TESTED. Fairphone 4, the smartphone that you can disassemble and repair yourself

TESTED. Fairphone 4, the smartphone that you can disassemble and repair yourself

Sustainability is hip among smartphone manufacturers. For example, during the presentation of the iPhone 14, Apple will be guaranteed to talk about various green initiatives. With a lot less fuss, a Dutch company is now working on a truly sustainable telephone. We tested the Fairphone 4 to find out whether it is actually easy to disassemble yourself.

Just about all technology companies mention what they are doing to reduce environmental impact when announcing new products. But most of the time it actually stays with greenwashing. Fairphone is the only company that can rightly call itself sustainable and shows that once again with the Fairphone 4.

You pay for people and the environment

That phone is fairly conventional in terms of specifications. Although you can find smartphones for the suggested retail price of 579 euros that are faster, have better cameras, or have a larger battery. However, after a few days of testing, it is noticeable that the Fairphone 4 is capable enough for everything the average user would want to do with a smartphone in 2022.

The price is therefore not determined by the latest processor. Instead, you’re paying for a phone made from fair-trade materials, made by people who were treated with respect, and comes with a five-year warranty. These are things that you cannot get with any other smartphone brand.

The LEGO smartphone

TESTED. Fairphone 4, the smartphone that you can disassemble and repair yourself

The phone is designed in a modular way. That was once a dream of the technology sector but was considered too cumbersome and inefficient. The Fairphone 4 proves those counter-arguments were unfounded.

For example, you can almost completely disassemble the Fairphone 4 with a screwdriver and a plastic card or guitar pick. As a result, the screen, cameras, USB port, battery, and speakers are relatively easy to replace. All parts that Fairphone sells on its website.

We completely disassembled the phone as a test. It was striking that it is as simple as Fairphone advertises. It turned out to be important to follow the company’s instructions closely. If one part is bad or disconnected, the entire phone will of course stop working.

Don’t let that put you off though, because the battery is as easy to replace as it was a few years ago. All you have to do is click open the plastic back. That part is also one of the first to wear out after a few years. For less than 30 euros you can easily give the Fairphone 4 a longer lifespan.

Nothing is perfect

The Fairphone 4 is of course not perfect because no smartphone can be. You should therefore take into account the fact that Fairphone is slow in providing Android upgrades. For example, the company is selling its latest phone with version 11, while version 13 was ready in August. The company also informed our editors that it aims to give the Fairphone 4 Android 14 and 15, but that will take a while.

The Fairphone 4 is therefore ideal for those who care little about the latest gadgets and want to clear their conscience when purchasing their next smartphone. The fact that you can replace parts yourself ensures that the lifespan is significantly extended. And using your phone for as long as possible is the best way to minimize the impact on the planet.

The Fairphone 4 is for sale for 579 euros. For that price, you have the model with 6 gigabytes of RAM and 128 gigabytes of storage. For 649 euros you can buy a smartphone with 8 gigabytes of RAM and 256 gigabytes of storage.

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