A smartphone that puts social values first

Home Technologist 09 A smartphone that puts social values first

An ethical smartphone.


There are plenty of reasons to give up our smartphones, from toxic components and programmed obsolescence to the tough working conditions imposed on sub-contractors. The new Fairphone 2, however, hopes to make it easier to let go. It costs €525, and a portion of each sale goes to support social and environmental programmes. Plus, the phone maker avoids using materials from regions at war. The device is modular, which means a broken screen or dead battery can be replaced, significantly prolonging the phone’s lifespan and reducing pollution.

“Users can carry out basic repairs themselves, without any technical skills,”

says Fairphone spokesperson Daria Koreniushkina. This makes it the easiest smartphone to repair, according to the website iFixit.

Fairphone 2 has a screen resolution superior to that of the iPhone 6s, and it runs one of the latest versions of the operating system Android. One downside is that it may not be completely “fair”. According to a report from the Dutch Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) published in 2015, the first version did not meet five of their 34 sustainability criteria. But the Fairphone is still the closest thing to a “100 per cent fair” smartphone.

► The Dutch company sold 60,000 units of the first version between 2013 and 2014, and hopes Fairphone 2 will achieve sales of 140,000 in 2016.

 by Julien Calligaro @juliencal


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