Thanks for getting back to me. I still find it a bit strange that one other employee clearly said there was a LED, but just not part of the user experience. But it wouldn’t make any sense that FP installed a LED and by no means wants to enable it, so I guess there is no LED.
The spec sheet is now indeed updated without listing the LED, but also not this color sensor you mentioned. Could you update that as well?
I also do wonder why a notification LED was not included. If you could please answer that last question, then the community has all the information and we can refer to this thread when people bring up these questions again. That prevents speculation and long discussions.
@mikiballester 's answer is slightly different from the answer I recently received from support:
To be clear: the Fairphone 4 does not have an LED that is visible. So no, there isn’t an LED there to be used.
However, you could look into third-party apps that simulate a notification LED. These actually show notifications on the display but provides the same effect as an LED. Please be aware though that such apps cause heavy battery drain.
If you have any further questions please let me know. I am happy to help!
So there is an LED on the core module that is not visible?
I really miss that there is no complete teardown yet where you could see details of the core module. I’ll have an FP4 in my hands soon and I will take the opportunity to teardown the core module
I am Head of Product Management. We and our engineering team have been designing and working in the engineering of this phone. So you are getting first-hand information.
@UPPERCASE the list you refer to is not a spec sheet. Is a list of prices and there were several mistakes that we have fixed. It could be that we used a same template as for FP3 and some items were legacy. Led was not included as a design decision like many other decisiones were made. We simply did not think that it was adding enough functionality, we gained some space on the PCB and it was one component less to use.
@HolosericaCaligo There is no LED in the core of the phone as I already explained. I will make sure that customer support also knows this. We used to always have a detailed teardown done by iFixit, but this time around they made a video where fewer details are shared. It is not in our plan to provide our own teardown at this moment.
Not everyone is susceptible to facts, that’s true. As far as I can tell there wasn’t yet a clear answer from FP if there was a LED or not and why it was removed. That has now been cleared up, thanks @mikiballester!
I updated this wiki with a list of design decisions. Getting answers straight from the source with the technical reasoning prevents these long discussions with a lot of speculation. Discussions will still take place, of course, and that’s fine. But at least the community now has a reference of why FP took these decisions. So finally the community doesn’t have to guess and argue about that anymore I suppose that’s already 75% of the discussion in this thread.
As mentioned several times in this thread, the absence of notification LED is only a definitive problem when the screen isn’t viable for AOD.
But we’re talking about a Fairphone so the screen is replaceable, just like the FP3’s camera. So simple question, is a screen upgrade envisioned for the people who want persistent notifications (along with a FP4+ for people who want it directly without buying a phone with screen plus a screen)?
I also miss a notification LED, especially when you need to call back to important people but you have to set it to “Do Not Disturb” while working.
There is a setting so that the display is switched on briefly when there is a message.
Couldn’t you provide more options here (in an update)?
Repeated switching on of the message display with setting options for frequency, interval, period (and possibly apps).
I’ve requested a similar feature, but then a longer wake time. But indeed, a recurring notification would be welcome as well. Persistent notifications allow you to interact with the smart features of your phone. Without them a disconnect is formed. These feature requests can glue things somewhat together again.
This is the first Android I’ve ever had that doesn’t have a persistent LED notification of some kind. I cannot understand why this decision was made, when all my previous phones of many brands always included ways to disable it if desired. I quite like my new FP4 but this makes me a bit crazy, constantly waking up my phone to check for notifications instead of just glancing at it while the screen is asleep.
Anybody who has any suggestions for tweaks that might help make this less annoying? I see there has been a request to wake the screen for a longer initial notification, but that too would then disappear, so if you don’t see it, and the phone goes back to sleep, you don’t know if you got any.
The flashlight workaround also sounds like a battery drain, since as far as I know, we can’t adjust the brightness of the flashlight (?).
Any other ideas? I’m debating returning my phone because of this–it’s such a basic issue that comes up dozens of times daily…
Hello and welcome to the forum. There are many workarounds, some of them were already mentioned, but I guess it’s somewhat difficult to navigate in this long thread.
As you have already mentioned, one of the options is to use the flashlight. There are lots of apps on Google Play, or you can use a custom Automate script, for example this one. If the battery drain is too large, you can adjust the duration of the flash and also the delay between individual flashes.
If you don’t want to press the power button to wake up the screen, you can use WaveUp. But be aware that there are currently some problems with the proximity sensor, especially on direct sunlight.
If you spend most of your time on a PC, you can sync the notifications using KDE Connect or any similar app.
The last option I can think of is using a smartwatch. I personally use Amazfit Neo with a custom Automate script that periodically notifies the watch when there is an unread notification.
If none of this suits you, then FP4 is probably not the right phone for you. (And that’s absolutely okay.)
Literally shocked to learn that my new FP4 has no LED.
Why not add a supercheap device which weighs near to nothing, and gives precise and clear information … that avoids having to switch on the screen, i.e. wasting my time, attention, energy - and (unnecessary, and even several because I have to switch OFF afterwards) … button switches?
Right now, I am mostly missing the LED telling me that the charger magnet plug is properly connected.
When you connect a charger, it should wake up the screen. I think it’s on for 10 seconds, not 3, but still. This doesn’t happen to you? It also shows the battery percentage at the bottom of the screen (above the Emergency call button) along with the information about charging speed (whether it’s slow or fast). You can also show the exact battery percentage in the status bar if you want (Settings → Battery → Battery percentage).
If you want to modify this behavior, you can use, e.g., Automate. (After plugging the charger, set delay to 3 seconds and lock the screen.)