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  • Fairphone 3+
  • Fairphone 3+
  • Fairphone 3+
  • Fairphone 3+


7.5/10
Informr score
The Fairphone 3+ currently has an Informr score of 7.5 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 7 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Sustainable
  • Easy repair
  • Headphone jack

What's bad

  • Slow and buggy performance
  • The camera is only so-so
  • Poor display contrast

The Fairphone 3 Plus is designed for sustainability, using recycled plastic and ethically acquired materials where it can. It also allows you to repair, replace, and upgrade parts over time. These are all features you won’t find on many other phones. But is the phone actually worth using?

Design

Designed to be ethically, economically and environmentally friendly, this phone was never intended to be sleek or fancy. That means you’ll find a bulky chassis and big bezels compared to many of 2020’s top releases. The idea behind it is that you can quickly take apart the phone and replace parts or upgrade pieces yourself, making for less waste and offering repair options without the need for a bunch of specialized tools.

Display

The screen on the Fairphone 3 Plus is only 5.65-inches -- definitely toward the smaller end of phones in 2020. According to reviewers, the LCD panel does its best to bring bright colors and vivid details, but it can fall short in some instances. Shadows, in particular, can look blotchy and noisy.

Performance

“Slow” and “buggy” were the words most repeated by reviewers. They lamented that they wanted to love the phone for its attempt to create a phone that was environmentally friendly and upgradeable. But the speed isn’t there, and the phone is slow to launch any app. Considering the price, reviewers were displeased.

Software & Storage

Fairphone 3 Plus comes equipped with Android 10. Internal storage comes in at 64GB (rather small by 2020 standards.) But a MicroSDXC expansion slot makes adding more storage cheap and easy.

Cameras

While the Plus in the name comes from an upgrade to the cameras, reviewers quickly pointed out that the upgraded camera still wouldn’t win any awards. Images featured blotchy, noisy shadows and a loss of detail if not in full sun. However, the 16MP selfie cam made reviewers happy as many selfie lenses today only go up to 8MP.

Battery Life

Battery life was only average. So heavy phone users will likely need to charge throughout the day. With casual use, it could last the day. The phone does not support wireless charging, so budget for a USB-C cable if you don’t already have one handy as the phone does ship with one. This was done to cut down on e-waste.

Audio

The sound capabilities for the Fairphone 3 Plus were mediocre, but that’s not exactly unusual for phones in general. It got loud enough to fill a room without distorting but lacked bass and treble was tinny. Fortunately, the phone includes a 3.5mm headphone jack, so your favorite pair of wired headphones can help make up for any audio shortcomings.

Specs at a Glance

  • 40% recycled plastic chassis
  • 5.65-inch LCD display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 Octa-core 1.8 GHz processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • Android 10
  • 64GB internal and a MicroSD expansion slot for storage
  • 48MP rear camera and 16MP selfie lens camera
  • 3040mAh battery

Bottom Line

The Fairphone 3 Plus has its heart in the right place. The idea of making a sustainable brand is honorable as we continue to create more and more e-waste. But the phone has some drawbacks. It’s slow and outdated in some respects. It’s not a phone for power users, but it’s questionable if the casual user would be willing to upgrade parts later as well. Despite these conflicts, in a world where it pays to be more aware, it might be a worthwhile option for those looking for a smartphone with minimal global and ecological impact.

The Verge says, “If you are someone who wants a more ethical and sustainable alternative to a budget device, then the Fairphone 3 Plus delivers. It’ll serve your needs in the same way as a budget smartphone will in 2020 but at a price premium that reflects its ethically sourced materials and repairability. But don’t expect this to compete with other similarly priced phones. Fairphone has different priorities, and in order to buy one of its phones, you need to share them.”

Tech Radar comments, “The Fairphone 3 Plus, like the Fairphones before it, stands out as the number one ethical, eco-friendly smartphone choice. That approach is either going to compel you to buy it, or make you look elsewhere for better options in terms of performance and camera quality.”


