Fairphone is unique in the world of smartphones. It is practically the only company trying to build a sustainable device that is not glued and hostile to the repair community. Today, Fairphone announces a new flagship: the Fairphone 4, offering an updated design and better specs while shipping with all the modularity you would expect.
Basic specs for the 579 Euro ($ 671) model include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G SoC, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. There is also a 649 Euro ($ 753) version with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. On the front, you’ll get a 6.3-inch, 2340 × 1080 LCD screen with slimmer bezels (compared to the Fairphone 3 design) and a teardrop notch for the 25 MP front-facing camera. The 3905 mAh battery is compatible with Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.1, so if you have a compatible USB-C charger (not included in the box), it can take the battery from 0 to 50 percent in 30 minutes. The phone ships with Android 11 and has a side fingerprint reader on the power button, a MicroSD slot, and the option for dual SIM use via a physical nanoSIM and an eSIM.
Surprisingly, there is no headphone jack, which seems like something the Fairphone demographic would have really wanted. Wired headphones last indefinitely, while Bluetooth headphones turn to garbage after a few years when the batteries run out. It seems contrary to Fairphone’s sustainability speech to tell people to run and buy Bluetooth headphones.
On the back you will find a 48 MP main camera with OIS and a 48 MP wide angle camera with macro function. The third circle in the back is not a camera; Instead, it houses a laser autofocus system, a color sensor, and a time-of-flight sensor.
The key feature of Fairphone is the modular components, which facilitate repairs with just a screwdriver. Inside the phone, you’ll find eight easily replaceable parts: the screen, the USB-C port, the selfie camera, the ear speaker, the main camera matrix, the speaker, the battery, and the rubberized back. If you break something, all of these parts will be available for sale on Fairphone.com. The only “non-commercial replacement part” is the core module, which contains the SoC, storage, RAM, device frame, and fingerprint reader.
Fairphone is striving for longevity this year, and this model’s ease of repair allows for an incredible five-year warranty at no additional cost. The company also promises “long-term availability of spare parts” – parts for the Fairphone 2, a device that launched in 2015, are still for sale on the website.
It’s not just hardware where Fairphone is blazing a trail towards sustainability. The company has also been incorporating a herculean effort in software updates, like when you upgraded the 5-year-old Fairphone 2 to Android 9.0 in March. Fairphone did this without Help from Qualcomm, which has long abandoned the chips it created five years ago. Upgrading an Android device without the support of a chipset vendor is unprecedented, but Fairphone still spent the money and partnered with the LineageOS community to make it happen.
Fairphone says it wants to continue the industry-leading upgrade work it’s been doing with the Fairphone 4, but the lack of support from basically everyone else in the industry means the future is unpredictable. So Fairphone is guaranteeing updates until the end of 2025, when Qualcomm support runs out, and then it will skyrocket for more.
Here is the full statement:
For Fairphone 4, software support is guaranteed until the end of 2025 and includes updates to Android 12 and Android 13, but the company aims to extend it further, until the end of 2027, with updates to Android 14 and Android 15 despite support. chipset vendor expires. With this unmatched ambition, Fairphone aims to repeat what it achieved with a previous model: six years of software support since the launch of an Android device.
The Fairphone 4 is available to pre-order today and will ship on October 25. It will be widely available in Europe and the UK, and that’s only Europe and the UK, by the way. Those of us in the United States still can’t have nice things. What does it take, Fairphone? There are people in the United States who want to support this.
Image listing by Fairphone