The modular phone dream stood on two legs, one that promised easy repairability, and another that offered potential upgradability. Unfortunately, that dream nearly died completely after the cancelation of the Project Ara phone and the failure of the LG G5. Only the Fairphone has survived to become the world’s most repairable and sustainable phone, and it is once again proving its worth. The company has announced that one of its current phones has reached its end of sale, but, unlike most smartphones, it doesn’t mean that the Fairphone 3 has reached its end of life.
Although it was probably a futuristic dream, the modular phone as presented by Project Ara and the LG G5 didn’t exactly appeal to consumers, at least not with the technologies and designs available back then. Fairphone opted to target a more specific market instead, focusing on consumers that valued sustainability, sometimes over the most current hardware features. Not all people find that worth the bother, of course, but its recent announcement highlights the benefit that very few phones can boast of.
After two years, Fairphone is discontinuing the Fairphone 3, meaning it will no longer be available for sale directly from the manufacturer. By today’s standards, the 2019 modular phone is already well-aged anyway, even for a mid-range device. In most cases, discontinuation also means the end of support from the manufacturer, but not in this case.
Instead, Fairphone promises that spare parts for the repairable phone will continue to be available. That also includes the camera module upgrade that lets the Fairphone 3 match what the Fairphone 3+ has. As if that wasn’t enough, the company promises an Android 11 update in 2022. It will be a tad late, but at least it’s still coming.
No other smartphone in the market can proudly offer such a service, but then again, no other smartphone is just as easy to repair. Of course, there have been a lot of bumps along the way, like having to stick to an older processor, but a new Fairphone 4 with 5G is expected to be coming soon to give the line a much-needed upgrade.