No need to toss the whole phone if something stops working, this eco-friendly phone lets you replace and upgrade individual parts as you need.
The world’s most eco-friendly smartphone manufacturer, Fairphone, just announced the latest addition to its flagship modular phone line: the Fairphone 4. This new model is 5G-compatible, comes with a five-year warranty, and has guaranteed support through 2025, with possible support lasting up to 2027. The reason this Dutch manufacturer can make such a promise is that it designs its phones with sustainability in mind. As such, no piece of the phone is glued shut or made inaccessible, and with just a small screwdriver, any individual part can be easily replaced.
Fairphone started its push for ethical phone manufacturing in 2013 by introducing the concept of a modular phone, in an effort to counteract the popular trend of releasing a new phone every year. Once a Fairphone is purchased, replacements and even upgrades can be taken care of without having to get rid of the entire phone. The battery, front and rear cameras, USB-C port, loudspeaker, earpiece, display, and back cover are all available for individual purchase on Fairphone’s website. When one part stops working properly or needs an upgrade, it’s just a matter of unscrewing the back, taking out the right piece, and replacing it.
This time, Fairphone has proudly stated that it’s taken its phones “to the next level of fair” by applying more responsibly sourced materials than ever before. From its back cover consisting of 100% recycled plastic to its use of Fairtrade-certified gold, each piece of the Fairphone 4 is obtained with a strong sense of ethics and social responsibility. Fairphone is also calling this phone “electronic waste neutral,” as the company is recycling or reviving an old phone for each new one purchased. But it’s not just the materials either; Fairphone promises that employees on every part of their phone’s assembly line can enjoy respectable working conditions and earn a living wage.
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In addition to an upgrade in ethical manufacturing, the Fairphone 4 naturally also provides hardware upgrades from the previous model, to the point that it’s finally competitive with other mid-range devices. Behind the 6.3inch display is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G processor, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage, along with a 25MP front camera and two rear cameras — one main, one ultrawide, both 48MP. A second version is available out of the box that ups RAM to 8GM and storage to 256GB, though both have room for additional storage via microSD.
Currently only available for pre-order in Europe, the first version costs €579 and is expected to start shipping on October 25th, while the second version is going for €649 and won’t start shipping until November 1st. While Fairphone has expressed its interest in expanding to the U.S. market, it appears to be continuing to focus on its European customers for now.
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