Sam Medley

Fairphone is known for its mission to produce serviceable smartphones built with ethically sourced parts. The company has largely succeeded in this mission with one major caveat: Fairphone’s devices have generally only been available in Europe. That includes the Fairphone 4, which received a perfect 10/10 in repairability from iFixIt. However, the company behind the privacy-focused /e/OS is bringing the Fairphone 4 to the US.

Murena, which develops /e/OS, is now selling the Murena Fairphone 4 in the US. Murena has previously partnered with Fairphone, selling a version of Fairphone 3 preloaded with /e/OS.

Murena’s flavor of Android, /e/OS, does away with Google services (which has come to be known as “de-Googled” Android) in an effort to better protect user privacy. To do this, it removes Google services or prevents the services from sending user data to Google. For applications and tasks that require Google services, /e/OS uses a compatibility layer. It also comes pre-installed with an app store offering free and open source (FOSS) apps.

The Fairphone 4 itself is a fairly modest smartphone. It is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G SoC and has 6GB RAM/128GB storage or 8GB RAM/256GB storage. The phone has a 6.3-inch 2340×1080 display, a 25MP selfie camera in a teardrop notch, and a dual-camera array (48MP main, 48MP wide angle) with a time-of-flight sensor on the back.

While these are relatively weak specs for a smartphone in 2023, the Fairphone 4’s main claim to fame is its easy repairability and modularity. The rear case can be removed without tools, and each component sits on a daughterboard that can be replaced if it breaks.

In our review, we praised the phone’s ease of repair, fast USB-C port and decent camera quality, drawing attention to its 5-year warranty (which will also back up the Murena Fairphone 4). However, we also found the phone to be bulky and expensive for what it offers.

The latter point is also the case with the Murena Fairphone 4. Pricing starts at US$629.90 for a model with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Upping the RAM and storage to 8GB and 256GB respectively raises the price to $699.90. While not prohibitively expensive, this price is far too steep for the specs; consumers will likely buy the Fairphone 4 for its fairly sourced parts and repairability.

While the Fairphone 4 is getting long-lived, it’s good to see Murena bringing the device to the US. People in the United States concerned with smartphone privacy and the right to repair movement have so far had to settle for devices that are hard to repair; the Murena Fairphone 4 could be a godsend for this crowd.

The Murena Fairphone 4 is currently available for sale on the Murena webstore, although it is currently backordered.

Buy an iFixIt Essential Electronics Toolkit on Amazon.

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