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Fairphone 5 Reviews: How Sustainable Smartphone Compares vs Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy

December 26, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

The Fairphone 5 has earned global headlines as a "sustainable smartphone" that's designed to last for a decade or so, while helping to minimize e-waste from such devices.

But how does the Fairphone 5 hold up and compare vs. mainstream smartphones such as the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy options? Here's some background about the device, and a sampling of reviews from across the world.

About the Fairphone 5 Smartphone: Company Details, Price and Specs

Fairphone, founded in 2013, is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The company has 70 employees, and more than 100,000 people own a Fairphone, according to the company's website.

The official company description states: "In 2013, Fairphone launched a movement for fairer electronics. By making a phone, we’re opening up the supply chain and creating new relationships between people and their products. We’re making a positive impact across the value chain in mining, design, manufacturing and life cycle, while expanding the market for products that put ethical values first. Together with our community, we’re changing the way products are made."

The smartphone, launched in August 2023, has a modular design for self-service repair, and offers eight years of software support. It includes 8GB RAM, 256GB internal storage that is expandable up to 2TB, and clean Android 13 with zero bloatware. The recommended retail price is €699*, available in transparent edition, sky blue and matte black. See all of the Fairphone 5 specs here.

Where is Fairphone 5 sold? Mainly Europe. Alas, the Fairphone 5 is not available in the United States or Canada. Although the older Fairphone 4 is available in the United States.

Fairphone 5 Smartphone Reviews: What Smartphone Testers Said...

  1. Android Police: "For the first time, the company's latest smartphone looks like a product that fits the year it was released in, with a modern design and display combining a device that can be easily fully disassembled."
  2. CNet: "7.0 out of 10"
  3. Digital Trends: "The Fairphone 5's sustainability and longevity set it apart from the competition, but a poor camera and short battery life affect its desirability.”
  4. Tech Advisor: "The Fairphone 5 is not a superlative smartphone, but the company is right to question the ethics of the industry and produce a fairly made, repairable phone. Software support promised till 2033 and possibly beyond is proof other manufacturers are being wasteful."
  5. Tech Radar: "Great for the planet, and also your pocket."
  6. The Wall Street Journal: "Unfortunately, it mostly disappoints."
  7. Wired: "Boasting ethical manufacturing, easy repairability, and industry-leading software support, this is the moral smartphone choice."
  8. Fairphone vs. iPhone and More:  This detailed review explores how smartphone makers are attempting to address sustainability, who's apparently making progress and are the laggards.

If you're Fairphone 5 user who wants to share feedback or perspectives about the device then please email me.

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