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Fairphone 3(+) FAQ

The Fairphone 3+ is the upgraded version of the Fairphone 3.  

It comes with two new camera modules and audio improvements to boost technical performance, enhance the user experience, and improve sustainability.
The new camera modules are also sold separately. This way, you can upgrade your Fairphone 3 by replacing the modules.

All other modules are interchangeable.

The main differences between the Fairphone 3 and the Fairphone 3+:

  Fairphone 3 Fairphone 3+
Rear camera 12MP 48MP
(12MP output)
Front camera 8MP 16MP
External speaker loudness (dB) 94 @ 10cm  96 @ 10cm
Rear and Battery cover  Translucent 0% PCR  Solid black 50% PCR
Android version pre-installed (at launch)  Android 9  Android 10

Max SAR head (W/kg@10g)

Max SAR body (W/kg@10g)

Max SAR limb (W/kg@10g)







Full technical specifications of Fairphone 3 and Fairphone 3+ (PDF).


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Q: Why launch the Fairphone 3+ when the Fairphone 3 was just launched last year? How does this align with your promise of longevity?

Launching the Fairphone 3+ actually highlights our commitment to longevity. Instead of creating a completely new phone, we wanted to provide current Fairphone 3 users with the opportunity to upgrade their phone, and therefore encourage them to keep their phone for longer. For anyone who wants a new Fairphone, they can go straight to the Fairphone 3+.

For anyone who wants a new Fairphone, they can go straight to the Fairphone 3+ – which is essentially the Fairphone 3 with the upgraded modules already included as well as more features such as more recycled plastics and audio improvements. We now have a small Fairphone portfolio on the market - two distinct phones at different price points and specs. It gives customers a choice and thus opens Fairphone up to a wider audience.

Q: Is the Fairphone 3+ bigger?

Q: Do all the accessories for Fairphone 3 also fit with the Fairphone 3+?


Q: Is the Fairphone 3+ core module for sale?

The Fairphone 3+ core module is not available for sale, only the full device is. This is due to legal and logistical constraints regarding the administration of the IMEI numbers.

Q: Why did you release an upgraded model instead of a new one?

Instead of creating a completely new phone, we decided to improve the capabilities of our latest model by upgrading just a few modules. This way, we extend its lifespan to reduce the environmental footprint. Using the Fairphone 3+ for five years (instead of replacing it after three years) can reduce CO2 emissions by about 30%. The Fairphone 3+ also contains 40% recycled plastics.

Q: Will you launch more modules soon?

We see the camera module as a necessary upgrade to allow people to keep their phones for longer. We are not planning to release any other upgraded modules at this point.

Q: Will the new modules work in the Fairphone 3?

Yes, the two camera modules are specifically designed to be used with the Fairphone 3 if you upgrade your device to Android 11. The modules would work with Android 9, but the performance wouldn’t be the same.

Q: What does "48MP (12MP output)" mean?

The raw sensor (the Samsung GM1) is 48MP. The primary focus of this sensor is to gather more light and therefore perform better in low light conditions and capture more details. This is achieved by combining tiny pixels of 0.8-micro to deliver light sensitivity equal to 1.6-micro pixels. Hence its effective output is still 12MP. This is common practice in the industry with phones such as the Samsung S5KGM1, Samsung Galaxy A90 5G, Nokia 7.2, and the Sony IMX363.

Q: Does it have 5G?

No, with the emergence of 5G still in its initial stages and with the uncertainty of the regulatory environment driving multiple versions of technology we have decided not to support 5G at this time. You can read this article for more information on Fairphone 3(+) and 5G.

Q: Which ‘fair’ materials are used in the Fairphone 3+?

Fairphone has set up more responsible supply chains for tin and tungsten and source Fairtrade Gold for Fairphone 3 (already during Fairphone 3 launch in 2019). In 2020, we further integrated fair cobalt into our battery supply chain

Q: Why doesn’t the Fairphone 3+ contain conflict-free tantalum?

In the past, we used conflict-free tantalum in the capacitors of our phones. However, the Fairphone 3 uses a different material in its ceramic capacitors, meaning that the phone is now constructed without needing to use tantalum. We keep on supporting miners in the DRC through our tin supply chain.

Q: What do I do with my old modules?

Q: I am not running Fairphone OS on my Fairphone 3. Can I also do the camera upgrade?

You will need to install Fairphone OS to initialise the new camera module. After you confirm it works, you can go back to the alternative OS you were using.

Q: When can I update my Fairphone 3 to Android 11?

 Fairphone 3 is currently shipped with Android 9 pre-installed but we are now starting to roll out a major software update to Android 11. This means you will get the latest features like further customization options, smart replies and overall improved privacy and security. Once the update is available, you will receive a push notification to automatically update. Depending on your network provider, some customers may receive the update sooner than others. 

If after reading the article you need more help, contact our Customer Support.