Fairphone 5 repairable and sustainable smartphone stays fresh for longer
Back in 2013, a Dutch startup launched a smartphone made using ethically sourced materials and designed for extended service life. Now the Fairphone has entered its fifth generation, sporting an OLED display, 50-MP cameras and fast charging.
The Fairphone 5 has been created in partnership with Swedish design studio Above, and is built using ethically sourced materials while also being relatively easy to repair.
More than 70% of they 14 key materials used in the device's construction – including tungsten, lithium and gold, along with aluminum, tin, nickel, copper and plastics – are from recycled or fair-mined sources, or from operations that support responsible production through "Fairphone and partners' impact projects."
The handset is also assembled in a facility that ensures safe and fair working conditions to SA8000 certification, and as with its predecessor, the company will undertake to match the weight of devices sold with e-waste it recycles responsibly, or will seek to take back and repair broken handsets to give them a second life.
The Fairphone 5 is weatherproofed to IP55 standards, drop tested from a height of 1.8 m (6 ft) and certified MIL-STD-810H durable. It's reported to be thinner and lighter than all generations before it, and features a 90-Hz OLED display that measures 6.46 inches from corner to corner, is topped by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and can be replaced by the user if needed.
Users benefit from onscreen visuals at 1,224 x 2,700 pixels and 20:9 aspect, 880 nits of peak brightness, and a 50-MP hole-punch selfiecam supporting 4K video at 30 frames per second.
Inside is a Qualcomm QCM6490 chipset selected specifically because of longer-term software support than the industry norm – with Fairphone committing to five OS upgrades and security updates until at least 2031, perhaps even longer. Of course, users can also opt to install an alternative operating system if they wish.
"By offering longer-term software support, users can keep using their phones twice as long, lowering up to 50% of the environmental impact and resource use compared to a regular smartphone, which is only supported for around three years," said the B-Corp-certified social enterprise in a press statement.
The SoC comes with octa-core processing and integrated graphics, 5G mobile internet, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, AI computing chops and more. The smartphone ships with a bloat-free version of Android 13, features 8 GB of LPDDR4x RAM and has 256 GB of UFS-2.2 storage, expandable to 2 TB via microSD.
The rear bump sports two 50-megapixel cameras based on Sony sensors for the promise of "an effortless professional photography experience" thanks to "improved tuning and high-end imaging algorithms." The F1.88 main module features optical image stabilization and 8x digital zoom, while the ultra-wide makes do with electronic image stabilization and offers a macro mode.
There's support for 4K UHD video at 30 frames per second, as well as Full HD at 60 fps. And yep, these modules are replaceable – as is the selfiecam along with the ear speaker, dual loudspeakers, USB-C port, battery, back cover and a top unit that includes the microSD slot, SIM slot, ToF sensor and flash. Replacement parts are available from the Fairphone webstore.
Finally, the "fairest smartphone battery on the market" has a capacity of 4,200-mAh battery for up to 12 hours of phone calls per charge, with 30 minutes of 30-W fast-charging juicing it up to 50%.
The Fairphone 5 is up for pre-order now at €699, with shipping due to begin in mid-September. There are currently no plans to release the ethical smartphone in the US.
Product page: Fairphone 5