Proximity sensor goes crazy in sunlight (WhatsApp, Signal, Facebook Messenger, Stock Dialer, WaveUp)

Alright, then we at least ruled out the screen protector. Also because @Razem mentions using a different kind protector as well. A different OS could still use the same drivers from the official FP OS image.

Would be nice if the devs would give some more info about what they tested and how they improved the sensor. Because with direct sunlight it still goes crazy. It doesn’t affect me much either, because sun is rare where I live :slight_smile: But when the sun does shine, it sucks to take into account your screen might go crazy.


That’s pretty likely, I’ve still got the same issue as well on CalyxOS (A12) without a screen protector.

At regular usage this doesn’t affect me much either, but it’s very annoying when using the phone while cycling, having it mounted to the handlebar ensures it gets direct sunlight all the time…
Disabling WaveUp solves it for me, but I really hate having to fiddle with the power button for a quick glance at the map, hopefully this gets fixed at some point :roll_eyes:



Is there info on the type of proximity sensor? If it’s an infra-red then I suppose it can get overloaded with strong sunlight, but if a capacitive sensor was used that wouldn’t happen.

Maybe it’s a power issue and LED|Infra-red would use less power than a sensor checking capacitance?

Can a filter be placed on the sensor to reduce the input. It could be infra-red from the sun or a higher frequency and may be regenerated at lower frequencies when passing through dense matter like glass, hence the greenhouse effect.

I’m in the same situation.


Here is a part of the message from my request the support wrote me:

Thank you very much for the information, I will log it and report it to the relevant team for further investigation.

I appreciate your patience and cooperation so far and want to assure you that we are doing our best to have this resolved as soon as possible. I kindly ask you to give us more time to investigate this. As soon as we have any news, I will make sure to immediately communicate it directly to you.

Please remember to keep your phone updated with the latest software. Every update contains improvements that might help with your issue.

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. Rest assured, we will not close this ticket until we have a solution for you.

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I definitely still have this problem, just a minute ago my phone went into soft lock with a black screen, until a whatsapp voice message was completely played back and I finally got control back. I always install the latest updates when they come out. This “Proximity sensor goes crazy in sunlight” issue is seriously the single most disappointing thing about my Fairphone. I am satisfyed with everything else (altough standard camera app is a bit underwhelming, but usable).

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I have the FP4 since a few days and have already seen this behaviour as well.


Best is to #contactsupport, the interactions I have with support makes me believe they either can’t reproduce it or they consider it fixed already. If more people state they can reproduce it, they may check better.

Reply from support:

We were unable to reproduce this reliably and the stars aligned in such a way, that it seemed it was fixed with a software update. After some more unsuccessful attempt to reproduce it, we closed the issue and any other cases were assumed to be caused by hardware malfunctions.

We have received more feedback about it recently (including checking the forum thread) and just reopened it for investigation.


The problem should be resolved, I received a closure mail for my call a few days ago:

Thank you for your patience in awaiting our reply! In the past weeks, our Product Team has worked hard on finding the root cause of and resolving the issue you have reported to us.

I am now happy to share some good news with you! We are sending you this message to let you know that we released the latest version of Fairphone OS v.179 (Build number FP4.FP4K.A.179 , Android 11 ) or Fairphone OS v.041 (Build number FP4.SP1Y.B.041 , Android 12 ) which should resolve the issue you have been experiencing.


Hmm. It’s weird that it isn’t mentioned in the release notes. Are you sure that the email is related to this problem? I’ll definitely test it out as soon as I get a chance.


Good, summer is coming and we will notice easily when its fixed.


I am sure, bc in the mail my initial call description is included.
Maybe the wrong ticket was closed, we’ ll see :slight_smile:

Here my in initial description:

Jul 19, 2022, 13:26 GMT+2

Hello Support-Team,
i use some Apps and they all share the same behaviour outside in sunlight. (Threema, Stock Telephone App, …)
If Sunlight comes to the Sensor whild speaking free / hearing messages the display shuts on and off, you are not possible to use the phone in this condtitions properly.
With the App “WaveUp” it shuts of and on “like crazy”

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I have also received the email. If you read carefully, they mention the previous update, not the new one.


That’s correct, I got the mail a few days before the last update. 28.02.

Definitely not fixed, just as bad as ever. Yesterday, as a passenger in a car, I experienced exactly what I experienced back then. The shadow of the trees next to the road would trigger the sensor while the phone was playing a voice message in Whatsapp. The phone went crazy and back and forth a few times, until it got soft locked. It is still impossible to use any app that uses the proximity sensor in direct sunlight. Build: FP4.SP21.B.048
The issue is so annoying, I thought about a solution by myself. Wouldn’t it be possible to pulse the IR LED with a certain PWM frequency and let the photodiode only then react to it, if the detected light has the pulse pattern? That would be a pure software based fix, i suppose, and it would eliminate the influence of a static light source completely. Just my two cents.


Then you should contact support, I did not had the problem yet, I would try to reopen my ticket when it occurs and I could record this…

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Yes can confirm that its not fixed…

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I found out that you can replicate the issue even during the integrated hardware testing that one can access through the Fairphone app. I was in contact with support the whole time and this is one part of some back and forth between us:

Currently, the experts in our Software Team are investigating the issue and are liaising with the manufacturer to find the quickest possible solution. I appreciate your patience and cooperation so far.

Maybe this is a good sign, support was very responsive and kind the whole time.


Yep, still broken. And it’s so damn easy to replicate! I just can’t understand how it’s so hard for them to track it down and fix it.

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