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

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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Yes extremly annoying and I received this just yesterday

Lighting and Proximity Sensor issues

For the brightness dimming down, I will log it and report it to the relevant team for further investigation.
Rest assured 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, we will immediately communicate it directly to you.
To help you further with the proximity sensor, I will need to ask for advice from the relevant department. As soon as we have an update, we will get back to you.


I am experiencing this again, on the beach in direct sunlight. very annoying.
Hope they could resolve this issue by software-updates…

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Hi all,

I have a small update to share about this issue. The investigation was mostly on hold until we got the ghost issues and other brightness issues under control. This was partly because of its severity and number of reports compared to other issues, and partly because we were repeatedly unable to reproduce it.

We are now actively collecting device logs from affected users. If you:

  • experience this issue;
  • have an open Support ticket;
  • would like to help us get to the bottom of it and don’t mind sharing system logs,

send me a forum message with your Support ticket number. I will pick 2-3 “lucky numbers” and send you instructions over email.

Thank you in advance.


I can only reproduce it in strong direct sunlight. I can give it a try in the coming days if I see a beam of light. But the weather is already turning gray over here. Would a logcat via adb be enough to provide the logs?

It’s a tad more complicated. I’ll send you instructions in the ticket.

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I asked support for help with the dimming issue but not for this. I have also encountered this in recent months using whatsapp.