Phone off with black screen, red LED (not blinking), getting hot (after physical impact)

Hey everybody.
This lunch I ran against the corner of a table with my Fairphone 2 in my pocket. The impact wasn’t very strong, but noteable. About 15 minutes later I took my phone out of the pocket and noticed it had powered off and was quite hot in the upper part, next to the camera. I took the battery out and inspected it, couldn’t see any harm on it. After letting it cool for about an hour, I tried to turn the phone on, but it doesn’t react.

Currently, the phone:

  • won’t turn on, neither normally nor into recovery or fastboot mode.
  • will show the red LED for about 1-2 minutes without blinking when connected to USB (with or without battery)
  • will get hot in the place right to the camera/above the SIM cards)
  • I have tried taking all SIMs and the SD card out, nothing changes.

I took a look at these topics:

I tried most of the troubleshooting suggested there. Haven’t tried a different charger yet, but I will do that when I am home (just to rule it out.)

From reading all this, it seems like I somehow shorted my core module. Can you confirm that?
I don’t have any Fairphone angels nearby who could change the core module to test it. Is there any other way to find out where the problem is before ordering a new module? Could I maybe even repair it?

This means that some hardware involved in the charging process is broken and it’s not (or not just) the battery - so core module or bottom module.
The fact that the core module heats up makes it seem like it’s rather the core module, but without testing with a different bottom module I wouldn’t know how to be sure.


That’s a bummer. thanks though. The price tag on the core module is a real bummer… Also, I can’t find it to order at the store. Is there a way to get it and a guide how to replace it, or would I have to send it in?

You would have to send it in.
The core module is currently only available as part of a repair job.


I had a similar problem yesterday my phone didnt work after a fall.
I read technical support articles, tried to remove the battery, to reboot it several times and when i ended up having something on the screen (reboot menu) the image remains barely a few seconds then fades to become black again.

the only lifeproof was the LED and the vibration when I was trying to reboot.

Then I realized that something was wrong with the shell, and that I could finally use my phone by pressing the series of small buttons on the left of the battery. I ended up putting an old SD card with tape on it before closing the phone. he has been working for a few hours now. If this can help.

Do you mean the five golden pins on black ground?
These are pins to use for USB communication and no regular buttons.

Hey philippe22, thanks for your suggestions. However, apart from being surprised what your solution is (pressing these pins shouldn’t have any effect), I suspect our cases are very different. My phone doesn’t react at all when I press the power button, no vibrations, no LED. In contrast, it gets hot, suggestion there is a shortcircuit.

Do there exist any guides for exchanging the core module myself, if I could get hold of another phone to use for spare parts? Or maybe even finding the short?

Not the pins per se, but pressing the phone anywhere could have an effect on some contacts.

Exchanging the whole core module is not hard, you just take out all modules and then put them on the other module.

Since you don’t have a lot to loose anymore you can also try opening up the core module and see if you can find anything that looks suspicious - though even if you find anything it’s questionable if you can fix it.


ok, so contact is not done properly and pressing it saves my problem?

I may be doing a backup :slight_smile:

Thank you for the correction about the pins, of course you are completely right!

Also thanks for the tips with the core module. I will have a look at it, see if I can find anything obviously broken or determine better where the heat comes from and maybe check the capacitors for shorts as suggested here: FP2 dead - red light on constantly?

Next steps would be to try to get a broken phone to exchange the module or take the phone to a repair shop, whatever I manage earlier. I will post my progress.

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Remember when swapping the core module your personal data in the internal memory will be lost.

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Yes, I am aware. Thank you for reminding me! I was thinking about having into a look of saving the memory, in the other thread there was something mentioned like this, but probably I won’t take the risk to tinker with it, curse that I haven’t had the time to start a back-up routine for my phone data and learn from it :wink::expressionless:

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Hi Santa-Klaus,

I think that your problem and mine (water damage with red light only) are probably similar in origin - a short of the main board. However the fix is probably quite different as presumably mine might be something added across a circuit (corrosion etc) where as yours may be something broken in two.

As far as data extraction is concerned, it depends how keen you are to get your data. I have so far learned that a) it is possible, b) it is not that difficult as far as I can tell, c) it is not cheap, d) companies might be able to do it for you, but it is still not cheap. If you can just accept no data then it is possibly worth finding a shop to investigate or just selling / giving away parts.

I have yet to find a Fairphone being sold that isn’t working, but that the core module is. I guess the modules are replaced where broken, so the only parts phones are core module broken. Therefore I see no sense in repairing your phone from another, but you could just buy a second hand FP2?

Where are you in the world? I have found a few companies online that might offer repair, in the EU.

Over the next few days I hope to try my phone again, so will hopefully be able to post photos of the core module removal and exposure of the ICs (removing of the guards. If you can wait this might make your removal of the module easier if you’re stuck!

Hope for miracles!

My current progress:

  • I haven’t been able to locate to problem on the core module, but have very little experience and only bad tools.
  • I haven’t found a workshop willing to look for it either. One checked for free if there is a short between the contacts of the core module, but couldn’t find anything.
  • I also haven’t found a broken second hand phone with a working core module. It’s really nice to see how much more people are willing and able to repair their phones, and how much value even “broken” fairphones achieve, even though it isn’t helping me in this case :smiley:
  • I am living in Sweden and regularly in Germany.
  • Recovering my data is secondary, but would be nice.

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