Dutch company Fairphone will be taking pre-orders for its second-generation device this summer. Two reasons why you might be interested:
1. It’s inching ever-closer to being the world’s first “ethical” smartphone;
2. The new design makes the major components user-replaceable.
The first-gen Fairphone was a generic device, with the company doing its best to reduce the conflict minerals used to make it. Some 60,000 shipped units later, an all-new in-house design has been revealed—and much like Google’s Project Ara, parts can easily be swapped out by the owner for replacement or upgrade.
Specs get a hefty bump from the first Fairphone. From The Next Web:
Fairphone 2’s specifications are what you’d expect from a modern smartphone: Android 5.1, a full-HD 5-inch display, 4G LTE, 2GB of RAM, 0.7mm Gorilla Glass 3 (the thickest available without a custom order), an 8 megapixel rear camera, a Snapdragon 801 processor, dual SIM slots, a MicroSD slot and an expansion port on the back for further sensors in the future.
No word on which LTE bands will be supported; If I remember correctly, the first Fairphone only supported HSPA in Europe and Asia. Anyway, here’s a video featuring some of that sweet, sweet modularity:
You had me at the removable battery…
Fairphone says that the modularity encourages users to have a deeper relationship with their devices by giving them a more active role in their upkeep. I don’t know if every user would want to tinker with their smartphone hardware the same way they might do with their desktop PC, but I’d be up for it—especially if the parts are conflict-free.
The Fairphone 2 is set to ship this autumn, and can be yours for €525—that’s about $728 CAD or $591 USD at today’s rates. For that price, LTE had better work in this part of the world!