Review: Fairphone 3+, the sustainable smartphone

Avatar for Martijn Hoogeveen
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Fairphone 3+

450 euro
8.7

Easy to setup

8.0/10

Sustainability

10.0/10

Price/performance

8.0/10

Pros

  • Easy to repair
  • Product lifetime
  • Dual-SIM
  • Gorilla glass

Cons

  • No charging cable included
  • Single camera

The Fairphone 3+ comes with a story of circularity. A philosophy of modularity and a promise of an extended product lifetime. The modularity makes it easy to replace broken parts or do an upgrade. Furthermore, the company uses recycled plastics.

The box comes simply with two items: the smartphone plus a tiny little screwdriver. The phone is charged and ready to go. Remarkably, there is no charging cable in the box. Probably to avoid cable waste. But for a typical household, used to Android devices as well, this is not an issue.

The screwdriver is more than symbolic. Out of curiosity I remove the plastic backside panel and see about a dozen little cross screws which fix the replaceable components of the Fairphone smartphone like the camera module, loudspeaker, bottom module, top module, and many other parts. This is what makes the phone special. It is designed with circularity in mind. I remove the battery by hand as not unusual to find the slots for SD and dual-microSIM cards. Further, the gorilla glass used for the screen gives the phone a noticeable robust feel. All contributing to the spirit of durability.

When activating the smartphone, and connecting it to my Google account, it works as one would expect an Android smartphone to work.

All in all, it is a robust and very decent state-of-the-art Android 10 phone. Its uniqueness is related to its sustainable design philosophy, contributing to the product lifetime, and preventing waste.

The modular inside of the Fairphone 3+

Avatar for Martijn Hoogeveen

Founder and CEO of Icecat NV. Investor. Ph.D.

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