Fairphone is a unique Android manufacturer; it offers a smartphone designed for repair, long software support times, and a selection of parts available online. The Dutch electronics manufacturer has mostly only focused on the European market and says, “When is Fairphone coming to the US?” is one of the most common questions it gets asked. Well, ask no more! The company is finally bringing the Fairphone 4 to the US—with some caveats.
Fairphone is launching a “US pilot” program to sell the Fairphone 4 in America in partnership with Murena, the primary developer behind the /e/ Android fork. Murena has been selling Fairphones in Europe for a while, and they come pre-loaded with the /e/ OS, instead of Fairphone’s build of Android, and now the US is getting the deal. The phone costs $599.
“We know based on feedback we have received that there are many people interested in Fairphone in the US.” Fairphone CEO Eva Gouwens said in the press release. “However, currently our main focus is on the European market. This collaboration with e/OS/ is a great opportunity for us to pilot selling devices in the US market with a long-standing partner and learn more about the American market.”
/e/ is a “fully deGoogled,” “privacy by design” fork of Android that dumps Google’s apps and services for alternatives provided by /e/. Instead of the Play Store, you get the “App Lounge” full of Android APKs and progressive web apps. Instead of Google Play Services, you get the open source microG reimplementation. Instead of Google Maps, you’ll get the OpenStreetMap-based Magic Earth, Cloud data can be stored on the NextCloud-based Murena cloud based on NextCloud, or self-hosted by the user. If you just wanted a repairable phone, this will be a big change over regular Android, but presumably it’s also possible to flash the normal, Google-approved builds of Android.
As a quick recap, the Fairphone 4 came out in 2021 with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G SoC, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. Just like before the days of sealed phones, the back comes off, and the 3905 mAh battery is user-removable. The whole phone is designed to be modular with repairable parts, as the camera array, loudspeaker, USB-C port, display, and phone body are all individual components. Normally Fairphone sells the parts on its website for easy repairs, but for the US, we’re told parts will be available through Murena. If you go online and activate your warranty at Fairphone.com/warranty, the phone has a five year warranty.
By the time you read this, the phone should be up for sale at murena.com/shop
Listing image by /e/