Fairphone 5 Unveiled: Promising 8+ Years Of Software Support


Fairphone, the ethical electronics startup, has unveiled its latest flagship smartphone, the Fairphone 5. With a strong focus on sustainability and longevity, the Fairphone 5 comes with a five-year warranty and a promise of software support that will last until at least 2028. The Dutch social enterprise aims to provide software support even beyond 2031 or 2033, making the phone a potential long-term investment for buyers.

This new smartphone follows in the footsteps of the Fairphone 4, which was the company’s first 5G device and adheres to Fairphone’s approximate two-year release cycle. Fairphone justifies its frequent hardware releases by highlighting the challenges posed by electronics component manufacturing cycles, which necessitate the constant refresh of mobile hardware to keep up with evolving technology. The company also emphasizes its commitment to supporting its earlier handsets to promote device longevity. Furthermore, releasing new handsets allows Fairphone to attract consumers from rival brands and expand its user base.

Key Takeaway

Fairphone has unveiled the Fairphone 5, a flagship smartphone with a five-year warranty and a promise of software support until at least 2028. The company aims to extend software support even further, making the device a potentially long-lasting investment.

The Fairphone 5 offers eight years of software support and five operating system upgrades, setting a new standard for extended support in the smartphone industry. Fairphone’s ultimate goal is to provide support until 2033, depending on the number of active devices at that time. This commitment ensures that buyers can securely rely on the device for an extended period. As with previous Fairphones, users have the freedom to install alternative operating systems, such as Murena’s deGoogled fork of Android, to avoid being tied to Google’s default ecosystem.

One of the key factors enabling Fairphone to extend software support is the use of a Qualcomm IoT chipset specifically designed for industrial-grade hardware with a longer lifetime. This shift from a mid-range mobile chipset to an industrial-grade chipset signifies the company’s dedication to longevity. Miquel Ballester, design lead at Fairphone, expressed excitement about this collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, stressing their commitment to keeping devices functional as long as possible.

Continuing its commitment to sustainability, the Fairphone 5 retains its modular design, allowing users to easily repair or upgrade the device by switching out modules. Replacement parts are available via Fairphone’s e-shop. The company also prioritizes the use of recycled and fair-mined materials in its devices, with more than 70% of the materials in the Fairphone 5 falling into this category. Notably, Fairphone has made significant progress in fair sourcing of cobalt, gold, and silver for this device.

Fairphone also works closely with suppliers to ensure that workers involved in the manufacturing process receive a living wage. Through agreements with suppliers, the company has improved working conditions for tens of thousands of individuals involved in making its devices. Furthermore, Fairphone has taken steps towards reducing its environmental impact by transitioning its assembly manufacturer to renewable energy production. The company is also committed to tackling the full CO2 footprint associated with its devices, both through emissions reduction measures and investment in gold standard CO2 reduction projects.

The Fairphone 5 boasts impressive specifications, including a 6.46-inch OLED display, a Qualcomm Octa Core chipset, 256GB ROM, and 8GB RAM. The device also features triple 50MP cameras with larger image sensors and improved tuning, including for low-light conditions. Additionally, the Fairphone 5 has an improved IP rating for water and dust resistance.

Pre-orders for the Fairphone 5 are now available on Fairphone’s website and through carrier partners in various European markets, including the UK, France, and Germany. The release date is set for September 14 in most markets, with Nordic shipments following shortly after. The recommended retail price for the Fairphone 5 is €699. While the Fairphone 4 is available in the US through a partner, Fairphone has not yet announced plans to expand its own sales operations to the US, as the company currently focuses on growth and brand development in Western Europe.

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