My FP5 experience so far

My FP5 is turning 5 months old soon. I haven’t been this proud and enthusiastic about owning a new tech item in forever. I wanted to write a big review about my experience using it. But as I kept writing it, it turned out to be just a giant list of complaints and issues, juxtoposed by a surprisingly positive ending, regardless of all the issues.

Insthead of spamming the forums with ten bugreport discussion threads, I thought we should have a chat about all those little quirky beahaviours here. You know, those things that you wish were slightly different, but they are so minor, you dont want to sound whiny by bringing them up. And yes I know, the forums are not a place to submit bug reports. But in order to avoid bogging down the poor support guys even more vague tickets, how about we first figure things out among ourselves. What is a bug? What is a feature? What could fairphone themselves improve? And what is actually just stock android being way worse than you might have expected, coming from your samsungs and xiaomis of the modern days.
Forum moderator UPPERCASE already maintains a list of bugs, that were supposedly already reported to Fairphone themselves. But that list is surprisingly incomplete, compared to the experiences I’m having. I would like more items to end up on there, and eventually be fixed.

-These are in no particular order, as they occoured to me throughout the months.

-When you drain the battery, the phone needs to charge for a brief time, before you can turn it back on.
This very much falls into the nitpick category. Ideally I just shouldnt let my phone die on me. But sill, why? Surely 0% battery doesnt mean that the voltage dropped so low, you need to let it stabilise before you can turn the phone back on. If some expert convinces me, that this is actully good for the battery, I’ll let it slide.
But if you juggle two batteries, and use the phone itself to charge them up, swapping in the dead one will be less like a hot swap, and more like a cold swap, with that waiting time.

-Touchscreen responsiveness is weird, when plugged into the charger.
I really hope this is some obscure software issue, and it wont turn out to be my unit being defective. But when I scroll my phone while it is plugged in to charge, sometimes the touch screen just acts weird. When scrolling, it might detect the touch, but not the drag, so it registers a ton of presses in random spot along where I dragged my finger. Sometimes taps dont quite register either. I drop letters when typing, because my press was just never acknoweledged. But all of this, at random and unpredictable times, specifically when plugged in to a charger. I havent had a single touch screen issue or complaint when away from the wall. Whats weird is how random it is. It doesnt start happening right away when I plug in. It isnt really noticable always, if I type slow, or just press buttons. But when scrolling randomly turns into random double taps, that can be really annoying when scrolling social media. Accidentally adding a thumbs up reaction to a Telegram message or something. And before you ask, yes I did try different charging cables and charging bricks. The issue comes up regardless of charger.

-Scrolling twitter sometimes causes brightness to flicker, when a video is playing off screen.
Not much to elaborate on, the title says it all. Knowing the state of twitter nowdays, maybe its their issue to fix, not fairphone’s. But it is still weird that the app could just mess with my brigtness like that. This specifically happens when the video is “above” the screen, if it helps narrowing the issue down.

-After a phone call, the screen is stuttery. Fix it by changing refresh rates.
This issue specifically grinds my gears, because I distinctly remember a forum user reporting this, but they also managed to narrow it down to the proximity sensor specifically. But the issue never got added to the reproducible issues page. And I can vouch for that person. The screen refresh somehow gets messed up after the proximity sensor gets used for something. I use my phone at 90hz, and togging down to 60 solves the suttery feel. Then you can go back to 90 again. Or to do it quicker, just enable battery saver mode quickly, then turn it back off, since it also limits the refresh rate to 60hz.

-Phone gets WAY too laggy when battery falls below 10%.
I saw this specific behaviour discussed back in September. But I’m experiencing it, and its not on the bug tracker so here I am. I wrongly created a thread before, complaining that battery saver just kills performance, and many of you reported not having any issues. Turns out, the phone still gets somewhat laggy, even when battery saver is disabled. It just happens that I set battery saver to turn on at 10% battery. The same percentage where this beahaviour occours. Using battery saver with a high charged battery is basically indistinguishable from regular use.
(Side note: this performance issue coupled with the touchscreen issues when plugged in, creates quite the irksome device, when its plugged in, but has yet to charge above 10% battery)

-Can’t connect to PEAP enterprise WiFi. Connection instantly fails.
I pinky promise you, I’m typing in my credentials correctly. But I just cant connect to the wifi at work. It doesnt even attempt to connect. As soon as I press connect, it just tells me it failed.
Since I wrote down this issue in my notes, I also tried creating a PEAP network at home, and the phone instantly fails connecting to it too.

