Fairphone 3: Modular sustainability in the third generation (Update)

by Kelvin
Fairphone 3: Modulare Nachhaltigkeit in dritter Generation

After the first generation Fairphone proved to be not so sustainable and lack of replacement parts led to premature end of support, the successor was modular and powerful. In addition, the Fairphone 2 was the first smartphone to receive the highest rating from iFixit. Now the Fairphone 3 hits the same course.

Sign of life after three years of radio silence

The Fairphone 2 was the world's first modular smartphone at the end of 2015 (Image: Fairphone)

After the Dutch company Fairphone last received around 17,500 pre-orders of its Fairphone 2 in mid-July to end-September 2015, the delivery of the world's first modular smartphone began shortly before the end of 2015, bringing Fairphone to Google's Project Ara before hardly any modular prototype disappointed and was consequently discontinued shortly thereafter.


But it was also quiet about Fairphone and a new generation of his ethically and morally correct smartphone. Although the Dutch could officially announce the support of the Fairphone 2 for Android 7.1.2 "Nougat" in November 2018, customers have been waiting for a new Fairphone for more than three years. Fairphone wants to correct this from September 3, the release date of the Fairphone 3.

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Seven modules and an easy to repair design

As with the predecessor generation, the manufacturer also relies on the highest modularity and easy-to-repair product design in the Fairphone 3. Fairphone remains true to its own line and adheres to the modular module principle. The manufacturer also supplies the appropriate tool at the same time.

Accidents happen, but that does not have to be the end of your smartphone! Replaceable modules keep it longer – you can fix it yourself with a single screwdriver (included).

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Overall, the Fairphone 3 consists of seven modules, all of which are easily replaced and can be purchased as a spare part in the Fairphone Shop in the event of damage. In addition, the third generation, like its predecessors, comes with a 24-month warranty.

Fairphone 3 – Spare Parts
camera Camera (Image: Fairphone)
Topmodul Topmodule (Image: Fairphone)

Fair trade and recycled materials

Fairphone claims to create a deeper understanding between people and their products, and therefore promotes debate about what "fair" really means. For Fairphone itself, "fair" means that the Fairphone 3 is made exclusively with fair-trade materials and that the company is personally committed to the well-being and fair pay of employees throughout the entire production chain.

Under Our Mission and Impact, Fairphone explains how the company is gradually working to bring sustainability and fair labor practices to the forefront of the electronics industry.

It's no secret: we want to change the world. Fairphone places people and the environment first.

From responsible sourcing to commitment to the well-being of the workforce, we open all processes and set new standards for the industry as a whole.

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Whether the new Fairphone will also be particularly sustainable in terms of software and will be supplied with major and security updates for a long time is not yet known. The smartphone will be delivered at the end of September with Android 9 "Pie".

When specifications become a minor matter

The fact that the manufacturer does not attach the greatest importance to the technical specifications of the Fairphone 3 is already clear when looking at the product page in the shop. Here Fairphone speaks only of a 12-MP rear and 8-MP front camera, according to the manufacturer to provide detailed images and high quality photos even in low light conditions. On the other hardware components of his smartphone, the manufacturer does not speak a word, this is ultimately only at the very end of the product page.

In addition to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 with eight Kryo 250 cores with 2.2 GHz clock speed and 4 GB LPDDR4, the Fairphone offers 64 GB of internal memory, which can be expanded with a MicroSD card. For graphics output, an Adreno 506 with 650 MHz is responsible.

The already mentioned 12 MP main camera is based on an IMX363 sensor and has a digital image stabilizer as well as a dual LED flash. Videos can be recorded in UHD at 30fps. The selfie camera on the front, however, has 8 megapixels and in turn can record videos in FullHD.

The Fairphone 3's 5.65-inch IPS display, with an aspect ratio of 18: 9, offers a resolution of 1,080 x 2,160 pixels, resulting in a high pixel density of 427 DPI.

The easy to change battery is charged via USB 2.0 Type-C, has a nominal power of 3,060 mAh and supports fast charging via Quick Charge 3.0 and a compatible charger. Wireless Charge is not supported.

Availability and price

The Fairphone 3 is to be available from 3 September for the time being exclusively in the online shop of the manufacturer and can already be pre-ordered now for the price of 450 euros. Another special feature concerns the scope of delivery of the Fairphone 3, because this consists exclusively of the smartphone itself, a screwdriver to change the modules if necessary and a bumper.

If you do not need it, it will not be included! Supplied with no charger, no cable and no headphones are included. Just use the accessories you already own and help reduce electrical waste.

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Update 28.08.2019 09:53 clock

Up to 40 euros recycling discount and other distribution partners

Fairphone also wants to sell its sustainable smartphone away from its own shop, so the Fairphone 3 will also be available through Mobilcom-Debitel in Germany, Digitec in Switzerland and Magenta Telekom in Austria. In addition, the company offers its customers a recycling discount of up to 40 euros when purchasing a Fairphone 3.

The editorial thanks the community member "DrPepperIV" for his advice about this update.

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