[SOLVED] Fairphone 4 bad signal. Especially Upload speeds & regular calls

I completely understand you need a working phone and you are sick of dealing with this and I dont think that in general the FP4 cannot be used as a phone as others could proof. I understand your frustration and still I think to generalize from your experience is not correct.

And one point: cordon the repair center is not Fairphone support and I assume the response posted above is from Cordon? Yes they work for FP but are a independent company. Is their handling of cases questionable? Yes sometimes/often it is and it is annoying for those who have to deal with it and the only way to improve this is to inform Fairphone about such examples.

Just found the following numbers which show quite well where Fairphone is and I still think we cannot have the same expectations towards Fairphone we maybe can have towards Apple or Samsung (although I would question that you would not find people with bad experience as well)

Since the product launch of the first Fairphone (2013), just 400,000 devices have been sold. By comparison, there were already more than one billion active iPhones in 2020, and Apple wants to sell another 300 million devices this year. Fairphone made a net profit of €2.8 million in 2020 - Apple broke its own records for fiscal 2021 with a net profit of US$94.7 billion. Responsible for almost 50%: the iPhone. Samsung’s net profit increased by 51.1% to 39.91 trillion won (US$33.2 billion) in 2021.

Translated with Deepl from this article

Thanks Yvmuell,
I guess no one here wants to produce or buy a phone that doesn t work.
I have asked for an exchange.
Hopfully I can get to use and love Fairphone soon :wink:

I finally received after 4 motnhes a New phone.
I want to be very carfull on this one, but after 48Hours it works in UPLOAD like a 2017 phone.
It is in the range of my ols Samsung A 2017 (4G) when I am on the 5G network with my Fairphonze 4.
Also Upload is still very low, it is ,not between 0MB - no signal at all and 5MB.
It is now in the range of 5-10MB. I had few phone call and people seemed to hear me correctely, at least they didn t say “I don t hear you I will call you back” !!!
I have to confirme this in the coming days.
People didn t hear me with lound speaker on in a very quite room…
Hope this phone will work as good as my Samsung A3 that I am happy to be using since a month. If it is worse than a 2017 phone, I will sell it on ebay for good. Lets see if it is now usable.

I finally received a new phone end of July after sending the phone a 2nd time
It took 3 monthes + 27 emails + days of troubleshooting and phone calls, after my order to receive a functionnal phone ! (25/04/22)
It is the worst consumer experience of my life.
After 2 weeks I can attest that it is working like my old pixel 4A in Upload. People hear me on GSM calls, also it is not as good on lound speaker as the Pixel 4a from 2 years ago!

Changing the 2017 SIM card on Free mobile, was complet BS ! I use a new SIM for a week and there is absolutely NO change ! Except I loose another 10€ more + time !

The french company CORDON that “repair” fairephone is crape : they don t read the report I send. That I took another 1hours to sum up in very simple words the problem.
They do a “standard check” and send it back to you !!! CORDON it total crape, useless and waste of time for the customer !!! Never seen that in the past!
If you want me to run an app that does "standard "test just send me the link !!! DOn t make me delete my phone !!!

If you buy a fairphone and have a signal problem , GSM data or wifi. Don t think. Cancel the order and send it back. Then buy a Samsung with 2 year damage warranty for 60€/ Example Samsung FE 20 for 350€ + 60€ advanced warranty

PS: by the way they have lost my hear buds and tell me its my problem. Very nice salesman effort! Bravo! I now feel a great pain in my back !!!

Fairphone is a nice Proof of Concept… they are trying to tackle important problems. Now like any innovation it may not be the right path to the solution. Now I will recommand to eveyone concerned in sustainability to buy a Samsung with 4 years of updates + a advanced warranty.
Will see how it feels in 5 years, if I can really run this FP4 myself…and maybe if I change my mind

OK Soooooo. Final update I guess.
Have a new phone
Have a new SIM
Still dropping calls: people don t hear me in the middle of the city with full 4G / 5G reception.
Even on GSM. Free mobile France Marseille center. No GSM OUt.
The worse is I can hear people saying “I don t hear you”. It happens much less than with the 1st broken phone…but still not on pare with a 2008 phone for example… I never had such drope in conversations. Its like (I imagine) having a phone call in africa lost in the country side…but you are in the middle of a major city with 100% coverage signal…
I will sell this crap at some point, still hoping for an software update that would make it as good as a Samsung a3 from 2017…
Looking at the update on the FP4 the past 6 month they all mention “imrpovement on the network cariers”…it looks at least FP is putting its effort in the right direction !

