Thanks everyone! One of the reasons that I was so frustrated is that the failure seemed superficially similar to the way my previous phone died. There are enough differences though for me to think that this is something else.
For one thing, the new phone seems to be working fine as long as the battery is fully charged. This allowed me to complete the latest update (to 19.05.3).
Then, once the battery went below 80% (more or less) it shut itself again (or maybe it was overheating, rather than charge levels?), and did the same thing of not going beyond the very first screen (Fairphone, powered by Android) but rather shutting itself and trying again. This continues until I take the battery out (well, I haven’t left it for very long, so I don’t know if it gives up after a while).
So what I did now is - after recharging (just connecting to the power doesn’t seem to help if the battery hasn’t recharged yet) - is uninstall loads of apps, including Facebook. I then rebooted the phone.
I’m now waiting again for the battery to drain a bit more and see what happens. If the problem remains, I’ll uninstall more. If it’s fixed, I’ll start to gradually add the missing apps.
Does that make sense? Or would have it been better if I have done a factory reset and then not install those apps to begin with?
I guess, your approach is ok. If it works out, everything is fine. Doing a factory reset of course is the safest way, that you can reserve as a last resort. That will erase every cache remains or the like, that might cause trouble.
OK, so I added a few more apps, and it seemed to be going well. No problems even when going down to 65%. But then, when turned off my phone, still with 65% battery, instead of turning off, it started doing the failed attempts to start that I described earlier.
After charging a bit I managed to turn it on normally, and then it had problems again every time the battery drained a bit (the cut off point seems to be between 65-70%) so one conclusion is that it does indeed seem to be related to how charged the battery is.
I then removed the apps that I have installed since it seemed to be going well (“seemed”, because it occurs to me that I didn’t try to turn it off with a 65% battery!), but it was still acting up.
So I decided to start from scratch - do a factory reset and add only the bare minimum of apps - those that without there’s no point for me in having a smart phone (that would be WhatsApp, Firefox and Yahoo Mail). As I am about to go on holiday, I will leave it at that for now (fingers crossed it works!), and when I return continue with adding the apps.
One question though - from your experience, if and when you do add an app that causes the phone to fail, is removing it enough, or do you have to do a whole factory reset to get the phone back to normal?
A factory reset on the Fairphone 2 will only delete Apps and user data, it will not touch the OS. If the fault somehow lies with the current state of the OS on the phone and not hardware, there’s more you can try to do …
Thanks @AnotherElk ! But this is a brand new phone (well, newly refurbished), shouldn’t I expect a working OS?
I like that there is a lot that owners can do to fix the phone themselves (and that this brilliant forum is here to help with that!), and if it was an old phone I would have tried this, but I just paid 300EUROs, I don’t want to spend hours on fixing it
If you don’t mind - how did you figure out a built-in app was the problem? Did you try all the other apps, and then just went through all the in-built ones, deactivating them until you found the right one?
Unless there’s a reason to suspect that the OS may have been modified (through updates or otherwise), I’d hold the view that the OS on a certified refurbished phone should be in working order. As there’s a 30 day period to notify support of a DOA (dead on arrival; see T&Cs) device, I’d strongly consider starting that procedure. This does need careful explaining that the fault also happens after a factory reset (if it crashes the setup wizard, that means no apps are installed), but possibly only at specific battery levels.
I found out that the built-in app was for some reason a problem on my phone, since it was consuming lots of resources. I found this out by digging through ‘BetterBatteryStats’ logs. It did take lots of time to find out though. : )
I didn’t delete apps one-by-one for this case.
In one case, i did find lots of problems with facebook and messenger, so i would use them, then uninstall them, which is a bit silly, but was necessary for my peace of mind. I’d install them, use them for my particular need, then uninstall. I hope that the newer OS will be better able to handle these apps, even though it seems that it’s an app problem.
Of course you should … as well as working hardware.
But either software or hardware or both fail you at the moment.
Really installing from scratch should take care of the software part, if the issue prevails after that, it should be hardware.
But @Johannes is right.
You got a faulty product. If you’re still within the set time frame, just contact Fairphone and get it exchanged.
The newly refurbished phones are very much not brand new, I had endless problems with one, starting with the fact that Fairphone hadn’t even given it a new battery before selling it (for more than 300 euros). And Fairphone support staff were very slow to respond to any queries. They seem to assume we are all super knowledgeable technicians. Good luck, but judging from my experience 18 months ago things are unlikely to improve.
I had a similar issue but with my first and still exisiting FP2. I finally opted for a factory resset and uploaded only a few basic apps. then one more and one more. And it is working fine ever since!! so evry time I add an app I am now very careful before I add a second one as to me the problem seems to have been caused by certain apps.
Must say I am no longer using FB nor twitter cannot remember the other apps I stopped using which tells me something about my previous behaviour.