Fairphone launched across Europe in 2013 as a social enterprise company that aims to design and manufacture smartphones with limited impact on the environment. Part of this ethos includes modular smartphone manufacture, with handsets designed to be easily repairable and upgradeable without using conflict materials during the manufacturing process. Because of its environmental focus Fairphone monthly mobile contracts have gone from strength to strength in the Netherlands, where Fairphone HQ is situated, and across Europe, gaining traction in the UK thanks to publicity from environmentally focussed media outlets such as the Independent and the Guardian.

All of the handsets featured on Fairphone packages use a version of the Android operating system, which means any smartphone user familiar with handsets from the likes of Android giants such as Huawei, Samsung and HTC will be able to make the switch to Fairphone contracts seamlessly. All of the Fairphone handsets are manufactured using recycled polycarbonate, so might not feel as premium as some other handsets but make up for that with good displays that buck the trend for wall-to-wall glass that you find on many modern handsets. They all use USB-C charging ports, but with replaceable batteries you won’t need to swap out your entire handset at the end of your contract and send all that plastic to the rubbish tip.

The type of Fairphone plan you like the most might depend on your network preference. You might like the idea of a cheap unlimited data EE package but might be one of the few smartphone users in the UK that don’t have EE signal provision in your area. In 2020 EE reached 95% 4G network coverage of the UK, making it the biggest UK service provider operating on 4G. If, however, you are hunting down the best 5G mobile deals then you might have to wait for future Fairphone handsets. At the time of the Fairphone 3+ release in 2020 none of the Fairphone handsets featured 5G capability, though that model was an upgrade on all of its predecessors operating on Android 10, featuring a 48MP front camera and 3,060 mAh battery capacity.

If you are currently a Fairphone user then the chances are you will be searching for cheap sim only deals as the Fairphone modular ethos means that the handsets are repairable and upgradeable. The type of sim only package you choose might depend on the type of Fairphone handset model you have either been using or used already. The 4G UK network is set to be used by network carriers well into 2030, long before which Fairphone will feature 5G models and further upgrades. Until then you can use any of the major network sim only deals or any MVNO sim only plan in your Fairphone handset. Likewise you have plenty of Pay As You Go contract offers that will literally see you pay for what you use, with many of them operating on a top-up basis.

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