Fairphone, the producer centered on making simple to restore smartphones made out of ethically sourced supplies, simply took the wraps off its fourth-generation handset. The Fairphone 4 makes use of a modular design that’s much like the corporate’s earlier telephones, solely now with extra highly effective internals, a five-year guarantee, and a promise of two main Android updates and software program assist till the top of 2025. Costs begin at €579 / £499 for the telephone, which can ship on October twenty fifth.
I’ve been utilizing the Fairphone 4 for a few days as my main telephone, and whereas I’m not prepared to provide a closing verdict simply but, it seems like an enormous step ahead in comparison with the dated designs and low-power elements discovered within the firm’s earlier telephones. Keep tuned for my full assessment.
Fairphone’s ambition is to supply a extra moral various to fashionable smartphones. Meaning making a tool that’s ethically sourced utilizing sustainable supplies earlier than offering the software program assist and guarantee to make it useable for so long as potential. Though Fairphone is barely guaranteeing software program assist till the top of 2025, it has ambitions to increase this so far as 2027. In a perfect world, Fairphone would additionally wish to finally launch 2024’s Android 15 as an replace to the telephone.
Usually, the specs of Fairphone’s units are secondary to its moral concerns, however not like its earlier telephones, the Fairphone 4 is aggressive with different mid-range Android handsets. The 5G handset is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 750G processor, and that’s paired with both 6 or 8GB of RAM and 128 or 256GB of inside storage, expandable through microSD. It’s powered by a 3,905mAh detachable battery, and the show is a 6.3-inch 1080p LCD panel.
There are two rear cameras — a 48-megapixel most important digicam and a 48-megapixel ultrawide — and a single 25-megapixel selfie digicam. The primary rear digicam is supplied with optical picture stabilization and may document at as much as 4K / 30fps.
A notable draw back in comparison with earlier Fairphones is that the Fairphone 4 now not features a 3.5mm headphone jack, a selection that feels at odds with the corporate’s in any other case customer-first strategy. Fairphone tells me it made this resolution so as to have the ability to supply an official IP ranking for mud and water resistance, which was lacking from the corporate’s earlier telephones. It’s solely IP54, which implies it’s protected against gentle splashes quite than full submersion, however that’s spectacular in gentle of its detachable rear cowl and modular design.
Relating to its modularity, Fairphone is promoting eight restore modules for the telephone, which embrace substitute shows, batteries, again covers, USB-C ports, loudspeakers, earpieces, rear cameras, and selfie cameras. All of those are simply detachable utilizing a normal Philips head screwdriver, which implies clients ought to be capable to perform quite a lot of repairs themselves. However, if you should flip to an expert, Fairphone says its spare components are available for native restore retailers to purchase and use themselves.
Fairphone’s earlier two telephones are the one units to have acquired perfect repairability scores from iFixit, and the corporate tells me it believes the Fairphone 4 is much more repairable.
The hope is for these spare components to be obtainable till at the least 2027. Fairphone has a very good observe document with earlier units, telling me it nonetheless has components in inventory for the six-year-old Fairphone 2, two years after the final handset was bought. However product supervisor Miquel Ballester concedes that the corporate has run out of sure components for that mannequin.
So too does Fairphone have a strong document on the software program facet of offering main Android updates for its telephones… finally. Earlier this 12 months, the corporate formally launched its Android 9 update for the Fairphone 2, a tool that initially launched with Android 5. It could have come virtually three years after Android 9’s authentic launch, nevertheless it implies that the telephone continues to run an formally supported model of Google’s working system. It bodes properly for Fairphone’s assist aspirations for the Fairphone 4, though it must cope with the truth that Qualcomm solely formally helps its chipsets for 3 main OS updates and 4 years of safety updates, Ars Technica reports.
When it comes to supplies, the Fairphone 4 is made utilizing Fairtrade-certified gold; responsibly sourced aluminum and tungsten; and recycled tin, uncommon earth minerals, and plastic (together with its rear panel, which is 100% recycled polycarbonate). The corporate has numerous initiatives to enhance the working situations of miners and manufacturing facility employees concerned within the provide chains for its units. Fairphone additionally claims that the Fairphone 4 is the “first digital waste impartial handset” as a result of it’ll recycle one telephone or an equal quantity of e-waste for every system bought.
The Fairphone 4 is out there to preorder right this moment in Europe and will ship beginning October twenty fifth. The mannequin with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage prices €579 / £499, whereas the step-up mannequin with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage retails for €649 / ￡569. Sadly, there’s no signal of a US launch: Fairphone says it’s however that it’s specializing in Europe in the intervening time.