Just to mention a little thing: the speedtests you did (as all speedtests I ever tested) show the speed in Mb/s (Megabits per second), not in MB/s (Megabytes per second), which means you have to divide your figures by 8 to get the speed in MB/s. E.g, when it shows an upload speed of 8Mb/s, it’s actually 1MB/s.
I know it’s not going to make you feel better… Just thought it was worth mentioning for the sake of it.

@Alex.A thanks for caring about others.
I really don t care about MB GB or what ever the measure is. I just need to do things in my every day life with a phone; like:

  1. receiving a phone call and BEEING HEARD on the other side of the phone.
    Which doesn t work aswell as with let say a Pixel 4a and Samsung a3 2017
    If the status of the techology would be that is not possible to be heard , I would say there is no problem! Now if I buy a 50€ phone it works !

  2. [SOLVED]I need to be seen on a video call on the other side . WHich doesn t work with my PREVIOUS received FP4. Now it works quite OK.

  3. Most importantely is the CONSISTANCY of the quality of the signal. The people can hear me on a GSM call with this new FP4 they send me BUT every 2 minutes they tell me “I hear you like a robot”. This NEVER happend to me for the past 10 years ! Even with this 2nfd fairphone 4 they send me + the new SIM card it doesn t work well with full 5G coverage in the center of Marseille on a GSM call “I don t hear you” should be the base line for Fairphone .
    I now believe it is some kind of problem like I had before the first update of my pixel 4a. The phone is not good at handeling GSM AND 4g/5G at the same time. I had this with pixel 4a : I do a lote of tethering to work on the go; and when I received a GSM call with pixel 4a it would disconnect the visioconference I was on (4g). I am wondering if we are not in an issue like this.

I am astonished no other people complain on this forum ??? Are you using your phones ???

PS: I am now mentioning only the problems I have with this replaced phone. Which is muuuuch better. But still needs a lot of signal improvement to be on pare with a modern phone.
If the only problem confirms to be tethering + GSM calls at the same time, I ll close this thread and open another.

I have this problem too. So a replacement model didn’t improve it, good to know. Maybe all Fairphone support staff and devs should use a FP4. Then maybe they will understand the problems better and can detect and fix them faster.

They are improving though. But this phone is almost a year old now and if I was in charge of quality control I would still not consider this phone ready for the consumer market. Calling should work fine for a phone. That’s not a premium feature.

I hope the Android 12 update won’t reset all the progress made.

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“I am astonished no other people complain on this forum ??? Are you using your phones ???”

As I said, FP4 is on pair with other phones, no problem at all with Orange F.

thabks a lot @hirnsushi
This is actually the best answer I had concerning this issue, the fairphone support is nice but is absolut ZERO in helping you! They made me change SIM and blabla… just to waste my time.

Just had a look and my pain is coming to an end with this 6 moth old phone ! I might in the end be able to phone with a fairephone !!!

That’s pretty unreasonable. They no doubt ask you to do some basic tests that they can not do. The fact that it was fruitless for you doesn’t waste your time it just uses it in checking for a problem you have with your carrier, and Android 12, 13, 14 . . . . 100 won’t fix that you may be asked to do some tests when you complain.

take it easy :slight_smile:

I ll just not answer directely to your comment. But there are several phase I have been with this product.
I am just out of the phase where I had the feeling I had been stollen 570€ for a phone that 1) had no 4G connexion (Upload = changed the defective phone) + 2) couldn t give GSM phone calls.
Especially since FP4 is advertise as a phone and not a DIY project. It ll be OK if they would say it is in BETA until 2023 (I wouldn t have bought it).

For a resume read this :

Now If you believe this is not a waste of my time , its up to you ! At the minimum its a lie to consummers, and I don t feel happy beeing lied, sold a beta product.
For note I have a framework laptop wich is from a 1 year old company and EVERYTHING is working, no bug at all (Wifi connexion , screen; trackpad keyboard, camera,… ). When things work, I am aslo happy to aknowledge Framework is a very good sustainable product.

I have one too, however it’s a very simple product compared to a phone. The size of a phone alone causes problems for the developers., and all of the above, that exist, work on my two FP3s

However my argument isn’t that you should feel any different as you are clearly not finding the phone fit for your situation. That doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with the phone. My daughter is fine with her FP4 another wasn’t with her FP3.

