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Fairphone 5 launched: Up to 10 years (!) of software support

The Fairphone 5 brings the best software update policy in the game, but there's plenty more to like.

Published onAugust 30, 2023

  • Fairphone has announced the Fairphone 5.
  • The company says it wants to support the device for ten years.
  • Expect to pay £619 (~$780) for the Fairphone 5 when it launches.

Fairphone has made a name for itself over the years thanks to its focus on delivering ethically produced, modular smartphones. The brand has also earned a positive reputation for offering the best phone update policy on the market.

Now, the company has announced the Fairphone 5, and it’s upping the software update ante for the industry. Yes, Fairphone promises that the new handset will receive five major Android updates (!) and eight years of security patches (!!).

But the pledge doesn’t end here:

After that, Fairphone commits to extend support until 2031 and is aiming for 2033, giving users a total of eight to ten years of software support.

Fairphone says this software update commitment is possible thanks to the choice of chipset used. The company has specifically opted for a Qualcomm QCM6490 processor that’s meant for industrial applications. The 6nm manufacturing process and Adreno 642L GPU strongly suggest that this is a variant of the Snapdragon 778G chipset, so you’re getting mid-range performance here that’s still a notable upgrade over the Fairphone 4’s Snapdragon 750G SoC.

The Fairphone 5 maintains the modular, repairable approach of previous models. The new phone offers ten individual modules you can swap out (e.g., microSD card slot, SIM slot, cameras). Users can buy these modules via Fairphone’s website or distribution partners.

What else should you expect?

Fairphone 5 front and back
Supplied by Fairphone

Otherwise, the new handset brings a respectable spec sheet to the table. The Fairphone 5 is equipped with 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage (expandable by up to 2TB), a 6.46-inch 90Hz OLED screen (2,770 x 1,224, Gorilla Glass 5), and a 4,200mAh removable battery with 30W wired charging speeds.

Fairphone adds that the battery holds its capacity for 1,000 charging cycles, presumably meaning that it drops to 80% capacity thereafter. This is equivalent to roughly three years of usage, so you’ll need to replace the battery if you want to keep the phone for ten years. But at least the removable nature means this can be done with minimal effort.

The Fairphone 5 brings some solid cameras, too, namely a 50MP IMX800 primary camera with OIS and a 50MP IMX858 ultrawide lens with autofocus. A 50MP camera is available up-front for selfies and video calls.

Other notable features include Android 13, Bluetooth 5.2, dual-SIM support via nano-SIM and eSIM, dual speakers, an IP55 rating, NFC, a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, and Wi-Fi 6E. Interestingly, the company adds that users can also install an alternative OS, although the firm didn’t elaborate on this option.

You can read about our experience with the phone in our Fairphone 5 hands-on preview.

Fairphone 5 pricing and availability

Fairphone 5 component view resize
Supplied by Fairphone

The Fairphone 5 has a suggested retail price of €699 (~$756) in Europe and £619 (~$780) in the UK. It will be available in Sky Blue, Matte Black, and a transparent model. You’re also getting a five-year warranty with this device, giving you some peace of mind compared to conventional smartphone brands.

Fairphone’s previous phone was released in the US earlier this year with a de-Googled software experience. Unfortunately, the brand hasn’t yet dished out any US details for the new handset.

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