The screen turns off and on when my FP3 is slightly bent


For about a month now I have been unable to use my Fairphone 3, as the screen turns off from time to time. After looking for the problem, I think it is some kind of problem with the contacts of the screen module, as it happens especially when I bend it in a certain position (you can see in the attached video). However, I can’t use it to take it out of the house or for “normal” use, as I always carry it in my pocket, and sometimes it just doesn’t work when I need it, and the screen doesn’t return to “normal” no matter how much I tighten or bend it. In fact, I don’t even know if the screen is locked or not, because the appearance is the same: a blank screen.

Video: Fairphone 3 screen contacts problem - YouTube

It hasn’t been dropped in the last few months, and unfortunately it’s out of warranty. I’ve already opened it up and secured the modules a couple of times. I bought new screws to make sure they are tight, as the original ones were worn out. I also cleaned it with isopropyl alcohol, but I still have this problem.

Unfortunately, my Fairphone has failed me several times now, and this despite the fact that I take great care of it so that it will last me for many years. I’m starting to think that modularity gives more problems than advantages, at least in my case… luckily, I’ve managed to get an old phone in the meantime.

Has anyone had a similar problem? Any ideas or suggestions?

Thank you very much :slight_smile:

Hi ensure the battery isn’t abit swollen and pushing a bit but more likely the contacts may not be optimum

Try slightly tightening the screws around the display to core module
or remove the module and

  • Check the pogo pins are all movable
  • Clean the contacts

When assembling tighten the screws around the display/core module first, not too tight > then the others > then back to the core module.

On disassembling ensure you use enough pressure not to burr the heads of the screws


Do you know any other FP3 owner who might be willing to temporarily lend you her or his display module? Might allow you to figure out better if the contact issue is on the display or on the core module side.

if you don’t know any, maybe the @angels_vigo ?


Hey there! I’m so sorry but here we haven’t got either.


Hello again and thank you all for your advices :hugs:. Let’s go:

The battery is perfectly flat and in good condition.

A couple of months ago I disassembled, cleaned all the contacts and reassembled the phone.

Since I have this problem, about a month ago, I have disassembled and reassembled the screen once again, tightening the screws (brand new) especially in the screen contacts area. I will do it again as soon as I can. What could I do to fix a “pogo pin” if there is one that is not movable? :thinking:

I will try this, thanks.

Yes, I learned this the hard way :sweat_smile: :persevere:

No, I don’t know anyone, and I can see that @angels_vigo can’t help me either.

I have to admit that it would make me feel a bit uncomfortable to ask for help from someone who is not a bit of a tech person, as I have the suspicion that several of the problems I have with my FP3 have been due to the modularity and with taking it apart (even though I’ve only opened it when I’ve needed to: to tighten modules or clean them… maybe about five or six different times). So I’m afraid that I might “mismatch” their phones, or something like that.

In any case, that’s just my thoughts. It’s actually a very good advice. Thank you! :blush:


Perhaps you can brush all contact points with a fine copper brush.
And check if all the pins are making good contact.


Also I think sometimes its better to tighten less than more in general


Wow, is that safe to use? I didn’t even know it existed. When I cleaned the contacts I used isopropyl alcohol with a regular toothbrush (with plastic bristles) and cotton wool.

How can I check if all the pins are making good contact? I guess that’s just the problem, they don’t make good contact.

Yes, it can be. But unfortunately, as I said, I had the heads of several screws worn out, so I thought the problem was that I hadn’t tightened them enough last time, so I tightened the new ones a bit more.

I’ll try disassembling and reassembling the phone again, even when I remember having left them all tight enough, without overtightening them either (I didn’t want to worn the hole).

Thank you both too!

Have a very good look, if all the pins are in line. If not very very delicate push a pin a little out.


Re the pins, after checking they move, if they don’t then you may have use tweezers to pull one if stuck.

Remember when tightening ensure the ones around the display/core are tightened nice and evenly before any tightening, not so tight, of the remaining screws.

They shouldn’t be so tight as to damage the plastic under the head nor the brass inserts for the threads.

As far as cleaning goes, if they are bright then it’s alright, no need to use a ‘wire’ brush


See the picture of the backside of the screen of the Fairphone 2. I didn’t want to dismantle my Fairphone 3, but I guess it looks somewhat the same.

I marked some of the places where the contact points touch the screen.
These places I meant for brusching.


This is a picture of my FP3 when I opened it two months ago. Would it be the areas marked in red that I have to clean? or the blue ones? How do I clean it? With isopropyl alcohol?

Thank you very much.


  • :large_blue_circle: Blue circles: contacts
  • :red_circle: Red circles: shields
1 Like

The blue ones are earth contacts to the main core shield and you can use a brush as mentioned by Lidwien or just scratch them very lightly with any 'blade.

The red ones are shields


I guess the blue ones are making contact to pins. Those I should brush very very gently with a copper brush.
@ElKrasso learnt me this trick.


The pins are small stainless steel protrutions on the core module screen and shouldn’t require any cleaning.

Whereas the contacts on the display module are solder and become ‘rusted’ and loose conductivity.

If the display is never removed the original contact is likely to be ‘good’ However once the display has been removed there are two downsides.

  1. The next time the contacts may not match exactly and so the stainless steel may touch a dull part of the lead
  2. Even after a short time open to the air the solder will dull and become resistive which is heightened by the corrosive effect of two different metals being used in a contact.

Hello again :wave:

First of all, thank you very much to everyone for your suggestions and advice. It is often said, but it is true that the best thing about Fairphone is this community.

This morning I went to buy a brush with metal bristles to clean the contacts (the ones in blue in this picture), and I proceeded to clean the contacts of the screen of my FP3 as follows:

  1. Dip a cotton swab in isopropyl alcohol and wet the contact area to be cleaned.
  2. Gently scrape the contact with the metal bristle brush.
  3. Wipe with a dry cotton swab the debris.
  4. Repeat several times the same process on the contact until it shines more or less uniformly.
  5. Clean another contact.

The truth is that the cotton swabs came out quite stained, and although I scraped some plastic around the contacts, I imagine that is not a problem. Now the contacts shine quite a bit brighter than before, as you can see in the picture:

I also checked to make sure the pogo pins looked good, and indeed they all seem to be in perfect condition:

When I finished, I let it dry and blew with a compressed air tool to remove any debris. I also slightly “lifted” the metal “tongues” on the core module that are supposed to make contact with the areas I cleaned, just in case it helps.

When I reassembled the FP3 and turned it back on, the screen remained very, very dark. Upon bending it slightly, it started flickering a lot (even without touching it, when picking up a certain position; this was happening to me before as well). After several minutes of bending it and squeezing it in various ways, it seems that finally the screen stayed on permanently despite bending it. I took the opportunity to check the screws, which seemed firm and tight.

I haven’t been able to test it for more than a minute, but I regained hope that it might work again. Tonight I’ll turn it back on and put it through some “stress” trying to bend it. If it still works, I’ll carry it in my pocket tomorrow next to the old cell phone I’m currently using, to see if it will hold up in a “real environment” before I put the SIM back in and transfer my stuff back to the FP3.

Thanks again. I’ll keep you updated - wish me luck! :crossed_fingers:


Well, after two and a half days of using my Fairphone 3 again as my everyday phone, I can confirm that the screen has not shown any more problems since the cleaning of the contacts. I hope it will last for many years :crossed_fingers:, so I’m marking the topic as solved.

Unfortunately, the charging problem is still present: it doesn’t always detect the charger correctly, despite having cleaned the contacts of the module and the USB-C itself a few months ago :sweat_smile:.


This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.