Skip to main content

Shiftphone in the test: Sustainable mobile phone with removable battery

Shiftphone in the test: Sustainable mobile phone with removable battery

When it comes to sustainable smartphones, you always stumble across the manufacturer Fairphone. Similar to the Dutch brand, the German manufacturer Shift wants to set standards in terms of sustainability and fairness in smartphones. In our xiaomist test, you can find out whether the Shift6mq is really any good.

The manufacturer Shift is based in the small town of Falkenberg in Hesse. Shift is thus pursuing a similar goal as the Dutch manufacturer Fairphone, which is a well-known name in sustainable smartphones. We took a closer look at the Shift6mq and will show you whether the manufacturer's high-end device is worth it.

Shift6mq: test conclusion

xiaomist rating: 6.7/10

With the Shift6mq you get a smartphone where sustainability is noticeable - be it in terms of packaging, the smartphone itself or the production chain. Despite the rather simple design, it also convinces with small, loving details . The smartphone also has a lot of power, which means it works quickly.

However, the high-end device from Shift is inferior to other high-end smartphones from well-known manufacturers in many respects, be it in terms of the display, the camera or the sound quality . As a result, I caught myself questioning my expectations of a smartphone several times during the test. With the Shift6mq you support a sustainable idea, but you have to make compromises.

However, if that doesn't matter, but rather that the smartphone should only master everyday functions and was produced fairly, the Shiftphone is a good choice. Although the price is very high at over 700 euros, you are investing in something good.

Advantages:

Sustainability in packaging and device Simple but loving design Fast processor Many slots

Disadvantage:

Mediocre display Low bass sound Poor camera quality Slow battery

Packaging: Unpack with a clear conscience

As soon as the Shiftphone arrives, you can see at first glance that the manufacturers care about sustainability. You get a small, narrow and uncoated cardboard box , just printed with the Shift logo. Upon opening the box, one is greeted by Shift's motto, which translates to "We do as much good as possible - but do as little harm as possible."

In the box itself you will only find what you really need: the smartphone, right in the protective case and provided with a display film, so that packaging is not necessary. You also get a USB-C charging cable without a power adapter – it is assumed that buyers already have a power adapter. By doing without this, the carton can also be made smaller, which not only saves resources, but also reduces CO2 emissions during transport. And since the Shift6mq is a smartphone that you can open and disassemble yourself for repairs, a Torx screwdriver is also included.

The fact that the scope of delivery is reduced in this way is standard for more and more manufacturers. For example, well-known brands such as Samsung and Apple make sure to keep the packaging small, avoid unnecessary foils and no longer include a power supply unit.

Not more than necessary: ​​Shift completely dispenses with plastic covers when packaging the Shift6mq (Image: xiaomist).

You will also find some information sheets in the box, including information on the company philosophy: Shift stands for rethinking and change in terms of sustainability, fairness and environmental protection and wants to reflect this in its own products. You will also find an information sheet about Shift's partners: the fair search engine Ecosia and WeTell, a start-up that offers sustainable mobile phone tariffs. Finally, there is the deposit certificate, which you must not lose. If you want to part with your Shiftphone at some point, you need both the certificate and the original box to get the 22 euro deposit back. This allows the manufacturer to recycle both the box and the cell phone.

The first impression of the Shiftphone is convincing. The fact that the content was designed in such a minimalistic way, without having to do without anything, underlines how the company is already breaking new ground at this point and wants to bring sustainability and fairness closer to the buyers and think holistically to do so.

What does the term "sustainability" actually mean? In our xiaomist article we explain it to you:

The Shiftphone: Sustainability you can touch

Compact but heavy

Now we come to the smartphone: The Shiftphone looks unspectacular. However, if you take a closer look, you will find a warning on the bumper : "Smartphones can be time wasters. There is no greater gift for you today than the next 24 hours. Use them wisely. People are more important than machines." A reminder to users of how time-consuming this little everyday companion can be. The weight is also noticeable: At 206 grams, the Shiftphone is relatively heavy, but thanks to the bumper it fits comfortably and securely in the hand.

