May 23, 2024

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Finally, the eco-conscious Fairphone 4 is coming to the US

Finally, the eco-conscious Fairphone 4 is coming to the US

The Fairphone 4 — a user-repairable smartphone built with ethically sourced materials — is finally coming to the US, nearly two years after its debut in September 2021. Well, sort of anyway. Fairphone is teaming up with Murena, a company best known for its de-Googling of Android phones, to release the Murena Fairphone 4 beta in the US — a variant of the phone running on a privacy-focused Android OS: /e/ OS.

There are two configurations available: one with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for $599 and one with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage for $679. Both models’ storage can be expanded via microSD, and the phone features a modular design that can be easily disassembled with a standard #00 Phillips screwdriver to replace broken components. It also has an IP54 rating, which means that the device is protected from dust and water splashes.

The Murena Fairphone 4 will be shipped to US customers with 5G and Dual SIM support, a 3,905mAh removable battery, a 48MP main camera, a 48MP ultra-wide camera, and a 25MP selfie camera. The phones will be available to order exclusively from Murena’s webstore starting today.

The Murena Fairphone 4 also comes with /e/ pre-installed, which is described as a privacy-focused, Google-free mobile ecosystem for people who want to avoid handing over any data to the search giant. Instead of the usual Google apps, the Fairphone 4 will come with a set of default Murena Cloud apps for things like email, calendar, and cloud storage as well as a dedicated App Store that highlights each app’s privacy ratings to help users monitor how their online activity is being tracked.

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Murena App Lounge basically looks like the Play Store if stripped of all of its usual Google branding.
Photo: Murena/Fairphone

However, we should note that /e/OS is not completely Google-free. The Murena “App Lounge” Technically speaking It allows you to install major Android apps, including those made by Google, but Murena claims that it fetches apps directly from the Play Store without giving Google any of your private information.

The Fairphone comes unlocked, but the press release mentions that T-Mobile and other carriers that rely on the T-Mobile network are the only US carriers recommended for use with the device. Fairphone also offers a five-year extended hardware warranty, and /e/OS is also committed to fixing bugs and supporting security and feature updates for five years.

The Murena Edition is the only Fairphone 4 model to be offered to the US, and there’s no mention of the standard Android OS model joining it any time soon. “We know based on the feedback we have received that there are many people interested in Fairphone in the US. However, our main focus is currently on the European market,” Eva Goins, CEO of Fairphone, said in a press release. “This collaboration with e /OS/ is a great opportunity for us to try vending machines in the US market with an old partner and learn more about the US market.”