Fairphone, the Dutch specialist in durable and repairable smartphones, today unveiled its new model: more powerful, more modern, but also… more expensive. Are beautiful principles enough to compensate?
Right off the bat, let’s get the elephant out of the china shop: yes, the Fairphone 5 costs more than its predecessor. At €699, the new model is €170 more expensive than the Fairphone 4 launched two years ago and yet the technical characteristics of the device firmly positions it in the mid-range segment. From a strictly price point of view, the Fairphone 5 is struggling to compete with the Pixel 6a (459 €) or with the plethora of Galaxy A from Samsung.
The partition of repairability
But Fairphone plays a completely different score: the smartphone is produced in a sustainable way and above all, it is modular and perfectly repairable by the user. The manufacturer also guarantees at least five operating system updates (the Fairphone 5 runs Android 13), so flawless software operation until 2031. And then the company commits to a total of eight to ten years of software support and security updates, a record in the Android world.
On the repairability side, these are ten components that can easily be replaced – battery, screen, rear panel, USB-C port, speaker… The new features of the model are the main photo sensor and the ultra wide-angle , as well as the slots for the SIM and SD card, which can now be changed in case of concern. Fairphone provides a 5-year hardware warranty.
With such a price, Fairphone had to put its smartphone at the same level as the rest of the market. Exit the LCD screen: the Fairphone 5 incorporates a 6.46-inch OLED panel, with a contrast of 1,000,000:1 and a peak brightness of 880 nits, a refresh rate of 90 Hz and a definition of 1,224 x 2,700. The screen is protected by a Gorilla 5 coating.
Change also for the engine: we go from a Snapdragon 750G to a Qualcomm QCM6490 (8 cores up to 2.7 GHz) supporting 5G and Wi-Fi 6E. It is a system-on-chip that is rarely encountered on smartphones, more so on industrial equipment. As on previous models, the chip is one of the few elements that cannot be replaced; we can therefore hope that Fairphone has chosen it to withstand the shock during the long years of use of the device.
There is also 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage, with an SD port that pushes up to 2 TB. The 4,200 mAh battery provides 12 hours of call time. The IP55 protection rating is slightly higher than the Fairphone 4 (IP54). The new model will therefore be resistant to rain, but we will not be diving with it.
The manufacturer also wanted to take care of the photo system. At the front takes place a 50 mpx camera with ƒ / 2.45 aperture, and at the back a main sensor of 50 mpx Sony (ƒ / 1.88) assisted by an ultra wide-angle sensor also of 50 mpx and a time-of-flight sensor. Fairphone packs all of this into a thinner 9.9 mm thick chassis according to Labo 01net measurements.
The Fairphone 5 is available for pre-order today with sales starting on September 14. In France, it will also be available from Orange, exclusively until October 15.