Amsterdam-based Fairphone has just revealed the latest modular phone in its growing collection, the Fairphone 5.
As well as a range of hardware improvements to help the sustainable smartphone compete with the Android competition, the Fairphone 5 boasts the longest software promise around, even compared to the impressive multi-year updates from juggernauts Samsung and Apple.
More specifically, the Fairphone 5 will boast at least 8 years of software updates, including both OS upgrades and security patches, taking it until at least 2031, though Fairphone has teased that it could potentially be supported as far as 2033, 10 years from now.
It’s mainly down to the use of Qualcomm’s unique QCM6490 chipset that was specifically selected for that purpose. It’s mainly used in IoT devices, guaranteeing its long-term support from Qualcomm until 2028. Fairphone will then take over, delivering further updates until 2031, with the company teasing that it could extend that to 2033 depending on how many devices are still in use in 2031 and how technically feasible it’d be.
Whether it’s 2031 or 2033, it’s the longest software support you’ll find in any smartphone right now.
Samsung has traditionally led the pack on the Android side of things with its promise of 4 OS upgrades and 5 years of security patches, and Apple’s long-term software support sees devices like 2018’s iPhone Xr get the iOS 17 update due this year, but that’s nothing compared to the 8-10 years of software upgrades from the Fairphone 5.
Of course, software support is only part of the Fairphone 5’s long-term focus. It also boasts an industry-leading 5-year warranty to provide long-term peace of mind, and its modular nature means you can replace up to 11 of the most commonly damaged components including the display, USB-C port and even the rear camera module, using only a Philips 00 screwdriver.
The modular design allows you to replace broken modules over time rather than completely replace your phone. This is cheaper and easier for the consumer, and better for the environment.
This all ties nicely into Fairphone’s long-term focus on sustainability, with the Fairphone 5 managing to be even more eco-friendly than its predecessor, the Fairphone 4. According to the company, it’s manufactured using 100% renewable energy and 70% recycled materials, and importantly, it’s completely e-waste neutral.
The recyclable packaging doubles up as a return parcel, allowing Fairphone to recycle your old smartphone, and there’s no charger or USB-C cable in the box to further reduce e-waste – let’s be honest, we’ve all got some lying around right?
The company has also doubled down on its fair wage scheme, providing bonuses to workers at its main manufacturer as well as three sub-manufacturers.
Sustainability and repairability aside, the Fairphone 5 boasts key upgrades over its predecessor that allow it to better compete in 2023.
This includes an upgraded 6.43-inch OLED display with a faster 90Hz refresh rate, new 50MP main and 50MP ultrawide cameras with improved low-light support, a matching 50MP selfie camera and 30W wired charging speeds. And, despite its modular design, the Fairphone 5 boasts an improved IP55 dust and water resistance rating, and it’s also 1mm thinner than its predecessor.
Of course, the Fairphone 5 isn’t the best-specced smartphone around, but that’s not the point. The Fairphone 5 is an eco-conscious smartphone that not only allows consumers to make environmentally positive choices, but delivers truly long-term software and hardware support unmatched by the competition.
If that sounds like something you’d like to get in on, the Fairphone 5 is available to pre-order now ahead of release on 14 September in various regions including the UK and Europe, starting at £619/€699, though US fans are out of luck for now.