Buy a Fairphone!

If you are looking out for a smartphone, now is the right time: Apple’s new devices have just appeared, and Samsung’s are not far behind. Were you to believe the media, your choice is bound to be made among these two brands’ devices, unless some low-cost equivalent is attractive to you… But would you be right to make such an expected choice?

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In my opinion, the Fairphone is a better choice. It is fairly powerful and sports a good battery life (I recharge from once to twice a week). The phone and SMS apps work as expected, as do WiFi and Bluetooth. More over, this smartphone can hold two SIM cards. Besides, I had the opportunity to use the GPS while on holiday, and it worked like a charm!

But first and foremost, the Fairphone is as fair and eco-responsible as possible. It is not perfect yet, but it is already a huge improvement over the other smartphones! You could argue that it does not (not yet?) support the 4G network, and you would be right; but how many wars must be fought, how much blood do you think is acceptable, for the benefit of using the 4G network? At such a cruel cost, I prefer to decline, and use the 3G network instead; it is good enough for me.

The icing on the cake is both a reasonable price (less than you would pay for an Apple or a Samsung), and the control you have on the device: based on a lightly-customized open-source Android system, the Fairphone allows (but does not force) the addition of the Google apps, as well as their removal if you were to regret their installation. And you can manage your device as “root”; for instance, you will not have to fear the loss of warranty if you were to “root” your phone: no need to do it, it is done already. They even explain how to swap parts and repair the phone yourself!

With this smartphone already doing so much to give you control, and protect your privacy, it would be a shame to let it all go to waste. In order to find additional applications without using the usual Google and Amazon stores, I recommend F-Droid: it is an Android software repository, with open-source software only, and for each program a privacy-centered analysis has been performed, the result of which is freely available; for example, you are warned that Firefox lets you install third-party extensions, some of which may not be open-source, and that by default it connects to Mozilla’s servers on a regular basis for statistical purposes but Firefox lets you deactivate these connections in the settings.

The most environment-friendly device is obviously the one you already have (longer use means less electronic waste). But if you need to change your phone, even if you initially had a simple feature-phone in mind, or if you wish to buy a smartphone for the first time, think about the Fairphone! As you can see, you would sustain the environment, help the people from producing countries, and help yourself in passing. All of that at a reasonable price :-)

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