The bumper itself is made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). When asked, Shift stated that the material was chosen because it was robust and at the same time well suited for recycling. On the other hand, the decision was made to use recyclable polycarbonate, i.e. plastic, for the material for the smartphone. Utopia emphasizes: "Like all conventional plastics, polycarbonate is also obtained from petroleum. In addition to the fact that crude oil is a finite resource, its extraction is extremely problematic from an ecological point of view." "Extremely problematic" here means problems ranging from environmental pollution to the extinction of species. However, when I asked, Shift stated that the polycarbonate used already consists in part of recycled plastics and is also resistant. If you open the back flap, you will notice its elasticity - so don't be afraid of opening it frequently!

You have to get used to the upper position of the power button at first (picture: xiaomist).

With a display diagonal of 6 inches, the Shiftphone is a compact smartphone with a 16 MP front camera installed on top. All areas of the smartphone can be reached very well with one hand. The speakers and the USB-C port are located on the underside. While the left side is empty, the volume rocker and the standby button are on the right. The latter is unusually located above the volume button, which was confusing for the first few days of use.

On the top you will find a jack connection . That's right, unlike the Fairphone 4, which we have already presented to you, the Shiftphone does not do without the common headphone output. On the back you'll find a dual camera with flash, which I'll get to later, and underneath it the fingerprint sensor, which hasn't let me down so far.

A look inside

The back of the Shiftphone can be opened - something I've missed on smartphones for a long time. If you remove the back, you will immediately see the large battery with the Shift logo next to the camera and the fingerprint sensor. If you take it out, you can insert a microSD card to expand the internal memory of 128 GB. There are also two slots for SIM cards - having so many slots available speaks for the Shiftphone, as you don't see it that often anymore.

The battery is pretty tight in there, so I just used a plastic card to pry it out. Good to know: The battery also serves as a resistor to the SIM card - if you remove the battery, the SIM card also jumps out. Finally, you need the Torx screwdriver to remove the 14 small screws. Once that's done, you can either run your fingernails or the proven plastic card along the edge to carefully remove the display.

While the Fairphone 4 (right) draws attention to itself with its many colors, the #Lovephone lettering on the Shift6mq catches the eye. The name comes from the Shift community (Image: xiaomist).

So if the camera, the fingerprint sensor or the display have to be changed, it does n't involve much effort for you. And it's just plain fun to take apart a smartphone too - even if it's not certified waterproof thanks to repairability.

Since we are looking at the battery anyway: Shift has opted for a capacity of 3,850 mAh for this. With other devices, you are used to capacities from 4,500 mAh. If I use the cell phone for about 2-3 hours a day, I can get by with one battery charge for almost a day and a half - not very long, but sufficient. Although the manufacturer draws attention to the quick charge function, it takes over 2 hours to charge. Of course, if you charge the smartphone overnight, it makes no difference. What is also noticeable is that when the cell phone is plugged into the charger, it heats up quickly, especially when you are using it.

Does a battery actually always have to be fully charged and discharged? In our video we clear up various myths about rechargeable batteries:

Conscious setup of the smartphone

The Shift6mq can be set up via Google services, so you can easily and quickly transfer your data with an existing Google account. In addition to the Play Store and a folder with other Google apps, only the contacts, settings, music player, gallery and camera are lined up in a menu bar on the home screen. No games or other apps. The lower control panel is already preset with the three back, home and overview buttons, so that the smartphone can be operated quickly and easily. Also, you only have one pre-installed background image available.

The desktop of the smartphone is therefore very minimalistic . Everything you need, be it Instagram, Spotify and Co. can be installed. Personally, I like this very much because it makes the smartphone look very tidy and I am encouraged to think more about which other apps I want to put on my desktop.

Not only the display, but also the background image of the Shift6mq has a very minimalist design (Image: xiaomist).

