My brother recently forwarded me the information on Fairphone, a new smart phone that claims to put social values first. According to its description, it is priced right, letting the user know exactly what she/he is paying for. Also, Fairphone is sourcing raw materials that don’t fund armed forces or violent conflicts, from mines that treat people like the human beings they are. The phone is assembled in China, where a fair wage and fair benefits are provided for the workers.

From the mines to the factories, we want every worker involved in creating this smartphone to earn a fair wage. Beyond monetary benefits, our ultimate goal is to ensure that employees work in safe conditions that comply with environmental regulations.

For our first phone, we’ve focused on our factory in China, including creating a fund to improve worker’s wages and working conditions and open discussions between workers and their employers.

In terms of technical specifications, it is actually a quite interesting phone. It is compatible with all GSM bands and can pump up to 40MBps with HSPA+ compatibility. However, no LTE radio. The phone does not have NFC, but it is equipped with all the typical gadgets you expect from a high-end smart phone, such as sensors, a decent camera, etc. I find particularly interesting that it allows to install two SIMs, so you can keep using it when you travel abroad with a second, local, SIM without removing yours. Or perhaps you could use the same phone as a BYOB at work, having a leisure persona and a work persona. Something similar to AT&T’s Toggle.

In terms of security, though, the phone is rooted by default. This will allow people to do cool stuff with it and install the OS they want. However, I bet there is going to be a bunch of these phones getting infected by malware and trojans. And the end result will always be the same, surprises when you get your monthly bill or your phone turned into a spammer. After all, rooted phones are like candy for mobile fraudsters.

Anyhow, a very interesting and cool phone if used securely and cautiously.