Dutch firm Fairphone believes smartphones can and needs to be fully repairable and freed from conflict-sourced supplies. Ars coated the Fairphone 2 launch again in 2015 and carried out an assisted teardown of a late prototype mannequin with the corporate’s CEO. This time round, restore information website iFixit received the pre-launch prototype and took it down top-to-bottom to see if Fairphone nonetheless makes good on its promise.

The Fairphone three itself

Earlier than we get into the bodily teardown, let’s take a fast have a look at the Fairphone three’s specs.

5.65-inch show—2160×1080, 24-bit colour depth, 18:9 side ratio, Gorilla Glass 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 SoC—1.8GHz eight-core CPU, with Adreno 506 GPU @ 650MHz
64GB inside storage, microSD growth out there
12MP rear/8MP entrance digicam. Rear digicam has twin LED flash and takes video 4k@30fps, 1080p@60fps, 720p@60fps
802.11ac Wi-Fi with BlueTooth 5 + LE, NFC, and help for a number of GNSS (GPS) requirements
Twin nano-SIM card, supporting 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE (GSM solely—no CDMA; sorry Verizon subscribers)
USB Kind-C, sensors embody fingerprint scanner, ambient mild, accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, barometer, and compass
three.5mm headphone jack included—no USB-C dongle wanted!
11.8Wh battery

If you happen to’re not an entire phone-head, it’s your decision just a few comparisons to position the place the Fairphone three sits on a efficiency scale. A number of worldwide telephones use the identical Snapdragon 632 SoC, however only a few appear to have been offered within the USA. It is best described as a middle-of-the-road finances chipset. When evaluating both CPU or GPU scores on a number of benchmarks, the Snapdragon 632 used within the Fairphone scores roughly 25% to 33% quicker than the Exynos 7884B used within the Samsung Galaxy A10e (one in all AT&T’s present line-up of “free with new subscription” finances telephones) however solely half as quick because the Snapdragon 845 utilized in Google’s flagship Pixel three. These observations maintain up throughout a variety of each CPU and GPU benchmarks.

The 11.8Wh battery is available in between the Google Pixel three (11.6Wh) and the iPhone XS Max (12.1Wh). We cannot actually know what this involves in run-time till the telephone hits the market, nevertheless, since energy draw is the flip facet of the coin whenever you have a look at energy capability. That may rely strongly on OS and software optimizations.

The telephone is rather less than 10mm thick and weighs in at 189g (6.67oz). It is a contact thick, however the weight is middle-of-the-road; by comparability, the iPhone 10 was 7.7mm thick and 174g, the iPhone 11 is eight.3mm thick and 194g. Google’s Pixel three is 7.9mm thick and solely 148g (5.22oz).

Gorilla Glass 5 is similar formulation Samsung used within the Galaxy S8 and S9 sequence, though it has moved on to Gorilla Glass 6 with the Galaxy S10+. Google additionally used Gorilla Glass 5 in its Pixel three and Pixel 3XL, although not the cheaper Pixel 3A.

The teardown


iFixit did the whole teardown disassembly proven above with solely a spudger and a 00 Phillips-head screwdriver. If you wish to go a step additional and take aside the modules themselves—not one thing you’d do in the midst of regular restore—you may want so as to add a T5 Torx driver and a gap decide to your toolkit. Nothing was hot-glued collectively. The headphone jack, flash LEDs, and proximity and ambient mild sensors are soldered onto the breakout board; the USB-C port and mic are soldered into the underside module.

Along with the complete 10 out of 10 rating on repairability, the Fairphone three makes use of ethically sourced parts and labor.

Worth and availability

Dangerous information, US readers—you are going to want a buddy someplace in Europe if you wish to purchase one. The corporate is just transport to European international locations, though the telephone itself ought to work high quality with most American cell firms (besides Verizon) in case you can someway get one.

European readers can preorder a Fairphone three now, with transport anticipated to start in late October. The telephone prices €450.00 plus transport (for the UK, transport is DHL, with value from €10.20-13.20). By the use of comparability, that is a bit greater than a Pixel 2—and also you do get the peace of mind that in case you break the display screen, it may be simply and cheaply changed (presumably at dwelling!), the battery will be much more simply changed when it degrades, and that you just did your greatest to keep away from problematic provide chains.

Itemizing picture by Fairphone


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