Hands-On With The Modular Fairphone 3+ Smartphone

AH Fairphone 3 Plus backplate off

Fairphone has announced a brand new smartphone earlier today, the Fairphone 3+. We’ve already talked about the device in the initial announcement, and are now here to take a closer look at the Fairphone 3+, in some hands-on content.

I received this phone a day or two ago, and I did not have enough time to use it in order to reach any review-type conclusions. I did, however, manage to get some first impressions based on my usage.

The Fairphone 3+ hands-on: it's made out of recycled plastic, for the most part

That being said, the Fairphone 3+ feels really good in the hand. It is made out of recycled plastic (for the most part). The build of the device feels really solid, though. Nothing squeaks, nor does it feel cheap in any way.


The phone, as you can see in the provided images below, features a flat display. It does have fairly thick bezels above and below the display, though its side ones are quite thin.

This phone does not include a display notch or hole, though, thanks to those bezels. Its frame is also made out of plastic, and its back side is removable. You can remove that backplate with your fingernail without a problem.

Its physical buttons are placed on the left side, which is a bit odd

A Type-C USB port is placed at the bottom of this device, while its loudspeaker is placed on the right side of the device. The power / lock, volume up, and volume down buttons are included on the left. Those buttons do feel a bit mushy, not that clicky, which is one of my main complaints when it comes to the build of this phone.

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The Fairphone logo is visible on both the phone’s front and back sides. A capacitive fingerprint scanner sits on the back, and it’s placed quite high, actually. A single camera is included on the back as well, along with an LED flash. That camera module is almost flush with the phone’s back side.

Now, this phone is modular. It consists of 7 main modules on the inside, so it’s extremely easy to repair. Fairphone is always trying to keep their phones alive as soon as possible.

You can even buy a camera module from this phone separately, and install it inside the Fairphone 3, a predecessor of this smartphone. To make things even easier, Fairphone does include a screwdriver in the box.


Charger is not included in the box

It is worth noting that the Fairphone 3+ does not ship with a charger, though. That is yet another move from Fairphone to help keep the Earth safe. The company believes that pretty much everyone has a charger these days.

The Fairphone 3+ comes with Android 10 out of the box. Its software is quite light, by the way, very close to vanilla Android. You can check out some screenshots below.

The phone does not exactly include high-end specs, quite the contrary. It features a 5.7-inch fullHD display, protected by Gorilla Glass 5. It is fueled by the Snapdragon 632 SoC, and it sports 4GB of RAM.


The phone features a 48-megapixel camera on the back, and a 16-megapixel front-facing unit. A 3,040mAh battery is included in the package, and the same goes for 64GB of expandable storage. You can read more about it in our announcement article.

The Fairphone 3+ review will be coming in a couple of weeks, after I spend some time with the device. So, stay tuned for that.