Ga door naar hoofdinhoud


“All good things come in threes” is what the Dutch social enterprise must have thought when they were planning the Fairphone 3, their newest ethically-made mobile device, sporting a modular and repairable design. The Fairphone 2 from 2015 already set the bar high for smartphone repairability—only a teardown will tell if its successor can raise that bar further, as other big manufacturers continue to offer phones that are glued shut and increasingly hard to repair.

Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram or subscribe to our tried-and-true newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latest news in the repair world.

Deze demontage is geen reparatiehandleiding. Om je Fairphone 3 te repareren, gebruik onze reparatiehandleidingen.

  1. Fairphone 3 Teardown, Fairphone 3 Teardown: stap 1, afbeelding 1 van 3 Fairphone 3 Teardown, Fairphone 3 Teardown: stap 1, afbeelding 2 van 3 Fairphone 3 Teardown, Fairphone 3 Teardown: stap 1, afbeelding 3 van 3
    • It's the inner beauty that counts, but we'll get to that shortly. First, let's look over this smartphone's specs:

    • 5.65" IPS display with 1080 × 2160 resolution

    • Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 SoC

    • 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage

    • 12 MP rear camera with ƒ/1.8 and a front-facing camera with 8 MP ƒ/2.0

    • 3,060 mAh battery

    • Fingerprint sensor and headphone jack

    • A huge thank you to Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM, who provided us with this x-ray image of the Fairphone 3.

    Finde ich toll,

    schliesse mich gerne den Danksagungen an.



    wo wo - Antwoord

  2. Fairphone 3 Teardown: stap 2, afbeelding 1 van 3 Fairphone 3 Teardown: stap 2, afbeelding 2 van 3 Fairphone 3 Teardown: stap 2, afbeelding 3 van 3
    • The Fairphone’s line of succession (from left to right): Primus, Secundus, and Tertius, as the Romans might have said, if they could count smartphones.

    • Note the evolution not only in size and style, but also in tech: this iteration features a USB-C port instead of the old Micro-USB connector, as well as a fingerprint sensor on its back for increased convenience.

    • Just how much bigger is it? The Fairphone 3 comes in at 158×71.8×9.89 mm and weighs 189 g.

  3. Fairphone 3 Teardown: stap 3, afbeelding 1 van 2 Fairphone 3 Teardown: stap 3, afbeelding 2 van 2
    • We start off by simply removing the back cover—no tools needed.

    • Compared to the bumper-like casing of the Fairphone 2—as well as the two-piece 'slim' version that replaced it midway through the product cycle—this is definitely an improvement.

    • If you liked the added protection offered by the bumper, no worries—it's included in the box.

    I can't find this bumper in any review or unboxing. Can you add a picture of it and check if it's really included?

    Nacht Elfje - Antwoord

    Hi Nacht Elfje, you can check out the bumper on the official Fairphone 3 website. See at the “In the box” section.

    Tobias Isakeit -

    This reminds me of the Galaxy S phones up to the S5! This isn't the only way to allow for a removable battery though! Manufacturers could use screws or even do something like the Samsung Wave (that still looks really nice!). There was also the LG G5 which had a unique mechanism.

    Fingers crossed that manufacturers stop using glass backs on phones and start going back to sanity and practicality. :p

    Edit: oh and add sustainability to my last sentence

    Raccoon - Antwoord

  4. Fairphone 3 Teardown: stap 4, afbeelding 1 van 2 Fairphone 3 Teardown: stap 4, afbeelding 2 van 2
    • Removing the battery is also easy as Android 9—it lifts right out using the notch at the bottom.

    • With its recessed contacts and sturdier plastic casing, this battery is a well-protected throwback we're happy to see.

    • At 11.781 Wh (3,060 mAh at 3.85 V), this juice box is not the biggest around these days. But it should get you through the day—and if it doesn't, you can just carry a spare and swap it out!

    • It beats the Google Pixel 3a in capacity (11.55 Wh) but cannot quite touch the iPhone Xs Max (12.08 Wh), let alone the Shift 6m (16.3 Wh).

