Fairphone 3: is it worth your purchase?
Fairphone 3 is a phone that needs to be analyzed from a different perspective: we cannot compare its specifications, its power or design to other cheap and more powerful smartphone models, as they do not promise the same commitment to our society. Are as Fairphone does. .
However, if you are aware of environmental and social issues, then the Fairphone 3 is the phone you are looking for. The company provides you with the certainty of knowing that you have a device in your hands that is manufactured in a fair and durable way.
As a summary: You will not find a premium smartphone with the best specifications, but you will have a very capable and decent device manufactured by a company that has not washed their hands when making it.
Retail price (PVP)
Excellent Review: Fairphone 3 The greenest phone ever
The hyper-consumer society in which we live, we have increasingly more electronic devices, and also that we replace them more and more often.
This means that when a new mobile, a new headset, or a new smartwatch comes out, the previous model is recalled to oblivion, accumulating dust in the drawer or becoming an e-waste or electronic waste.
Given so much waste of resources, so much exploitation and so much pollution, companies that pretend to be different from the rest and offer a product that is more sustainable and respectful of the environment and our society in general.
If we are one hundred percent objective, then we can say that Fairphones are cheaper smartphones with better specification than 3. However, what we want to tell you through this review is that what will you get when buying Fairphone 3? You have a product that is appropriate to the environment, to the workers participating in its manufacture and above all.
If you are sufficiently aware of the environment, then you will know that products that are sustainable, organic and made without exploitation are more expensive. This is the case of Fairphone 3.
Then we will tell you what our experience has been after using Fairphone 3, the third smartphone launched by the ecological company since its existence.
Price and availability
The Fairphone 3 can be purchased in advance for € 450 through the official Fairphone website. Keep in mind that only the mobile phone will come with a small screwdriver and a case in the box.
Fairphone said that they had decided not to include a charger, given that everyone has one today. The aim is to reduce less e-waste, or similar, electronic waste.
However, if you do not have a charger, or if you want to buy a protective case (although the phone itself is quite resistant), you can take a look at additional Fairphone accessories that you can include in your order.
Design and build quality
If we look at the exterior of Fairphone 3, forgetting its ecological perspective, we will feel that we travel back in time a year ago. We are back before the classic bezels at the top and bottom and we forget about any notch or that infinity screen that is so fashionable in the latest smartphone models.
However, we understand that Fairfone does not show off: it provides what it has in a fair and durable way, which will be enough for many users.
The upper bezel (roughly a thin finger of thickness) has a selfie camera and speakers, which we will discuss in the following sections. The lower bezel collects the company’s logo and name in white letters (something that also moved us in previous years).
The corners are round, while the edges are straight. We are not experiencing a premium or luxurious feeling, but we are sure it may have led many users back in search of a more humble experience.
If we turn on the device, the company reminds us of its name: the Fairphone logo is written in large white letters on the middle of the cover, a semi-transparent cover that reveals the inside of the device, and a slogan that says We will make you remember that we remember the good work done to buy this phone: “Change is in your hands”, meaning change is in your hands.
On the same back made of polycarbonate, we will see the fingerprint scanner next to the single sensor camera next to the LED flash, which will be horizontally arranged in the side.
The lower edge houses, like all phones, the charging input, in this case, USB-C, and the upper edge makes us happy with the 3.5mm headphone jack.
As we state in the following section, Fairphone is a modular telephone. That is, if you need it, you can disassemble it and change its parts. The idea is that you have a device that lasts more than many years, thus making it more durable.
It should be mentioned that the material used to make the phone is recycled and is of proper origin. Fairphone emphasizes the importance of being aware of the origin of the materials with which they make mobile phones.
Another relevant mention is also the breakthrough in design that Fairphone 3 represents compared to its two previous models, Fairphone 2 and Fairphone 1.
Although as we mentioned earlier, Fairphone 3 looks somewhat older than other phones released in the same year, if we compare it with Fairphone 2 and Fairphone 1, we can see that the company updated. And have improved your aesthetics product
Fairphone 3 features
After submitting Fairphone to our benchmarking tests, we can confirm that the results are significantly lower than the rest of the smartphones, which are priced similarly.
However, it should be mentioned again that Fairphone 3 is not intended to offer you an ultra-powerful SUV with the best design and best performance, but to provide you with a product that reminds you of the importance of stability and fair trade It gives (Review Fairphone 3)
Therefore, the results obtained (4885 in performance) are consistent with what we expect. As we have said, they are worse than similarly priced phones, but it is also true that it is ahead of other new smartphones such as Realme 5 Pro (with a score of 4245) or e6 Plus motorcycle (3738).
