Most smartphones out in the market try to dazzle consumers with their vivid display, powerful chipsets, enormous storage capacities and innovative features, but the Dutch-based startup Fairphone is planning on making a unique mark, taking a different approach with its modular smartphone.

In 2013, Fairphone was able to raise about $8.3 million to launch its first ethically sourced smartphones. By "ethically sourced," it means that the Dutch firm stayed away from using materials collected from conflict zones.

"The Fairphone 2 will incorporate and expand upon the initiatives that were started with the first Fairphone, including sourcing conflict-free tin and tantalum from the Democratic Republic of the Congo," Fairphone said (PDF) in a news release.

The Fairphone 2 isn't alone in the modular smartphone scene, though, as Project Ara is in the works as well — for some time now actually. However, it seems that the Dutch startup beat Google to rolling out a consumer-ready modular handset.

The Fairphone 2 has seven essential assembly components, which are the battery, display, main chassis and back cover as well as the receiver, speaker and rear camera modules.

Now, let's get on with the specs and see just what the Fairphone 2 can bring to the table. Out of the box, the smartphone will run a tweaked Android 5.1 Lollipop, not to mention the firm plans on making variants where consumers can choose which OS they want.

"There are alternatives emerging to the dominant operating systems, with Canonical's Ubuntu, Jolla's Sailfish OS, and Mozilla's Firefox OS," the company posted on its blog.

Aside from its noteworthy modular structure, it's a pretty decent midrange smartphone. It houses a Snapdragon 801 SoC, and it's fitted with an 8 MP rear-facing camera and a 5-inch full HD LCD display with Gorilla Glass 3 to boot. It's powered by a 2,420 mAh battery pack along with 2 GB of RAM. It supports dual SIM using micro SIM cards and has an expandable storage using microSD.

What's impressive is the back cover's expansion port, where users can install additional apparatuses such as NFC chips, wireless charging coils and even solar cells.

Every module is held in place by Phillips screws of the same size, so there's no need to remember which screw is where. The modules also have blue circles to indicate where the screws go.

The Fairphone 2 comes with a $580 price tag, and it's designed to last. It looks like Fairphone is swinging things into high gear and leaving Project Ara in the dust, as it's launching in select European countries in December 2015 and will arrive in other countries by 2016.

Hit up the video below to see the Fairphone 2 in action.

Photo: Fairphone | Flickr

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