    • The underside of the battery bears an encouraging message: "Well done. You're what progress looks like." Speaking of which, it's time to make some more teardown progress. Onward!

    • Fairphone decided to forgo the nifty display lock mechanism from the previous iteration, opting for standard Phillips #00 screws instead.

    • Fairphone even provides a tiny screwdriver—although hopefully they'll forgive us if we prefer the larger handle from our Mako Driver Kit for a bit more comfort.

    • With the screws gone, we unsnap the display from the frame—revealing the same pogo pin connector plus breakout board configuration seen in the Fairphone 2.

    • Note the map of the Democratic Republic of Congo in this spot, illustrating the conflict-free sourcing of minerals like tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold.

  5. Fairphone 3 Teardown: stap 6, afbeelding 1 van 2 Fairphone 3 Teardown: stap 6, afbeelding 2 van 2
    • While the Fairphone 2 modules all made use of pogo pin connectors, the Fairphone 3 modules switch to easily accessible regular press-fit sockets.

    • A simple pry with the spudger and the modules are liberated.

    • The connectors and modules are helpfully labeled, and the puzzle pieces align easily even if you can't read them.

  6. Fairphone 3 Teardown: stap 7, afbeelding 1 van 2 Fairphone 3 Teardown: stap 7, afbeelding 2 van 2
    • The Fairphone 3 comes with this family of modules:

    • The top module, camera module, and bottom module are all here, much like in the Fairphone 2.

    • The loudspeaker now gets its own closed module (as opposed to being part of the bottom module), and connects to the rear of the bottom module.

    • If you hope to upgrade your Fairphone 2 with these modules, we have bad news. Modules and their inner parts are not compatible. But their housings are said to be produced from 50% recycled polycarbonate, so there's at least some reuse!

    • Not satisfied with merely removing the modules, we bust out our Torx T5 screwdriver and an opening pick and tear down even more.

    • Starting with the top module:

    • The 8 MP ƒ2.0 selfie camera and earpiece speaker are both removable.

    • The headphone jack as well as the proximity and ambient light sensors are soldered onto the breakout board.

    • The camera module carries a modular 12 MP ƒ1.8 camera with a SONY IMX363 Exmor RS sensor. The flash LEDs are soldered onto the breakout board.

    • The bottom module contains the vibration motor, and a soldered-on USB-C port and microphone.

    • The loudspeaker module is the loneliest of the bits clinging onto the bottom module with its two contacts.

  7. Fairphone 3 Teardown: stap 9, afbeelding 1 van 3 Fairphone 3 Teardown: stap 9, afbeelding 2 van 3 Fairphone 3 Teardown: stap 9, afbeelding 3 van 3
    • Removing the motherboard, we discover a bunch of spring contacts, which connect to the fingerprint sensor, the volume and power buttons, and a few antennas.

    • Pulling off the shields reveals:

    • Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 SoC

    • Samsung KMRH60014A-B614 eMMC with 64 GB

    • Qorvo QM57508 RF front-end module

    • Qualcomm WTR3925 RF transceiver

    • Qualcomm WCN3680B WiFi module

    To remove the motherboard you need to unscrew two black screws with a 5 point screwdriver. I almost bent the metal cover of the motherboard before noticing that.

    VooBee - Antwoord

    Yeah. That should be mentioned in the main text.

    Gordon Wilson -

    Moin! Konntet ihr die Positionen des Gyroskops und des Lagesensors ausfindig machen? Diese haben bei meinem FP3 nach Wasserschaden den Geist aufgegeben, ich muss ggf. die zugehörigen Module tauschen. Vielen Dank!

    Jan vdB - Antwoord

    Moin, leider konnten wir die beiden Bauteile nicht genau identifizieren. Wahrscheinlich sitzen die auf dem Motherboard und keinem der einzelnen Module. Eventuell bekommst du von Fairphone direkt eine Nachricht wenn du ihnen schreibst.

    Tobias Isakeit -

    Bonjour, il doit y avoir une confusion, la puce en orange “LPDDR3 KMRH60014A-B614 Samsung de 64 Go” doit être de la eMMC et non de la LPDDR3 qui correspond à de la RAM.

    Justin - Antwoord

    Thanks for the tip, we've corrected it

    Tobias Isakeit -

  8. Fairphone 3 Teardown: stap 10, afbeelding 1 van 2 Fairphone 3 Teardown: stap 10, afbeelding 2 van 2
    • On the front of the motherboard we find:

    • Qorvo QM56022 RF Flex

    • Qualcomm PMI632 power management IC

    • Qualcomm PM8953 power management IC

    • Qualcomm WCD9326 audio codec

    • Awinic AW88980 audio amplifier

    • NXP Semiconductor Q31A1 (likely NFC controller)

  9. Fairphone 3 Teardown: stap 11, afbeelding 1 van 1
    • That's all for the Fairphone 3, right down to the screws and individual components. To sum up our findings:

    • The new enclosure is easy to open and showcases the transparency of the project.

    • An even more modular design makes for a tidy phone on the inside, with another layer of disassembly for repairing individual components.

    • Reassembling this phone won’t be much of an issue, and we're very confident it’ll still work.

    • Let's see what this means in terms of repairability...

    Estimado/a Señor/a,

    Solicito autorización para utilizar la fotografía del paso 11 en una publicación. En caso afirmativo, indíquenme por favor cómo debo citar su autoría. Muchas gracias y un saludo cordial,

    Pere Renom

    Pere Renom - Antwoord

    Puede dirigirse a esta página para obtener más información al respecto. Cualquier duda que tenga, no dude en comunicarse conmigo.

    Mariana Roca -

    Permitimos el uso no comercial de nuestras imágenes con crédito. ¡Ejemplos de cómo acreditar incluyen "fuente:iFixit" o "imagen cortesía de" o alguna combinación!

    Mariana Roca -

  10. Laatste gedachten
    • Key components like the battery and screen have been prioritized in the design and are accessible either without tools or just a regular Phillips screwdriver.
    • Visual cues inside the phone help with disassembling and replacing its parts and modules.
    • Replacing complete modules is very easy. Going for their internal parts is also possible and requires a Torx screwdriver.
    • Replacement guides and spare parts are available via the manufacturer's website.
    • Most components inside the modules are individually replaceable though some are soldered on.
    Repareerbaarheid 10 op 10
    (10 is gemakkelijkst te repareren)

34 Opmerkingen

Love that this is still happening in the mobile phone world. And that they’re taking sustainability seriously.

Timothy Buchanan - Antwoord

Not making it upgrade-able seems to defeat the purpose. Only the battery and the screen are likely to need replacement before this goes obsolete

Robert M - Antwoord

You don’t need to upgrade every year and maybe in the future you will also be able to swap the motherboard with a newer cpu.

you can always try these ones:

Mihai Serban Cotabitiu -

No, it does not defeat the purpose. The purpose is making it easy to replace any part if something breaks - even if you’re a non-tech-savy user. The Fairphone makes repairing your smartphone as easy as assembling an IKEA shelf, which - definitely - archieves it’s purpose. You don’t need to buy a new phone if your screen is shattered or your USB-C-connector got dusty - just a replacement part.

Of course, having upgradeable parts would be nice, but that’s not as easy to accomplish as it might look: The individual parts would be sold less often, resulting in higher prices to account for development and production costs. And compatibility isn’t easy on low-level hardware: Installing a better camera could also require a better BUS or other connection to the mainboard etc. A bigger battery might need a better charging IC or at least more space in the housing. Same goes for any other component. And remember - the Fairphone 2 got a camera upgrade midway in it’s life cycle. So you can’t even say it’s not upgradeable.

sadfadsf -

I’ve been using my Fairphone 2 since it came out in 2015, so it probably counts as obsolete - but it works perfectly well, and spare parts are still available (as they are for the Fairphone 1, incidentally) so I’m not going to replace it for the foreseeable future. “Obsolete” it may be, but it’s still a good phone.

MarkNW -

To add to what everyone else said, it's been almost 5 years since the Fairphone 2. It's a great time to upgrade. It won't be that important in another 5 years though as technology has kinda stagnated imo. Hopefully this lasts and ages just like laptops do (although older laptops were so much more repairable). The massive difference between the two is software of course and only the Purism Librem 5 handles that.

