All the features I want to see

All the features I want to see

The Fairphone 5 represented a significant step ahead for the sustainable cellphone firm. Whereas it improved upon a lot of its predecessor’s shortcomings, it was removed from excellent. Not solely have been there battery life and warmth dissipation issues, however there have been additionally a couple of different areas the place it fell quick as an Android cellphone. Though its successor remains to be a good distance off, right here’s my wishlist for what I’d wish to see within the Fairphone 6.

Higher thermals are a should

Damien Wilde / Android Authority

The Fairphone 5 performs pretty properly relating to fundamental duties, however even then, you’re prone to encounter overheating points that may actually spoil what would in any other case be an honest mid-range expertise. Our personal Rita El Khoury beforehand famous in her evaluation that the cellphone would usually overheat, and never simply from prolonged periods. Even simply thirty minutes of use was sufficient to make the cellphone noticeably heat, and longer periods may turn into uncomfortable shortly. It’s not simply the processor that causes these thermal overloads, both. Simply 5 minutes of digicam use in our check mannequin was sufficient to make the module very heat, even in comparatively cool climate.

It’s fairly apparent this gained’t fly once more. I notice that creating a contemporary cellphone that the typical Joe can take aside comes with huge challenges relating to constructing respectable thermal options. The modular design leaves much less room for one. It’s additionally only a problem to construct a case with correct airflow that’s nonetheless simple to open proper up. A big a part of the issue was the Qualcomm QCM6490 chip discovered contained in the cellphone, which we’ll get to a bit in a while this wishlist. Nonetheless, it’s essential for Fairphone to deal with this challenge within the Fairphone 6. Even a slight improve within the cellphone’s case dimension may assist, as it could present further room for air flow.

Let’s resolve the battery life subsequent time, we could?

Fairphone 5 19

Damien Wilde / Android Authority

Battery drain is a significant challenge with the Fairphone 5. Whereas its 4,200mAh capability is often large enough for a cellphone with mid-range specs, that’s not the case right here. In our testing, we discovered that the Fairphone 5 may not often make it by a full day’s use with no top-off. Even after we stopped utilizing it, it sat on the evaluation desk for some time, and we seen it could solely take about two days to empty even when idle, a course of that takes most different telephones nearer to every week.

Fairphone has promised it’s engaged on software program optimizations that ought to hopefully enhance battery life on the present era, however wanting forward, the Fairphone 6 ought to leap as much as a 5,000mAh battery, much like what you’d discover in one other mid-ranger, just like the Galaxy A54 5G. I think that many people interested by telephones with minimal affect on the setting are additionally prone to go off the grid occasionally. Having an even bigger battery looks as if a pure match for this sequence.

In fact, simply shifting on to a extra power-efficient processor will probably assist the battery life leap up dramatically. However the one-two punch from upsizing the battery would probably make this a cellphone that might simply final into the two-day mark if Fairphone performs their playing cards proper. On the very least, it wouldn’t die earlier than sooner or later is up!

A extra highly effective, optimized processor, please

fairphone 5 deconstructed lower upper module

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The Qualcomm QCM6490 is a curious alternative for a processor, because it’s not primarily constructed with telephones in thoughts and is as an alternative billed as an IoT chip. Nevertheless, there’s a technique to the insanity right here. Fairphone opted for this processor as a result of it knew it had long-term assist on its facet, permitting it to confidently promise eight years of safety updates. Sadly, it’s very probably the chip is the rationale for each battery drain and overheating points, because it merely wasn’t optimized for this function.

Fairphone tried to assume outdoors the field right here, however I’d argue it’s not a transfer price repeating. Whereas Google and Samsung each provide replace insurance policies of seven years of OS and safety updates for his or her flagship telephones, Qualcomm will probably proceed to enhance its assist for cellular chips. Though this improved assist might at present solely apply to higher-end SoCs, Samsung’s assist traits sometimes lengthen downward over time, suggesting that a lot of Samsung’s future funds gadgets may additionally provide higher assist. By that logic, Fairphone would take fewer dangers subsequent time round by sticking to a extra tried-and-true mid-range chip. In any case, the Fairphone 6 gained’t probably floor till 2025, so it nonetheless has somewhat time earlier than it has to lock down a chip forward of manufacturing.

A wi-fi charging possibility can be a pleasant further

Okay, not everybody cares about wi-fi charging, myself included. I’ve a wi-fi charger, however I usually find yourself simply plugging within the USB-C cable because it’s sooner. Nonetheless, the modular nature of the Fairphone sequence lends itself to a bit extra flexibility. I hope the Fairphone 6 provides wi-fi charging for individuals who favor it, even when which means making it an add-on. Maybe Fairphone may accommodate room within the case design however require you to purchase the module individually so you possibly can add it your self.

A bodily 3.5mm jack is sensible for a cellphone like this

Fairphone 5 5

Damien Wilde / Android Authority

One other smaller factor however the Fairphone 6 is a cellphone that’s additionally a pure match for a 3.5mm headphone jack. Let’s face it, at present’s wi-fi earbuds and headphones have a a lot greater environmental affect than old-school wired options. There’s a battery, the elements wanted for Bluetooth, in addition to the elements for any on-device controls. If the Fairphone is meant to attraction to those that wish to decrease their environmental affect, a headphone jack can be a pleasant further. Similar to wi-fi charging, it may even be one thing that you would be able to add on your self for an additional price if the corporate doesn’t wish to provide it by default.

Fairphone 6 wishlist: What would you most wish to see?

42 votes

Will there be a Fairphone 6?

Fairphone 5 15

Damien Wilde / Android Authority

It’s manner too early for any actual Fairphone 6 rumors simply but but it surely’s fairly probably the cellphone will exist ultimately. Fairphone’s first launch was manner again in 2013, so it’s a reasonably established participant at this level. Then once more, it’s also a really small fish in an enormous pond.

Whereas I wasn’t capable of dig up newer numbers, it appears to be like like the corporate bought round 115,681 handsets in 2022. In fact, this was in the course of the Fairphone 4 days, and it was already a yr previous. That’s fairly puny when you think about an enormous like Samsung bought round 259 million items. Even manufacturers smaller than giants like Apple and Samsung handle to do significantly better than this. For instance, the Pixel sequence bought round 10 million items in 2022.

It’s actually onerous to gauge how financially secure the corporate is with out realizing extra about its workers prices and different property. The world can also be dealing with numerous basic monetary instability in the intervening time, making it even tougher to say for certain. Nonetheless, the corporate appears to be doing properly, and it has a devoted, although small, fanbase. We’d say it’s greater than probably there’ll many extra Fairphone gadgets.

As for when such a cellphone may arrive? Fairphone’s constant launch schedule really makes this one fairly simple to pin down.

  • Fairphone 5 — September 14, 2023
  • Fairphone 4 — September 30, 2021
  • Fairphone 3 — September 3, 2019

As you possibly can see, there was a brand new Fairphone each two years in September because the Fairphone 3. Earlier than that, launch cycles have been a bit extra random. Until Fairphone makes a significant change to its technique, I’d say you might be prone to see the Fairphone 6 debut in any some level in September of 2025.

Must you look ahead to the Fairphone 6?

Fairphone 5 20

Damien Wilde / Android Authority

The Fairphone 5 hasn’t even been round six months, so I positively wouldn’t look ahead to the following one, however I’m additionally undecided I’d leap out and purchase the present one both. On paper, it’s an incredible cellphone however with its reported overheating and battery drain points, I wouldn’t rush out and get one till the corporate has time to optimize the software program additional, which ought to hopefully assist. When you completely desire a cellphone constructed round ethically sourced supplies, there’s actually no different available various outdoors of the Fairphone 4 ($690 at Amazon). Whereas it’s beginning to age already, it may a minimum of tide you over till the Fairphone 5 both addresses its points or the Fairphone 6 arrives.

Fairphone 5Fairphone 5
AA Recommended

Fairphone 5

Modular • Repairable • 8 years of updates

You possibly can take the Fairphone 5 aside with a screwdriver and restore it your self

The Fairphone 5 is a cellphone with reparaibility in thoughts. Practically each facet of the cellphone might be eliminated and changed (and even upgraded) with only one screwdriver. To encourage long-term use, Fairphone will provide 5 Android upgrades, a minimum of eight years of updates, and probably even lengthen that to 10 years of updates!

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