The "1-Minute" Review
- Poor cameras
- Temperamental fingerprint scanner
- No headphone jack
In a bid to capture the market with a more eco-friendly phone, Fairphone 4 is made from sustainably sourced materials. It does not look like the best phone out there, just one that doesn’t make a big footprint. What do you lose or gain from having a sustainable, repairable phone?
The Fairphone 4 is built with the rugged, adventurous type in mind. The backplate is made from 100% recycled plastic and has a nice texture. While it’s on the chunkier side, the extra size means this phone can take bumps and bruises easily without breaking.
The 6.3-inch LCD is about average for mid-range phones nowadays. The screen doesn’t have the clarity and the vivid colors of an OLED. However, the brightness was outstanding. Reviewers said it was easy to see in full sun outdoors.
The chipset used in the Fairphone 4 is somewhat older than those of today’s high-end phones. That said, reviewers said it was powerful enough to keep the average user happy. Just don’t plan to play the latest games at the highest settings or expect heavy multitasking to run buttery smooth.
Software & Storage
The phone comes with stock Android 11 installed and a promise for upgrades a long time after its release, potentially up to Android 15. There is the option of 128GB of storage or 256GB. If you should need more space, there is an expansion MicroSD card to help you.
The cameras for the Fairphone 4 are probably the biggest letdown. Pale colors, washed-out details, and a lack of contrast disappointed reviewers. Still, they were not surprised and still considered the phone somewhat competitive based on its price.
If you want a phone that lasts a long time, reviewers said this was it. The Fairphone 4 lasted well into an entire second day for reviewers. There isn’t a fast-charging option. However, the phone is meant to last a long time and be eco-friendly, and fast-charging can shorten battery lifespans.
Reviewers didn’t mention anything in particular about the audio, but given the mid-range price of the phone and its competitors, it’s safe to say it’s probably not that great. There’s no headphone jack, though. So be sure to get an adapter or plan to use Bluetooth if you’d like to upgrade your audio experience.
Specs at a Glance
- Plastic chassis
- 6.3-inch LCD
- Qualcomm SM7225 Snapdragon 750G 5G processor
- 6/8GB of RAM
- Android 11
- 128/256GB of storage with MicroSD expansion
- 48+ MP camera
- 3905mAh battery
The central selling point is that it’s eco-friendly and ethically sourced. It’s rugged, can take a beating, and do most of the basic things we’ve become accustomed to in a phone. The cameras aren’t great, but that’s not what this phone is about. They’re not unusable; they’re just not as perfect as we’re used to.
Tech Radar says, “The Fairphone 4’s eco-friendly resume is reason enough for many people to buy it, but beyond that it’s a strong mid-range phone in all but a few categories. Its battery life is particularly impressive, and its hardy body is protected against bumps and drops, but the cameras leave a lot to be desired.”
The Verge states, “if you just need a smartphone for daily use and aren’t concerned about having the best camera or most premium-feeling device, then I think you’re the kind of person who can live with the Fairphone 4.”
Prices (Where to Buy)
The 4 price will vary depending on retailer, age, special offers and whether or not it's purchased with a service plan. If purchased with a 2 year service contract for example, you would likely pay much less for the phone itself up front. You can compare Fairphone 4 prices from around the web here on The Informr.
Fairphone backs up the 4 with a 2 Years parts & labour warranty.
If your 4 has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Fairphone support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Fairphone's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.
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