Fairphone is known for its ethical (or fair) approach of making a smartphone.
Normally, the ethical approach involves that the workers get paid well, the smartphone build materials are safer for the planet, and the phone is durable/sustainable. And, they’ve already done a good job with their Fairphone 1 , Fairphone 2, and Fairphone 3 smartphones.
Now, to take things up a notch, Fairphone has teamed up with /e/OS which is a de-googled Android fork, to launch a separate edition of Fairphone 3 (its latest smartphone) that comes with /e/OS out of the box.
In case you didn’t know about the mobile operating system, you can read our interview with Gael Duval (Founder of /e/OS) to know more about it.
While we already have some privacy-focused smartphones like Librem 5, Fairphone 3 with /e/OS is something different to its core. In this article, I’ll try highlighting the key things that you need to know before ordering a Fairphone 3 with /e/OS loaded.
The First Privacy Conscious & Sustainable Phone
You may have noticed a privacy-focused smartphone manufactured in some corner of the world, like Librem 5.
But for the most part, it looks like the Fairphone 3 is the first privacy-conscious sustainable phone to get the spotlight.
The de-googled operating system /e/OS ensures that the smartphone does not rely on Google services to function among other things. Hence, /e/OS should be a great choice for Fairphone 3 for privacy-focused users.
Also, to support /e/OS out of the box wasn’t just the decision of the manufacturer – but its community.
As per their announcement, they’ve mentioned:
For many, fairer technology isn’t just about the device and its components, it is also about the software that powers the product; and when Fairphone community members were asked what their preferred alternative operating system (OS) was for the next Fairphone, the Fairphone 3, they voted for /e/OS.
So, it looks like the users do prefer to have /e/OS on their smartphones.
Fairphone 3: Overview
To tell you what I think about it, let me first share the technical specifications of the phone:
- Dual Nano-SIM (4G LTE/3G/2G support)
- Display: 5.65-inch LCD (IPS) with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection
- Screen Resolution: 2160 x 1080
- RAM: 4 GB
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 632
- Internal Storage: 64 GB
- Rear Camera: 12 MP (IMX363 sensor)
- Front Camera: 8 MP
- Bluetooth 5.0
- WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
- NFC Supported
- Expandable Storage supported
So, on paper, it sounds like a decent budget smartphone. But, the pricing and availability will be an important factor keeping in mind that it’s a one-of-a-kind smartphone and we don’t really have alternatives to compare to.
Not just how it’s unique for privacy-focused users, but it is potentially the easiest phone to fix (as suggested by iFixit’s teardown).
Fairphone 3 with /e/OS: Pre-Order, Price & Availability
As for its availability – the Fairphone 3 with /e/OS is available to pre-order through the online shop of /e/OS for €479.90 across Europe.
If you are an existing Fairphone 3 user, you can also install /e/OS from the available build here.
You get 2 years of warranty along with a 14-day return policy.
My Thoughts On Fairphone 3 with /e/OS
It’s important to consider that the smartphone is targeting a particular group of consumers. So, it’s quite obvious that it isn’t meant for everyone. The specifications on paper may look good – but not necessarily the best bang for the buck.
Also, looking at the smartphone market right now – the specifications and its value for money matter more than what we privacy-focused users want.
But it’s definitely something impressive and I believe it’s going to get good attention specially among the privacy-aware people who don’t want their smartphone spying on them.
With Fairphone 3’s launch with /e/OS, the lesser tech savvy people can now get an out of the box privacy-focused smartphone experience.
What do you think about the Fairphone 3 with /e/OS? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.