Operating system
Android
Processor
1.8 GHz
Screen Size
5.65"
Camera
48+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


The Verge

If you are someone who wants a more ethical and sustainable alternative to a budget £200 device, then the Fairphone 3 Plus delivers. It’ll serve your needs in the same way as a budget smartphone will in 2020 but at a price premium that reflects its ethically sourced materials and repairability. But...

- Jon Porter, The Verge
Neowin

Like many other phones, it’s possible to overlook the flaws on the Fairphone 3+, and if you have a big interest in its modularity and the sustainable approach, it can still be worth the price tag. The flaws don’t make it unusable or an outright bad phone, but you really have to be all-in on the comp...

- João Carrasqueira, Neowin
Android Headlines

Now, I’d argue there are better choices out there for that amount of money. And by better I mean those that are built out of more premium materials, and more powerful at the same time. Still, if you want a phone that is extremely easy to repair thanks to its modularity and plastic build, and a phone...

- Kristijan Lucic, Android Headlines
ZDNet

I'm used to seeing the latest feature-packed smartphone phones with their fancy industrial design, or models that accentuate one specific feature, or try to deliver a great price/performance ratio, or have some other aspect to shout about. The Fairphone 3+ isn't designed to keep up with the pack, an...

- Sandra Vogel, ZDNet
The Guardian

The Fairphone 3+ has a better camera on the front and back, meaning one compromise is lessened compared with the competition. But the rest of the downsides of the original Fairphone 3 remain, alongside that one big, overriding upside: being as ethical as possible.

- Samuel Gibbs, The Guardian


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


The 3+ price will vary depending on retailer, age, special offers and whether or not it's purchased with a service plan. If purchased with a 2 year service contract for example, you would likely pay much less for the phone itself up front. You can compare Fairphone 3+ prices from around the web here on The Informr.


We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Fairphone 3+ user manual here.


Fairphone backs up the 3+ with a 2 Years parts & labour warranty.


If your 3+ has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Fairphone support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Fairphone's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.



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Quick view

Screen Size
5.65"

The %phone_name%'s screen size is 5.65 inches with 1080 x 2160 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.8 GHz

There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 Octa-core 1.8 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 10 operating system (OS).

Camera
48+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 48+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 16+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
64 GB

Internal memory is 64 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 400 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
3040mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3040 mAh battery. Fairphone's performance ratings are 1200 minutes.

Fairphone 3+ Specs

Overview
Release date September 14, 2020
Regions available United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
Networks
LTE:
700/800/850/900 /1700/1800/1900/2100/2600 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1700/1900 /2100 MHz
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
Dual SIM Yes
Operating System Android 10

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 Octa-core 1.8 GHz
Internal Storage 64 GB
RAM 4 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Unknown
TTY/TDD Unknown
Noise Cancellation Unknown
SAR Head: 0.411 W/kg
Body: 1.405 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 2 Years
Accessories Included Manual
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 3040 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging Yes
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 1200 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 12.5 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 15.8 x 7.18 x 0.99 cm (6.2 x 2.8 x 0.4 in)
Weight 187.4 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof No
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Resolution 1080 x 2160 pixels
Pixel density 427 pixels
Size 5.65 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touchscreen, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB USB Type-C
USB OTG Support Yes
Infrared No
Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption WEP/WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 400 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet Yes
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
ƒ/ 1.79
Resolution
48+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
8x digital
Flash
Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, Night mode, Panorama, Self-timer, HDR
Video Recording Formats
MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels), 30 fps, up to 0 minutes
Front Camera
Resolution
16+ megapixels
Zoom
8x digital
Additional Front Camera Info
Image stabilization, Aperture F2.0, HDR
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AIFF, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, eAAC+, MP3, WMA Pro, WMA
Radio Yes (FM)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, AVI, FLV, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Stereo
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Unknown
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter Unknown
Document Viewer Yes
Weather Yes
Stocks Unknown
Maps Yes
NotePad Unknown
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Fairphone 3 Plus

Related Links Manual (PDF)
Fairphone 3+ Reviews
Where to buy Fairphone 3+
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