The most respectful cell phones and tablets and the planet

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Catherine Le Nevez
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In these days if the COP25 Climate Summit has Madrid, an international event that brings together politicians, environmental organizations, businessmen, scientists and other experts to discuss the danger the planet is facing and propose solutions to climate change.

As you may already know, you are an important part of these solutions and no, just recycling isn't enough. Currently, you can also help the planet by choosing a model that is respectful of that device that you always carry in your hand: the mobile phone. Next, we tell you which are the best smartphones and tablets to protect the environment.

The most ecological mobile phones and tablets

2 Fairphone

In 2017 we met the Fairphone 2, the world's first ethical mobile that also has Android. As the company explained at the time, this phone was created without minerals obtained from exploitation of nature, with fair working conditions and with a design specially designed for its reusability and recycling.

This is confirmed by iFixit, which speaks of the Fairphone 2 as one of the best cell phones to repair thanks to components such as the battery and screen, repairable without tools, easily accessible buttons and cables, and internal modules fixed with simple screws and springs.

3 Fairphone

The Dutch company has shown that it continues to be committed to respecting the environment and people in 2019 with the launch of the Fairphone 3. It is a phone made from recycled materials and fair trade and, as an exceptional detail, its box does not include a charger, headphones or USB cables so that you can use the ones you have at home and thus help reduce technology waste.

The Fairphone 3 is no ordinary phone, but it has been rated by iFixit as the easiest smartphone to repair on the market, with a score of 10. Replacing its internal modules is very simple, visual cues help to replace its annoying elements -free and, like its predecessor, key components - battery and display - are accessible without tools.

If you want to use an eco-friendly phone, the Fairphone 3 is the best option. For 450 euros, you can buy it from the official Fairphone website.


"How functional is your mobile device?" Asked Greenpeace in a study published in 2017. In it, it mentioned the LG G5 as one of the most environmentally friendly phones by offering the user an easy repair. This is confirmed by the iFixit experts, who speak of a terminal with removable sliding battery and a simple opening process without glue and with few screws.

As Greenpeace assures in the study, it is important to have cell phones that are so easy to repair, because that way they can make them last longer and reduce demand of smartphones so that manufacturers reduce the damage caused to the environment by using harsh chemicals, extracting virgin raw materials or using large amounts of energy.

Displacement 6m

One of the more 'green' phones launched this 2019 is the Shift 6m, which focuses on repairability, sustainability and durability. As you can imagine, this model easily reached the iFixit list, positioning itself in 3rd position (nobody touches the Fairphones) thanks to the priority it gives to the replacement of the battery and the screen, for the use of a single type of screw. and for the supply of repair guides and screwdrivers.

From the company they claim to be committed to creating a sustainable phone, with fair working conditions and without exploiting nature to obtain the necessary materials. The result of their commitment is the Shift 6m, a mobile that you have to consider if you want to respect the environment and which is available on the Shift website for 550 euros.

HP Elite x2

When it comes to tablets, HP takes the reign of more environmentally friendly models. A true example of this is its Elite x2, launched in 2016 and considered by iFixit to be the easiest-to-repair tablet on the market. With an easy opening procedure, a simple, modular and glue-free design and giving the user all the information they need for repair, HP protects the planet and helps you do the same with your Elite x2.

HP Elite x2 1013 G3

HP has continued to launch new models in the Elite x2 line, such as the 1013 G3 version. According to iFixit, this tablet launched in 2018 has standard Torx or Phillips screws, the manufacturer offers all the information necessary for its repair and a easy access to spare parts, and most of its internal components are accessible, although the excess of adhesive somehow makes the procedure more expensive.

In short, these mobiles and tablets are characterized by allowing simple repair so that the user can use them for many years. This can reduce the global demand for smartphones, which would lead to a lower need for raw materials extracted from nature. Therefore, buying environmentally friendly phones can become one more way to protect the planet.

This is how large companies take care of the environment

So far we have seen that there are manufacturers working to take care of the planet, but what about the companies that sell billions of phones a year? Inevitably, the our gaze focuses on some such as Samsung or Apple, which have a lot to say in the relationship between technology and the environment.

Starting with the first, the South Korean Samsung is defined as a "top priority" for the environment on its official website. Through its process of Eco-design it seeks to thoroughly analyze the possible environmental impact of the product, as well as rigorously managing sensitive substances so that their use is safe and investigating new ways to save energy.

Large tech companies claim to be committed to the environment, although some of their practices show otherwise.

Also, in early 2019 Samsung announced that it would modified the packaging of its products to make it even more environmentally friendly, which we can see in the company's mobile devices, wearables, televisions, refrigerators and other home appliances.

As for Apple, entering its page dedicated to the environment we find a very significant sentence: "Truly innovative products leave their mark on the world, not on the planet". Apple believes that the most advanced products are those with the lowest environmental impact, which is why it used 100% recycled aluminum in the cases of its new MacBook Air and Mac mini.

Less consumption, more recycled materials and longer life are, it seems, the keys that Apple tries to achieve with its environmental protection policy. Furthermore, has the Apple Trade In program, which encourages you to hand over your old device so that they can find a new owner and thus reduce the amount of materials extracted from nature. "And so we all win, especially the planet," concludes the company.

We also need to talk about Google one of the technological giants par excellence. In this case, the company has spoken on several occasions of "having the ability and responsibility to create systemic change", e claims to use clean energy al 100% to protect the planet. However, the construction of the devices presented during the Google I / O 2019 proves the opposite, or so they assure from iFixit.

Exactly what the media experts have said is that "what comes out of the factory is a complex and intricate device that will be our problem to repair or dispose of responsibly", thus criticizing Google for not facilitating the repair of your devices. demand for more resources of nature.

In short, in front of the public, large tech companies declare themselves fully committed to protecting the planet and the environment, although their practices sometimes show otherwise. Without a doubt, the involvement of giants like Samsung, Apple or Google is there key to obtaining a technology that respects nature.

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