Smartphones have become such a vital part of our life that we can’t live without them. Most people keep on using the same Smartphone for years. They don’t upgrade to the next year’s phone because it is almost the same as their own phone. However, Dutch social enterprise Fairphone wants to take this opportunity to sell sustainability. The company wants people to think critically on the costs involved in the upgraded smartphone. Now, the company has just released its latest model, Fairphone 3.
When you first look at it, Fairphone 3 looks like an ordinary android phone with a slight thickness. That is exactly what the company wants to convey to you; an ordinary smartphone that could be yours.
The smartphone also has ordinary specifications. There is a 5.7-inch display, 4G RAM, 64GB storage, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 chipset, an 8MP front camera, and a 12MP rear camera. The phone also features an NFC (Near Field Communication), dual Nano-SIM slots, a 3,000mAh battery, and a fingerprint reader. The battery can be replaced easily if it exhausts.
The device also contains a 3.5mm headphone jack. The handy part is erased at smartphone tier, however, it destroys some wired accessories too. Thus, the low replacement of phone hardware encourages less wastage. However, the main difference of the smartphone lies under its surface. The main meaning of fairer is to source conflict-free materials in making the devices. This includes a social program that tops up the wages of the workers who design the smartphone and repairable handset that reduces environmental wastage. The main idea here is that repair and don’t replace.
The effort that goes into making a less ethically challenging phone is not visible to the ordinary user. Therefore, the Fairphone 3 user has to believe the company on this one.
The only visual evidence is in repairing. When you flip the phone, you will observe a semi-opaque plastic backing. There is a tiny screwdriver in the box, which helps you to open up the phone. This way you can repair the touchscreen in case it breaks. The company sells replacements through a spare parts section on its website.
Despite its awkward design, Fairphone 3 is quite solid to hold. The company has designed the phone not to break easily. There are also thirteen screws in place. Therefore, deconstructing the phone takes work and time. However, you should open the phone only when a part needs replacement.
One of the most outstanding features of the Fairphone is the logo in metallic white letters on the back. There is also a memo printed on the battery, which says that Change is now in your hands. However, the smartphone won’t impress the design fans. It is designed to look dull. The dull design lessens the manufacturing costs. The main point that the company stresses is that ethical internals are a big fashion statement and the phone doesn’t need any more design.
Other than the above-mentioned aspects, Fairphone 3 is quite normal. It checks all inbox messages, photos, internet browsing. The apps also install like the traditional method. However, it isn’t smooth at app transitions. Therefore, you would feel it a bit slow at certain times. Although the camera is responsive, it isn’t that quick. The photo quality is somewhere in the middle of terrible and awesome.
If you consider it as a smartphone, Fairphone 3 isn’t that exciting. Fairphone wants to tell customers to make if they want to buy a superior brand.
The company is clearly getting benefits from the smartphone market. On the cellular front, the claims of 5G mobiles are years from now. Therefore, the company is sticking with 4G for many years.
Fairphone 3 is an interesting contrast with some expensive chimeras that are coming to the smartphone market. For example, consider the smartphone Foldables like the Samsung Galaxy Fold, which is around 4x the price of a Fairphone. It also has a power bump.
In crux, Fairphone 3 is making a great case to show that ethical can feel quite normal. Therefore, you should expect other companies to take inspiration from it and bring out average smartphones with an ethical punch that makes them comparable to the best.
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