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Fairphone 4 announced: This phone could get Android 15

A five-year warranty is also on offer here.

Published onSeptember 30, 2021

Fairphone 4 repair
Supplied by Fairphone
  • Fairphone has announced the Fairphone 4.
  • It offers a Snapdragon 750G chipset, dual rear cameras, and more upgrades.
  • Expect to pay a starting price of €579.

Fairphone has made a name for itself thanks to its sustainable approach to smartphone manufacturing as well as its repair-friendly designs. The company launched the Fairphone 3 Plus last year as a stopgap release of sorts, but it’s now got a major upgrade in the Fairphone 4.

The new smartphone features notable upgrades in many areas, starting with the mid-range Snapdragon 750G 5G chipset. This is a massive step up in power over the budget Snapdragon 632 4G SoC seen in the previous smartphone. Fairphone adds that its phone supports 12 5G bands and 17 4G bands as a result, although we’re guessing that mmWave isn’t available here.

You’re also getting a 6.3-inch FHD+ LCD screen with Gorilla Glass 5 and a 3,905mAh battery with Quick Charge 4 and USB PD 2.0 capabilities. The firm says that using a 20W Quick Charge 4 adapter should result in a 50% boost from empty in under 30 minutes.

Moving to the photography side of things, the Fairphone 4 packs a 48MP main camera with OIS, a 48MP ultra-wide shooter (120-degree field of view), along with a ToF sensor for capturing depth information. A 25MP camera in a waterdrop notch is on tap for your selfies and video calls.

Other noteworthy features include dual-SIM support (with a physical SIM and eSIM), NFC capabilities, a side fingerprint scanner, and IP54 splash resistance. The new phone also uses six more responsibly sourced materials, pushing the total up to 14.

The Fairphone 4 will be available from October 25, with pre-orders kicking off today. Expect to pay €579 (~$671) for the 6GB/128GB variant in a gray colorway. Need more storage? Then you can grab the 8GB/256GB option for €649 (~$752), coming in gray, green, and speckled green color options.

Fairphone 4: A big update promise and more

Fairphone 4
Supplied by Fairphone

The firm is also making some lofty promises regarding support, saying that it guarantees upgrades to Android 12 and 13 and is aiming to offer Android 14 and 15 as well. This theoretically means that the phone will be getting OS updates until 2024, assuming that it gets one annual OS update from this year onwards. But Fairphone specifically noted in its press release that it would aim to provide OS updates until the end of 2027, “despite support from the chipset supplier expiring.”

Either way, the firm adds that it’ll offer monthly security patches for the first two years, presumably switching to a less frequent cadence thereafter (e.g. quarterly patches).

Another notable promise is that the new phone will receive a five-year warranty, which is good news if you plan to hold on to your device for more than a typical contract cycle. The battery isn’t included in this warranty though, as you might expect. But the firm notes that it is a removable battery, so you can always buy a new one and replace it yourself.

The Fairphone 4 has also received tweaks to its modularity, with an increase in the number of “sub-modules” in the device’s modules. This increases repairability so you don’t necessarily have to replace the entire module if it’s broken — you only need to replace the affected sub-module. Unfortunately, the Fairphone 4’s parts aren’t compatible with previous phones though, the company said in response to an Android Authority question.

Fairphone 4: Hot or not?

757 votes

One potentially controversial decision is the move to drop the 3.5mm port on the new device. Fairphone’s Wayne Huang claimed that the move was made in order to eliminate any “vulnerabilities” in the design, noting that water and dust ingress were concerns with the port. The executive also asserted that the device would’ve been bigger and thicker if a 3.5mm port was included. Then again, we’re sure many consumers would be fine with a mild increase in size if they had a headphone jack.

Finally, the company also confirmed the launch of Fairphone True Wireless Earbuds. This is made out of 30% recycled plastics and uses fair trade gold, according to the firm. We don’t have more details regarding the audio product but will update the article when we receive more info.

What do you make of the Fairphone 4? Let us know via the poll above.

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