Fairphone 5: Bridging Ethics and Technology in Smartphone Design

Fairphone 5

The Fairphone 5 is not only fair but also sustainable, offering an appealing overall concept on the data sheet, which includes many modern technologies. However, the test shows that all that glitters is not gold. Here's a summary for you once again.

Design and Sustainability

The Fairphone 5 presents itself as a successful further development of its predecessor and is comparatively transparent and committed to fair working conditions in production and the extraction of raw materials. The selection of resources focuses on recycled materials, particularly metals, plastics, and rare earths. There is even an additional fair trade certification for gold.


On the technical side, the first eye-catcher is the 6.46-inch OLED display, which operates with a refresh rate of 90 Hz. Given the price range, this is not particularly high, as only Apple operates at 60 Hz. However, the Fairphone 5 should also have a little more reserves in terms of brightness, and the calibration is not at the top level.

Processor (SoC)

The smartphone takes an exotic route with the SoC, relying on an IoT chipset, the Qualcomm QCM6490to ensure a long update supply from the technical side. This chipset is located in the upper mid-range and is already two years old. With updates promised for at least eight years, no major performance reserves can be expected at the end of its service life.

Audio Quality

The speakers are also not convincing in the test; they are characterized by a tinny sound and sound poor at maximum volume. The high surface temperatures that we noticed are less likely to play a role in everyday use. The mediocre battery life, on the other hand, is more of an issue. Although the battery has been increased compared to its predecessor, the running times are significantly lower. Hopefully, this will be improved in an update.


On the other hand, the high degree of repairability is exemplary. Ten components can be replaced by the user, armed only with a screwdriver.


In conclusion, the Fairphone 5 impresses with its commitment to sustainability and fair practices. However, it falls short in certain technical aspects such as display calibration, processor choice, and audio quality. The emphasis on repairability is a strong positive point, providing users with the ability to extend the device's lifespan. Potential buyers should weigh the ethical considerations against the technical compromises before making a decision.

Related Articles:

    Comment ()