What's the most ethical mobile phone choice?

Reading up on what is the best mobile to buy and the way to improve environmental impact indicates that you should in all circumstances use your phone for as long as possible by renewing your battery, and IPhone/FairPhone are the most sustainable brands.

Here’s The article I read http://theconversation.com/sustainable-shopping-if-you-really-truly-need-a-new-phone-buy-one-with-replaceable-parts-93069 what do others think? Any other information to share?

This is one I have to confess to falling down on. The Fairphone has to be hands down the best option - you can repair it yourself and everything is carefully sourced. However, I’ve been an Apple user for years and now that they are actually recycling old phones, I decided to stick with them.
It’s worth also looking at ethics on the networks as well. I had been with Vodafone for years (pretty much since my first phone) - but their ethics rating is pretty awful. I recently moved over to GiffGaff who rate top on the Good Shopping Guide. Vodafone do seem to have moved up a bit since I left them - but they’re still not in the top section.
I will reconsider Fairphone again next time round!

In terms of sim only contracts and broadband you Couldn’t go far wrong with Ecotalk., although I’m waiting for more evidence of actual conservation work they do. Anyone have any experience of using this service?

It sounds cheesy but the most sustainable phone is the one you already own.

Another thing that might need upgrading to extend the life of your existing phone is the operating system. Phone manufacturers often stop providing updates after only a few years which can leave you vulnerable to security threats and unable to install or use certain apps.

If you have a popular Android phone you could upgrade to Lineage OS. This is an open-source Android distribution that closely resembles standard Android and it’s kept regularly up to date.

The installation instructions may be a bit daunting for many people, however if you have a Samsung there is a free tool called Odin3 which provides a simple GUI on your laptop to simplify the installation so you don’t have to use the command line. There may be similar tools for other brands.

By running Lineage OS on my phone I managed to improve the performance (by excluding unecessary bundled apps) and extend its life by over a year. The only downside was the reduction in camera quality because the original software used proprietary features that were not open source (again this will vary by model). But this is a small price to pay for 50% more life.

1 Like