Raccoon -

Don’t think so: There are many projects working hard on that issue: Although only purism and pine64 offer a ready to use mobile phone yet. This can improve further in the future. So maybe (but only maybe) you can give your fairphoen 2 a new operating system with newest security patches like postmarketOS: And if software is upgradable for years and hardware is repairable for years, your phoen can last for years.

Max -

You can upgrade it! A new camera module and a new top module just came out and they improve the camera quality of the front and rear camera significantly.

Look here:

T.S. Spivet -

Thx, great teardown! Whats the “NXP Q31A1” for? Any idea?

LastDawn - Antwoord

Very nice. I enjoyed myself

jbraveedozie - Antwoord

I think this phone is quite nice. However, I wish that they could have simplified the design to make it waterproof (external enclosure could be the display, midframe, and backplate with rubber o-rings. Also, I think that a faster processor, like the Cortex A7X series, would make this phone feel a lot faster. This CPU is around 2.5 times as fast as a Raspberry Pi 3B+, which uses the same A53 cores.

Ethan Zuo - Antwoord

Would it work in Canada?

Philippe Morin - Antwoord

C’est révolutionnaire. Et cette révolution doit continuer.

Elias GUIVI - Antwoord

I wonder if you could add a module with an encryption chip from and have all your communication securely encrypted on a hardware level.

Francis - Antwoord

Great idea that works!!! Had the One one for a long while, but switched it (yeah:), as it were not so compatible with the Macs I rely upon for my work.

vjrott - Antwoord

The use of regular press fit connectors is probably a big improvement. As a Fairphone 2 owner, I know the phone has had idiosyncrasies that I think could have been down in part to the abundance of pogo pin connectors - just a guess. I can attest to the ease of repair-ability of the Fairphone 2 as I had to switch a module that got water damaged - looks like the FP3 will actually be easier. It’s also nice to see they have more modules in the Fairphone 3 and I hope they provide upgrades to the modules as well as spare modules.

Edward Venison - Antwoord

Another pointless OLPC. Go buy an used phone if you want to save the environment; not buying a phone made from newly mined conflect-free materials. The SD 632 SoC is also an outdated lower mid-range chip that’s already sluggish so choosing 632 is just forced obsolescence. What’s the best way to get you to buy FairPhone 4? Sell you a FairPhone 3 that’s slow from day 1

peichen_alpha - Antwoord

If it had 6GB-8GB RAM I’d be all over it

Cloudane - Antwoord

iFixit please stop promoting Philips screws. They are plain horror. Torx is the only way to go as the heads don’t wear out over time.

Blanka - Antwoord

Think about it like this, I do. Every cent you pay will be a vote for the future so the future will look like the things you buy/vote right now. I vote for Fairphone and Shift, you?

allyn_ab - Antwoord

Grr, the power button is on the left side! The soc is on the weaker side although it's a tradeoff for repairability. I hope that the next Fairphone is even better and sleeker. This one isn't right for me. I don't think the camera is as good mainstream flagship phones either.

Raccoon - Antwoord

J’ai acheté il y a 6 mois (et reçu après 3 mois d’attente) un Fairphone 3… travaillant moi-même en éco-conception , un must me disai-je.

Je suis pourtant bien déçue: très gros et lourd -peu pratique. Interface ultra connectée avec des fonctions indéverrouillables - comme par exemple le” ok Google “, en 1er fenetre, qui s allume tout seul. Le clavier a disparu pour toutes applis, passage automatique en commande vocale inenlevable ds les parametres…(j ai du importer un clavier). Icone 4G en fenetre 2, dure àdégommer. Historiques gardés sur ttes aplis, y compris SMS, demande un temps dingue poru alléger les données stockées. et summum: ce Fairphone 3 se décharge très rapidement et est tres lent à recharger.

Bref, il y a peut etre la reparabilité, mais je n ai trouvé ni LA SOBRIETE (d usage et d’electricité), ni l ASSISTANCE (Fairphone ne repond jamais aux appels, l assistance email prend 3 jours minimum et leur réponse est inadaptée et non suivie) .