It looks like your use scenario is in the percentile that is deemed almost usable, but that’s not the phone. Sadly it would have been a happier situation had you discovered it wasn’t suitable in the first 14 days and you could have asked for your money back.

However with a 5 year warranty there’s hope you can communicate your problems effectively with Fairphone and find a way past this issue.

But as you say, in your case it’s a bit like being a Beta tester. Well to stretch the issue it seems we only have one planet and are testing that and finding our demands are the issue not the planet.

Take care ~ I’ll not comment more ~ all the best.

I’ve moved your posts to this thread, started to turn a bit off-topic for a discussion about Android 12.

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So with the replacement of my phone 2 month ago, I can attest that it has been mostely solved :

  • I can use the upload of my phone to do signal video calls as expected with an average phone.
  • With last month update people now start to hear me on the phone on GSM phone call like an average phone. They don t anymore hang up saying "I absolutely dont hear you. You sound like a robot in a cave " !!!

I wanted to wait to send this confirmation, since it has been soooo sketchy.

The only thing disapointing is that there is absolutely no advantage of 5G for now on free mobile in France. But this is another topic!
Especially the UPLOAD in 5G is exactelly the same as in 4G.
This 5G thingy is useless for now…maybe in some years there will be an usage??? I would have liked nulber one on my list an improvement in upload from 4G: improvement in consistency of the signal and bandwidth.
So yes sometimes you get DOWNLOADS of 300MB/s instead of 60MB/s…but who cares ?

Freemobile IS the problem, as their 5G is highly deployed on 700MHz with DSS. It’s fake 5G.

On Orange I usually get 700-1200Mb/s DL and 80-150 UL.


Well I just did a test (for work purposes) even with 4G I have

That’s certainly enough for me right now.

Had to think of this thread. I am currently in France and the roaming partner of o2 Germany seems to be Free Mobile. I’m in the heart of Paris and reception strength in my apartment is switching between 2 and 3 out of 4 bars 4G+. Download speed is in a range of 0 (didn’t even get registered by the app) and 646 kbit/s. In Germany, the only limit is the 500 Mbit/s cap of my provider. In Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands, I had no problems with roaming, even with worse reception.

Outside of buildings, the values with Free Mobile are definitely better, but I haven’t done any speed test (yet).


Thanks for the info.

My test shown above was indoors building of reinforced concrete but big windows.

Yes it is exactely the kind of behaviour I have now with a working unit of the fairphone (beginning of this thread was with a broken unit). It has been improving a lot , now fairphone is comparable to a bad 5 year old 4G phone for me. Now I am hopping for more “network carrier” update like they have done the past monthes.

  • Something that help sometime is to put your phone in airplane and back on the network. Or even reboot the phone. Then you get back to 2 to 10MB uploads.
  • You need also to deactivate 5G since it is worse than 4G! What an evolution ! If you set 5G you will get Uplaods arround 400Kbts, where as in 4G you can get more realiabely 2MB to 8MB , even 13 MB if yiu are lucky .

Another thing that has greatly improve is when you receive a GSM phone call it degrades the connexion to 3G or lower 4G; this behaviour enables a better GSM connexion , so you can be heard by the person calling !!
Also GSM call is not up to the standards (yet?) of 10 years ago ! Which is VERY sad. I think if by the end of the uear It is not up to 2020 standard for GSM and internet, I ll sell it to another idealist and just get a samsung with a 5 year waranty;) Iphone 13 are now build to be reparable and just work aswell.

I was in the train every single person was watching a video from the internet wether on Iphone or on cheap android phones; with my fairphone I couldn t zeven access the internet for 3 hours (X2)!

I was in a place for 48hours I use to go for years with bad signal reception for everyone (Orange, free, bouygue) its inhe middle of nowhere.
The thing is that Fairphone consistentely perform worse than any phone using any network. With my Samsunf 2017 I was always able to give a phone call going to specific spots. With fairphone I could NEVER give a single phone call, even SMS didn t work ! I had to go to the reception to give a phone call like if I was in 1990!
Comon fairphone move , give use an update that make GSM phone call work like a 2020 phone. This mean if 99% of the people around me have a connexion I want it aswell.
If I get a phone call I want people to hear me.

Another user experience comment. I am using framework laptop for 2 mothes now for heavy work. And I feel this laptop is realiable , I can go on the other side of the world and just “do my things”. It is not going to fail on me in the exact moment I need it. This brand after only 1 year deliveres a product that is almost as good as the Macbook !
Fairephone give a call (with a samsung phone) to framework and be prepared to learn .