Fairphone introduces the Fairphone 3+, but you can just upgrade the 3

Fairphone, the Netherlands-based smartphone company with a focus on making sustainable products, has announced its latest smartphone, the Fairphone 3+. The new phone builds on the company's achievements with the Fairphone 3, and it takes things a step further.

If you already have the previous model, the Fairphone 3+ is very similar in most ways. It has a Snapdragon 632 chipset, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, a 6.65-inch Full HD+ display, and a very similar, if slightly bigger, 3,040mAh battery (up from 3,000mAh). The big changes here are the cameras, with the rear 12MP camera being replaced with a 48MP sensor, while the front-facing camera is now 16MP instead of 8MP. The back cover has also been changed, and in line with Fairphone's sustainability goals, it now uses 40% post-consumer recycled plastics, up from 9% in the Fairphone 3.

What makes this more interesting, though, is that the company is building on its concept of modular phones. If you already have the Fairphone 3, you can upgrade to the newer model by simply buying the upgraded parts. The rear camera, front camera, and the new back cover, are all sold separately, and they can be installed relatively easily by the consumer. In order to do this, users will simply need to update the Fairphone 3 to Android 10 - an update rolling out on September 7 - and open the phone up to swap the components.

The Fairphone 3+ costs €469/£425 if you want to buy the entire phone. If you own a Fairphone 3 and want the new components, the rear camera module can be had for €59.95/£54.95, the selfie camera for €39.95/£32.95, and the back cover for €24.95/£21.95. You can also buy both the rear and front camera modules together and get a €25/£25 discount. Both the phone and the modules ship on September 14, but you can pre-order them now.

The article has been ammended to mention the discounted price for the two camera modules when bought together.

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