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Fairphone 1 FAQ

The Fairphone 1 was our very first device we produced and sold. In 2013, we started a crowdfunding campaign and the first Fairphone 1 devices shipped early 2014. 

As this was our first step into the electronics market, this was a so-called catalogue model. The design was not original, but it allowed us to start with some first steps into fairness:

  • Replaceable battery
  • Dual SIM
  • The white rim around the display contained recycled plastics
  • The vibration mechanism contained conflict-free tungsten

In July 2017, we announced to Fairphone 1 owners that we have stopped supporting our first phone. This means that:

  • We no longer sell spare parts for the Fairphone 1, and;
  • Have stopped developing any software upgrades beyond Android 4.2.

By now, many Fairphone 1 users have retired (and hopefully recycled) their devices. Even so, we want to make sure that all essential information about our very first Fairphone is still accessible.


Below you will find a summary of all important details about the Fairphone 1. This will help you use the device until its very end, including guidance on what steps to take when the time to retire your Fairphone 1 has come.



Q: What OS does the Fairphone 1 run?

The Fairphone 1 runs on the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean Operating System. The latest update to the Fairphone 1 was Kola Nut 1.8.7. By default, the OS on the Fairphone 1 is not the basic Stock Android. Rather, we developed the OS in cooperation with talented people at Kwamecorp.

Please note that Android 4 is by now considered outdated, and many apps (e.g. banking apps) may no longer work on your Fairphone 1. This means that basic functions (e.g. calling) will still work with your Fairphone 1. However, outdated software severely limits what your Fairphone 1 is capable of. It also impacts the security of your phone.

We no longer offer an image of Fairphone OS for the Fairphone 1. You can consult our community-driven forum to find out the remaining options.

Q: What SIM cards and network connection are supported?

The Fairphone 1 supports two Mini SIM cards , sized: 25mm x 15mm x 0.76mm. If you have a micro SIM card, it is possible to use a SIM adapter. We do recommend to get a new SIM card in the right size to prevent issues. Please note that the Fairphone 2, Fairphone 3(+), and Fairphone 4 use other SIM card formats.

Regardless of the provider you use, note that the Fairphone 1 will not work on 4G/LTE. It will work on:

  • GSM/EDGE (2G) under the following frequencies: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz;
  • and UMTS/HSPA+ (3G) under the following frequencies: 2100/900 MHz.

In the coming years, an increasing number of providers all across Europe will phase out these networks. We recommend you to check with your provider for how much longer you will be able to access mobile data with your Fairphone 1.

If you are using a SIM card that is older than a year and you experience issues, please renew your physical SIM card via your provider. Issues that indicate a potential issue with your SIM card are random rebooting, apps crashing, low sound quality of calls, and/or a hot processor.

Q: How can I save, transfer and delete data?

Saving your data:

To preserve your data (pictures, memories, contacts, etc.) we recommend performing regular backups. No matter how careful you are, accidents could happen! We recommend that you back up and save your data via a Google Account. This way, you always have access to your data, also in case of loss or theft of your device.


Transferring your data:

To use you Google account as backup: enable synchronisation via Settings > Accounts.

To transfer data manually from your phone to a different device, there are different options.

To your computer:

  1. Connect your Fairphone 1 with a USB data cable to the PC.
  2. It should automatically connect and show up under My Computer.
  3. If it doesn’t connect automatically, open the notification panel on your Fairphone 1.
  4. Select USB connection and then select MTP mode.

To your new Fairphone:


Deleting your data:

If you want to permanently delete your data from your Fairphone 1, please follow these steps:

  1. Go to System SettingsBackup & ResetFactory Data Reset → scroll down.
  2. Select Erase Phone Storage.
  3. Press the Reset phone button.

Q: How can I clear the cache of apps on Fairphone 1?

Cache is temporarily stored information which an app needs to function.

To solve issues with apps, the first step is to erase these data. Clearing the cache does not erase user information such as pictures. You can clear the cache of one app or clear the cache of all apps at once.

To clear the cache of a specific app:

  1. Tap the icon All Apps.
  2. Press and hold the icon of the app of your choice.
  3. Drag it to the top of the screen where it says App info.
  4. Tap the Clear cache.
  5. Reboot the phone.

To clear the cache of all apps at once:

  1. Go to Settings (via the pull-down menu on top → Icon with the person → Tuning switches).
  2. Choose Storage.
  3. Scroll to Cached data.
  4. Tap Cached data.
  5. A pop-up shows: Clear cached data? Then click OK to confirm.
  6. Reboot the phone.

Q: Where can I find the serial number and IMEI?

You can find your Fairphone 1 serial number and IMEI numbers underneath the battery.

The battery's serial number is on its bottom side.

To find them:

  1. Turn off your phone.
  2. Remove the metal back of your phone.
  3. Pull out the battery.

NOTE: You can also find your Fairphone serial number on the bottom side of the box in which it was shipped.

Q: Are spare parts available?

Back in July 2017, we have announced the end of Fairphone 1's maintenance as well as the availability of its spare parts. All Fairphone 1 spare parts are sold out and will not be produced again. If you want to know more about this decision, you can check this blog post.

While we hope you can continue to use your Fairphone 1 as long as possible, please note that every lithium-ion battery has a limited life. If you suspect your battery is swelling, do the battery spin test. When your battery spins more than two rounds, it is swelling.

If your battery is swelling:

  1. Immediately turn off your device and remove the battery from your Fairphone.
  2. Discard the swelling battery as soon as possible an a local batteries recycling point (swelling batteries should not be shipped).

If you are looking into replacing a part that is sold out, you can check if someone has a part available in our community marketplace.

Q: Do you offer repairs for Fairphone 1?

For the Fairphone 1, we do not provide repairs at our repair center anymore:

  • The manufacturing warranty has expired for all Fairphone 1 and Fairphone 1U devices.
  • Spare parts are not available anymore.

With the help of the iFixit guide, you or a local repair shop might still be able to repair your phone.

Q: What is the longevity of the batteries?

Every lithium-ion battery has a limited life. Your battery has reached the end of its life if:

  • Is not charging well.
  • Has a poor battery life and you have tried everything else.
  • Has expanded in size. By feel, look, or if it causes the back cover to pop off or bulge.

If you suspect your battery is swelling, do the battery spin test. When your battery spins more than two rounds, it is swelling.

When your battery is swelling:

  1. Immediately turn off your device and remove the battery from your Fairphone.
  2. Discard the swelling battery as soon as possible via your local small chemical waste recycling point (swelling batteries should not be shipped).

Unused/spent batteries can often be recycled at supermarkets and shops that sell appliances. You can consult the web pages of your municipality for the possibilities.

  • There is an inbuilt mechanism to prevent pressure from building up inside as much as possible. Once the swelling process has started, it can not stop. The pressurized gases can be dangerous and we recommend you proceed with caution.
  • Do not ship your swelling battery as it is considered a dangerous good by the shipping agencies.
  • This issue is not specific to Fairphone. Unfortunately, swollen batteries can occur with any lithium battery.
  • Humid environments or frequent dropping can also cause swollen batteries.


User guides

Should you need further help in using your Fairphone 1, we recommend checking out our User Guide: