The Fairphone 4: A Phone You Can Fix On Your Own

These days, most smartphones on the market are either a nightmare to fix on your own or is nearly impossible to repair. With the Fairphone 4, all you’ll need is a screwdriver and approximately 10 minutes of your time

Gadget development and sustainability have not exactly gone hand in hand. This stretches all the way back to the early days of mobile technology, though admittedly things were much simpler in the advent of smartphones. These days however, manufacturers are known for designs which are hard to repair by users and service centers alike—a stark reversal of what has been the norm for the past decade or so. Long gone are the days when you can open up the back of your phone to replace a bad battery or go to the nearest service center to get your screen replaced for a relatively small fee. From the heavy use of glue to highly-specialized screws that are just a step short of proprietary, modern-day gadgets are quickly becoming nigh-impossible to repair.

But should it be so? Fairphone doesn’t seem to think this should be the case. Based out of Amsterdam, Fairphone is a rather unorthodox company with an even more unorthodox product. With a heavy emphasis on sustainability and repairability, the brand’s phone is largely reminiscent of Google’s Project ARA which was cancelled a few years ago. 

The Fairphone 4, as the company puts it, is a very repairable phone utilizing a process so simple that end users can buy replacement parts straight from the company and swap out parts themselves. This is a far cry from the general glass-slab phones that we have today which are highly unrepairable unless you’re willing to shell out more money getting the tools necessary, and that’s not even considering the costs or getting the parts themselves which can be quite elusive.

The Fairphone 4 is the Dutch company’s fourth attempt at making a sustainable, rather modular phone. And this time, it might be something that you might want to consider. It might not be mature enough to make a splash on the market just yet as it needs to improve a few things (that you can put in your Fairphone 4 as upgrades roll out), but it’s a very promising concept nonetheless. More importantly, it is a concept that we might want to pay more attention to in the coming future. 

See the video below for a brief intro to the Fairphone 4 and don’t forget to check out the brand’s other videos for a glimpse of all the things you can do, change, replace and fix yourself should you ever get one: