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Fairphone 5 FAQ

The Fairphone 5 is our latest model, launched on August 30, 2023. It is the next step in our mission to pioneer more sustainable ways to make smartphones. This article contains some key information about the Fairphone 5 and answers to frequently asked questions.

 

Technical Specifications

  • 3 high quality 50 megapixel, ultrawide cameras
  • 6.46” OLED display
  • An IP rating of 55
  • 5G with a dual SIM, including an eSIM
  • Qualcomm QCM6490 Long-Life Chipset

What makes the phone fair?

  • 5-year commercial warranty
  • Increase in fair impact and recycled focus materials (more than 70% at launch)
  • Living wage bonuses to 2000 factory workers
  • Increased modularity of spare parts
  • Electronic waste neutral

Additionally, our Reuse & Recycle program will offset the impact of your new Fairphone 5 by taking back at least one other phone. We will then either give it a second life or recycle it responsibly.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Q: Why launch the Fairphone 5 when the Fairphone 4 was launched only two years ago? How does this align with your promise of longevity and your ambitions to avoid electronic waste?

Fairphone is trying to change the industry from the inside out. Our mission is to establish a viable market for sustainable consumer electronics. Part of this is recognizing the demands and changing the technology on the market. Our new device, the Fairphone 5, enables us to take the next steps in circularity, fairness, and longevity. It is a device that will be (technologically) relevant for years to come for customers who need a new phone. Also, as a company, we want to appeal to new customers to reach a wider audience while continuing our long-term support for Fairphone 4, Fairphone 3 and Fairphone 3+.

Q: What is the difference between the Fairphone 5 and the 4?

Fairphone 5 is the next level of fairness with the technology you expect from an Android smartphone made in 2023.

Compared to the Fairphone 4, the new device is a step up in our core features, providing users with even more benefits. The main differences include:

  • the Qualcomm Octa Core long-life chipset. This unique chipset guarantees long-lasting performance and eight years of updates and support.
  • Technical improvements: Fairphone 5 comes with three high quality 50 megapixels, ultrawide cameras as well as an OLED screen with higher refresh rate, high contrasts and incredible brightness and a thinner, lighter weight design.
  • Fairphone 5 contains one of the fairest batteries in the industry. It has fair lithium and Fairtrade gold in the supply chain, benefitting mine workers and surrounding communities, and all of our cobalt supports the improvement of working conditions for artisanal and small-scale miners. It also comes with a living wage bonus for workers who make the battery and a commitment to science-based targets on CO2 reduction and social auditing by our battery suppliers.
  • Fairphone 5 is available in new colours: Matte Black, Sky Blue, and Transparent which features a transparent back cover option.
  • Fairphone 5 is not only electronic waste neutral, it is also climate conscious, meaning that we take action to reduce the carbon footprint of the Fairphone 5 by using recycled materials, avoid emissions by enabling the user to keep their device for longer, thereby avoiding emissions and investing in carbon reduction projects that lower CO2 emissions while contributing to the surrounding communities. The amount we finance for these projects matches the remaining is based on the carbon emissions created by the lifecycle of the phone. Fairphone 5 is also certified by TCO Certified and has an iFixit score of 10/10.
  • Besides once again integrating fair materials, we account for Fairphone 5’s full footprint of gold, silver and cobalt through buying Fairmined and Cobalt Credits, which are invested into improving the conditions for artisanal- and small-scale miners of these materials.
  • For Fairphone 4, we paid a living wage bonus to factory workers at our direct supplier. With Fairphone 5, we have now also extended our living wage bonus to our sub-suppliers of components (such as the printed circuit board, battery and vibration motor).

Q: How good is the camera? / Is the camera better than the Fairphone 4 camera?

Yes, the camera is significantly improved compared to the Fairphone 4. Fairphone 5 is our most high-tech phone yet, including a premium triple 50 MP camera system with improved tuning to guarantee great pictures in all lighting conditions.

For the cameras of Fairphone 5, we chose components that would help increase performance, particularly in low light conditions - that was a big focus area for us. At the same time, megapixels don’t drive user experience and we also aren’t out to have the highest number of megapixels in the market. For the two back cameras, for example, we’ve only gone up a couple of megapixels, from 48 to 50. We’ve instead focused on taking a step up from a hardware perspective, with high quality Sony lenses and other components. From a software perspective, we’ve made significant improvements with camera tuning and algorithms. We’ve put more emphasis and invested significantly more resources into getting the camera tuning right.

In addition, both the wide and the ultra wide cameras of Fairphone 5 are individually repairable.

Q: How long will the Fairphone 5 last?

We designed the Fairphone 5 to last as long as possible, making it robust and modular to enable easy repairs, customization, and upgrades.

We want to empower users to take ownership of their products by offering them easy options for maintenance and repairs. How long it lasts will also depend on the user and on how they treat their phone. But to make it as easy as possible, we have created an ecosystem that supports long-lasting use, first-hand or second-hand. For example, we offer:

  • Reasonably priced spare parts and repair tutorials
  • Regular software platform updates (latest Android software) and 8 years of security updates
  • 5-year warranty - (to be activated via fairphone.com/warranty)
  • Access to source code and open source development encouraged
  • New service models, including leasing a Fairphone (instead of buying it) via our as-a-service model “Fairphone Easy” in the Netherlands, or through third parties such as Grover and Commown.
  • Active reminders to perform regular maintenance, making sure the phone remains in good state for as long as possible
  • Financial rewards via the “Keep Club” loyalty program for every time a repair is performed and for every year a phone is kept in use

Q: Why did you decide not to have an audio jack? Doesn't that encourage e-waste?

After some of the criticism that we received about removing the headphone jack from Fairphone 4, we did consider bringing it back for Fairphone 5. However, we realised it would be at the expense of increasing the phone’s dimensions. We also looked into the consumer data and Fairphone 4’s weight and thickness were more of an issue than the lack of a minijack, so we decided to keep the same approach, although it was a difficult decision. We didn’t want to invest in OLED technology for the display and then not have improved the phone’s dimensions and weight. But just like with Fairphone 4, we will still offer an adaptor, which has had overall positive user reviews.

Many headphones including our Fairbuds XL, can be connected directly to the Fairphone 5 via a USB-C cable, in addition to Bluetooth.

Q: How does the 5-year warranty work?

The majority of smartphones are covered by a 2-year warranty by default. With Fairphone 5, we go the extra mile to cover your new phone for up to 5 years at no additional cost and no matter where or how you purchased the phone originally.

All you need to do is register your Fairphone 5. This also applies if you received it as a gift. We kindly ask you to do this at your earliest convenience.

Q: What is the size of the device?

  • Length: 161.60 mm
  • Width: 75.83 mm
  • Thickness: 9.6 mm
  • Camera Bump: 1.9 mm (Total thickness with camera bump: 11.5 mm)

Device thickness is a widely used metric in the industry. While we wanted to keep our device as thin as possible, we did not want to compromise on repairability and durability. So we made many different prototypes and carried out multiple design studies to end up with a well-balanced design that sits so well in your hand and feels sturdy and high quality. We were also able to increase modularity and battery size while substantially reducing the smartphone’s thickness by 1mm (9%). With Fairphone 5, we managed to produce the thinnest modular phone on the market.

Q: Which ‘fair' materials are used in the Fairphone 5?

With Fairphone 5, we have further stepped up on our material sourcing as compared to Fairphone 4 and are taking responsibility for more of our material footprint. This includes:

  • More recycled tin (from 50% to 64%)
  • More recycled nickel (from 6% to 20%)
  • More recycled zinc (from 9% to 33%)
  • More recycled copper (from 2% to 37%)
  • More recycled plastics (from 60% to 69%)
  • First time to integrate recycled indium (from 0% to 77%)
  • First time to integrate fair lithium (from 0% to 100%)
  • 100% of our cobalt and silver footprints accounted for through the purchase of credits which directly benefit artisanal miners.

Q: What is OLED display and why is it better?

OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode, which is a type of screen technology used in smartphones. OLED offers a higher refresh rate and greater contrast. This results in colors appearing incredibly vibrant and dark areas being exceptionally dark.

OLED is also thinner, which means we were able to achieve a thinner device that is more future proof with the latest technology.

Q: What operating system does the Fairphone 5 come with?

The Fairphone 5 comes with Android 13 installed.

We would love to have launched Fairphone 5 with the latest Android version (Android 14). However, it takes months of work from our team to develop software for a smartphone. We simply could not access the Android 14 code early enough to base our software on Android 14 at launch. However, we will upgrade Fairphone 5 to Android 14 in 2024.

Q: What are your plans for security updates?

We are planning to provide 8 years of security updates.