Fairphone in the Practice Test: Smartphone for the Good Conscience

Workers who toil for pitiful wages in Chinese factories. Children who scrape precious metal out of the ground in mines in the Congo. Warlords, who earn money for wars with the trade of raw materials: what bright and chic is with us on the shelves, often arises in cruel conditions. The merciless price war on the world market and the profit motive of the corporations make sure that in the production of human rights often miss out. It wants to change the 2010 launched Dutch company Fairphone and brings the first phone that breaks out with fair and sustainable production from this vicious cycle’s words. Convinced the product?

2nd January 2014: is the Fairphone

For three years the Fairphone team in the Netherlands has worked on his fair and sustainable mobile, now it’s ready: ordered copy from the first production series (11,000 units) in the Newsroom that arrived image on January 2 on May 17, 2013 by COMPUTER; in total, so far 25,000 copies of the Fairphones were sold. That is already a success of the project: 5,000 pre-orders were a prerequisite to start the production. In June 2013, more than 7,500 buyer had found themselves, who were willing to spend 325 euros for the Android powered device. Who wants to order the Fairphone now, can charge via Internet as a prospective customer register.

Kick Start: 40 advanced Gadgets

First impression: solid construction

At first glance looks like other smartphones the Fairphone also: it is purely technically, a normal middle-class cell phone with 4.3 inch screen, quad core processor (Mediatek MT6589M up to 1.2 GHz, 1 GB RAM) and Android 4.2.2. Yet you immediately feel that it is an overly styled by fashion product, nor to have a cheap phone. The massive steel battery cover is solid. In addition, the Fairphone denied the currently rampant in the competition slimming Madness: with 170 grams (iPhone 5 S: 112 grams) and one centimeter in thickness it is somewhat heavy and thick, works this way but very elegant and fits well in the hand.

Fairphone: fair, but also good?

First impressions of the Fairphone

The technology in detail

Slim held Android-4.2 system responded the user interface of the Fairphone in the test consistently fast. Benchmark tests showed the device a medium pace of work (327 of 1098 points at Geekbench 3) but a very low graphics performance (only 8.8 frames per second with GFXBench 2.5 Egypt HD C24ZT16). The 4.3-inch screen with 960 x 540 points (254 ppi) is less sharp than the iPhone, but enough for everyday use. He represents good colors; side looking at reflects however, and fingerprints are on it clearly visible.

The free memory of 12.98 GB factory is large enough for almost all applications. If you want more, can expand it via MicroSD card. The Internet connection via Wi-Fi (n-standard, only 2.4 GHz) or UMTS-HSPA + (up to 21 Mbps). LTE is missing, as well the close radio technology NFC. The eight-megapixel camera is still tolerable pictures in good light, the photos are useless in bad light. In contrast to the similarly expensive Lumia 925 or Galaxy S3 is good the Fairphone not as a replacement for a compact camera that’s why.

Practical: Who wants to be accessible under two phone numbers, can put a second SIM card in the traditional large-format; it works for mini cards via adapter.

Video: the Fairphone

Child labour in the Congo? Exploitation in Chinese factories? When the Fairphone is excluded, promises the Dutch manufacturer. What brings the first fair and sustainably produced Smartphone? Fairphone: The first impression of the eco mobile fairness check: production

And raw materials

Production the manufacturer goes its own way: come the raw material coltan (tantalum) for the capacitors and the Tin from mines in the Congo, which are considered to be free of conflicts in accordance with OECD guideline. In other words: there no militias attack off the money to finance their wars. Thanks to the initiative for conflict-free Tin, the wage in South Kivu (Congo) per kilogram Tin already of 4 to 6 US dollars should be flat. The manufacturing takes place in the company of A Hong in China. There independent auditors control the conditions of work, so Fairphone.

Also in the procurement of other raw materials and pay the workers the Dutch want to ensure through transparency that the customer used his Fairphone with a clear conscience. And the start-up supports also a sensible recycling: from each sold Fairphones price 3 euros in an organization that brings back batteries and accumulators from Ghana take to properly recycle them in Belgium. Because the usual scrapping in Ghana is often done under incredible conditions.

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Of sustainability check: construction and durability

The manufacturer promises a long-lasting and repair-friendly construction. Because cell phone batteries usually only two to three years, the model in the Fairphone can be simply replace similar to how, for example, when the Galaxy models from Samsung. If the screen of the Fairphones fragments, an Exchange is also not a problem: while the most smartphones touch screen display and front glass with each other are taping the glass cover of the Fairphone display is a separate component. So it can be easily and inexpensively replaced. This construction is also one of the reason that the Fairphone thicker than some other phones.

Software updates let himself play over a separate app directly on the device. From the factory, the usual Google apps like GMail, Google maps, or play store are missing the Fairphone however. Which are easily when you first start but with the Wizard download.

Conclusion: Fairphone

The Fairphone is a solidly built, repair-friendly mid-range Smartphone with a pleasant user interface, and a relatively high price. But the Android phone is the first successful attempt to break new ground in Smartphone production away from throw-away production and Kostendrückerei even more. Here have a lot to learn Apple, Samsung and co. by the small team of Amsterdam.