What is/was the "minor issue about the audio feature of the phone" "in less than 1% of the phones"?

I guess there’s no news on this one, or is there?

I actually have a “minor audio issue” - Audio playback seems to crash randomly, usually forcing me to restart the phone - and would like to know if that’s related or not. The CEO did not tell any details in the video.


Or is this the “minor audio issue”?

Maybe I’m encountering that issue, both speakers of the phone just stop working randomly. Sometimes in the middle of a facebook video, when I put i on widescreen or when I unplugged headphones, after speakers doesn’t working until I restart or wait. Weird! I will open a ticket I think. Already posted on the forum: [Fairphone 3 both speakers doesn't working sometimes]

Hi all, getting back to you on this topic. To make it clear: It is a timing issue in the firmware of the software that controls the Smart Audio Amp in the phone, and we are correcting it in a software release in Q1.
I hope this provides some clarity for those of you experiencing audio issues with your Fairphone 3. Also, please make sure to contact Customer support anytime you are experiencing a problem. All the information is logged and provides valuable intel for improving the product.


Thanks for getting back to us.

Ok, as far as my internet searching skills go, the Smart Audio Amp is a chip in the phone.

So … What does the timing issue mean, what could an affected user suffer from in practice because of this?

And can it perhaps be self-diagnosed using something in Settings - System - Advanced - Developer options - Service Menu - Service tests?

From what I’ve been informed, it can’t be self-diagnosed. Again, the best practice for when experiencing any audio issues is to contact our Customer Support. They are the ones that can provide a proper diagnostic and provide assistance.


A list of related issues would be helpful. Also: Is there are guarantee that those issues can be fixed by a firmware updates?

I will get in touch with the team and see what are the possibilities for sharing a list.
And as I mentioned above, it will be corrected with a SW update in early 2020.


Dear FairPhone,

It would be nice if you would share this info with your customer service as well, as most of them are unaware of the specific issue.

I have contacted customer service and sent my phone back and I have got a new one with the same issue, just less present than before… so far the only solution seems to swap the phone again and relay on luck!

I have only 3 options:

  1. increase CO2 by sending this phone forth and back until I get lucky enough to have a phone with no issues;
  2. keeping a not working phone until fairphone releases a fix (in 2/3 months from now);
  3. ask for a refund and buy something reliable.

I hope you can understand my enormous disappointment, I did not purchase Fairphone for this.

Also, it would be nice to stop sending us to customer service considering there is not even a real solution yet… basically you are forcing them to apologise on your behalf.

Why are you behaving like little kids?
Instead of delegating someone else to deal with the mess, it would be way more “fair” to say something along the line:
“Sorry, we screwed up. A solution will be available in 2 months.”

I already have 2 kids so, while waiting that you grow up, I will send my back my phone and ask for a refund.

I wish you all the best!


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As much as I feel with you and understand your disappointment, you should keep in mind, that this is a community forum it is not something officially Fairphone.
This is no Fairphone-contact-channel.
Therefore @Monica.Ciovica is absolutely correct in sending you to customer support, as they are the ones there to help you and deal with your problems. It is delegating something to someone whose job it is to act on that behalf.
If you really read what Monica posted, you should have realized, that she is just the messenger. She is the contact-point for this forum, but neither a techie, a programmer or a customer support person.

And if you ask for something along the line

I guess, that was the message Monica delivered; at least, that is what I understood.


Dear BertG,
Thanks for letting me notice I was getting personal.

I apologize for the tone, I started with “Monica” just because she signed the last message while I should have started with Dear Fairphone, I will change the title.

I quite like Monica and I never meant to attack her: she works for Fairphone and I do not think she’s responsible for making the company policies.

I do NOT agree that we should be sent to the customer service when:

  1. apparently there is no official/internal communication about the issue (the agent I was speaking with had to read the forum!)
  2. there is no real solution.

I do not feel like this should be a case by case solution. I supported this company through the last 5 years, and it would be nice for a change if people start owning their mistakes.


