Dutch smartphone maker Fairphone doesn’t release new products very often. Instead the company focuses on long-term sustainability by selling modular, repairable phones (and spare parts) and offering long-term software support.
Fairphone released the first public beta of Android 13 for the Fairphone 3 in April, but now the company says it’s stable enough to remove the beta label and make it available to all users. The update is also available for the Fairphone 3+ that launched in 2020.
When Fairphone first launched the smartphones, the company promised to continue supporting them for at least five years. But now Fairphone says it’s extended support by another two years, with the goal of continuing to provide software updates and spare parts through 2026.
That means the Fairphone 3 would be one of the only Android phones to receive seven years of support. The only other model I can think of to be supported for that long? The Fairphone 2.
But while Fairphone has delivered on its promise of supporting its devices for a long time, that doesn’t mean updates always come out in a timely fashion.
Android 13 is arriving just a few months before Google is expected to release Android 14. And there was never an official release of Android 12 for the Fairphone 3 series. Up until now the latest stable release had been based on Android 11.
Fairphone says that’s because Qualcomm no longer officially supports software updates for devices with the Snapdragon 632 processor found in the Fairphone 3. So Fairphone’s developers had to do the work of updating the operating system on their own.
In addition to that mid-range processor, the Fairphone 3 features a 5.65 inch, 2160 x 1080 pixel display, 4GB of RAM. 64GB of storage, a microSD card reader, a 3,000 mAh user-replaceable battery, a 3.5mm audio jack, a USB-C port, WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, and a fingerprint reader on the back.
The original Fairphone 3 has a 12MP rear camera and 8MP front-facing camera, while the Fairphone 3+ has 48MP rear and 16MP front cameras, respectively. Otherwise most specs are pretty much the same for both models (although the Fairphone 3+ case was built using a higher percentage of recycled plastic).
For the most part Fairphone smartphones have only been sold in Europe until recently. But the company’s Fairphone 4 is now available for purchase in the United States… kind of.
The recently launched Murena Fairphone 4 is a version of the company’s 2021 smartphone that ships with a “deGoogled” version of Android called /e/OS rather than Fairphone’s own Android software. The phone has a faster processor, a bigger battery, and more memory and storage than the Fairphone 3 and it’s currently available for $630 and up.