Making the fair choice easier: Fairphone 4 is here

Originally published at: Making the fair choice easier: Fairphone 4 is here - Fairphone

Today I can throw back the curtain and announce: the Fairphone 4 >>

I joined Fairphone four years ago. I knew nothing about phones. But I did know something about chocolate. And supply chains. As First Lady of Chocolate at Tony’s Chocolonely, I knew what it was like to work at a company that was out to change the rules and behaviour of an entire industry. We worked towards slave-free chocolate and, like Fairphone, we shared our sources with other buyers. We were not out to corner the market on fair — we wanted the entire industry to change.

With each Fairphone we launched, we’ve raised the bar of our challenge to the electronics industry on both sustainability and human rights.

The journey to Fairphone 4

Fairphone 1 marked our debut in the industry as a force for change— we were the first smartphone company to focus on sourcing conflict-free materials. We championed repairability when the Fairphone 2 became the first modular phone on the market. With Fairphone 3 we widened our reach, scaled up, and proved that sustainability is a viable business model.

It’s only because our incredible community of Fairphone users have journeyed with us that we’ve been able to keep raising that bar and creating our beautiful disruption. They are our values-led family, our first adopters. Some of them will make a choice for a fair and ethical product — whether it’s chocolate or their phone — on the basis of a single question: is it the most sustainable and ethical choice?

Fairphone 4 is all about making a fair choice easier. Our product strategy was literally to focus on an uncompromising phone, beautifully designed with a software ecosystem and services that makes it truly enjoyable to be used for as long as possible. In short, I wanted the Fairphone 4 to be a phone that anyone could love, and love longer. It comes with a five-year warranty – well beyond the standard 2 years that the EU requires. The screen is Gorilla Glass, the body aluminium instead of plastic, it blazes along on a 64-bit octa-core processor, connects at 5G, and rocks a 48-megapixel dual-camera. And just look at it: the purpose of its design shines through.

Innovating where it counts

But as with any work of craftsmanship or art, there are a lot of things you don’t see that make the Fairphone beautiful. You don’t see the Fairtrade Gold. You don’t see the phone we recycle or refurbish for every Fairphone 4 we sell, making it the world’s first electronic-waste-neutral phone. You don’t see the incentives we provide for improvements in worker satisfaction. You don’t see the communities where children are in school rather than laboring in tungsten mines. You don’t see the absence of single use plastic packaging or the reduced carbon footprint of your phone’s extended lifetime.

When I was a child, I staged a shadow theatre performance with a group of friends. You didn’t need to know what was going on behind the curtain or what the forms were made of to enjoy the story. But the story was beautiful only because so many invisible things were happening behind that curtain to make it so.

In developing this phone, I’ve watched so many of the dedicated staff at Fairphone and our partners around the world leap over the most amazing challenges. I’m all the more proud to see this phone come to market knowing just how much improvisation and invention it takes when you’re creating a new path and disrupting an industry. There’s no map when you’re scouting unexplored territory, and the unexpected is the rule rather than the exception.

The next level of fair

The Fairphone 4 is an uncompromising and beautiful phone, built for people who want an uncompromising and beautiful phone. When Fairphone became profitable last year, we proved to the industry that there’s a viable market for products made with ethical and sustainable values.

The Fairphone 4 aims to prove that the market for ethical and sustainable products is becoming mainstream. Because the day will come when we won’t need to peek behind the curtain to ask if our phone or our chocolate are produced fairly and sustainably. They just will be.

Eva

12 Likes

The Fairphone 4 is an uncompromising and beautiful phone, built for people who want an uncompromising and beautiful phone.

Yet no 3.5 mm headphone jack? That’s a deal braking compromise for me (and a lot of people). I get it you can’t cater too everyone. But it’s backwards to not support connectivity. I’m hoping for a module with a jack port :crossed_fingers:

6 Likes

I guess you might find it too much hassle, but there’s a 10 Euro adapter to connect a cable headphone to the USB-C port: USB-C to Mini Audio Jack Adapter (3.5mm) - Accessory | Fairphone

5 Likes

I’m more concerned, that it is again bigger and heavier than the FP3, which was a brick already.
The headphone jack was sacrificed to the IP54 certification I guess, and the growing demand to wireless connections, you can’t have all in one.

4 Likes

yes, the dongle is too much hassle to leave on the phone or carry around everywhere, plus you can’t use the usb port and listen to audio

3 Likes

You release a phone with no audiojack and non-repairable wireless earbuds at the same time? Creating a problem to sell a solution? Shameful. Wanted to get a Fairphone but now you can count me out.

4 Likes

You can leave it on the earphones.

3 Likes

I don’t use it on only headphones. I use it on samplers, mixing desks, speakers, vintage gear etc
I don’t design my life and gear around a phone

the waterproof certification with 3.5mm is not the problem, lot’s of waterproof gear use a 3.5 mm jack as connectivity and not just for audio as well. this is a moot point

3 Likes

are other operating systems now also supported?
e.g. Sailfish OS

That’s just nonsense. For example: Samsung Galaxy S5, a 7 year old phone, has both an audio jack as well as a much better rating of IP67.

3 Likes

And /e/. I hope that there will be some connection with /e/ for degoogled version of FP4

2 Likes

I cannot give an official source, but /e/ is working on providing /e/OS Android 11 for the FP4 by the time the FP4 starts to be delivered. [EDIT: Please note Ingo’s correction further down, see his reply to this one]

3 Likes

Yep. /e/ will bee available for FP4, as the said it at the Q&A. So LineageOS will be - hopefully - available for FP4 within not a too long time :blush:

2 Likes

Don’t be rude please, if you have a different opinion, that’s absolutely ok, but you don’t have to express it in this manner.

The Galaxy S5 by the way is not modular, but glued together. Then you can isolate the area with the jack quite easily.

3 Likes

Yes it’s difficult

nonsense > making no sense to me > is OK
nonsense > You are talking rubbish > NOT OK

3 Likes

It is not related to the ip54 certification but more to the fact it will be difficult to still a module with a jack in 5 years. They think there will be no more jack on smartphones at that time. Unfortunately, I am afraid they are right.

1 Like

‘Future proof specs’ apparently don’t include 802.11ax, let alone 6GHz band support.
And what is gained by scrapping the 3.5mm port? IP54 isn’t anything to write home about.

2 Likes

I had already the same misconception in language last week :slight_smile:

1 Like

I would like to preorder it in Switzerland (green speckled version only available through Fairphone), but the shop for Switzerland doesn’t seem to be online yet: https://shop.fairphone.com/ch_de/buy-fairphone-4

2 Likes

Great news! But how come that all related accessories are currently out of stock? I’m talking basic things such as the Charger or the Jack Adapter… I don’t want to preorder an incomplete cart and pay twice the shipping costs. Can you share when they will be available? Or at least, add those accessories to the preorder option.

3 Likes