Most phones today are disposable items, and if yours stops working for whatever reason it’s hard to repair it yourself work, and repairing it at the shop may prove to be too expensive. They are not really expandable either, so if you want a new feature, you may have to buy a completely new phone instead of simply adding a module with the functionality. The difficulty in repairing the phone and the lack of modularity leading to electronics waste. Finally, consumer products are cost-optimized, and that’s great for your wallet, but it may come at the cost of being made by slave labor either directly at the factory, or indirectly through the mining of materials. Aren’t you already feeling bad being complicit in destroying the planet and sponsoring human suffering while reading this on your device?
Good! But luckily there’s a solution with Fairphone that aims to be an ethical / socially responsible smartphone that is modular, easy to repair, and is manufactured using ethically sourced materials. A little while ago, we covered Fairphone 2 Ubuntu port, and now the company has just announced the launch of Fairphone 3.
Fairphone 3 specifications:
- SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 octa-core Kryo 250 processor clocked at up to 2.2 GHz, and an Adreno 506 GPU; 12nm process
- System Memory – 4GB RAM
- Storage – 64GB storage + microSD card reader
- Display – 5.65″ touchscreen display with 2160 x 1080 resolution, Gorilla Glass 5
- Audio – 3.5 headphone jack; stereo speaker; microphone
- Dual nano-SIM
- 4G LTE Cat 13 up to 450 Mbps download speed; Bands: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 13, 20, 26
- 3G HSPA+ up to 42 Mbps; Frequencies: 800, 850, 900, 1700, 1900, 2100 Mhz
- 2G GSM/GPRS/EDGE – 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
- Dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi 5
- Bluetooth 5 LE
- NFC for card paymentand more
- GNSS: GPS, GLONASS, BEIDOU, GALILEO, A-GPS support
- Cameras – 12MP rear camera with autofocus, dual LED flash; 8MP front-facing
- USB – 1x USB 2.0 type-C port
- Sensors – Fingerprint scanner, ambient light, accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, barometer, compass
- Battery – 3,000 mAh removable battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support
- Dimensions – 158 x 71.8 x 9.89 mm
- Weight – 187.4 grams
- IP Rating – IP54
The phone the latest Android 9 Pie operating system, ships with a mini screwdriver, a bumper, and a quick start guide. USB-C cable, charger, and earphones are not included since you may already have those, and they can be purchased separately. Remember one of the goals is to reduce e-waste. Fairphone 3 comes with a 2-year warranty.
User-replaceable spare parts are what make this phone really unique, as most components are replaceable thanks to the modular design including cameras, speakers, bottom and top modules, the display, the battery, and the back cover… If after a few years your battery becomes depleted, you can replace it by spending around 30 Euros on a new one. This used to be standard in phones many years ago, but sadly it has now become a rarity.
Being socially responsible does come at a price however, as the mid-range phone sells for 450 Euros including VAT. Note that you can get up to 40 Euros discount if you recylce your old phone with the company. Some examples of prices for spare parts: 89.90 Euros for display, $49.95 Euros for camera, 19.95 Euros for speaker.