We can say the same about its processor, modest enough to be in 2019: a Qualcomm Snapdragon 632. However, while using the phone we have not noticed that it was stuck or was extremely slow at any time.
In fact, we think it is a suitable chip to use WhatsApp, surfing the Internet, or making calls to fulfill less demanding tasks (yes, smartphones still serve callers). Apparently, the phone is not intended for the gamer user as the phone forgets to play very powerful video games.
If we keep going inside the device then we will get 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage memory. Like the processor, these measures will be enough to give the device normal usage, however, they will definitely get outdated within a very short period of time, as we begin to see minimum measurements of 6 GB RAM and 128 GB ROM.
The phone comes with Android 9, we haven’t found anything particularly notable about its software, which Android 9 already offers: a nice interface, quite intuitive and easy to use.
Perhaps the most striking feature of Fairphone 3 is that it is a modular smartphone, ie it is a piece that you can disassemble and change yourself in different ways.(Review Fairphone 3)
A small screwdriver comes in the box that will help you separate the parts of the phone. In our experience, this is quite simple, so you will not need special technical support to repair your phone if necessary.
This means that the phone will last for many more years than most smartphones, because if your battery goes bad, for example, you can buy another one and the phone will continue to function as usual.
The replacement parts prices are quite affordable, leading us to the conclusion that Fairphone 3 can be a good investment: you will pay around 500 euros on the initial purchase, but the phone lasts for many more years than any other phone Will work.
We want to think that in the future, if Fairphone 3 builds a better camera or a better screen, we can buy that part separately and add it to our phone, so we can buy it without a new update. can do. However, on its website we only see the section for buying parts according to the Fairphone model you have.
These are the parts of the Fairphone 3 that you can replace.
- Fairphone 3 camera: € 49.95
- Speaker Module: € 19.95
- Speaker module: € 19.95
- Top module: € 29.95
- Screen: € 89.95
- Battery € 29.95
- Back cover: € 24.95
We are small compared to the screen, due to its upper and lower frame it is 5.65 inches and a very low body screen ratio.
The aspect ratio is 18: 9, a measure that began to become quite popular in smartphones last year and was gradually replacing 16: 9. However, we are starting to see more and more new models with the 19: 9 aspect.
We are facing an IPS Full HD + panel (we did not expect an OLED screen for this price, much less). The colors look vibrant and crisp, our overall experience with the screen has been positive.(Review Fairphone 3)
Viewing angles are quite wide (although typically the screen of a smartphone is usually always viewed from a frontal point), some feature of an IPS screen. This is because this type of screen is made of liquid crystal that is capable of moving horizontally, creating better viewing angles.
According to our tests, the screen reaches a maximum of 447.43 nits. When we have used the phone outside, the truth is that it has surprised us for good: the screen still looks great, when there is a lot of light.
The screen comes with the Gorilla Glass 5, which, as you probably know, means excellent fall protection, allowing adequate optical protection and touch sensitivity. However, it has become something standard that we can see on most phones.
Let’s start with the rear camera: Fairphone 3 comes with a 12 MP single sensor (Sony IMX 363), with aperture f / 1.8 and LED flash. In this case the zoom is digital and supports up to 8 magnifications.
The Sony IMX363 sensor is a good sensor that we’ve already seen in other smartphones with good cameras, such as the Asus Zenfone 5Z or Xiaomi Mi 8. Once again, we know that there are new sensors, but we also know ourselves. Experience that it is still a good sensor.
Although a lot of the camera’s megapixels are not on paper, the truth is that we are facing a dual-pixel sensor, which ensures better image quality in addition to faster focus.
Nothing we’ve just told you is innovative, in fact, they are photographic technologies we’ve been seeing in many smartphones for years, however, it’s worth noting that we’re happy to see them on a phone Which has become more difficult to construct.
When opening the camera app we find a fairly intuitive interface. Below you will find different photography modes: ‘Photo’, ‘Portrait’, ‘Panoramic’ and, surprisingly, ‘Pro’ mode, which is professional.(Review Fairphone 3)
It is true that the photo loses a lot of detail when zooming in normal mode, the image is slightly more blurred and the colors are much less vibrant. In the following images you can see how one picture is with a zoom of 3.8 magnification and the other has the maximum magnification allowed, that is, 8 magnifications.
