Fairphone’s next smartphone is on the way, nearly two years after the company’s Fairphone 4 first launched in Europe. While Fairphone hasn’t officially said anything about its next phone yet, details about the upcoming Fairphone 5 have begun to leak in recent weeks.

In June Android Authority published a series of pictures showing the phone’s design. Then a GeekBench listing for a “Fairphone FP5” provide some clues to the phone’s specs in July. Now WinFuture has published even more pictures and details. Aug 30, 2023 Update: The leaks were true, and the Fairphone 5 is official: it’s up for pre-order for 699 Euros and ships in mid-September. 

The GeekBench listing described a phone with 8GB of RAM, Android 13 software, and an ARMv8 processor featuring:

  • 1 x CPU cores @ 2.71 GHz
  • 3 x CPU cores @ 2.4 GHz
  • 4 x CPU cores @ 1.96 GHz

While there had been some speculation that this could be a Qualcomm Snapdragon 782G processor, WinFuture explains that it’s actually a Qualcomm QCM6490 chip, which is designed for industrial and embedded devices rather than smartphones.

Why would Fairphone put a chip that’s not made for phones into… a phone? Because a key selling point for the company’s products is long-term support: Fairphone has a history of releasing software updates for older phones for several years longer than their chipsets are officially supported by the manufacturer. But that requires a lot of work on Fairphone’s part.

But these industrial chips? They are supported for longer time frames, which should make it easier for Fairphone to promise at least 7 years of support for the Fairphone 5.

According to WinFuture, users can probably expect performance that’s roughly on par with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G processor, while getting longer-term support. And that chip should bring a nice performance boost compared to the Snapdragon 750G chip used in the Fairphone 4.

WinFuture also tells us that the phone will have:

  • 6.46 inch, 2770 x 1224 pixel OLED display with 90 Hz refresh rate
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB storage
  • 2 x 50MP rear cameras
  • 4,200 mAh battery
  • WiFi 6E
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • IP55 water resistance

Perhaps the most important thing about the new phone is that it looks like it’ll have a modular, repairable design similar to the Fairphone 4’s, with a removable back cover and user-replaceable parts including the battery, speaker, USB port, and front and rear camera modules.

The phone is expected to be available in three color options: sky blue, grey, or transparent. And according to WinFuture, Fairphone will officially launch its next phone on August 31.

And, like the Fairphone 4, the Fairphone 5 appears to have a microSD card reader but no 3.5mm headphone jack.

Fairphone typically sells spare parts through its website and promises at least five years of software support for its phones… and sometimes as much as seven.

Up until recently the company’s phones were only sold in Europe. But the makers of the the /e/OS operating system recently began selling a version of the phone they call the Murena Fairphone in the United States. It ships with the company’s de-Googled version of Android rather than Fairphone’s version of Android, and has limited support for US cellular networks (it’s recommended you use it with T-Mobile). But it raises the possibility that the Fairphone 5 may not be a Europe-only device.

You can find more leaked pictures of the Fairphone 5 at Android Authority and WinFuture.

This article was first published July 12, 2023 and most recently updated August 29, 2023. 

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  1. For the record, Fairphone 5 is already available for pre-order from its official website, it sells for 699€ (up from 579€ of the Fairphone 4). I wonder what kind of appeal niche products like this will have when mandatory user replaceable batteries will become a thing by 2027 because of the new EU legislation.

  2. It seems quite poetic that this Dutch company is ostensibly reversing a “bad karma” of Philips (also Dutch) that was one of the four players in Phoebus Cartel who introduced planned obsolescence in 1924.

    It took approximately 90 years but better late than never, I guess.

    1. You do know, that you could just use a USB audio Jack adapter. I get that more ports is more fun, but it’s not like you’re prohibited from using your old audio gear now. And saving on ports is saving money.

  3. No headphone jack (port) and a punch out camera.

    And now they’re farting about with a fork of Android. If you want to avoid Google, don’t use the OS they develop.

    This company have lost all direction.

    1. The fairphone ships with google android. e/OS/ is maintained by a separate organization.

    2. You can also run DivestOS on Fairphones 3 and 4, as well as some mobile Linux distros (IINM). Maybe we’ll even see a NixOS port!

    3. ..Farting … lost all direction…

      Surely FP is far from perfect.

      But not sure why you’re hating so much. I mean, I get it, having a separate audio jack port is kinda nice. On the other hand why is it such a show stopper for you? Just use a USB audio jack adapter in addition.

      In regard to the camera, it surely would be nicer if it were smaller. but then its image/video capturing quality will likely drop as well.

      In regard to the OS. There is almost no other Phone which offers so many options to chose from… previous phones supported clean Google AndroidOS experience (that is how FP delivers their phones) as well as eOS (“de-googled”), UBports (UbuntuPhone), PostmarketOS (KDE/Linux), …. Even SailfishOS.

      What alternatives do you see to Fairphone?

  4. Hi, I want to say a big thank you to you for the steps you outline. I followed your instructions and now I am happily using the play store without issues.
    Thanks again

  5. Lost all respect for this company when they decided to remove the headphone jack and sell irrepairable wireless earbuds. What a joke.

    1. Kind of agree.
      They’ve got a User Removable Battery which is pretty awesome, but then skimp on the Headphone Jack? Doesn’t make sense to me.