The Shift6mq still has Android 10 pre-installed, an update to Android 12 is in the works according to the manufacturer. However, if you are looking for an alternative, you can use the ShiftOS developed by the manufacturer without Google services or operating systems from the custom ROM communities (such as LineageOS or Ubuntu Touch), which can be downloaded for free. Shift does not restrict its users, but emphasizes when asked that security updates for the Shiftphone should be available for as long as possible.

The keyboard is the Google keyboard , which means that you have to get used to the fact that the space is not automatically placed after a period. However, double-clicking on the space at the end of the sentence can help.

Performance in theory and in practice

Strong processor, weak display

Although Shift draws attention to the fact that the smartphone quickly becomes a time waster with the Shiftphone, I still looked at whether the smartphone could score in terms of its performance. But before I go into that , a few words about the inner workings: A Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 clocks as the SoC (system-on-a-chip) in the Shift6mq. This is not the latest processor from Snapdragon, but it will Apps open quickly and a PDF file over 130 pages is downloaded and opened in a few seconds thanks to the 8 GB of RAM. The transmission of images via Bluetooth is also quick.

On the Shift6mq you will find the warning that a smartphone can quickly become a time waster (Image: xiaomist).

Despite the quickly executed commands, the AMOLED display shows slight input delays, and the display only has 60 Hz. It's not annoying, but it's noticeable. Although the Shift6mq has an FHD+ resolution (2160x1080 pixels), individual gradations are visible in dark and bright colors. If you scroll through Instagram, you will notice that the display of the photos deteriorates even further if the photos are not of good quality. On the other hand, the display is easy to read in bright sunshine, but gets a slight blue tint from different viewing angles - you can see that clearly in the above picture of the power button.

Small anomaly: If you watch Netflix, the Shiftphone needs some time to show an image with a higher bit rate and therefore sharper. Likewise, photos on Instagram are sometimes resharpened after a moment and animations in mobile phone games are sometimes slightly distorted. You don't get a gaming smartphone with the Shiftphone. It doesn't want to be that, but you can still expect more from a high-end smartphone.

No music miracle

Let's talk about the speakers: The Shiftphone doesn't set any accents here. If you listen to music, the tones seem rather harsh . Bass-heavy sounds in particular sound hollow and the smartphone levels out loud and quiet rather than highs and lows. In short: the sound lacks volume here.

Looking for good Bluetooth headphones? Then we have some xiaomist recommendations for you here:

This is also particularly evident in telephone calls . My best friend's actually beautiful voice rattled out of the smartphone with a metallic tone, even worse with the loudspeaker switched on. It is also noticeable that the smartphone is not particularly loud. The maximum volume is reached quite quickly without it echoing through the apartment, which will probably please the neighbors. Although I was worried at first whether the alarm would wake me up anyway, the volume is pleasant and sufficient.

When playing music, the Shift6mq isn't quite convincing (picture: xiaomist).

To my surprise, the Shiftphone also offers a large number of different ring tones . You scroll through a very long list and you will definitely find what you are looking for.

Disappointing camera

A dual camera was installed on the back, the main lens of which comes with 16 MP and the effect sensor, which according to the manufacturer works with depth of field, bokeh and more, with 24 MP. When I tested the camera, only the bottom lens was used for both standard and macro shots.

But now let's get to the pictures: In order to get a better comparison, I took pictures with the Shiftphone and the Fairphone. The image quality is quite similar on both smartphones, although you should be prepared for some weaknesses with both. If you look at the lower standard shots, you can see a clear image noise, especially in the branches.

With the Shift6mq, you have to reckon with loss of detail in standard recordings (Image: xiaomist).Although the Fairphone turns the contrast knob, there are also clear blurs here (picture: xiaomist).

In the zoom, the Shiftphone cuts a better figure compared to the Fairphone - even without an optical image stabilizer, which ensures that recordings are not as blurred, they are still clearly recognizable. On the other hand, the depth sensor disappointed me. While the object to be focused on is emphasized, the surroundings don't appear blurry, but rather smeared - the same applies to the Fairphone.

