Fairphone, the first ethically sourced phone is available for pre-order in Europe

by: Bogdan BeleMay 24, 2013


Fairphone, an initiative that plans on making a smartphone without harming the planet and its inhabitants, is now taking pre-orders, so it can start the manufacturing process.

5,000 pre-orders are needed for the company to start manufacturing the smartphone, which looks good in terms of specifications. It has a 4.3-inch qHD display (960 x 540 pixels resolution), a MTK6589M quad-core CPU at 1.2GHz, paired with 1GB of RAM, as well as 16GB of internal memory, expandable via the microSD slot. The main camera is an 8-megapixel one, while the front one is 1.3-megapixels. Fairphone is a dual SIM smartphone, which runs Android 4.2.

Pre-orders have already started in Europe, so you can go ahead and buy one, at a price of €325.00 (around $420), including VAT. The smartphone comes without headphones or a charger, the latter which you can get for an additional €7.50.

Why is it special?

While those specs might look alright, they probably won’t be the reason why you’d want to buy the Fairphone. You can actually help to make a difference by getting a smartphone that’s built according to a set of fair principles.

These include suppliers that have good working conditions (remember the Foxconn problems) and recycling practices that are safe for the environment, as well as not including minerals in the device that fund conflicts. That means that the metals used in your device won’t help illegal armies get financed.

Also, money from the smartphone goes into recycling initiatives, the purpose being to make phones entirely from recycled materials. Deals with manufacturers, as well as the costs involved, are as transparent as possible.

The video below will tell you more about what Fairphone tries to accomplish.

At the time this article was written, the Fairphone had sold 2,369 phones, with 20 days left on the campaign. According to the Fairphone website, if 5,000 Fairphones are pre-ordered until June 14, the first ones will start getting delivered this fall.

What do you think about this project? Do you plan on buying a Fairphone?

  • APai

    Apple is unfair!!! :P

  • tirado17

    If I was in Europe I would.

  • Interesting concept if I was in Europe I would give it some more thought for sure.

  • Joachim Nilsson

    Liking this!!

  • Argjent

    I really like this device because of the stock Android style capacitive buttons

  • gommer strike

    hmm I dunno regarding the premise of an environmentally-good phone.

    To manufacture electronics in general is environmentally bad as is. Lots of resources, a metric ton of water required, and not to mention countless other materials and steps which are anything but environmentally sound.

    Yes we heard all the horror stories of Foxconn, but at the same time *someone* has to do the job of wiping the screens with toxic(over time) chemicals that you shouldn’t be inhaling.

    IMO the only truly “green” thing you can do is buy used/refurbished phones when possible, so to prolong the life of each device.

  • Johnathan Katz

    An environmental phone doesn’t exist, it’s just a gimmick used to push for more sales, unless the phone is somehow biodegradable on it’s own then it’s manufacturing process doesn’t count as being environmentally friendly.

    It has specs from last year if not further beyond that and looks like some bizarre clone between an iPhone and an HTC phone.

  • Jack

    it looks like Htc HD 2

  • Justin Skipper

    RAZR M specs all day. I like.

  • sdasdas

    I’ll say every single device should be made like this, especially apple and samsung these days. They should stop relying on foxconn and make their own factorys. Samsung Display located in Korea is an example but these two companys do need to work on being more enviormentaly friendly.
    Because it improves company’s image
    Apple and Samsung devour the mobile market.
    They should improve their working conditions also.
    They have the cash
    Heck yeah they can do it.