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Fairphone 4 Might Be the Best Smartphone in the World for the World

The Fairphone 4 on a blue and green background.

Fairphone’s mission to sell sustainable, repairable, long-lasting phones just reached a big new milestone. The company is now offering pre-orders for its newest flagship, the Fairphone 4, an affordable 5G handest that comes with years of software support, contains ethically sourced components, and is held together by screws instead of glue.

The new Fairphone 4 runs on a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G processor. In its base configuration, it comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, though you can pay extra for an 8GB RAM and 256GB storage model. Other specs include a 6.3-inch FHD LCD display, a side fingerprint reader, a 25MP teardrop selfie camera, a 48MP main camera with IOS, a 48MP wide-angle lens with macro support, and a laser auto-focus system with a TOF sensor.

Fairphone ships the new device with Android 11, though the company hopes to provide the latest Android updates until 2027 (to play it safe, Fairphone only guarantees software support until 2025). If that’s not crazy enough, the Fairphone 4 also comes with a 5-year warranty, though this warranty is only available if you register your phone before December of next year.

But my favorite part about the Fairphone 4 is its repairability. The device has a 9.3 out of 10 repairability score based on the French Repairability Index, as all of its parts are modular and held together by screws, not adhesives. Fixing or replacing the device’s battery, screen, and cameras is a breeze.

And for those with a penchant for environmentalism, the Fairphone 4 contains Fairtrade gold and is housed in a recycled plastic shell. The device is also electronic waste neutral, thanks to diligent recycling.

My only concern with the Fairphone 4 is its lack of a headphone jack, which seems like a major oversight given how quickly wireless headphones fall apart. But at least there’s an IP54 splash-resistance rating—something that I didn’t think was possible in a screwed-together phone.

Those in Europe or the UK can pre-order the Fairphone 4 for €649 or £499. Orders start shipping October 25th. For whatever reason, this device is not available in the United States. I wouldn’t suggest importing it, as its 5G radio isn’t compatible with most U.S. 5G protocols.

Fairphone 4

The 5G-enabled Fairphone 4 ships with Android 11, comes with a 5-year warranty, and is guaranteed to receive updates until 2025 (or as late as 2027). Pre-orders are open in Europe and the UK starting at €649 or £499.

Source: Fairphone via Ars Technica

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is the News Editor for Review Geek, where he covers breaking stories and manages the news team. He joined Life Savvy Media as a freelance writer in 2018 and has experience in a number of topics, including mobile hardware, audio, and IoT. Read Full Bio »