Sustainable, modular Fairphone 2 hits pre-order

Fairphone has just opened up orders for its more environment-and-people-friendly mobile.

Fairphone has begun taking orders for its second-generation ethical smartphone.

Priced at €525 and only sold through the Fairphone website, the Fairphone 2 is intended to be a more sustainable mobile, thanks to its use of non-conflict minerals, a better deal for assembly line workers, and handset that's designed to be repairable and longer-lasting.

Scheduled to ship in November it and will bring with it a new modular architecture, allowing owners to replace components that are most likely to get damaged - such as the screen - without taking the device to a repairer. As a result, they can keep hold of the phone for longer, keeping more devices out of landfill.

It also comes with an integrated cover, a rubber bumper around the back and sides of the device, to protect it out of the box. While the phone doesn't have less-used components such as NFC, they could potentially be included into the bumper.

The second Fairphone also has a notable bump in specs compared to its predecessor, and is now powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 801 chip, has a five-inch full HD screen, an eight-megapixel rear camera, 32GB storage, and dual SIM. It will also run on Android Lollipop 5.1.

In future, as well as being used to replace parts, the modular architecture could enable owners to upgrade components of their devices - for example, upgrading the camera to a more powerful sensor.

The first Fairphone was launched in 2013, and sold 60,000 handsets. The company is now hoping to sell 15,000 Fairphone 2s during the pre-order period in order to move into continuous, rather than batch, production of the handsets.