The Shiftphone cannot convince with close-ups (picture: xiaomist).Close-ups with the Fairphone 4 look similar (Image: xiaomist).

It's also not very fun to take pictures with the front camera. Indoors, the lighting conditions have to be really good in order to get a chic selfie, otherwise the image noise will increase again here as well. But even here the Shiftphone is on par with the Fairphone.

If the lighting conditions are not ideal, the image quality of the Shift6mq suffers (Image: xiaomist).

The Shift6mq can not convince with a high camera quality. But if you only take pictures with a smartphone anyway to share a picture with your best friend on WhatsApp from time to time, the Shiftphone is sufficient. In good lighting conditions, the images are quite usable.

A good feeling, but is that enough?

With all the strengths and weaknesses of the Shiftphone , I noticed during the test that I kept questioning my own expectations of a smartphone: I could live with a speaker with weak bass, even with the rather short battery life. But do I want to do without a good cell phone camera? And what is really important to me in a smartphone when sustainability is the priority?

Of course, the main thing that speaks for the Shift6mq is that it is a sustainable smartphone. In their impact report, the Shift founders Carsten and Samuel reveal what the supply and production chain behind their products looks like and that a lot has already been achieved in terms of sustainability and fairness, but there is still a long way to go before Shift . The attention to detail, be it the warning that smartphones are time wasters or the #lovephone inside the Shift6mq, gives it character because of its otherwise simple design.

With the Shift6mq, Shift wants to make the world a little better (Image: xiaomist).

All in all, it just feels good to use the smartphone as there are a lot of positives behind it. Nevertheless, I neither want to advise you to buy it nor advise you against it . Because with the Shift6mq you inevitably have to make compromises and decide for yourself whether it's worth it for yourself or not.

Finally, a few words about the price: At over 700 euros, the Shiftphone is significantly more expensive than the Fairphone 4 (579 euros for Fairphone). Behind the high price is the complex production and that Shift is and wants to remain free of investors. If you can wait up to 2 months for your Shift6mq, you get a discount of around 50 euros. The smartphone itself is only available in black. However, if that is too boring for you, there are bumpers (9 euros at Shift) and protective covers made of olive leather (33 euros at Shift) and apple leather (29 euros at Shift) in different colors.

Ratings and technical data

xiaomist test rating in detail: Shift6mq category rating (max. 10) sustainability 9 workmanship, feel and design 7 display 6 cameras 4 software and performance 7 operation 7 telephony and audio 4 memory 9 battery and everyday life 7 total 6.7 specifications: Shift6mq operating system Android 10 (Android 12 in process), Custom ROM support Display 6 inch FHD+ display / AMOLED / 2160 x 1080 / 60 Hz Processor Snapdragon 845 RAM 8 GB Internal memory 128 GB (expandable) Camera 16 MP front camera / 16 MP main camera / 24 MP effect sensor Battery 3,850 mAh (wired) Special features NFC, fingerprint sensor, jack

Comments

Popular Questions This Week

How to change the font in MIUI and thus further customize your Xiaomi: so you can change the type, color and size of the letters of MIUI

Among the multiple options that MIUI offers us we find the possibility of changing the source of our Xiaomi . This option will not only allow us to change the font , but also change the font color and size . For this it is necessary to make use of some Asian region, be it India, Hong Kong or any other. In addition, it should be noted that this adjustment that allows us to change the source is only available for MIUI 9 , MIUI 10 and MIUI 11 , so if we have a Xiaomi Mi A2 or Xiaomi Mi A3 we will not be able to do it. How to change the font in MIUI To change the font in MIUI we must perform the following steps: Go to Settings> Additional settings> Region Next we select India or Hong Kong as a region. Go to the Themes application, download the font that we like the most from the new lower option that will appear with hundreds of fonts and then apply it. After applying it, it will be necessary to restart our Xiaomi mobile. Once done , we will have installed the ne

