Mobile Technology

The Fairphone 3 is the updated ethical smartphone for 2019

The Fairphone 3 is the updated...
Four years after the Fairphone 2, the Fairphone 3 has arrived
Four years after the Fairphone 2, the Fairphone 3 has arrived
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Four years after the Fairphone 2, the Fairphone 3 has arrived
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Four years after the Fairphone 2, the Fairphone 3 has arrived
The Fairphone 3 focuses on ethically-sourced components
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The Fairphone 3 focuses on ethically-sourced components
Under the hood of the Fairphone 3 is a Snapdragon 632 processor and 4 GB of RAM
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Under the hood of the Fairphone 3 is a Snapdragon 632 processor and 4 GB of RAM
The Fairphone 3 is built to be modular, so various components – like the battery – can be easily replaced
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The Fairphone 3 is built to be modular, so various components – like the battery – can be easily replaced

It's been four years since we saw the Fairphone 2, but the company's quest to build the ultimate ethical smartphone continues. And that brings us to the new and upgraded Fairphone 3, offering improved specs but the same commitment to sustainable and responsible phone development.

As with the previous Fairphone handsets, the new model is built with the environment and the supply chain in mind. It uses tin and tungsten from conflict-free regions (so their sale doesn't benefit armed groups), Fairtrade-certified gold, and recycled plastic and copper.

The phone is modular too, like its predecessors. That means repairs should be straightforward, and you'll be able to fix and patch up the Fairphone 3 rather than having to buy a whole new replacement (another nod to eco-friendly practices). It'll be boxed up in sustainable and reusable packaging too.

In addition, Fairphone says it's working together with assembly partner Arima to improve the lot of workers on the supply chain – their health, safety, and remuneration. In a move to try and keep e-waste down to a minimum, Fairphone is going to run recycling programs in various regions, so you can trade in your older handset.

"We envision an economy where consideration for people and the planet is a natural part of doing business," Fairphone CEO Eva Gouwens said in a press statement. "This is why we are creating scalable and replicable models in our impact areas for the industry and improve our supply chain and products step by step.

"But we cannot do this alone or overnight. To make lasting change possible, we need to transform the industry. The strongest signal that we can send is that there is a market for more sustainable products, which is why we developed the Fairphone 3 to be a real sustainable alternative on the market."

The Fairphone 3 is built to be modular, so various components – like the battery – can be easily replaced
The Fairphone 3 is built to be modular, so various components – like the battery – can be easily replaced

You probably won't be buying the Fairphone 3 for its specs, but here they are anyway: a 5.7-inch Full HD display, a mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 processor, 4 GB of RAM, a single-lens 12 MP rear camera, an 8 MP front camera, 64 GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD), and a 3,000 mAh battery that Fairphone says improves on the previous model.

In a nod to sustainability, that battery is also replaceable – something you rarely see with smartphones nowadays – so you can swap it out for a new one if it starts to degrade, rather than replacing the entire handset. The phone runs Android 9 Pie.

You can order a Fairphone 3 direct from Fairphone now for €450 (roughly US$500), with shipping in the first week of September. The phone will also be available through select carriers in Europe. The video below has more.

Launching Fairphone 3: Dare to care

Source: Fairphone

3 comments
Spud Murphy
But still only available in Europe. If these guys really want to make a dent in the smartphone industry they need to get the price down and start selling globally. I realise there are limits to price reduction due to the more ethical nature of the phone, but the price is too high for such average specs, even for a feelgood device.
Expanded Viewpoint
BWAHAHAHAHA!!! They're bragging that they're making a microwave radiation spewing, cancer causing device that is more "ethical" than the rest of them?? Isn't that kind of like a company that makes bullets, telling us that they are now making them coated with antibiotics so when you get shot by one, wound treatment will begin at the same time?? My long time friend Fred got colorectal cancer from his pager and later on cell phone, Portia died of ovarian cancer from her cell phone, Tom got bladder cancer from his cell phone, Bud has a patch of bald skin on his left thigh the EXACT size of his smart phone, a Bluetooth ear piece user I saw had about 1/4 of his left outer ear sawed off and a patch of keloid scar tissue the size of my hand on his neck and scalp and those are just a few of the cases out there! Cell phones are the planetary IQ test, and only a very few, like me, will be able to pass it.
Shana Summers
Expanded Viewpoint, your signature should be "Posted from my iPhone." But srsly. $500 for this phone? I can buy, use til it breaks and re-buy any other cheap phone for less. So you're not doing yourself any favors. There's no (real) incentive for people to get one. I understand it's hard to compete but why not do things people actually want. Forget the internal storage, give them a big microSD card out of the box. Put in a bigger battery--that'll actually get people interested. Add wireless charging. Most of this is not that expensive but we want it. As it stands now it's no wonder I had never heard of them before. They're doomed to be forgotten. If you want to really get attention add a swappable camera module. That way you can ADD a selfie cam, or upgrade the basic one. Add stereo speakers. Add cheap but nice cases. Do anything but make it generic and expensive.