Good News! You Can Now Buy the De-Googled /e/OS Smartphone from Fairphone

Fairphone is known for its ethical (or fair) approach of making a smartphone.

Normally, the ethical approach involves that the workers get paid well, the smartphone build materials are safer for the planet, and the phone is durable/sustainable. And, they’ve already done a good job with their Fairphone 1 , Fairphone 2, and Fairphone 3 smartphones.

Now, to take things up a notch, Fairphone has teamed up with /e/OS which is a de-googled Android fork, to launch a separate edition of Fairphone 3 (its latest smartphone) that comes with /e/OS out of the box.

In case you didn’t know about the mobile operating system, you can read our interview with Gael Duval (Founder of /e/OS) to know more about it.

While we already have some privacy-focused smartphones like Librem 5, Fairphone 3 with /e/OS is something different to its core. In this article, I’ll try highlighting the key things that you need to know before ordering a Fairphone 3 with /e/OS loaded.

The First Privacy Conscious & Sustainable Phone

You may have noticed a privacy-focused smartphone manufactured in some corner of the world, like Librem 5.

But for the most part, it looks like the Fairphone 3 is the first privacy-conscious sustainable phone to get the spotlight.

Fairphone 3 Battery

The de-googled operating system /e/OS ensures that the smartphone does not rely on Google services to function among other things. Hence, /e/OS should be a great choice for Fairphone 3 for privacy-focused users.

Also, to support /e/OS out of the box wasn’t just the decision of the manufacturer – but its community.

As per their announcement, they’ve mentioned:

For many, fairer technology isn’t just about the device and its components, it is also about the software that powers the product; and when Fairphone community members were asked what their preferred alternative operating system (OS) was for the next Fairphone, the Fairphone 3, they voted for /e/OS.

So, it looks like the users do prefer to have /e/OS on their smartphones.

Fairphone 3: Overview

Fairphone 3

To tell you what I think about it, let me first share the technical specifications of the phone:

  • Dual Nano-SIM (4G LTE/3G/2G support)
  • Display: 5.65-inch LCD (IPS) with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection
  • Screen Resolution: 2160 x 1080
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 632
  • Internal Storage: 64 GB
  • Rear Camera: 12 MP (IMX363 sensor)
  • Front Camera: 8 MP
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • NFC Supported
  • USB-C
  • Expandable Storage supported

So, on paper, it sounds like a decent budget smartphone. But, the pricing and availability will be an important factor keeping in mind that it’s a one-of-a-kind smartphone and we don’t really have alternatives to compare to.

Not just how it’s unique for privacy-focused users, but it is potentially the easiest phone to fix (as suggested by iFixit’s teardown).

Fairphone 3 with /e/OS: Pre-Order, Price & Availability

Fairphone with e OS

As for its availability – the Fairphone 3 with /e/OS is available to pre-order through the online shop of /e/OS for €479.90 across Europe.

If you are an existing Fairphone 3 user, you can also install /e/OS from the available build here.

You get 2 years of warranty along with a 14-day return policy.

Pre-Order Fairphone 3 With /e/OS

My Thoughts On Fairphone 3 with /e/OS

It’s important to consider that the smartphone is targeting a particular group of consumers. So, it’s quite obvious that it isn’t meant for everyone. The specifications on paper may look good – but not necessarily the best bang for the buck.

Also, looking at the smartphone market right now – the specifications and its value for money matter more than what we privacy-focused users want.

But it’s definitely something impressive and I believe it’s going to get good attention specially among the privacy-aware people who don’t want their smartphone spying on them.

With Fairphone 3’s launch with /e/OS, the lesser tech savvy people can now get an out of the box privacy-focused smartphone experience.

What do you think about the Fairphone 3 with /e/OS? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.