Perfect score for Fairphone in iFixit tests

In 2009, Fairphone set out to design, manufacture and market a mobile device in a new way, prioritising factors like transparency, ethics, durability and repair. This project is now showing signs of real progress, especially in the area of design for disassembly, with the newly-released Fairphone 2.0 receiving a perfect 10/10 score in iFixit’s repairability test.


Image: iFixit / CC by 3.0
Image: iFixit / CC by 3.0

After the debut device was awarded 7/10 from iFixit’s Teardown analysis, which takes into account ease of disassembly, availability of service documentation, types and variety of fasteners, upgradability and modularity, Fairphone took on board feedback and set about redesigning the smartphone.

With the results in, iFixit claim that the Fairphone 2.0 ‘Is What a Repairable Phone Looks Like’. Clear design choices and product features make this smartphone the most easy to repair and upgrade device to date, according to iFixit’s metrics. Some of these features highlighted in the Teardown were:

  • Adhesive-free construction makes opening the device easy
  • Disassembly tips/labels printed throughout the design
  • Much of the device can be taken apart without the use of tools, especially those more likely to fail
  • Use of modular, off the shelf components
  • User repair is even encouraged with ‘designed to open’ on the shell of the phone

While Fairphone only occupy a small proportion of the market on the back of their first offering, the success of the company has demonstrated the demand for repairable devices. With the Fairphone 2.0, the company have built on their repairability credentials, whilst making making aesthetic improvements that could convert sceptical potential users.

Maintenance and repair are a crucial part of the technical cycle in a circular economy, and design that facilitates these practices could unlock greater value for manufacturers and users, through minimising comparative material usage vis-à-vis the linear production system, or maximising product life and the time devices spend in each cycle.

As well as designing for repair and longevity, Fairphone also aim to invest in employee wellbeing, including wages, safety and representation in the manufacturing process, and support mining practices that are conflict-free and support local economies.

Source: Fairphone 2 Teardown / iFixit

Lead image: iFixit / CC by 2.0

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The Author

Joe Iles

Joe Iles

I'm Editor in Chief of Circulate and Digital Architect at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

When I'm not discussing the circular economy, I also love talking about digital media and online trends, memes, music, bad films and good beer.

You can find me on twitter @joeiles or email joe[at]