Catherine Deschamps Touzard - Antwoord

Sorry for my French comment above.

Just to recap: I will not advise neither my students in eco-design/carbon audit/circular eco nor any friend to buy teh Fairphone 3. Cost is so high with so many drawbacks: poor battery (quick discharge slow recharge), the shape and weight (tooo big); the total lack of SOBERTY/ ECO DESIGN of the applications. Google vampired thing

Catherine Deschamps Touzard - Antwoord

Do you have examples of phone models that are better, in terms of the criteria you set?

Hampus -

How long does the company provide Android updates, and how timely after those updates are released by Google?

Jim Reitz - Antwoord

Really, I don’t mind for ribbon cables connectors and/or press-fits, if it help bring down costs.

Look at that gargantuan pogo pin array for the display. Probably comparable to a DVI dual link in size.

I don’t mind it, but I feel like it would be better for them to end up with a ribbon cable (for a lower cost for the competitive market)

Xavier Jiang - Antwoord

I think that Fairphone teardowns should be on their own scale. Comparing these to the rest of the phone market is like comparing apples to oranges.

Kevin Schuman - Antwoord

I have a Fairphone 2. it still works quite okay, I only have the issue that the one receiving my phone call doesn’t hear my voice unless I put the speaker on which means that I don’t have any privacy anymore as everything we talk about is loud and clear for everybody :(. What do I have to replace in order to solve that problem?

Rina Teeuwen-van der Ende - Antwoord

I‘m currently using an iPhone SE that I‘ve had and used since autumn 2016, so for almost five years. I‘ve not had to replace or repair anything, though if I don’t change my phone soon, I’ll have to replace the battery at least. I’ve had a similar track record with my previous phones apart from one that accidentally took a bath… to make the Fairphone more sustainable than what I‘m doing now, it would have to be usable ‘as is’ for five years, and then upgradable after that to give me a few more years of use without replacing the entire phone. Otherwise, while it’s a nice idea, it would actually be less sustainable and a step back for me.

Ariadne - Antwoord

What an awesome accidental find while looking up repair steps for an unrelated device! This phone looks and appears amazing! I am ALWAYS trying (about a 50-50 success rate), to repair and or modify electronic devices I find recycling. And living in the heart of Silicon Valley, it's amazing how wasteful people here are because something like a simple fuse popped, or an outlet cord broke, or simply was tossed in the garbage because it's “last year's model”. Heaven forbid! And growing up in a good ol' TV repair shop my dad owned from before my birth in '72 up to the mid 90’s, fixing things like this is kinda part of my genetic makeover. It's in my blood. So what I'm wanting to know is simply IS there a mobile carrier company in the United States that has this phone available? That or are there “unlocked" units produced by the company that would be compatible to any pre-paid wireless carriers here where I simply purchase a sim kit? If so, what do these cost and which OS (android I presume), is loaded in it?

John Gaudi - Antwoord

Hi John, glad you found your way here and happy to hear there is "still hope" for and in the Silicon Valley :)

You might want to have a look at the manufacturer page (they have a 4th iteration of their model now) and what they have to say about availability outside of Europe. OS is based on Android and there are discussions on the forum about sailfish and other OS.

Tobias Isakeit -

That or are there “unlocked" units produced by the company

I can tell from this alone that you're in the US because not a single phone is SIM locked in the EU. It's been forbidden by the EU for years and I think it's an amazingly consumer-friendly practice. :)

That said, I don't know if the opposite could be true... As in, American companies not allowing you to put their SIM in only their devices. I imagine there's plenty of SIM-only carriers though.

V Beers -

Hi, the Fairphone 3 actually does not have an IP54 rating (as claimed in step 1) - the Fairphone 4 is the first Fairphone with an IP rating, see

Anna - Antwoord

Thanks for the hint. Apparently it was advertised with IP54 back in 2019 according to a forum discussion. I will correct it.

Tobias Isakeit -

Voeg opmerking toe


Afgelopen 24 uren: 71

Afgelopen 7 dagen: 366

Afgelopen 30 dagen: 1,692

Altijd: 170,483