Fairphone 3+ performance issues with /e/OS 0.16-20210422111920

Hi all,

Last month I bought a brand new Fairphone 3+ from the /e/ store with /e/OS preinstalled, all OK and OS version updated to 0.16-20210422111920. I have 2 SIM cards inside (only one of them 4G) and a Western Digital 256 Gb microSD card installed as well (formatted as external drive, I am aware of the issues with trying to format it as internal)

I am using LibreChair instead of Bliss as launcher and have installed Island to run WhatsApp and Telegram on the work profile, but aside from that I haven’t done any “messing around” with phone settings at all. No rooting, TWRP or anything at all.
It all works fine in principle, no big issues with Bluetooth, phone calls, video calls etc but it’s just a general performance issue that I don’t know if it’s related to the Fairphone’s relatively old hardware or /e/OS.

When I launch Spotify, it takes exactly 15 seconds for it to start and stabilize. Switching to any of the Island apps (WhatsApp and Telegram) can take a good 5/6 seconds at times. When I open Magic Earth it can take 5/6 seconds to load.
Sometimes when I browse using Brave, the scrolling stops and I have to take the focus out of the app and come back to it in order for me to be able to keep scrolling again, which is pretty annoying.
Taking a photo (in normal mode, no HDR or anything) can take a good 4/5 seconds.

This is not really the performance I expect from a phone which is at the moment my daily driver, I expect it to be able to switch apps a lot quicker - I used to have a Samsung S10e and it was at least twice as fast as the Fairphone…

Anyone experiencing the same issues? Any ideas about what might be causing this?
Many thanks!

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Yes, in my case it’s the same. 5 seconds (or more) to start an app like Signal. But I can live with that. My device doesn’t even run on maximum speed. My point of view is speed and energy consumption are related, if you want speed you need much energy.

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I am sort of living with it at the moment as I haven’t figured out how to root my Samsung S10e yet, but I think it’s not quite right.
I don’t have my phone running on “battery saver” mode or anything so I would expect it to use more energy but being faster than it currently is…

I haven’t tried flashing it with Android 10 (as I want to degoogle) just to compare performance.

Hi have a Fariphone 3 (no +) from the /e/ store for about a year now, and never had that issue with the speed when opening apps.

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Thanks for your reply graz, that’s interesting! The Fairphone 3+ is essentially exactly the same as the 3, just with upgraded camera and loudspeakers.
What version of /e/ are you running? I hope you agree with me that 15 seconds to load up Spotify is a bit too much…

Hi @watertable, I’m running the same version as you, also a 60 GB micro sd, and only one SIM card (4g)

I don’t have many apps installed (about 20), most of them from F-droid. I don’t have spotify, so I can’t tell you how long it loads to me.
I use Whatsapp and Telegram without Island, and they take 1 second to open.

I used to use Librechair and I remember sometimes making things slower, but not too much. Then I got back to Bliss.

The only big issue I had in this last year is that twice the phone was like blocked, no response from any button (nor screen buttons, nor physical buttons), but one of the great things from Fairphone is that you can remove the battery to “restart” the phone like in the old days, and that was a solution.

I came from a BQ Aquaris X from 2017, kind of same specs and samish performance, so I didn’t notice much difference. Maybe if you come from Samsung Galaxy S10 the performance is more noticeable, but this thing you mention that apps need 5-6 seconds to start I dont think its normal, at least not in my case.

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Fair enough, thanks for the info.
Interesting about Librechair. I want to use Bliss but only once I can move things around and have widgets in more than one place, maybe this year.
I will wait to see if anyone else in the community has experienced this or if there is any workaround for it, or any issue causing it. I hope I don’t need to do a factory reset or anything as it would be quite inconvenient. Then again, it came pre-loaded with /e/ from factory so it should be OK and quality checked…

For what it’s worth: Keeping the power button pressed for about 15 seconds should force a reboot.

Can’t say I have performance issues, but I don’t use most Apps mentioned here either. How fast Magic Earth starts for me depends on how fast the map update check at each start is. It can take a few seconds, or not.
I’m on 0.16-q-20210424112062-dev-FP3 (Settings - About phone - Android version - /e/ version).

Just for troubleshooting, did you try Settings - Battery - Battery saver and performance - Performance profile - Performance to see whether that would make a difference (apart from using more battery)?

Hi @AnotherElk, thanks for your quick reply.
I had the battery set to “Balanced” mode, but I will try it for a while under “Performance” mode (the right-most setting) and see if it makes any difference to the load up times of apps and report back soon.

Do you really mean the launcher is responsible in any way? I use Lawnchair 2.

What has the launcher to do? Translate a tapped icon into an app start, that’s really not much.

I also did once pull the accu because of the device didn’t reponse on anything. I’m really thankful about that feature.

Hi @AnotherElk, sad to report that the power setting hasn’t improved the phone speed one single bit. Certain apps still take ages to open… Thanks for the suggestion though!

Any ideas on where to take this next?
Thanks in advance!

While it is sad to see no improvement, it should at the same time be kind of encouraging that this doesn’t seem to be the bottleneck here.

Since you wisely chose to use your SD card as external storage already, for me this would set the launcher in sight for experimenting next.

Me too.
But unless you uninstalled Bliss it should be easier to revert back to it for the moment to see whether it behaves differently.
Settings - Apps and notifications - Default apps - Home app

Hi there,
Tried using Bliss Launcher today and no improvement on the app start-up time. Running out of ideas…

Although I admit that I don’t remember a performance boost after upgrading, but that might be a matter of individual perception. I’m pretty forgiving in that regard.

No, I didn’t mean that the launcher was responsible.

Hi there, any improvements yet?

Hi there,
I’m afraid not. I finally found the time to flash another ROM into my other phone, a Samsung S10e and the difference is like night and day - the Samsung just flies and copes fantastic with anything I throw at it: multitasking, switching from one app to another. The Fairphone just can’t handle more than two apps at once.
I’m afraid I am quite disappointed with the experience and will contact the /e/ store shortly to arrange a return and refund. Such a shame but what can you do!

I have the suspicion that a lot of slow performance phenomenons are related to animations. I switched off animations completely in the system settings some days ago and many things run better, especially starting some apps.


I’m using 0.17 on my Fairphone 3 : Setting battery to performance mode and completely remove the animation help a bit.

But, IMO, there is a real issue with performance for this Smartphone. I’m actually thinking about rolling back to a stock Android Version (but no google account here, so … :stuck_out_tongue: )
I’m hopping /e/ OS team is working hard to tweak this a bit in a future version.

Here some metrics :
Twitter Lite : 12 seconds
Tiers app : 16 seconds (!!)
Firefox Nightly (Without tab) : 3 seconds
Reddit : 6 seconds

I suspect application that need MicroG a lot are very very slow.

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