Dutch business Fairphone thinks smart devices can and must be entirely repairable and devoid of conflict-sourced products. Ars covered the Fairphone 2 launch back in 2015 and carried out an assisted teardown of a late prototype design with the business’s CEO. This time around, repair work guide website iFixit got the pre-launch model and took it down top-to-bottom to see if Fairphone still makes great on its pledge.

The Fairphone 3 itself

Prior to we enter into the physical teardown, let’s take a peek at the Fairphone 3’s specifications.

  • 5.65- inch screen–2160 ×1080, 24- bit color depth, 18:9 element ratio, Gorilla Glass 5
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 SoC– 1.8 GHz eight-core CPU, with Adreno 506 GPU @ 650 MHz
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64 GB internal storage, microSD growth readily available
  • 12 MP rear/8MP front video camera. Rear video camera has double LED flash and takes video 4k @30 fps, 1080 p @60 fps, 720 p @60 fps
  • 80211 a/c Wi-Fi with BlueTooth 5 + LE, NFC, and assistance for numerous GNSS (GPS) requirements
  • Double nano-SIM card, supporting 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE (GSM just– no CDMA; sorry Verizon customers)
  • USB Type-C, sensing units consist of finger print scanner, ambient light, accelerometer, gyroscope, distance, barometer, and compass
  • 3.5 mm earphone jack consisted of– no USB-C dongle required!
  • 118 Wh battery

If you’re not a total phone-head, you might desire a couple of contrasts to put where the Fairphone 3 rests on an efficiency scale. A great deal of worldwide phones utilize the exact same Snapdragon 632 SoC, however really couple of appear to have actually been offered in the U.S.A.. It’s finest referred to as a middle-of-the-road budget plan chipset. When comparing either CPU or GPU ratings on numerous standards, the Snapdragon 632 utilized in the Fairphone ratings approximately 25% to 33% faster than the Exynos 7884 B utilized in the Samsung Galaxy A10 e (among AT&T’s present line-up of “totally free with brand-new membership” budget plan phones) however just half as quick as the Snapdragon 845 utilized in Google’s flagship Pixel 3. These observations hold up throughout a large range of both CPU and GPU standards

The 11.8 Wh battery can be found in between the Google Pixel 3 (116 Wh) and the iPhone XS Max (121 Wh). We will not truly understand what this pertains to in run-time till the phone strikes the marketplace, nevertheless, because power draw is the other side of the coin when you take a look at power capability. That can depend highly on OS and application optimizations.

The phone is a little less than 10 mm thick and weighs in at 189 g (6.67 oz). This is a touch thick, however the weight is middle-of-the-road; by contrast, the iPhone 10 was 7.7 mm thick and 174 g, the iPhone 11 is 8.3 mm thick and 194 g. Google’s Pixel 3 is 7.9 mm thick and just 148 g (5.22 oz).

Gorilla Glass 5 is the exact same solution Samsung utilized in the Galaxy S8 and S9 series, although it has actually proceeded to Gorilla Glass 6 with the Galaxy S10+. Google likewise utilized Gorilla Glass 5 in its Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL, though not the less expensive Pixel 3A.

The teardown

iFixit did the total teardown disassembly revealed above with just a spudger and a 00 Phillips-head screwdriver. If you wish to go an action even more and take apart the modules themselves– not something you ‘d carry out in the course of regular repair work– you’ll require to include a T5 Torx chauffeur and an opening choice to your toolkit. Absolutely nothing was hot-glued together. The earphone jack, flash LEDs, and distance and ambient light sensing units are soldered onto the breakout board; the USB-C port and mic are soldered into the bottom module.

In addition to the complete 10 out of 10 rating on repairability, the Fairphone 3 usages morally sourced parts and labor.

Cost and accessibility

Problem, United States readers– you’re going to require a pal someplace in Europe if you wish to purchase one. The business is just delivering to European nations, although the phone itself must work to some degree with a lot of American mobile business (other than Verizon) if you can in some way get one.

European readers can preorder a Fairphone 3 now, with shipping anticipated to start in late October. The phone expenses EUR45000 plus shipping (for the UK, shipping is DHL, with expense from EUR1020-1320). By method of contrast, that’s a bit more than a Pixel 2— and you do get the guarantee that if you break the screen, it can be quickly and inexpensively changed (perhaps in your home!), the battery can be a lot more quickly changed when it deteriorates, which you did your finest to prevent bothersome supply chains.

Noting image by Fairphone