What is VoLTE and how can you activate it on your Xiaomi

In recent years, phone calls have evolved to achieve great sound quality. So much so that today we can find technologies such as VoLTE allowing us to make voice calls in high definition on our Xiaomi. Beyond the classic GSM networks, movistar, vodafone and other operators have integrated this technology, which in turn derives from the advantages of Internet access. Thanks to 4G or LTE networks, VoLTE allows us to make not only high-definition calls, but also to improve consumption and add other services . What is VoLTE and what are its advantages after activating it on a Xiaomi In detail, VoLTE is a technology capable of transmitting voice communications over the Internet . For this, whether we have a Redmi Note 8 Pro, a Xiaomi Mi A2 or any other smartphone from the firm, our voice will be encoded from analog to digital allowing its transmission in the form of packets through the network. With this, as we have already said, after activating VoLTE we will achieve higher sou

Problems with Android Auto and your Xiaomi? So you can fix it

Unfortunately Android Auto continues to present certain problems on some Xiaomi . Errors such as error 16 that prevent our smartphone from correctly linking to this Google vehicle system. Still, these bugs are largely solvable. And it is that, in most cases the impossibility of using Android Auto through our Xiaomi is given by the dual applications themselves. In view of this and taking as a source this interesting article from Mi Community , below we will explain how to solve two of the most common errors that we usually find when linking or connecting our Xiaomi to a car with Android Auto. Fix Android Auto error on Xiaomi devices One of the main errors of the type « An error has occurred » that we usually find when connecting Android Auto to our Xiaomi is related to Google Play Services . In itself, this error shows the message « It seems that Google Play Services does not work at the moment «, making it impossible to connect Android Auto to our Xiaomi. To solve it we j

If your Xiaomi disconnects only from the WiFi it may be because of that MIUI setting

One of the most common problems in Xiaomi smartphones is usually related to the WiFi connection and its automatic disconnection . A quite annoying problem, which in most cases is usually caused by a bad MIUI configuration . If you have a Xiaomi, Redmi or POCO and you notice that sometimes your smartphone disconnects only from the WiFi without having taken any action, do not miss this article where we tell you how to solve it in most cases. Disconnection of WiFi on your Xiaomi, how to solve it Although it is true that the problem may be caused by some other failure, in most cases the spontaneous disconnection of the WiFi connection is caused by a bad MIUI configuration, specifically, its automatic connection to the networks with better signal . By having this option activated on our smartphone, if the WiFi signal drops at any time, it will automatically disconnect to use the data connection . To deactivate it enough to do the following steps: Go to Settings> WiFi> Wi-Fi

Does your Xiaomi charge slowly or intermittently? So you can fix it

Does your Xiaomi charge very slowly or intermittently? This error is usually very common when our cable is in poor condition, we use a low-quality charger or even when the USB or USB Type-C port of your Xiaomi is dirty or obstructed. With a view to this, below we will explain the main steps or solutions to take if your Xiaomi charges slowly , if the charge is intermittent or if in the worst case, your mobile does not detect the USB that is connected to the socket electric. 1. Clean the USB port Although it may sound simple, in most cases slow charging problems are usually caused by a piece of paper or a speck of dust that obstructs the pins of the USB port . Taking into account the nature of this connector, it is normal that after repeated use dirt accumulates inside. A dirty USB C port is usually the main cause of slow or intermittent charging. To solve this charging problem and clean the USB C port of your Xiaomi, it is recommended to blow lightly inside the port itself.

