Weird Fairphone 3 problems at airports: constantly rebooting

Dear all,

After the pandemic travel restrictions I took my Fairphone 3 (standard OS, all updates) with me on a first trip (to South Africa and Namibia).

Already at the Frankfurt Airport, my phone started to behave weird and suddenly beeped and rebooted. I had no chance but to switch it off. After switching it on at Johannesburg Airport, it continued with this annoying behaviour, and I switched it off again.

After arriving at my South African accommodation I experienced an erratically rebooting phone (5-7 times a day), but without the beeping. It was like described in this post.

After 5 days, I returned to Johannesburg Airport, and the phone got more weird again: beeping, constantly rebooting. I switched it off. The same at Windhoek airport.

After arriving at my next accommodation, an alleviation again: rebooting every then and when.

I tried all the things mentioned here like switching off one SIM, cleaning the contacts, checking the battery etc. without success. Of course, I cannot do a hard reset or boot into safemode because I’m on travels.

This is extremely annoying because travelling after Covid-19 makes the airport one of the most crucial moments for a smartphone (showing board passes, PCR test results, travel documents). My partner enjoyed her $4msung and I cursed my fairphone.

Anyone with an idea before I enter the next airport on Monday (besides printing out all documents)?

Kind regards

edit: I found the other idea of switching to Preferred network type: 3G only under “Network and internet” → “Mobile network” → “Advanced” → “Preferred network type” here. I’ll report on the results after my next airport, but I’m still interested in more ideas or if others share the same experience.

Admittedly, I cannot contribute own experience here (no flights in 17 years). What came to my mind immediately though is the security scanning devices passengers and their luggage pass through on airports. Did your FP3 go through one of these? If yes, was it powered on when it passed through?

As to what to do, I can only speculate, too. When it comes to providing your certificates, boarding passes etc., do any of these actually require connectivity? If not, I would give switching the phone on flight mode a try. i know it’s a tough restriction when you want to keep using the phone, but it might at least provide a first hint where the disturbance hits it.

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That is often a solution. If you have the phone switching between network band and maybe even Wi-Fi if you have that enabled and you allow the phoen to chose the best signal it isn’t seamless swithching.

There’s also an option of not using VOLTE and switching off bluetooth to remove some complications.

Thanx for the suggestions.

Actually the problems began before approaching any security area. I guess all these different frequences of all these diverse computing devices at the different counters cause the problem.

This was my first move but flight mode didn’t change anything.

Next time I will not allow any connectivity from the beginning, and will look what happens. It must have to do with the variety of frequences because the problem is alleviated when leaving the airport (but was never fully gone in South Africa, much better now in Namibia – which might support the suspicion ones more as the variety of options is reduced here in Namibia).

I don’t use VoLTE, but will also switch off bluetooth next time.

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Problem solved:

Obviously the right thing to do is to switch the preferred network type to 3G as suggested here..

This step prevented crashes at the airport and random rebooting while in South Africa.

I could switch on bluetooth again with no problem, and I have activated both SIMs (but switched both to 3G only).

Thanks for all the supporting suggestions.



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