What kind of phone can last 10 years? It exists but is only sold in Europe

THE NEW YORK TIMES – LIFE/STYLE – It’s a question most of us haven’t had the luxury of thinking about. That’s because of the size smartphones it is scheduled to be replaced every two to three years. And the apple, Samsung and other phone manufacturers release new features – including big sales promotions – every year, prompting us to update them.

But bear with me and think for a moment.

If a phone is designed for ten years, it will be done so that we can open it to replace a part such as a dead battery or protection. Many of its components can be upgraded – if you want a better camera, you can simply exchange the old one for a new, more powerful one. You can download new software from the phone manufacturer indefinitely.

Tight and tight, right?

Considering what this device looks like is especially relevant now that it’s the smartphone season – it’s that time of the year when tech companies bombard us with new features. Apple has relaunched the iPhone 14, which is similar to its predecessor. Also this month, the Ramadan announce plans for new phones android in October. And last month, it rained Samsung has launched a series of mobile phones that can be folded like books.

These new products show how today’s smartphones don’t last long. Most devices are held securely with glue to protect you. Parts such as cameras and screens cannot be upgraded a la carte. Software updates are only valid for a limited time, two years for Androids and up to five years for iPhones.

Keeping us in those shorts who own mobile phones is great for tech companies and their portfolios – but maybe not for us and our wallets.

Don Norman, former vice president of technology development at Apple and author of nearly two books on design Cell phone manufacturers are guilty of treating consumer technology as if it were a trendrelease products every year that become difficult to fix, and add features that slow obsolescence.

“You want to make a computer out of a single piece of metal and you want it to be as thin as possible,” Norman said. “So you have to make a table without a box, and it’s very difficult to get it.

However, the idea of ​​a long phone call is not necessary. There is also: the integrity 4 of $580 made by a startup, Fairphone, in Amsterdam. The Fairphone 4, It is only sold in Europe, has a plastic cover that can be easily removed to reveal your belly. Its components can be changed in minutes by removing a few simple screws.

The idea behind the Fairphone is that if you want a phone with the latest technology, you can get it without having to completely replace your current handset – and if something goes wrong with your phone, if it crashes for example, it can be easy. This makes the Fairphone the antithesis of most smartphones today and shows how technology companies can design different things for durability and sustainability.

How to do it with equipment

Grab your iPhone or Android phone and check it out. Note that it is held in place with special screws that require special screwdrivers. Apple made its own television.

But the Fairphone comes with a small screwdriver that invites you to open the phone. So when I started trying it, that was the first thing I did.

Unlocking the Fairphone is easy. Removing the leather cover revealed its camera, battery, speakers and more. They are secured with standard screws that can be easily removed with a screwdriver. In less than five minutes, I removed all these parts. At the same time, I got back on the phone.

The experience of unlocking the phone is more powerful. I’m confident that if I need to do a repair or some routine maintenance like installing a new camera or battery, I can do it in minutes and easily. (Fairphone charges $30 for a new battery and $80 for a new camera.)

Unlocking my iPhone, however, is a nightmare.

When I took the Apple device during the first test, I had to remove the proprietary screws with a special screwdriver and melt the glue that held the case together. To remove the battery, I had to use tweezers to pull the small pieces of the bottom third. Although I was able to replace the battery, I broke the iPhone screen in the process – and a replacement screen costs about $300.

Fairphone’s plastic case is not good enough and may break if the phone is dropped on a hard surface. But it’s less fun to drop an Apple or Samsung phone with a glass back, break it and spend hundreds of dollars to repair (or replace) it.

how to use it

Using Fairphone is very common. It runs the software android Basic, which means it can install Google apps and apps downloaded from Toy Store.

But Eva Gouwens, CEO of Fairphone, said the company will continue to provide software solutions for its phones for as long as possible. These updates are necessary to protect your device from the latest cyber attacks and malware; they also ensure that your phone can run the latest software.

A Fairphone model was released six years ago that received Android updates. Most Android phones stop receiving updates after two years.

The camera and the camera of the Fairphone 4 left a lot to be desired, however. In speed tests run with the Geekbench app, the Fairphone 4 is about 35% slower than Google’s $600 Pixel 6 when doing things like viewing the e-mail and taking pictures. The photos produced by the Fairphone 4 are better than the photos taken with iPhones and standard Android phones.

However, I don’t expect Fairphone’s small team—about 110 people—to do computer and camera technology like Big Tech companies.

Fairphone says it is profitable, it will generate several million euros in revenue in 2020 and 2021. In addition to selling phones and simple components, the company is trying to selling services such as helping people fix their devices and maintain their mobile devices. ., said Gouwens. That’s a slow and steady stream, as opposed to the fast model of buying new phones every year.

“If you design a phone that lasts and your users actually take care of their phone and use it for a long time, you’re going to be better off,” he said.

How we think about our personal technology

This column is not about telling people to buy a Fairphone 4.

In general, technology companies with great value can do a better job of making their phones easier to repair and kinder to the environment and our pockets. And we, as consumers, can do better by changing the way we think about personal technology, says Norman.

“Marketers have a lot of power, but only if people work together,” he said.

An important step is to treat our tools like we treat our cars – consider, for example, taking a broken device in for repair instead of replacing it. taking Another way to do this is to opt out of the marketing campaigns that come with every new feature that comes with every new phone.

Because if we’re happy with our phones, we’ll probably stay happy – as long as they work. And now we know that some models can work for a long time. / TRANSLATION LÍVIA BUELONI GONÇALVES

The New York Times Licensing Group – All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission from The New York Times is prohibited.

+The best content in your email for free. Choose your favorite Terra newsletter. Click here!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *