Fairphone 5 assessment: A matter of priorities

The place do your priorities lie? That is the essential query that I believe the Fairphone 5 poses – for those who’re involved about your tech’s impression on the world, then there is no higher mainstream possibility within the smartphone market so far as accountable sourcing and truthful wages go.

For those who’re extra desirous about having the absolute best specs in your price range, although, it is straightforwardly not the most suitable choice on the market. So, once more – what’s your precedence?

Fairphone 5

The fifth Fairphone is the most effective but – that is clear. Its credentials are additionally extra spectacular than ever, and its goals are totally laudable. If you would like a sustainable and fairly-made telephone, that is your best option on the market. Its value implies that you are placing your cash the place your mouth is by default, too, since rivals undercut it closely.


  • Excellent repairability
  • Good easy design
  • Strong efficiency for now
  • Provide chain accountability is second to none
  • 5-year guarantee, eight-year software program help

  • Unlikely to really feel snappy in a few years
  • Fairly costly in comparison with rivals


  • 162 x 75.5 x 10.5mm
  • Accessible in blue, black and clear

The Fairphone 5 would not stand out an excessive amount of from the group, nevertheless it’s essentially the most up-to-date wanting telephone Fairphone has made to date, due to a triple digicam bump and hole-punch selfie digicam.

The brand new OLED show has pretty skinny bezels and is sweet and massive, and maybe my solely criticism comes on the high of it – the speaker grille on the high of the display screen is recessed in a approach that catches various mud over time.

Fairphone 5 4

On the right-hand aspect of the telephone, there are quantity buttons and a flush energy button that doubles as its fingerprint reader, with no inputs on the left aspect.

The Fairphone 5 is available in a pleasant blue or black, however the third clear model I examined is essentially the most attention-grabbing possibility and serves to instantly spotlight the telephone’s complete ethos.

Fairphone 5 5

That plastic again can simply pop off to disclose a detachable battery and an meeting with distinguished silver screws that may simply be eliminated for repairs. With components bought by means of its personal retailer for truthful costs (£50 for a substitute ultrawide digicam, as an example), it makes for a telephone that may be repaired with out the necessity for a store or skilled, one thing that needs to be far more frequent than it’s.

Fairphone 5 11

It holds as much as testing, too – I eliminated all the principle components and reassembled it fairly simply, with out bricking or breaking the telephone in any respect, and with no information loss. It is wild how subversive that feels in comparison with the sealed lockboxes that the majority fashionable smartphones symbolize.

The one actual draw back to this design ethos is that it bars the telephone from true waterproofing – it is obtained IP55 resistance (a small enchancment on the Fairphone 4’s IP54) which protects it from jets and splashes, however immersion remains to be a no-no.

Fairphone 5 9

That does imply you need to be extra cautious with it than you is perhaps used to by fashionable requirements, though I am undecided that anybody is actually swimming round with their telephone out anyway.

Repairability is not the top of it, although – Fairphone has additionally rigorously examined each a part of its provide chain, from meeting factories to mineral mines, to make sure that it is using pretty paid and handled employees the entire approach.

Fairphone 5 6

It makes use of recycled materials the place potential and operates a recycling scheme in your previous telephone once you purchase a brand new one – all of those credentials will be discovered in additional element on the Fairphone web site, and actually do come collectively into the kind of package deal that feels very important.

There isn’t any getting across the reality, even earlier than turning to efficiency, that this sustainable mindset and rigour is what you purchase the Fairphone 5 for – it is a ethical choice, and a option to prioritise equity over uncooked worth. It would be good to see greater corporations like Apple and Google pay attention to the diploma of transparency on present right here, however I am not holding my breath.

Show and efficiency

  • 90Hz 1224×2700 OLED
  • Qualcomm QCM6490 chipset

The show is the place maybe the most important single improve from the Fairphone 4 has arrived – that is the primary Fairphone with an OLED show, and the leap is welcome.

As you’d anticipate this provides good vibrancy and depth, with true blacks and much more general pop. It is vivid sufficient for outside use on sunny days, too.

Fairphone 5 2-1

A 90Hz refresh price additionally means you may get a a lot smoother experience, though that is turned off by default and subsequently doubtlessly one thing that some customers won’t even realise they’ve entry to.

Turning it on brings that telltale smoothness, although, and I did not discover a serious hit to battery life in comparison with 60Hz. The decision getting used, in the meantime, is a lot sharp sufficient and nice for video watching or picture searching.

The chipset powering issues is one from Qualcomm and is maybe not the beefiest possibility by a protracted shot. Within the right here and now, it is completely succesful and responsive, however multitasking is not the smoothest.

Swapping between apps and opening new ones did generally go away slightly to be desired when it comes to load speeds, and that leaves me slightly anxious about longevity.

Fairphone 5 12

A part of Fairphone’s sustainability method implies that it is promised to keep up software program updates on the Fairphone 5 till at the very least 2031, with 2033 as a stretch purpose. That is (as soon as once more) fully praiseworthy, however I might fear that 5 years down the road (and the telephone has an exemplary five-year guarantee, too) this chipset will really feel fairly vintage.

Nonetheless, a replaceable battery implies that you will not have to fret about battery wastage being unrecoverable, so for individuals who aren’t fussed about uncooked velocity, there’s rather a lot to love right here.


  • 50MP primary sensor, 50MP ultrawide and 50MP hole-punch selfie

The brand new digicam system on the Fairphone 5 can be a welcome enchancment in comparison with previous efforts, though very like the chipset I nonetheless have some reservations.

The primary sensor does creditable work and is able to good color accuracy and element beneath respectable lighting circumstances.

Swapping to the ultrawide provides a helpful possibility, though pictures do not come out with almost the identical vibrancy or element, which means you may have to select your poison slightly.

As you may see above, zoom efficiency is comparatively strong, although, and anti-shake software program is respectable sufficient to provide you non-blurry pictures.

Capturing at night time additionally brings some attention-grabbing outcomes – there’s a night time mode in use right here (one which’s fairly difficult to disable, in actual fact), and it makes for comparatively hanging scenes, even on ultrawide.

Even then, there’s nonetheless no competitors with one thing like a Google Pixel when it comes to element – and zooming in a lot produces pretty rapid graininess.

That comparability is not harsh, both, given the comparative value factors on supply, so you’ll have to settle for that your pictures and video will not stand out fairly as a lot as on different Android choices.

Battery life and software program

  • Android 13
  • 4200mAh detachable battery

I’ve talked about that detachable battery a couple of occasions – it is 4,200mAh in capability, which is roughly what you’d hope for for a telephone with this measurement of show.

It holds up to make use of, too, with straightforward all-day life that usually obtained me partway by means of one other day earlier than needing a top-up.

This various a bit with how I used the telephone, in fact, and in depth Google Maps use or YouTube did hit issues, however I’ve no complaints general.

Fairphone 5 8

The truth that it could possibly be changed in a few years for simply £40 or so (from the replacement parts store that Fairphone runs) is a coup in comparison with the ache of a decaying battery locked inside your iPhone or Pixel.

That mentioned substitute could be fitted in a matter of seconds at house with none assistance is much more of a reminder that issues will be higher.

The telephone runs Android 13 fairly near inventory, in the meantime – some EE apps got here pre-installed however past that, there was mainly no bloatware in any respect, which is at all times good.

Fairphone 5 10

This additionally makes it very easy to repeat over information and it needs to be assured help for years to come back as Android will get fancier and fancier, with Android 14 across the nook.


The Fairphone 5 is a extremely laborious one to guage. If I used to be being completely dispassionate, on the {hardware} entrance it is overpriced for what you are getting in comparison with the competitors, with barely extra middling cameras and a merely okay digicam.

That it is had its value hiked even additional over the Fairphone 4 makes this much more the case, which is a disgrace.

That is so removed from the entire story, although – Fairphone is presenting a distinct shopper providing, one which leaves you with a approach, approach cleaner conscience and nonetheless provides most of what you anticipate from a very good telephone these days.

The work it is achieved to make sure that its provide chain is cleaner and fairer is laudable, and for those who’re looking for a approach to get some fashionable tech with out contributing to miserable norms, then it is a nice alternative, and one that really places your cash the place your mouth is.

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