What you need to know
- The Fairphone 4 has received a top mark on iFixit's repairability standard.
- iFixit commended the phone's modular design and easily accessible spare parts.
- The perfect score, however, doesn't mean the phone has a perfect design.
The Fairphone 4 debuted in September with significantly improved hardware over its predecessor while maintaining its sustainability and repairability. As a result, it's no surprise that the device has now received an impressive rating on iFixit's repairability scale.
The device received a perfect 10/10 from iFixit for its modular design, easy access to critical components, and easily accessible spare parts and repair information. The Fairphone 4 has a removable battery, easily replaceable internal parts, and long-term software updates, in keeping with Fairphone's mission to promote sustainability and reduce e-waste.
As iFixit demonstrated, the phone's parts are easily accessible with a Phillips screwdriver and your fingers. Inside, the display is held in place by eight screws, and the battery transfers power via simple contact points rather than shaky cables. Furthermore, the battery is encased in a hard plastic shell to keep it safe when it expands. The shell also allows the battery unit to be easily removed.
And because the internal parts are clearly labeled, it's even easier to repair the phone without constantly referring to any guide. This design makes the handset especially approachable to first time fixers, iFixit noted. You can watch the full teardown in the video below:
That said, a perfect score doesn't necessarily mean the phone has a perfect design, but iFixit noted that Fairphone is "leagues ahead of most other smartphone makers," making it a strong contender to the best sustainable and repairable phones.
With right-to-repair legislation gaining traction in key smartphone markets, phone makers would be wise to take a cue from the Fairphone 4 design.
The Fairphone 4 does not have the best specs or a distinctive design. However, it does provide a few unique benefits that no other phone manufacturer can match, such as a sustainable design and long-term software support.
Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.
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