The Fairphone 3 is the updated ethical smartphone for 2019
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."
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.