Ok so perhaps I’m more than a bit cynical, but this seems to be primarily a sales ploy differentiator versus a genuine value for the vast majority of likely buyers. I’d even go as far as asserting its even a somewhat sneaky way to offload some repair responsibility on to the users.
It reminds me in a way of the FrameWork laptops. In theory these are a solid idea, but the actual execution makes it an iffy value proposition at best for most users. And before some here raise their hand “in yes I want/can do this”, I’m sure that is true but like our love of pens , we are a small minority.
Even the “greener” argument isn’t clear either as for example with Electric Car discussions that tout the benefits of “zero emissions” while discounting the environmental impacts of battery manufacture, use and ultimately disposal.
My two cents, and I definitely expect some to vociferously disagree
While they are probably playing some games here and being cheap (if they really cared, the back would just clip on, like many of the old Nokia phones), and Fairphone are already doing a good job in that niche; I have to say I strongly disagree with on this, and your attitude to it.
Having the ability to repair your device should be a right. You’ve bought it. Then add on that by having devices be easily repairable, they can be kept going for longer. Given the dire state that we’ve put our global environment in, I think that’s very important.
And that Ars article… well it’s by Ron who rightly recently got torn a new one. I swear he is wilfully ignorant.
Yeah I have to agree with Tams here, repaireability or serviceability should be an option. It should also reduce costs for letting you repair your phone at a 3rd party shop.
While Fairphone does a better job, this is Nokia Hmd’s first real try (I guess?) while with Fairphone’s its their 4th iteration and their phones are much more expensive than those of Hmd (like the XR20 is decently priced as a rugged phone with 4 years of updates and cheaper then Fairphone, granted Fairphone is probably more ‘fair’ with factory workers being paid better and offers in the lines of 6 years of updates).
As a side note: To the Verge Nokia also said their design with the battery has an advantage to the Fairphone (being able to put in a larger battery) while the Fairphone’s battery is faster to swap (but personally I prefer a bigger battery because you only need to swap the battery every few years).
Regarding FrameWork laptops, I like the option to choose you own ports and easily adding SSD’s. That adds a lot of value and ease of mind for future proofing but I miss touchscreen/pen support.
Yes I get that and in principal I agree with you and @Tams . My issues are with execution. Specifically with this G22 they seem to appear to have opted to make the display with it’s associated costs to make it “user serviceable” at the likely expense of durability instead of spending that same money to make the display more durable (such as using some flavor of gorilla glass for instance) which actually might have more value to the likely customer.
Second, I can’t see any consensus (or logic in many cases) of how “deep” user repairable should go. In other word the actual display or mother board aren’t user repairable in and of themselves, but simply a binary of replacement.
The TLDR of this is that to me, so far the efforts appear to be more “lip service” to the idea of "the right to repair " than providing any real tangible value to customers.
And yes I’ll admit that my view are certainly colored by my job including that we are a manufacturer, albeit a very tiny, ultra niche one. And also that engineer its’ been beaten in to me that every choice comes with some tradeoff.
PS: our discussion here is far tamer than some I’ve seen in various automotive forums especially when it comes to EVs
The display is an interesting choice you raise, personally I do not really care about both since I always use screen protectors (I guess I would nudge to guerilla screen).
The elephant in the room for me and I think for most people is the replaceable battery. Battery replacement should be at max cost something fifty bucks, especially for budget phones. Otherwise from a financial perspective you might as well buy a new budget phone after those ~4 years (factoring in stuff like update support and new specs as well).
Replaceable charging port is an important one as well I think.
For EV cars I find it somewhat comparable but a replaceable battery for a reasonable price might even more important because of the high investment. I would not necessarily mind that a car battery is not user replaceable except that car brands would abuse this (if not abusing it already).