After the launch of the Fairphone 4 two years ago, the Dutch company presented the Fairphone 5 on August 30, 2023. And compared to its predecessor, this Smartphone has received some significant improvements. The least we can say is that innovation is there with this model. Find more details in this article!
The Aesthetic Aspect
Like the Fairphone 4, the Fairphone 5 focuses on simplicity and presents a sober design. The manufacturer focuses on the essentials and nothing more. This Smartphone has a transparent plastic shell, allowing you to view the internal components. Dimensions-wise, the Fairphone 5 is more compact than its predecessor. As measured, it displays 161.6 x 75.83 x 9.6 mm and weighs 212 grams (13 grams less compared to the Fairphone 4), making it easier to grip.
A More Efficient Screen
If we refer to previous models, it is at the screen level that we notice a notable change. The Dutch company has finally swapped the LCD panels for a 6.46″ OLED screen with a refresh rate of 60 Hz—result: improved brightness, more convincing colourimetry and a significantly more pleasant viewing experience.
The screen occupies approximately 81% of the front surface, while some competitors’ occupancy rate is 90%. Additionally, the thick bezels of the Fairphone 5’s screen may appeal to only some. To protect the Smartphone in the event of a fall, Fairphone has installed a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 window. The phone also benefits from IP55 certification instead of IP54, which increases its resistance to dust and water.
With the Fairphone 5, it’s more than just the screen that has received improvements. The Smartphone stands out from its predecessors with its significantly higher performance. If its predecessors suffered from bugs and other slowdowns, this differs from the Fairphone 5. This small feat is possible thanks to its Qualcomm QCM6490 processor (2.7 GHz), associated with 8 GB of memory. Long live. To store your various files, this phone suggests 256 GB, which is expandable via MicroSD. Suffice it to say that the Fairphone 5 displays mid-range specificities.
To give you a clear idea, it is just as efficient as a Smartphone equipped with a Snapdragon 782G processor. Good news for gamers: the Fairphone 5 is suitable for most games from the Play Store, but you must exclude resource-intensive titles. Even if it offers decent performance, this Smartphone is not cut out for that. This model benefits from Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6 technology in terms of connectivity. And like its predecessors, it does not have a 3.5 mm mini-jack socket. Note that the Fairphone 5 runs Android 13.
For the photographic aspect, the Fairphone 5 has a 50 MPX main module (with optical stabilization), a 50 MPX ultra-wide angle and a 50 MPX front module (Samsung JN1 sensor). The user can take photos by default in 12.5 MPX on the two modules. Compared to its old models, the manufacturer has made great efforts. But despite this, the photo performance of the Fairphone 5 is rather average.
There are still some aspects that require improvement. In low light conditions, the ultra wide-angle module quickly shows its limits. The front module certainly offers successful selfies, but it encounters problems with small details in portrait mode. And since that wasn’t enough, the images may be pixelated. In short, the camera software has significant flaws. For videos, know that this Smartphone can film up to 4K (30 fps), whether on the front or the rear.
Regarding autonomy, the Fairphone 5 has regressed if we compare it to its ancestors. It contains a 4200 mAh battery, which can support up to 11 hours of use. You, therefore, have peace of mind for the day, but it must be recognized that it is much lower if we refer to the two previous models. In addition, the Dutch company does not include a cable or a block and only recommends using a 30 W block. Using this block, the battery recovers approximately half its capacity in twenty minutes. It still takes 2 hours to recharge the battery fully.
The Fairphone 5 is indeed a Smartphone that is designed to last. The user has the option to repair the phone himself. You should know that you can easily replace specific components (battery, USB-C ports, camera, etc.). In total, ten parts of the phone can be changed. Thanks to the standard Phillips screws, disassembly of the Smartphone poses no problem. You don’t need any special tools, and no technical knowledge is required. Its modular nature constitutes one of the significant advantages of the Fairphone 5. On the security side, the manufacturer guarantees eight years of updating, which is negligible.
The Strong Points Of The Fairphone 5
- This Smartphone is ecological
- It’s simple design
- It is straightforward to disassemble and repair
- Its IP 55 certification
- Its OLED screen provides a pleasant visual experience
- It ensures good performance and may be suitable for gamers
- Eight years of security updates
The Weak Points Of The Fairphone 5
- An apparent decline in autonomy compared to previous versions
- The photographic ability of this Smartphone is not satisfactory
- The screen has thick bezels on the top and bottom
- It takes 2 hours to recharge, which is a bit long to fully
- Risk of overheating if you use the Smartphone intensively
- No 3.5mm mini-jack socket
- No cable or block is provided for charging
- Parts of this model are not compatible with the Fairphone 4
What About The Price?
Some consumers will undoubtedly cringe at the price of the Fairphone 5. This Smartphone costs 699 euros (regardless of the color chosen: black, blue or transparent), which is a little expensive given its rather average specifications. Especially since the competition offers similar models but at a more affordable price.
Without being perfect, the Fairphone 5 provides users with a decent experience. Clear improvements have been made by the Dutch manufacturer, particularly in performance, the photographic aspect and the screen. However, Fairphone must review its copy on a few specific points: charging speed and autonomy. For those sensitive to the ecological cause, the Fairphone 5 is one of the best options today. This Smartphone can be used for many years. You’ll find it hard to put it in a drawer anytime soon.