      I think you can push for everything the mainstream competitors do, except these limitations: mainstream marketing, great camera algorithm/performance, and certain DRM restrictions. Although I’m certain there’s a big enough crowd that won’t mind these omissions, and like the device if it’s created well.

      The closest alternative I can think of is the Samsung xCover 6 Pro.

    2. You lost all the respect because they did what/was just logical? Really? And they accomplished something not even Google (Ara) was able to do. And that’s why they’re a joke to you?

      Don’t get me wrong there are plenty things FP should improve. But jumping from supporting to complete dismissal because of an absolute minor design decession that (I get it, is not ideal for some but certainly does not affect the majority of consumers and) is making sense ecologically as well as economically.

      1. Jamir, I sympathize with your argument (because indeed, they are seemingly moving in a better direction compared to majority of other phone manufacturers) but, IMO, the argument is flawed and, additionally, the devil is in the details.

        To explain what I mean: AFAIK, they are not honest about the reasons the headphone jack has been removed which is a kind of a red flag. Louis Rossmann made an entire video on it (bRdL0StldJM). If they are not honest about such a small trivial thing, is it reasonable to expect they are honest about much bigger things?

        If they are serious about ecology and economy they would embrace the idea of convergence (if you don’t know what it is check Samsung Dex or convergence mode on Linux phones with external display output) which implies the maximization of usable ports and more serious support for non-Android distros. Hopefully, they will explore this idea in further models.

        As a side note, they use Qualcomm which is reportedly ridden in bugs and leaks data. There was an article where it was reported that one Qualcomm SOC had 400 bugs.

  6. Take this with a grain of salt but this is how I imagine the evolution could look like in convergence space:

    1) Compiling a list of properly functioning, preferably off-the-shelf, preferably powered and passive/active cooled USB hubs and (lap)docks ideally for each OS/phone combination

    2) Further development of mobile non-Android open-source distros with focus on throttle management to not have everything melt down in extreme power use

    3) Focusing on a more powerful “smart”-phone hardware as such:
    – powerful hardware with multiple USB-C ports which are already present on ROG and Nubia gaming smartphones to enable additional flexibility without the use of the hub and/or dock. It seems obvious to me that, ideally, open-source community should adopt high-end gaming and/or foldable “smart”-phones as primary base of development
    – ideally, everything should be modular and hard-switchable to regain at least a bit of control back into users’ hands. This is why I’m commenting under Fairphone article which addresses at least modularity

    4) For the short term only, Android 13 allegedly offers fully fledged KVM virtualization which would in theory enable running ARM Linux or any other “normal” OS. There were videos on YouTube and mentions on Twitter about it when Android 13 came out but interestingly the interest died out quickly

    I speculate that the industry nowadays is refocusing in these directions that are (re)addressing some needs of convergence:
    – foldables as primary convergence devices
    – near pocketable gaming consoles as secondary alternative (which de facto are “resurrected” UMPCs)
    – “XR” standalone headsets as tertiary alternative
    – lapdocks

    In general there is always a question whether interchangeable universal computing unit approach that is a characteristic of “convergence” is ideal or is it better to use specialized hardware for various purposes. For people who are not very limited in resources it might be that “convergence” will never be a sensible option, unless achieving ultimate mobility is somehow essential to them.

    Also, with “smart” phone modem technology being fundamentally non-private, basing convergence on them seems somewhat dead-end as well.

    1. How about instead of your pipedream wishlist we just get Android desktop mode solutions that aren’t jank or locked into specific device vendors first?

      1. I consider this as listing of possible paths of development of convergence at this juncture in somewhat general form.

        AFAIK, there are Android “desktop launchers” that can be used as non-proprietary desktop modes but I believe any Android-only convergence is always going to be limited, as perhaps any other proprietary solution.

        There is also an artificial limit where Samsung doesn’t allow to launch Dex mode on its foldables without external monitor plugged-in. Most of those limits are somewhat artificial which is why convergence is so intriguing.

        Easily unlockable bootloaders in mainstream Android “smart” phones are a rarity which is why Fairphone is interesting as a phone with easily unlockable bootloader and schematics.

        It just seems to me that Fairphone as a brand is seriously taking off for reasons that are everything but its primary mission of sourcing materials from fair sources (and better treatment of workers): modularity, non-bloated Android, availability of schematics, easily unlockable bootloader, long-term support, etc.

        One thing I forgot to mention is that Waydroid needs serious reliability improvements, which is needed in the context of moving away from Android. I almost don’t remember the last time I saw someone on internet mention that user-installed Waydroid worked properly, except maybe a few times.

        1. Imagine if Fairphone, Purism, Pine64, Valve, Dragonbox and EYEDAK all formed a consortium (along with their respective communities) to produce such devices, all bringing their respective strengths to the equation.

          1. How I would love that! +1

            (let iFixit Purism and ShiftPhone be a part of that as well!)

          2. @Jamir I included Purism (specifically for the HKS) but definitely agree with iFixit and ShiftPhone! Oh and MNT of course. Framework too if they were interested in that segment.

    2. convergence (USB alt-mode hello?)… the one big feature I’m truly missing. I don’t even care about how it’s done (anymore but surely a Linux-native form would be much appreciated)

  7. Give me at least 12GB of RAM and I’ll consider it. I could use that much for A.I. inference. 😉

    Of course, I still find it fascinating to find the right phone to just use as a tablet/pocket computer, and I might even ditch desktops.