3.8x zoom in the upper image and 8x zoom in the lower image.
Professional mode allows you to configure several options: ISO, type of focus, the filter you want depending on how cloudy or sunny the view is or the contrast of the image. It is not a very deep way, like phones like super powerful cameras (Huawei P30 Pro), but keeping in mind the general features of the phone, it is quite good.(Review Fairphone 3)
Image quality is quite good in normal photos. The panoramic mode, though not commonly used, has managed to capture a good quality image, and the picture mode has surprised us with that fashionable bokeh effect that captures the subject or object drawn from the background. Capable of separating quite accurately.
It is worth noting that sometimes it costs little until the camera manages to detect the subject with the photo and separate it from the background. You can see an example in the following photo. The end result is better than we expected.(Review Fairphone 3)
If you look at the front camera or selfie camera, we are faced with 8MP sensor and f / 2.0 aperture. Like other cameras, the zoom is digital and allows a maximum of eight magnifications.
With a selfie camera, you can take normal photos or photos in normal portrait mode, ie background blur can occur. We do not get any kind of beauty filter as we usually see in most smartphones. This can be as good or as bad as you like with the filter (although a little filter never hurts).
We have also seen that a lack of megapixels has been observed, both in normal selfie mode and portrait mode, achieving images of much lower quality than those used in 2019.(Review Fairphone 3)
Connectivity and audio
Located on top of the double speaker phone with stereo sound, the truth is that it sounds quite good and quite fast to reach 95dB. Obviously it will not reach the qualities of high-end speakers, but the truth is that we like to use it in playing our music.
The bass is heard correctly, perhaps not as clearly as we would demand from a dedicated speaker, and treble is heard with astonishing sharpness.
We are very happy to have a 3.5mm headphone jack, which, as you probably know, is an extension that we find every time in less modern smartphones.
Another device we still like to watch (although many people won’t see it useful), FM radio, is something that seems to disappear in many new mobile phones as well.
More points that keep adding to your favor: It comes via the NFC function, one that allows you to pay by mobile instead of using your credit card. This is something that is commonly present in high-end phones, so we praise its presence in Fairphone 3.9Review Fairphone 3)
It should be mentioned that the device supports dual SIM as well as a microSD card that will allow you to expand the phone’s internal storage memory if you deem necessary.
Another point that draws the attention of Fairphone 3 is its battery, as you probably imagine, removable. This means that you can buy an extra battery for € 29.95 and take it with you in case you run out of battery.
Entering technically, we are facing a 3000mAh Li-ion battery, which is able to pleasantly surprise us with a useful duration of 12 hours and 27 minutes as per our tests due to the phone’s low demand characteristics .
In this sense Fairphone 3 travels past us, this time for good, to remind us of times in which we had simple mobiles, but with battery life and surprising resistance.
When we see its fast charge 3.0, we return to current stress. According to our tests, the Fairphone 3 was able to charge 29% in 30 minutes. This result is similar to what we saw in other new phones such as Honor 9X or Motorola One Action, but it lagged 53% of the time in 30 minutes (Sony Xperia 5), with 48% (Oppo Reno 2 Z). Or 42% (Motorola One Zoom).(Review Fairphone 3)
- Operating System: Android 9
- Processor: Snapdragon 632
- 4 GB RAM
- Internal storage: 64 GB (expandable with microSD)
- 3,000 mAH Li-ion battery removable
- 5.65 inch Full HD + 18: 9 screen
- Rear camera: 12MP, f / 1.8 + Dual Pixel PDAF
- Front camera: 8MP f / 2.0
- Wifi 2.4 & 5 GHz
- Bluetooth 5
- Dual Nano SIM
- USB Type C
- Fingerprint scanner
- 3.5 mm headphone jack
You are not facing a smartphone with better value for money, or with the best design, or with the best processor or with the best value. But you are facing one of the most fair smartphones in the market.
Fairphone 3 will make people whose priority in life is to be sustainable and fair with the society in which we live.
By this we do not mean that Fairphone 3 is a bad phone, which is the complete opposite. This is a smartphone that offers good performance, with fairly good specifications given the way it is manufactured (remember that durable is more expensive to manufacture).
You’ll get good performance, decent cameras, a better design than its predecessors and excellent battery life. You’ll pay more for more modest specifications, but, we emphasize, you’ll find something that very few smartphones are able to offer: stability.(Review Fairphone 3)