  • Start an official thread explaining the issue
  • Acknowledge the mistake
  • Explain where the error comes from and it’s consequences
  • Give an time estimate of the solution
  • Propose some official solution to everyone

Maybe I shall already be happy that I got 2 of those 5 points this time.

Seriously, it feels like Fairphone 2 all over again.
Does anyone know the value of transparency?
Did anyone learn anything so far?
I wonder!

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It might well be, that internal communications need some improvement, or you happened to stumble upon someone who was not up to date.

And I still stick to contacting support as the responsible contact point.
Part of the problem you describe is due to the fact, that people do not contact support.
Here’s why I think so:

  • Someone has a problem
  • Trying to solve the problem alone does not help
  • Logging in to the forum and posting the issue
  • The Problem gets solved

All this happens without the support- or the tech-channel ever being aware, that there might be a serious problem.
And that’s why the customer support needs to be contacted and informed.

With regard to this point:

Where do you think, you will or should get the info if there is a solution?
Obviously techies and programmer should via the internal communications channel keep the support informed about problems and solution while support has to inform the techies and programmers about problems reported to them.

This forum is a handy means of communication, but obviously the tech- and software-developers have enough to do even without keeping an eye on every thread of this community forum.

My ideas regarding your added points

  • A thread in this forum is nothing official, as this forum is not FP, but a community. The official channel is the support chanel. Maybe a blog-post would be an option.
  • It seems, they did acknowledge the issue/mistake
  • An explanation might be a good idea. On the other hand, it could seem to be a blame-shifting move and possibly, it is not so clear, where the problem started and what the consequencs are.
  • The time estimate was given.
  • Proposing a solution to everyone would be a tricky thing to do. At least I don’t know, how many people are affected by this issue. But if you announce it e.g. in a blogpost, then it seems the problem is serious and affects many devices. This obviously is not the best advertisement for a new phone, especially when it possibly only a small fraction of phones is affected.

I - as well - would really wish for some clarification from Fairphone. But as this might be a business decision as well, this wish could remain unfulfilled.


I disagree. It’s Fairphone’s responsibility to release working phones and keep their customers informed about issues. They have several channels for this, like email, the website, the blog, or this forum. They (as a company) could be more active here (That’s not Monica’s responsibility but the company’s) and actually it would be kind of stupid not to read this forum since it’s a great resource for qualitative user research. I think they should use this forum more.

They could also proactively post to this forum in a sticky post: We have the following audio problems, they are related to software, they show as the following symtoms, please contact support if you are affected. They could also write this as an email to customers who bought the phone and or write a blog post.


In my humble opinion, we can hardly judge, what the Fairphone team can, could or should really do.
At least I have no insight, what they are doing already, everything I can do is guessing. And that way I have quite a few things, they might be doing.
This forum has about 19000 registered members. I have no idea, how many regularly visit this forum and how many traffic this forum generates.
As to reading this forum, I have no idea if and to what extent Fairphone is making use of this as a means of information-source.

Another question is what to do with that information.
And when it comes to that point, I would expect Fairphone to not rely on the forum alone, since it really is just a - non representative - part of the picture. And the standard channel for complaints is and should be the customer-support. That’s as well the channel, that is meant to give a more accurat account of what’s going on.

Obviously us active users consider this forum a great channel for Fairphone to announce news. On the other hand, facebook or twitter might have a much wider reach.

Plus: when it comes to announcing troubles, that’s always a tricky thing to do. Posting something about “serious troubles”, that might affect only a small percentage of users, could result in a loss of trust in the product and the company as such; which would probably not be justified by the facts.

Therefore my conclusion sofar is, that I can not really judge if a business decision is good or bad. It might be one way or the other.

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Hey Monica

I had contacted the Supportteam in early february and the havent responded yet. That should not be case, as the said they try to do it within 1 business day.

Kind regards

The new contacpterson for this forum is @lorahaspels.
(Monica has written “Former FP” next to her name. :wink: )


And from what I can tell the fix already came with the end of January update.

still have the same issue… just happend today again

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Yes, can confirm. This problem is still not fixed! Empty words from Fairphone (as usual). Not happy at all.

Ok, so you have …

… which …

So, how did you diagnose it yourselves?

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