Most Android phone makers expect you to replace your device every few years. Even Google only promises 3 years of OS and security updates for its Pixel phones (the last update for the Pixel 2 is set to drop in December).
But a startup called Teracube is betting that there’s a market for inexpensive phones that you’ll hold onto for a long time.
Earlier this year the company began shipping a $300 smartphone that comes with a 4-year warranty, after running a successful crowdfunding campaign. Now Teracube back with a $200 phone covered by the same 4-year warranty. It’s actually cheaper than that if you are one of the first folks to pre-order through a new crowdfunding campaign.
The Teracube 2e is hardly the most impressive phone available. It has a 6.1 inch, 1560 x 720 pixel display, a MediaTek Helio A25 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and 13MP + 8MP rear cameras plus an 8MP front-facing camera.
But it does have 4,000 mAh user replaceable battery, a headphone jack and microSD card slot, dual SIM support, and NFC.
Other features include a fingerprint reader, a USB-C port, WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, and 4G LTE. The phone ships with Android 10.
But what makes the Teracube 2e stand out are its relatively low price, and its repairability. The folks at Teracube note that the phone is easy to take apart since it’s only held together by screws and uses nothing is glued down. The company plans to offer spare parts for customers that want to make repairs at home, as well as instructions. And the 4-year warranty means that if you’re uncomfortable performing your own smartphone surgery, you can send a broken phone to Teracube and have it repaired for a flat fee of $40, which covers the cost of shipping as well as repairs.
Teracube also notes that the phone comes with “minimalistic and eco-friendly packaging,” that uses recycled paper, less packaging than many other phone makers, and… no charger in the box. Odds are you’ve already got one lying around anyway, but if this is your first USB-C device then you may need to buy a power adapter or charging cable separately.
I’m not mad at the company’s efforts to reduce e-waste though. It’d just be nice if there were an option to pay a few bucks extra if you wanted a charger thrown in. Update: According to the crowdfunding campaign FAQ, Teracube will let you add a USB-C charger to your order for an extra $8 if you need one.
The phone’s body is also made from 25-percent recycled polycarbonate.
While the Teracube 2e is expected to have a retail price of $200, early backers of the Indiegogo crowfunding campaign can get one for as little as half price:
- Super Early Bird – $99 (250 units)
- Late Early Bird – $119 (250 units)
- Indiegogo Special – $139 (250 units)
The phone is expected to ship in December.