Can we, as a community, make a comparison between an iPhone and a Fairphone considering durability?

Is it useful if we, as a community, would compare some iPhone models and some Fairphone models at how long they will last?
I would consider phones that have been released in the same year.
I would also assume that the person using it is a person who cares for his er her phone.

I have heard stories about iPhones lasting well over 5 years. Fairphone promises that her phones do that.
Unless Fairphone thinks it’s not a direct competitor to the iPhone, I think it’s interesting to dig into.

Personally, I have been using iPhones as my smartphones since 2013 and it feels like a big step to change to Fairphone and I’m guessing I’m not the only one.

How many years has your smartphone ever lasted?
(Sounds like a good sound bite BTW: ‘Fairphone Everlasting’

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Hello. I am an iPhone user since 2016 November when I received a 7+ for work. I am still using and stressing it, because I make a one hour video every week. I updated every iOS from 10 up to 15. 15 will be the end, because 16 is not made for the 7. But apple will continue security updates. The battery is still fine.
In march 2021 I had to buy a phone for personal use and I choose the fairphone 3+. I now use both phones in parallel. The good thing is that on fairphone I can decide which os I want. I installed /e/os and go well with it.
I am curious how will the fairphone work after 6 years … And how long my iPhone 7 will last


You will see the difference, when at some point the phone (iPhone, FP) needs to be repaired.
The cost for an iPhone repair might well be higher than the cost for a new one (same type).

… and they won’t sell the same type anymore against that time.

Well, the question is: what’s your criteria for “they will last”…

If the criterion is “software support” then it’s nearly impossible to say.
FP1 was not supported long but this was because of the SoC used. So FP improved and used a different brand for the next models.
FP2 still gets SW updates after 6 years, but no one knows how long.
FP3 and FP4 get SW support but are still not very old.

If criterion is how long people use it then you should have a look at


Other criteria?


If we want to make a fair comparison we should evaluate real-life usage of the models. It should be someone’s main phone and used day by day, if possible without interruptions.

OS support could be a criteria, but I’d like to look at usability. Does the phone in case still do the same as the user wants the device to do when the device was first put into use?
When apps become unusable, because of the OS being too old, that could be a criteria, because that would effect usability.
This would mean that Fairphone 1 didn’t succeed, but Fairphone 2 does.
Fairphone 3(+) & 4 probably will, but we cannot be sure of that.

My intermittent conclusion would indeed be that it’s too early to tell.
I’d like to compare the Fairphones to the iPhones, because the latter usually receives long software support and usually is seen as the leading brand in the smartphone sector.
Then again, there could be different brands that continue to do well in durability as well.
Is someone on this forum familiar with such a brand?

The reason I inquire about this is because they say that the most sustainable phone the phone is you already own. So in my case there isn’t a need to buy a Fairphone. To me that seems that it’s hard for the Fairphone to succeed, because of this. Of course there could be something I’m missing.
Besides that, the economy could change drastically which could improve the situation of the Fairphone.

I would never attempt to repair a phone myself, but swapping the battery is something I would gladly do with a Fairphone by my said. The point is that repair ability will only work if people would start to pay less to get their devices repaired and as far as I know most countries still imply VAT or similar taxes on repair costs.

Personally, I’m still not in the market for a new phone, because my phone still works. If most people start to think like that, where will the sales of Fairphone come from?
I’d like to know what the reasons are for people to switch to Fairphone.
I know I will lose a lot if I try to mitigate all the downsides. I guess more iPhone users will have that.
How does Fairphone (it’s annoying the phone has the same name as the company) circumvent this?

I’m getting more questions during researching Fairphone than I’m getting answers…
It really comes across me as trying to convince people to stop eating meat - if you get my drift.

You never replaced the battery in almost 6 years? How did you managed to do that?

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So do you expect someone to have two phones as their main phone. ??

If they are used differently or by different people how can you compare ?


If they are used by lots of different people, you can derive some correlations.
Yeah, that’s not much.

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I follow the rule 20/80 and the battery in normal daily use must be charged once a day. Only the videoregistring tears down the battery much more than years ago.
We were in 7 getting the 7plus in the same time. Only one had the problem of the battery which deformed the phone and was changed by Apple … Others have to charge twice a day and in two we charge once a day.

So durability isn’t something that is a unique selling point of the Fairphone.
The iPhone works, in good hands, also easily 4+ years and sometimes even 6+.
How will Fairphone be able to compete with that?

Have you not read about the users with FP2s of 6, 7 years etc?

Read Post 5 above if you would like info.

I finally gave up on my iPhone 6s when the battery would run out within an hour after 100% charge, part of the screen developed a rash of dead pixels, another area was cracked, the charging port became erratic and the controlling nature of Apple. Guess I’m not remotely an apple fan. Before that I had a Nokia 2040 with Windows OS. Big mistake, ontop of which the sound level became very faint and the charging port was also unreliable. Small wonder I recently bought a FP4. All of the above problems I can rectify without need for professional expertise and at a very fair price. I expect it will see me out, after which it will become my granddaughter’s inheritance. :slightly_smiling_face:

My thought exactly, I had never met an iPhone user who after 5 or more years never had to replaced the battery at least once. @jhansen63 This might be a silly question but still want to confirm, you said they gave it to you at work in 2016 and in 2021 you had to buy a personal FP3+, so does that mean that from 2016 to 2021 all of your phone activities were made on that iPhone? If yes (which is most definitely the answer) wow I’m impressed, that must mean you are very good at caring/maintaining your devices

Yes I confirm. I am a pastor and I was a member of our national church board. And we used it a lot. During lockdown I stressed the phone with podcast and video in a daily rhythm. Yes I try to handle carefully my devices. Before iPhone I had Sony. The problem was not the phone itself but the end of service with android upgrades … I called it programmed obsolescence

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I think FP lasts pretty long. The only fair consideration is that iPhones have better hardware. So the need to upgrade your phone for 5 years is less. Buying a new Fairphone 4 gets you about the same camera quality as an iPhone 8 and the performance of a 3 year old high end Android phone.

Also, even though FP promises 5 years of support, the chipset vendor only promises 3 years. This means some security updates will be missing after that period. But FP support mentioned once that they are working with Qualcomm to extend the support.

Don’t get me wrong. I think most people will be perfectly happy with their FP4. Just making sure what the trade off is in terms of other phones performances.

But other than that FP beats the competition when it comes to repairability, fairtrade and sustainability.

Below some scores. Although it’s unclear where these metrics are based on. There are no references.


I forgot to write the value which actually the battery app on iphone gives to me: actually it has 73% of initial capacity. It seems good …

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That is really cool and all, but it seems that I’m more demanding (or make myself that I am) of my phone.

Why do I need repair ability (repair-ability?) for if my phone never brakes down? Buying a decent (hard) case is still cheaper than repairing your phone (unless taxes changes in a big way).

The software is also better. I kinda dislike Android, but you can run /e/OS of course, but you cannot buy that in the Fairphone shop.

Only if the issue is the consequence of a fairly heavy drop.

Most breakdowns are not due to drops.