Fairphone 3+ makes modular phone future a reality

Chris Burns - Aug 27, 2020, 10:42am CDT
Fairphone 3+ makes modular phone future a reality

This week the folks at Fairphone dropped the gauntlet when it comes to creating a sustainable future for electronics and our planet Earth. Much like a gaming computer, Fairphone 3+ has the ability to upgrade parts, one part at a time. If you want a better camera, you replace the camera, not the whole phone.

The phone called Fairphone 3+ is an iteration of Fairphone 3. As Fairphone wrote, “The Fairphone 3+ is a perfect example of why we focus so much on modular design: we can upgrade just a few parts of the Fairphone 3, without needing to redesign the entire phone.”

So if you’re purchasing the Fairphone 3+ on its own, the full package will cost you €469 (Euro). If you already own a Fairphone 3, you can purchase JUST the parts that’ve been upgraded beyond what was offered with your phone when it was released. You could even opt to just buy one of the two modules that were given a boost.

You could purchase just the back-facing camera array, just the front facing camera/sensor package, or both the front and the back. The back-facing camera module costs approximately €60. The front camera costs approximately €35. There’s also a bundle deal with both modules for around €70.

Can you imagine buying an iPhone, or a Samsung Galaxy phone, and a year later being able to buy significantly upgraded cameras for less than $100? Seems like a better deal than buying a whole new phone, anyway.

The Fairphone 3 can be upgraded with a simple process, as shown below.

It’s just a matter of keeping track of all those little screws, and having a careful hand when it comes to removing and replacing the parts. Fairphone also has a recycling program, if you like, where you can send in your old parts for recycling, regardless of if they’re in working order.

The new Fairphone 3+ has specifications that are largely the same as its predecessor. All the better to upgrade you with, my dear. This device has Android 10 (and the Fairphone 3 gets said update as well), and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 SoC with 4GB RAM. There’s a 5.65-inch Full HD+ display up front and 64GB internal storage with a microSD card slot for media storage expansion.

This device has a 3040mAh REMOVABLE battery, and USB-C for charging and data transfer. There’s a fingerprint scanner on the back, and dual Nano SIM capabilities (with 4G LTE). There’s an NFC reader, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and both 2.4 and 5 GHz WiFi as well as Bluetooth 5.

This device and this upgrade system are not yet available in the United States, but we can dream! If you’re living in Europe, you’ll be able to attain this newest device on pre-order starting today.


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