June 16, 2024

Bumpy Android 12 upgrade on Fairphone 4

Anyone who owned the Fairphone 4 had to wait a long time to upgrade to Android 12. And those who got it now are not all happy with it.

The Fairphone 4 (with or without 5G) is probably the most salvageable smartphone currently available. It is manufactured with the aim of sustainability in production and long service life for users.

Fairphone has been promising security updates to its customers for several years. They also arrive regularly for Android 11, as the author can confirm. But the user community had to hold out with Android 11 for a very long time until the first devices received the long-awaited upgrade to Android 12 about a month ago. In Switzerland, for example, the devices in the Salt net were kissed on the hand at the end of January or the beginning of February; Anyone running a Fairphone in the Swisscom network had to wait until last weekend. He came to me last Friday.

Many users are not very happy about the update. Most of what appears at first glance to be broken can be fixed by resetting the affected setting (such as navigation at the bottom) or by restarting the smartphone again.

Other bugs will likely be fixed in an additional update. I can confirm the first two of the following four points; They bother me a lot.

Dark mode is too dark: Automatic brightness adjustment, for example, now switches the device to a very low brightness level in dark surroundings Too dark for many he. To do this, swipe down twice from the top and move the controller from the far left to the right again. At some point, there may be an update that also remembers this minimum brightness.

Huge clock on lock screen: The time display on the lock screen appears in a giant format, with the hours and minutes displayed on two lines. The system is supposed to choose an “appropriate” color from the clock’s background image. For one thing, the apocalyptic light blue (see editorial image above) contrasts too much with my psychedelic background image. And an inflated representation is not helpful. This can be curbed, at least temporarily, by making sure that the notification is displayed permanently. Then the clock returns to the upper left area. In the example above, I got a Google Notes pop-up notification and didn’t scroll. Unfortunately, the color cannot be changed either.

WiFi hotspot: Users reported that the option to present the smartphone’s data connection as a hotspot for other devices is not working. This is especially true if the device is already connected to a 5GHz Wi-Fi network. However, most of those who have tried it confirm that it works like this: either disconnect from Wi-Fi, or connect to the 2.4GHz channel. Then it works again.

bluetooth audio: Even those who use Bluetooth to transfer audio files (eg with headphones) seem to be having problems. Since updating to upgrade to at least SBC, AAC, aptX HD, LDAC seems to be working again. There is still a problem with aptX and aptX Adaptive. Possible solutions or workarounds are in this subject to exist.

One of them: cross Settings/connected devices the serratedsymbol on the injured person device press and High fidelity sound disable. At least you can hear something again, albeit via a worse SBC codec, until another update fixes it.

Another: after connecting the headset Developer options activation. there across Settings / System / Developer options to Bluetooth audio codec Switch and choose one of the codecs shown, for example B. aptX HD, LDAC, or AAC. Unfortunately, this is necessary every time the device is plugged in.


I must admit that I regret a little. When I bought the device, I had already made some compromises for the sake of the environment. It lacks a notification LED, so I have to wake up the device with the power button every time to see if someone wants something from me. With other devices (like the Nokia I’ve owned before), a quick tap on the screen or just holding the device up was enough to wake me up (I miss that like hell!). In addition, the Fairphone 4 5G came with a processor that, unlike the older Nokia device, does not support AR applications (such as the Big Bang AR application). Last but not least, the device is way too big for my purposes.

Now there has also been a long wait for Android 12, only to find that there are a lot of inconsistencies in the Fairphone version of Android 12. There is probably nothing that you can’t get used to or that can’t be fixed sooner or later with an update. It’s a shame.

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