The Fairphone 5: First Impressions
It’s been a few weeks since we unveiled the new Fairphone 5, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the rousing reception it has received. Media outlets and YouTube influencers across the world have been lauding us for changing the paradigm when it comes to software support, warranty duration, and modular design. In fact, some are even calling us ‘the best smartphone on Earth’.
The Guardian gave the Fairphone 5 five out of five stars, thinking aloud whether it will be the first smartphone to last ten years.
The ethical pioneer, which leads the way in repairable devices, has just released the Fairphone 5. It is a thinner, lighter and more refined device compared with its predecessors and one that makes leaps and bounds in terms of longevity, repairability and quality.
With a £619 (€699) price tag, it is more expensive than those before it, but it offers up to 10 years of software support – unheard of in the smartphone industry and a significant step in addressing tech waste.
The Verge commended the device for its tech upgrades over the 4 while still being produced fairly, compared to its competitors.
Like its previous devices, the Fairphone 5 is made with ethically sourced materials by workers who are given a living wage bonus and is designed to be easy to repair with a lengthy software support period. But this year’s model is specced-out much more like a modern midrange smartphone, with an OLED display, fast 30W charging, and dual 50-megapixel cameras at the rear.
Stuff loved the increased modularity and ease of repairability the Fairphone 5 brings, giving the phone four out of five stars.
Pop off the Fairphone 5’s backplate with a fingernail and you’ll find a battery that can be replaced just like a late 90s Nokia; a single screwdriver then lets you remove a whole stack of other components, like the camera modules, speaker and screen. A big upgrade this year is that the cameras are all separate, instead of one unit, so you can replace them individually rather than the entire array should you scratch a lens.
Engadget was full of praise about how Fairphone focuses on issues that really matter, as opposed to blitz-marketing the next big ‘innovation’.
I’ve said before that Fairphone has always carried the whiff of a compromise choice, the cork and hemp sneaker you buy to assuage your guilt over all the sweatshop-made kicks you own. But, both thanks to Fairphone’s efforts to improve its product, and the general stagnation in the mobile industry more generally, the delta between what’s hot and what’s not has closed by a lot. If you’re looking to pick up a mid-range handset that you can keep going for twice as long as any other phone on the market, and you want to do a bit of good in the process, this is probably the phone for you. It’s not often the view from the moral high ground is this comfortable.
Of course, not every review has been as positive. We have had reports like this one by CNET. They really gave the Fairphone 5 a workout, even managing to drain its battery in less than a day! We truly appreciate the dedication of the reviewers and journalists who went all out in testing our device. But fear not, despite these extreme trials, we’re still confident that most users will easily sail through a day with plenty of juice left in their Fairphone 5.
Have you managed to get your hands on the Fairphone 5 yet? What did you think? Share your thoughts on our social media channels. We can’t wait to hear what you think!