The world's most environmentally sustainable smartphone has been given a hardware upgrade with a DIY upgrade kit for existing customers.

Back in September 2019, a Dutch company called Fairphone launched the 3. It was the third generation of the company's continuous attempt at creating an environmentally sustainable smartphone with longevity beyond popular mainstream smartphones. Despite having an equal specification to a mainstream mid-range smartphone, it didn't stop DIY repair enthusiasts and environment-conscious users from buying one with its stupidly easy repairability being the main reason. In April 2020, Fairphone signed a partnership with a privacy-focused French company called that allows you to buy one running /e/ OS.

With the 3's first anniversary drawing near, Fairphone decided to launch a mid-cycle update with upgraded hardware. Called the 3+, it is essentially an updated 3 with an improved camera module and better build quality.

On the front, it doesn't look any different than the 3. However, the back tells a different story as Fairphone has ditched the transparent rear case. This is personally a bummer since the transparent rear case adds up the cool factor to the phone (and your geeky tech side). That said, Fairphone has always been trying to improve the phone's build quality by including more recycled material and the 3+ now contains 40% recycled plastic. That is the highest percentage of recycled material from all models launched to date, according to them.

Rear view of the Fairphone 3+ with 40% recycled plastic. Photo courtesy of Fairphone.
Photo: Fairphone

The internal specifications remain unchanged from the 3. This means that you get Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 chipset, 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage with microSD card expansion slot, and a 3,040mAh battery. What has changed with the 3+ is the camera module. Instead of a 12MP Sony IMX363 rear camera and 8MP front camera, you now have a 48MP Quad Bayer sensor at the rear and a 16MP sensor at the front. Fairphone promises an optimized camera speed and performance for a better photo quality than before.

If you are interested in buying the 3+, Fairphone currently opens a pre-order with delivery starting from September 14th, 2020. It will cost €469 with Android 10 and Google Mobile Services running out of the box. Living up to Fairphone's longevity motto, they also offer a camera module upgrade for existing 3 customers that can be bought and installed by yourself. €60 will give you the 48MP Quad Bayer rear camera module with the remaining €35 for the 16MP front camera module, hence the total cost of €95

Are you considering the Fairphone 3+'s repairability and upgradeability as your next smartphone? Let us know in the comment section down below.


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