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

I encounter the issue now as well. Recording a voice message outdoors with Signal in the sun. The screen goes off and on. I’ll report it to support as well. Anyone that’s bothered by it should #contactsupport, they prioritize based on incoming tickets.


I just contacted Support and opened a request - i encounter this issue too


I’ve got an update from support:

Our latest update already included some improvements for the functionality of the proximity sensor - particularly when it comes to the performance in bright light! Further improvements will be included in coming updates, and these will be more general.

The last update supposedly already contains some improvements, but given that we’re still dealing with this issue, it’s probably not enough.


I got a reply from FP support as well. The suggestion is to verify if we can also reproduce the issue with the troubleshoot app. So if we encounter this again in our messenger apps, do the following and try to reproduce it there. And then forward that information into this thread.

  • Open the phone app.
  • Dial *#*#2886#*#* in the same way you enter a phone number to make a phone call. Once the last character is introduced, the Service Menu appears.
    Select Manu
  • Tap on Proximity Sensor. The Proximity sensor is located on the top of the display. The initial test state prompt is “Far”.
  • Put your hand over the top of the phone, close to it. The test will change to “Near” when detecting your hand.

Hi all,
I encounter an annoying behaviour (not really a bug, more a default setting issue): with the phone locked but the display on, the ambient light sensor sensibility turns off the screen when going from bright light to shadow.

Example to reproduce:

  1. Start navigation to somewhere in Google Maps*
  2. Lock screen (press the power button) and then show lock screen by pressing the power button
    → at this stage, the phone will be locked, but the screen will display the guiding in full screen. The ambiant sensor next to the camera will turn off the display when no light will be visible (exemple: phone flipped face down, or back into pocket). You can manually cover the sensor with the finger to test it. Now the issue:
  3. If the phone goes from bright light (example direct sunlight outside) to shadow (example on bike: a tree on the side of the road) the screen will briefly turn off → no guiding anymore.

The same behaviour can happen when receiving a call:

  1. The phone is locked, the screen is on with an incoming call
  2. I’m in bright light and can’t see the screen, so I move the phone in my shadow
  3. I want to pick up the call, the screen turns off because it’s in the shadow
  4. After blinking on and off two or three times, I’m finally able to tap the pick up the call with the green button, but the call is already missed…

Any solution to that, or adjustment in the sensibility, would be welcomed :slight_smile:

*yes I now, Google… still be most convenient day-to-day app for biking navigation in City. I’m open to any suggestion ^^

Hi Delan I moved your topic to this existing, because I feel from your descripion its more a proximity sensor issue than an ambient light issue (to test I assume you could just turn of automatic light adjustment). We can re-do the merge if needed.


Hi yvmuell. Good guess: I use “Pick to Wake Screen On” for the same purpose. If I deactivate it my issue seems to disappear.

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I just was able to reproduce the issue while recording a voice message in the sun. The screen goes off and on. In the FP hardware troubleshooting tool I could reproduce this. So it’s very likely a FP problem, as already suspected. I’m running the June update (latest one as of today).

I also could reproduce it in safe mode.


When I reported this back to support and confirmed with them I was running the latest FP OS release they suggested me to send my phone back.

I suggest we diagnose and repair your phone at our repair center based in France.

I find this a bit odd. Are there more people here that can still reproduce the issue? Because if more people can still reproduce it, then either their software solutions have run dry and it’s beyond their capacity to improve it. Or we have a bad batch of phones from the factory.

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That’s really odd. I have a feeling that some poeple on support have no idea about some reported issues and think that a replacement will fix it. This is definitely a software bug, I can still reproduce it. I got my phone (already replaced once) in January. If I remember correctly, you got your current one a bit later, right? So I doubt it’s a bad batch.


I did, I sent my old one back around January and re-ordered one in April when the camera software got improved. I didn’t encounter the proximity issue in the first FP4, because there was hardly any sun in NL around that time. But it possibly had the same issue.

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Just one more thing to double check. Do people here use a screen protector? Which one? And which protective case? I use the official ones, blue light screen protector to be precise. Just to rule out a reflective property of the screen protector and things like that. Or perhaps a badly applied screen protector.

Are there people with different screen protectors? Or no screen protector at all perhaps?

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I use a 3D-printed case and an unofficial screen protector. But I was careful not to cover the proximity sensor, the edge of the screen protector is below it.

Sure, it’s possible that some reflection from the edge of the protector may cause this behavior. But then again, I think it’s to be expected that people will want to use screen protectors.


I’m on /e/OS without a screen protector and I can reproduce the screen going off and on with direct sunlight during a phone call.
It just never affects me in daily use (probably because I don’t use WaveUp, have my phone at the ear with screen off during voice calls and don’t use voice calls in messengers…).


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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