How to exit the FASTBOOT mode of your Xiaomi if you have entered accidentally

Although, the fastboot mode of Xiaomi phones with MIUI allows us to solve bugs or change ROMs, it is also common to enter without wanting to. If this has been your case, you most likely want to get out of Xiaomi's fastboot without spoiling anything. In general, leaving this mode that includes all Xiaomi, Redmi and POCO with MIUI is extremely simple. Even so, on certain occasions, exiting fastboot mode is more complex , either because Recovery starts or because our smartphone does not work correctly. In view of this, below we are going to explain how to exit the fastbook mode of your Xiaomi if you have entered without wanting to . In addition, if the conventional mode does not work, we will also give you other tips to exit this mode without causing any damage at the software level. How to exit Xiaomi fastboot If we have accidentally entered the Xiaomi fastboot , to exit this way we will only have to perform the following steps: Press and hold the power button for about 10

So you can check the battery status of your Xiaomi smartphone and how many cycles you have performed

Today, our smartphone has become one of the most important tools in our day to day. That is why the duration of its battery and the state of it is very important if we want to be able to use it with total peace of mind and in a continuous way. In view of this, MIUI includes a secret menu that allows us to verify the state or health of the battery of our Xiaomi smartphone and also check the cycles that we have performed . Let's not forget that each cycle represents a full battery charge from 0% to 100% Since lithium batteries degrade with the passage of time , use and recharges that we have made, knowing these two data will give us a vision of the general state of your state and with it knowing if it has worsened considerably with the passage of weather. How to check the battery status and cycles performed on our Xiaomi smartphone To access this hidden menu in MIUI and check the battery status of our Xiaomi smartphone we will only have to perform the following steps:

Improve and amplify the volume of your Xiaomi and / or headphones with these simple adjustments

With the evolution of technology and the arrival of content on demand, many of us spend much of the day with our headphones on, playing music or watching series and movies. That is why many of you have asked us how to increase the volume of the headphones in Xiaomi smartphones or even how to improve the sound quality in Xiaomi AirDots or Redmi AirDots S wireless headphones. How to improve the sound and increase the volume of the headphones in MIUI of Xiaomi If what we want is to increase or amplify the volume of our headphones on a Xiaomi smartphone with MIUI we must perform the following steps: Go to Settings app> Region We will change our region to Andorra, India or any other country outside the EU. With this adjustment we will be able to "skip" the European restrictions that limit the sound volume, obtaining greater amplification , both in headphones, and through the speaker itself. Headphones with cable and jack connector Xiaomi Mi Hybrid Pro HD. In add

How to calibrate the proximity sensor of your Xiaomi

The proximity sensor forms one of the fundamental parts of a smartphone. Whether it is in a Xiaomi Mi A3 , a Redmi Note 8 Pro or any other smartphone from the firm, this allows the screen to turn off when we are making a voice call. In addition, if the proximity sensor is correctly calibrated, it will allow us to listen to WhatsApp voice messages through the terminal's speaker . The same happens with the rest of messaging applications, since this sensor is in charge of detecting that we have our Xiaomi stuck to our ears. Of course, the proximity sensor fulfills a highly important functionality such as that our Xiaomi does not turn on accidentally if we have it stored in our pocket . Calibrating the sensor correctly will make the system itself automatically detect that it is stored in our pocket, bag, backpack, etc. How to calibrate the proximity sensor of your Xiaomi, Redmi or POCO If what we want is to calibrate the proximity sensor of a Xiaomi mobile device, whether i

How to convert your Xiaomi microSD card into internal memory

The digital age has brought with it the need for ample storage on our smartphone . This forces us to always have free space on our Xiaomi, especially with regard to internal storage , which we can also obtain through a microSD card . Converting the SD card into internal memory allows us to expand the possibilities of our smartphone. If this is good and of quality , we can store applications and other system files , truly expanding the storage of our Xiaomi. Still, by default MIUI does not allow us to convert a microSD card into internal storage . Although this option is only available in certain versions, the vast majority of Xiaomi devices lack this option. YOU MAY BE INTERESTED: How to configure your Xiaomi so that the photographs are saved directly in the microSD Fortunately, we can activate the conversion of the microSD into internal memory through an application that we have already seen before. Thanks to Activity Launcher and as it happened with the MIUI 12 Super Wallpap