The Fairphone 2 is a smartphone that shipped with Android 5.1 software when it was first released in 2015. Most phones from that time stopped receiving software updates years ago. But Fairphone has announced that an Android 10 update is now available for the Fairphone 2.
This announcement comes about a half a year after Fairphone released an Android 9 update for the same phone.
Fairphone is a Dutch company with a focus on sustainability and the use of ethically-sourced materials wherever possible. As such, the company has only released a handful of smartphones in the past decade, but Fairphone has a better track record than most larger phone makers when it comes to long-term support.
In addition to making software updates available for older phones, the company also sells spare parts for the Fairphone 2, Fairphone 3, and Fairphone 4 making it possible for users to not only replace a dying battery, or a broken screen, but also things like cameras, speakers, ports, and microphone jacks without spending an arm and a leg.
Fairphone’s most recent phone is the Fairphone 4, which the company promises is meant to last for at least 5 years. And the fact that the company continues to support its older models lends some credibility to that claim.
In addition to releasing Android 10 for the Fairphone 2, this week the company plans to begin beta testing an Android 11 update for the Fairphone 3 and 3+, which were released in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
What’s particularly interesting about the Fairphone 2 software update though, is that it continues to be the only smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor to support an official update to Android 7 or later. Qualcomm never officially supported anything later than Android 6 for that system-on-a-chip, so Fairphone essentially took a page out of the community/custom ROM builder playbook and built its own ROMs for its aging phone… and has continued to do so over the years with official Android 7.1, Android 9, and now Android 10 updates.
Other specs for the Fairphone 2 include a 5 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel display, 2GB of LPDDR3 memory, 32GB of eMMC5 storage, a micro USB port and headphone jack, 8MP primary and 2MP front-facing cameras, a microSDXC card reader, a 2,420 mAh removeable battery, and support for WiFi 5, Bluetooth 4.0 and 4G LTE.
Unfortunately the phone was only sold in Europe and has limited support for US network bands.
Our 6-yr-old Fairphone 2 is being upgraded to Android 10. That’s 7 years of software support! An industry first for an Android device! 🙌 Together with the open source community we built the operating system. Proving it is possible to put sustainability at the heart of tech. 🌿 pic.twitter.com/TuUjJWTi5J
— Fairphone (@Fairphone) November 23, 2021