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Home / Technology / iFixit downloads the latest Fairphone – how repairable is it?

iFixit downloads the latest Fairphone – how repairable is it?



The Dutch company Fairphone believes that smartphones can and should be completely repairable and free of conflict materials. Ars reported on the launch of Fairphone 2 in 2015 and conducted an assisted demolition of a late prototype model with the company's CEO. This time around, iFixit has created the pre-launch prototype and verified from top to bottom whether Fairphone is still keeping its promise.

The Fairphone 3 itself

Before we go into the physical realm Let's take a quick look at the specifications of the Fairphone 3.

  • 5.65-inch display – 2160 × 1080, 24-bit color depth, 18: 9 aspect ratio, Gorilla Glass 5
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 SoC – 1.8 GHz eight-core CPU with Adreno 506 GPU at 650 MHz
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 64 GB internal memory, MicroSD expansion available
  • 12 megapixel rear / 8 megapixel front camera. The rear camera has a dual LED flash and shoots video at 4k @ 30fps, 1080p @ 60fps, 720p @ 60fps
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi with BlueTooth 5 + LE, NFC and support for multiple GNSS (GPS) standards [19659011] Dual Nano on SIM card with support for 2G, 3G and 4G LTE (GSM only – no CDMA; Verizon subscribers apologize) 19659011] 3.5mm headphone jack included – no USB-C dongle required !
  • 11.8 Wh Battery

If you are not a complete phone head, you may want to make some comparisons where the Fairphone 3 sits on a performance scale. Many international phones use the same Snapdragon 632 SoC, but very few appear to have been sold in the US. It's best to call it a mid-of-the-road budget chipset. Comparing the CPU or GPU scores of several benchmarks, the Snapdragon 632 used in the Fairphone is about 25 to 33% higher than the Exynos 7884B of the Samsung Galaxy A10e (one of AT & T's latest offerings with a new subscription) "Cheap Phones"), but only half as fast as the Snapdragon 845, which is used in Google's flagship Pixel 3. These observations withstand a variety of CPU and GPU benchmarks.

The 11.8 Wh battery is between the Google Pixel 3 (11.6 Wh) and the iPhone XS Max (12.1 Wh). We will not really know what it takes in the term until the phone comes on the market, since the power consumption is the other side of the coin, considering the electricity capacity. This can be very dependent on operating system and application optimization.

The phone is a little less than 10 mm thick and weighs 189 g. This is a touch of thickness, but the weight is right in the middle of the road. In comparison, the iPhone 10 was 7.7 mm thick and 174 g, the iPhone 11 8.3 mm thick and 194 g. Google's Pixel 3 is 7.9mm thick and only 148g heavy.

Gorilla Glass 5 is the same formulation used by Samsung in the Galaxy S8 and S9 series, though it has been upgraded to Gorilla Glass 6 with the Galaxy S10 +. Google also used Gorilla Glass 5 in Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL, but not in Pixel 3A.

The demolition

      

iFixit performed the complete disassembly shown above with just a spudger and a 00 Phillips screwdriver. If you want to go one step further and disassemble the modules yourself – which is not the case with a normal repair – you'll need to add a T5 Torx driver and an opening pick to your toolkit. Nothing was glued together hot. The headphone jack, the flash LEDs, and the proximity and ambient light sensors are soldered to the breakout board. The USB-C connector and microphone are soldered into the bottom module.

In addition to the full 10 out of 10 repairability, the Fairphone 3 uses ethical components and manpower.

Price and Availability

Bad news, US readers – You'll need a friend somewhere in Europe if you want to buy one. The company only ships to European countries, although the phone itself should to a certain extent be compatible with most American mobile phone companies (except Verizon) if you can get one.

European readers can now start pre-ordering a Fairphone 3 in late October. The phone costs 450,00 € plus shipping (for the United Kingdom is the shipping DHL, with costs of 10.20 to 13.20 €). By comparison, this is just over a pixel 2 – and you can be sure that the battery can be replaced easily and inexpensively (possibly at home!) In the event of a screen defect. It worsens and you have done your best to get problematic Avoid supply chains.

Listing image by Fairphone


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