My Fairphone 3+ arrived yesterday and I realised I have an issue with it slow charging from the mains adaptors I already have (I got the USB-C 3.2 Long Life Cable bought directly from the Fairphone Store, so I’m pretty sure the problem lies with my chargers).
Now I’m at a crossroads - Do I buy another mains adaptor just for this phone? Or do I return it and get another iPhone model?
Currently my iPhone 6 can be mostly charged within about 2 hours, using either of my Apple mains chargers, my laptop or my Anker powerbank so that’s ‘normal’ for me so quick charge isn’t really a priority for me. However the FP3+ takes many more hours to charge, maybe 7+ or something ridiculous like that when using my current chargers.
My main reason for getting the Fairphone was environmental reasons, so it’s not good that I’ve had to buy a USB-C cable and I’m looking at yet another mains adaptor just to charge it at a normal speed. If I go back to iPhone then I can buy it second-hand, continue using the cables and adaptors I already have for my iPhone 6 (again, I don’t care about fast charging anyway, as long as it’s reasonable), not to mention avoiding having to learn an entirely new interface from what I’m used to. On the other hand maybe I’ll need to buy one of these further down the road anyway, and this phone just means getting it sooner rather than later.
I was willing to give Fairphone and the Android OS a go, but this is potentially a deal-breaker for me. Has anyone else been through something similar? Does anyone have any versatile phone charger recommendations?
You may find that the charger is the problem.
There are two protocols that ‘talk’ to the dive to see what state the charge is in beofre deciding what voltage to supply, usually in fixed increments from 5V to 20V
However the Fairphone range, and all phones using the Qualcomm SoC (System on a Chip) use a protocol QC (Quick charge). It the case of the FP3 it’s QC3
You will find Apple use an alternate ~ PD (Power direct) so the chargers are not switchable.
I have the same problem trying to charge my new laptop from in that it requires a PD charger.
See if you can find some with an alternate android phone and try their charger.
I’m afraid I can’t test it with another Android phone, charger or cable, which I know isn’t very helpful - That’s the problem (in this case) with having used an iPhone for the past 7 years, I’ve not needed other chargers or USB-C cables. Realistically it has to be the chargers though, unless I got really unlucky with the phone.
I just thought that using the mains chargers I already have would have just meant it would charge to full in 2-3 hours which would be ok for me. It’s the fact that it charges so ridiculously slow even though they supply the pretty normal 5V - 1A, or in the case of my power bank 5V - 3A(Max). The article was still useful though as I had noticed there were differences between using my two Apple chargers.
Maybe it’s a stupid question, but surely the QC protocol is only a problem for those looking to actually charge quickly?
My point is, even if I use these chargers to charge a more modern iPhone - my partner has an iPhone 12 mini - then at least it charges at a normal rate and doesn’t take 10+ hours, even if it’s not taking advantage of the fast-charge potential it has when using a PD charger.
I have both an Apple A1299 and A1399 mains charger - They’re both official as they came with my iPod Touch and iPhone 6 respectively - however for some reason the FP3+ charges slowly with the older A1299, but doesn’t charge at all with the newer A1399, despite both being 5V - 1A. That’s just a weird observation I noted.
My Anker power bank (model 79AN7925) has an output of 5V-3A(Max) so I was expecting that to maybe charge at a normal rate at least, but was still showing as slow.
Then for my laptop’s USB ports, the System Report showed that the iPhone was somehow drawing more power than the FP3, so I’m not sure what’s going on there:
Current Available (mA): 500
Current Required (mA): 500
Extra Operating Current (mA): 0
Current Available (mA): 500
Current Required (mA): 500
Extra Operating Current (mA): 1600
Sleep current (mA): 2100
I dont know that much about the technical stuff, but I would assume as Android and IPhone are not using the same SOCs etc so its not a big surprise to me that its not necessarily interchangeable compatible. Still my FP3 quick charges with the IPad Air 4th Generation USB-C to USB-C cable and charger. However my Huawei earbuds do not charge at all. Using the Huawei cable and an old Anker Multiple charger it charges normal, neither slow nor fast, however I think this has 2A
I would have to check how fast it charges with my quite old Anker Power Bank.
Edit: it charges normal with the Power Bank and the Huawei cable. Only slowly charging with a no Name 1A output power Bank and the same cable.
So overall that it does not charge well with an 1A charger is not a big surprise to me, however that it only charges slowly with the Power Bank might be unnormal. Overall you will never know what the issue is when you dont have the chance to test another cable as well.
A short extract from an article showing nowadays its not that easy to just use old cable and charger and expect it works
The respective devices need additional chips for fast USB data transfers and USB-C additional functions; some manufacturers simply omit them. In this case, USB-C does not offer more than USB-A or Micro-USB could. Some companies even precisely screw up the most prominent advantage of the technology: Their USB-C peripherals only work correctly in one of the two orientations of the plug. Cheap USB-C charging cables that do not have any wire pairs for fast data transfers are annoying: They can only establish USB 2.0 connections and certainly do not transmit display signals. So, if you have problems with USB-C, you might use a different cable or a different port. USB-C power supplies with more than 60 watts need electronically marked cables that have a tiny chip in the plug: Only if it detects one, the power supply delivers more than 3 amps of current.The full functionality of USB-C also requires extensive compatibility testing by the respective device manufacturer as well as careful firmware maintenance. This is because the docking and charging functions work adaptively: The devices involved “talk” to each other when establishing a connection and thus determine the common functions that both sides are capable of. The great flexibility of USB-C is therefore at the expense of high complexity, which is a source of errors.
I’ve had the same problem with two 1A apple chargers with my FP2 (which btw doesn’t have any QC protocol), one wouldn’t even charge my phone and the second only at 500mA, whereas they’d work for charging an iPhone. I have no issues with all my other chargers coming from unknown sources or other android phones.
So I do also believe it’s because of the charger. I even wonder if it’s not intentional from Apple to keep you in their walled garden (proof it works even if unintentional is, you even consider giving back your FP3 to get an iPhone). In the end it’s your choice, but I don’t think you should feel too guilty about buying a new charger, it doesn’t surprise me too much it’s needed. Also, chargers regularly die and you need to buy new ones.
There’s probably some Apple tactics there, you’re right. It probably wouldn’t bother me so much if it worked alright with my Anker power bank though - adding on the cost of both a new charger and power bank for the sake of one device is the main thing that’s making me reconsider.
Considering I can use the mains chargers or even power bank to charge other devices (at a reasonable speed) such as PS4 controllers, bluetooth earphones, bike lights, mouse, keyboard etc. I guess I took it for granted that it would work for other phone brands too, but clearly there’s something wrong somewhere along the chain.
Thanks for your thoughts on the matter though, I’ll continue to think about it during my cooling-off period and have a look into other chargers too and weigh up the cost of it. My Apple ones are 12 & 7 years old now and haven’t died on me yet, but at the same time they’re certainly old enough to make an upgrade justified.