Well, this was faster than expected – the Fairphone 5 is now official and you can already pre-order one from the company’s online store. There is only one version and it costs €700/£620 (up from €580/£500 for the previous model), you only need to pick a color: Matte Black, Sky Blue or the new Transparent edition. Shipping is set to start on September 14, though the Sky Blue version won’t be available until the end of September.
The phone is made out of 70% fair and recycled materials and is built by people who are paid a living wage. You can even use the box that the Fairphone comes in to ship your old phone to the company and they will recycle it for you (this is just one of the ways the company ensures that its products are eco-friendly).
The Fairphone 5 is built to last – it comes with a 5 year warranty and software support until at least 2031 (8 years from now). At least that long, if things work out well the phone will be supported for 10 years. You get Android 13 out of the box and the company plans to deliver at least 5 OS updates to the phone.
This is also the easiest phone to repair, all you need is a Phillips head screwdriver. There are ten modules that you can replace yourself, you don’t need to go to a repair shop. The modules are sold by Fairphone and partners.
The modules include the new OLED display, the rear and front cameras, the USB port and the battery, of course. Let’s have a closer look at these components.
The new display measures 6.46” (a bit larger than the 6.3” panel on the Fairphone 4). It’s a OLED with 1,224 x 2,700px resolution (20:9), 90Hz refresh rate (the company’s first HRR display) and a peak brightness of 880 nits. It’s covered with Gorilla Glass 5 (0.7mm with oleophobic coating).
The new phone says goodbye to the notch and has a punch hole selfie camera – this camera (and the two on the back) uses a 50MP sensor. This one specifically has a Samsung JN1, a 1/2.76” sensor with 0.64µm pixels and support for 4-in-1 binning. The f/2.45 lens has a 90° FoV, video recording is supported up to 4K @ 30fps.
The main camera on the back has a 50MP Sony IMX800, a 1/1.56” sensor with 1.0µm native pixels and 4-in-1 binning support. The f/1.88 lens has 84° FoV and supports optical image stabilization. Then there’s the 117° ultra wide camera, this one has an IMX858 sensor (1/2.51”, 0.7µm). This one has autofocus and can capture macro images at 2.5cm/1in. The third module on the back is a Time of Flight sensor.
Fairphone chose a Qualcomm QCM 6490 chipset, an industrial part with long-term software support – this is why it can promise support up to 2031. It’s comparable to the Snapdragon 778G in terms of hardware.
There is only one memory configuration available, 8GB of RAM and 256GB storage. There is a microSD slot that accepts cards up to 2TB (those should be pretty cheap eight years from now). Also, note that this is a dual-SIM phone with one physical SIM slot and one eSIM.
Other connectivity includes Wi-Fi 6E (6GHz), Bluetooth 5.2 and NFC. The 5G modem supports more bands, but the company has made no mention of releasing the phone in North America.
The Fairphone 5 comes with a larger battery, 4,200mAh (up from 3,905mAh). And it supports faster charging too, 30W (up from 20W). The speedier charging gets to 50% in 20 minutes, a fully charged battery should last a day and a half. And, of course, it’s super easy to swap with a fresh battery once it starts wearing out. There is no wireless charging, though.
Also, the USB-C 3.0 port handles charging and data duties and is also the only wired connection – the 3.5mm headphone jack is gone and it isn’t coming back. On the plus side, the new model has stereo speakers.
Note that the retail package includes only the phone and a quick start guide, there isn’t even a cable.
While the phone is easy to repair, it’s also more durable than the previous model. It is rated IP55 (up from IP54) so it has better water resistance. Also, it has been drop tested from 1.8m/6ft.
Here are some videos that introduce the Fairphone 5 and all its new features, upgrades and all the ways that the company if making its phones “fair”.