-Screen timeout
This might just be my inner Xiaomi user speaking, but the way fairphone does screen timeout is just so annoying. On any other phone, shortly before the phone would go to sleep, the screen dims significantly, then turns off. Fairphone on the other hand, dims only sligtly. Depending on the enviromental conditions, almost inprecievably. Then turns off. BUT if you press the power button in the following second or two, the phone wakes back up. Without a lock screen or a pin. This only works with the power button though. You cant touch the screen to reset the timeout timer and turn the screen back on. Please just make this work like everyone else does it. Gradually dim the screen over the course of like a second, then turn it off. Surely I’m not the only one notices this right? RIGHT?

-Youtube video colors are less saturated, when above 1080p, or while rotating the image.
In hindsight, I should have borrowed a camera to take pictures of this phenomenon. But seriously. Why do the video colors change ever so slightly, when the quality is set above 1080p? Is there some image enhancement going on in the background, that cant cope with the higher resolution content? And it also happens in the brief rotating animation, when you change from landscape to portrait and vice versa. Though its so quick, I really dont care about that one. But still worth mentioning. The desaturation isnt that noticable on some types of content. But for example, in GamersNexus videos where the camera is on Steve talking, the change is very noticable.

-Weird glitchy screen during bootup
Okay, this is also a small one, but thought I’d bring it up. During boot, after the little dots finish animating, normally the screen is blue. But sometimes, juuust before you land on your pin entry screen, the bottom quarter of this blue screen turns into this flickery grey for a second. It literally doesnt affect anything, and you blink you miss it. But it looks glitchy and scary, I wanted to ask around if anyone has seen it. In hindsight, I should have tried taking a picture of it.

-Fingerprint sensor sometimes just doesnt want to read
Just what it sounds like. Super rarely, the fingerprint sensor just doesnt feel like reading my finger. Even though I have it set to unlock the phone as soon as something touches it. Which in itself was a topic of discussion on the forum. Or even when the phone is awake, and on the lock screen. It just doesnt acknoweledge my finger. And its not a rejected read, since the phone vibrates on a rejected finger read. But it doesnt do anything.

-Youtube isnt always pure black in the black bars
Finally an issue that was reported and discussed extensively since… October. Oh dear. Valve please fix.

-Editing freshly taken screenshots
Do you ever take a screenshot, and click on the bubble to go and crop or edit that screenshot right away? Does your fairphone also take 1-2 seconds to load the google photos editing tools after you click? It feels like a ram management issue, since its actually quite snappy sometimes, but when I’ve been switching between apps for a while, it is noticably slower to load. I guess its a google thing and I shouldnt complain about it on the fairphone forums, but youre still reading this post, so you are still with me on this ride.

-Changing an already saved wifi network from DHCP to Static IP doesnt actually work.
I was trying to set as my DNS at home. But you can only do that on android if you also specify a static IP. But the setting just never saves. The phone wont remember the dns you typed in, and it will keep having a dhcp assigned ip address. You can fix this by forgetting the network, and specifying all these details before you connect “for the first time”.

-Already experiencing burnin on the app switcher pill, and the notification bar.
Its an oled phone. Im not butthurt about this. What was more surprising, is that I had to learn this when an app went fullscreen, and displayed just the right kind of ugly grey, at the top and bottom of the screen. Why am I mentioning this? Because Fairphone has a built in display color test. BUT ITS NOT FULLSCREEN. The pill on the bottom, and the notification bar at the top are drawn over the pure color. So you cant actually see how much THOSE ui elements have burned into your screen.

-The blue colored official protective case gets ugly pretty fast.
I guess I’d rather have it get dirty, than the phone itself.

PS: All these aside, I still enjoy using this phone, and I did not regret my purchase. Thanks for reading 🩵

1 Like

Thanks for your report, I closed this topic for discussion as we dont want such multiple issue topics. To discuss the issues please follow-up in already open topics or open one per issue.

Also, the bug list is not opened by a moderator nor are moderators responsible to maintain such lists, this is a user list and can only be complete when users maintain it. And it requires as well seperate topics.

Thanks for understanding

@all if you want to respond to a specific point, you can use the reply in a new topic function to open. a seperate discussion.