This is the type of phone the EU constantly dreams about.
You may or may not heard of a company called Fairphone. If not, they are one of the only major European manufacturers of smartphones focused on one thing: reduce e-waste by manufacturing phones that are easy to repair, disassemble, and last long with Android upgrades. These phones put big companies like Samsung and even Apple to shame with their sustainability efforts.
The company does not always release new phones, and that’s fair. They really don’t have to. Their previous phone, the Fairphone 4, was announced two years ago, and just like the Fairphone 5, is intended to be sustainable so you really don’t need to upgrade to this because the Fairphone 4 would last just as long.
The phone was previewed in IFA Berlin. During the presentation, the startup also showed how easy it is to replace parts, not just the battery, but also the USB-C port, the camera modules, the screen, and the speakers with just the use of a simple screwdriver. In a sense, the Fairphone 5 is a modular phone done right. We wish LG and Google got it correctly too.
Among its promotional materials for the Fairphone 5 was how easy to repair it is, including a removable battery, a feature that is now long gone because manufacturers wanted to emphasise using better design materials, including aluminium and glass, for their phones. However, with recent EU regulations, brands like Samsung and Apple have to comply and would be forced to create a premium design while having a removable battery, something Apple has never done in its lifetime, this is great for consumers and would, theoretically, reduce e-waste highly.
If OnePlus and Samsung can make their phones last for five years, and Apple for six, here comes Fairphone with a phone that could last an entire decade (currently, the phone supports eight years of major Android upgrades). This is the type of phone that is ideal for the new EU regulations that are soon to take place.
For its spec sheet, the phone is in the midrange segment featuring a 6.46″ FullHD+ (2700x1224px) 90Hz OLED screen protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Although it only has IP55 protection, this is negated by the fact that almost everything about the phone is replaceable.
It is powered by a Qualcomm QC6490 chipset, a chipset that is never used by any other manufacturer aside from Fairphone. However, due to its GPU (Adreno 642L), we suspect that it is a variant of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G. It comes with 8GB RAM and 256GB ROM. The storage is expandable by up to 2TB using a MicroSD Card.
There are two cameras at the back and a single 50MP Camera that can capture 4K videos at 30fps, still pretty impressive and we’re hoping this becomes the norm. Both rear cameras are functional. These include the 50MP Sony IMX800 primary sensor and a 50MP Sony IMX858 ultrawide secondary sensor. If you’re familiar with the Sony IMX800, that’s because the Honor 70 was the first to use it, though the company listed it as 54MP instead of 50MP.
The phone features a 4200mAh removable battery with 30W fast charging similar to the ASUS Zenfone 10. It also features 5G connectivity, an in-display fingerprint sensor, NFC, and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity.
It is up for pre-order in Europe with a price of EUR 699 (~PHP 42.8K) which is stupidly expensive when you convert it into Philippine pesos but then again, the audience of the Fairphone 5 is different. It comes in two colours: Sky Blue and Matte Black as well as a Transparent variant.