’m biased but I have a hard time picturing an FP3 surviving a car! Believable, maybe with the FP3+ case, but I imagine the plastic would fracture really bad without it.


You give me hope, I’m already sobering up to the idea of spending 200 euro but if I can get it replaced for 65 that would be phenomenal! I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what the techs say, although I really would prefer to have the option to replace it myself.


Let us know if you go for it and how it works out. :slight_smile: Can’t hurt to get certainty if 65 Euros is really the bottom line or if any fees or charges still come on top of it.

One more thought: I take it what you have is the original FP3 (not the FP3+). You might know that unlike the FP3 casing the FP3+ isn’t translucent anymore, but all opaque. When the latter was released, Fairphone did not include a bumper with it anymore – and according to explanations made back then, this was because the opaque material was more shock-resistant than the translucent. If you contact the Repair Centre, you might want to get clarity if/that the new rear module is an opaque one so you get the more robust one (although they might only use the opaque one now anyway).


That is a very good point actually, thank you! I’ll make sure to ask that as well. I’ll also have a bit of a mishmash of colours then since the back cover is transluscent, which I think I’ll like :slight_smile:.

even if there might be improvement in handling, overall I dont think your are really treating it bad or unnormal, mine is treated quite similar ;-). Still 1 single very unfortunate drop can for sure break something. I would def. chase the repair centre to get a good explanation what is broken and what they will be replacing and why.


Dear Individual-IT
Thank you for this description of your experience with the FP 3. I love that smartphone too and it offers all the opportunities I need - without using a Google-account. But I have a special question: How is your experience using the FP 3 for navigation on your motorcycle? Is it stable enough to withstand the vibrations of the motor? My plan is to fix it at the handlebar with a bracket (SP-connect).
Have a good time and be always safe riding your bikes!

I don’t think that is a reasonable statement
a) the OP doesn’t even most most people let alone those with an FP3
b) I imagine that 90% of the authors hear are complainers and most buyer of the FP3 are not voiced here.
c) I have three in the family with no such issue with signal, though there was a similar issue for a while, but I have had that occasional on Nokia and Samsung

Note that the FP3 is not available but if you are really interested in the FP3+ there is one on sale today on the forum for an very low price.

Just to make sure we are on the same page: I’m riding a small 150cc dual sport bike in Nepal. So the vibrations from the motor are not the biggest issue for me. Its rather the vibrations from the roads. So depending on your bike and conditions it might be very different.
Also I don’t do it on a regular basis but only from time to time, but so far I had no issue at all. Also doing the same on a montainbike.
I’m using the FINN to attach the phone to the handlebars (both cycle and motorbike) That gives a bit of silicon between the phone and the handlebars, so that might also help

Maybe I have to rephrase it to be more precise: most people I talked to over Signal, at the time of writing the article, would complain that they hear themselves when talking to me
I tested it in January with a Huawei phone and the issue was fixed at the time see: Add Fairphone 3 to AEC blacklist · Issue #10466 · signalapp/Signal-Android · GitHub
But I got other complains later. As I recently updated to Android 11 I would have to try again.

I totally agree with you that most people who write reviews are those with bad experience, that is exactly why I wanted to raise my voice with my (mostly) positive experience, but still I didn’t want to hide the negative.

I actually would like to edit the original post, because I solved e.g. the fingerprint issue by putting a clear tape over it and registering the finger multiple times, now I use it all the time.


Dear Artur,

thank you very much for your answer! I think we’re on the same page. :slight_smile: Therefore your informations are helpful for me. I’m riding a bicycle as well as a motorbike (CB 750) in Germany. So I will try it wiith a handlebar for the navigation.

Have a good time and many greetings to Nepal