Fairphone 2: A Smartphone Made With Entirely Open Hardware

By Annalee Newitz on at

Are you sick of having smartphones that can’t be repaired? You wind up creating e-waste instead of just fixing the darn thing up and using it for another year, and that’s just annoying. Enter the Fairphone 2, which is made with open hardware and is designed to be completely fixable.

The Fairphone won’t necessarily give you an iPhone 6S equivalent experience, but you will get a phone that you can play with — inside and out. Plus, it’s manufactured to be recyclable, repairable, and long-lasting. The specs are pretty good, too. It has a 5” display, protected by Gorilla Glass 3, and it’s packing a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor. It has 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage, and an 8 megapixel camera. Sadly, it only runs Android Lollipop right now, but that could change.

The main selling point of the Fairphone is that it’s hacker and maker-friendly. Most phones are hard to reuse because they basically break when you take them apart. Fairphones are expressly created to be taken apart, upgraded, repaired, and upgraded. This makes Fairphones sustainable, too. Typical smartphones’ components actually bring in less money than the cost recyclers pay workers to disassemble all their glued-together parts. But with the Fairphone, recyclers can rip them apart quickly and sell every little bit.

The Fairphone project has been going since 2010, and it represents a DiY version of the dream behind Google’s now-canceled Project Ara, a modular smartphone with replaceable components.

If you want to check out a true alternative to closed phones, try the Fairphone 2 — you can preorder them now!