The Fairphone 2 is a smartphone that launched in 2015 and originally shipped with Android 5.1 software. But it was conceived as a modular, repairable phone that was built to last. And the folks at Fairphone planned to offer software updates for at least 3 to 5 years.

They did much better than that, delivering an Android 9 update in 2021 and an Android 10 update a year later. Now Fairphone has announced that it will be ending official software updates for the Fairphone 2 in the coming months. A final Android 10 software and security update is coming in March, 2023.

While 7 years of official support is pretty unusual in the smartphone space, the phone may last even longer thanks to unofficial support from third-party software developers.

Fairphone notes that builds of LineageOS and /e/OS for the Fairphone 2 are still actively supported, which means that users will continue to receive security updates for as longer as developers of those custom ROMs continue to support the phone.

Fairphone will also continue to sell some replacement parts for the Fairphone 2 while supplies last. At the moment, spare batteries are still available for €15, spare display modules sell for €65, and you can pick up a camera module for €40.

Users who may want to stick with the official software can also continue using the latest builds of Android 10 indefinitely. Just keep in mind that since security updates will no longer be offered, you may want to avoid using apps that can access sensitive data in the coming months. Fairphone notes that some apps, such as mobile-banking apps, may eventually cease to function.

You could also theoretically just switch the phone to airplane mode and use it as a camera, alarm clock, media player, or digital photo frame. Or if you’re ready to give up the phone, you can return it to the company for recycling and get €50 in credit that can be used toward the purchase of a Fairphone 4 or other devices.

Fairphone 2 specs
Display5 inches
1920 x 1080 pixels
446 PPI
IPS LCD
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 801
4 x Krait 400 cores @ 2.26 GHz
Adreno 330 graphics
RAM2GB LPDDR3
Storage32GB eMMC 5
microSD card reader (up to 128GB)
WirelessWiFi 5
Bluetooth 4.0 LE
FM Radio
GPS/GLONASS
Dual SIM
2G bands: 850 900 1800 1900
3G bands: 8(900) 2(1900) 1(2100)
4G bands: 3(1800) 7(2600) 20(800)
Cameras12MP (rear)
8MP (front)
Battery2,420 mAh (removable)
Portsmicro USB 2.0 OTG
microSD card reader
dual micro SIM
Dimensions143 x 73 x 11mm
Weight168 grams

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  1. Yet another proof that Fairphone came to solve nothing. Selling overpriced phones with freedom/privacy/ethics as a premium. User replaceable, but still proprietary batteries you can’t get once manufacturing stops. No modularity al all, and hardware tied to software with an artificial expiration date (i.e. still forced e-waste).

    Why on Earth we don’t have yet a Raspberry Pi-like board for mobile devices? I just want to build an repair my phone like I do with my PC, installing the software I want.

    1. Try looking at a Purism 5, then repeating that.
      For a small team, I think what they’ve done is exceptional and overall the FP2 is a success in every metric. Sure, they don’t have a trillion dollars like Apple, or even a decent tens of millions like that of OnePlus/Nothing. The biggest gripe is their lack of QC and hardware issues they’ve had from time to time, availability of handsets, and the lack of replacement parts.

      The thing is both hardware evolves and software does too. The earlier stuff gets obsolete at a faster rate than the latter stuff. That’s because the technology eventually plateaus.

      Software wise; start with Android 1.5, then think of 1.6, 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 updates which were all pretty lacklustre. Then think of Android 4.0.3 which set a new benchmark. We had small iterations to 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4 and got a pretty good new standard with Android 5.1. Then again small iterations with 6.0, 7.0, 8.0, 9.0 with Android10 offering a proper upgrade (Project Mainline for modular updates, new APIs, gestures, etc etc). To be honest, a lot of the upgrades in Android10 were found in Custom Roms and Pro Apps earlier, but its nice to have a standardising.

      Hardware wise; we’ve seen big lithography improvements from 64nm class nodes to; 48nm, 32nm, 24nm, 16nm, 12nm, 8nm. And this has gone hand-in-hand with ARM’s evolution, from their revolutionary ARM11 CPUs to; Cortex-A8, Cortex-A9, Cortex-A17, Cortex-A73, Cortex-A76, and Cortex-A78.

      This all culminates as the base experience of a smartphone. Think of the early days around 2007 with the likes of (simpler) Nokia N95, Blackberry Bold 9000, HTC TouchPro (advanced). Then Motorola Cliq (Q1 2009) which was the natural evolution of those devices, revolutionary. Now compare it to the likes of the (Q4 2011) Samsung NOTE 1 which took that formula and underwent rapid evolution. Now compare that to the likes of the (Q4 2014) Samsung Note 4-Exynos, with fast-paced evolution. Now compare that to the likes of (Q1 2016) ZTE Axon 7, Samsung S10+ (Q1 2019), and the modern (Q4 2022) Samsung xCover Pro 6.

      Now, with that context in mind, we can appreciate FairPhone 2’s success in the market. With the FairPhone 3 having a much better outlook (64bit, Cortex-A73, Android10, etc) which would have been a decent option in 2016 but its quiet lukewarm in 2020. With the FP4 being a letdown for most avid fans, we still should celebrate people attempting to make positive changes, and support them where we can.

  2. This drives me nuts! It really does.

    Yet again Android rendering perfectly serviceable hardware potentially obsolete, when 3rd party software demonstrates that there’s no real reason. :/

    Fairphone ought to have supported other software providers from the start, but they chose not to.

      1. The article itself mentions LineageOS and /e/OS, but iirc UBports have an image for the Fairphone2 too.

        What I’d really like to see is companies starting to back a pure Linux construct, like PostmarketOS. To be fair, Shift – a company with a similar ethos to Fairphone – is beginning to explore that possibility.

        1. You do know that’s because they’re forced to come up with tTHE most optimal trade-off, right?! Do you want THE PERFECT (TM) free (as in free beer) Linux phone? Then you’d have to make so many compromises a long the way (also thanks to Qualcomm and Co. IPing each and every bit) that you pretty surely might end up with an extremely underperforming PinePhone or with a (very expensive) Purism 5 wrt. mass customer crowd PoV. Those are real reasons which you have to consider as well when you’re main goal is overall sustainability like it is for Fairphone. I do not share all of Fairphones decisions but I can see that the’re making a lot of sense. I’m a tech guy. I don’t mind about low-performance and high prices. I mostly only care about freedom of usibility. But the rest of the world just wants a phone that works (out of the box, which is sustainable and for no money). We’re just not there yet. PinePhone, Purism 5, ShiftPhone.. they’re all part of the solution. The more they realize to work together instead of trying to overshadow eachother the sooner we will have a product we’re all gonna love…

          1. Proprietary blobs are the roadblock, in many instances. I think that developers are starting to make some progress though in back-engineering some things.

            And at the end of the day, The Fastest, The Largest whatever, is just marketing bait… We all know really, that the smartphone is mature, and their capabilities far exceed what most people use them for for most of the time. (And again that’s partly down to OS restrictions by design.)

            The dreamer in me hopes that RISC-V heralds a new, more open future… but I’m not holding my breath.

  3. As a previous owner of a Fairphone 2, I can’t really share the enthusiasm. The hardware was shoddy, the speaker broke when it was just out of warranty. As that part seemed to break for a lot of people, the spare parts were always out of stock. The idea that you could replace parts was great. The fact that there were no spares available made this point moot though. A relative of mine also got burned by this. It was a good idea. Execution was poor, though.

    1. Hoi, I too had one of those FP2s which seemed to have some kind of significant manufacturing issue. For some time it was indeed a pain in the ass considering all the circumstances. And I’m sorry to hear that this affacted you permanently. But a lot of people had also no issue at all. I’d say it was a 20 (bad) to 80 (good) chance which is still quite bad but (whatabout) it’s not like other companies (incl. Apple) have perfectly fine products all the time either. I got my FP2 replaced eventually by Fairphone and thanks to them (and the LineageOS team) I can still use it today (currently running LOS18.1 and it’s just great). I consider myself a Fairphone enthusiast, so my point of view is clearly biased but seriously: are there any other better overall alternatives? I mean, you’re right. Fairphone is far from perfect but I do see a very steep improvement rate over the years and compared to others — and they’re the only ones with this immense focus on sustainablilty. They’re a very small company and they’re fighting on so many fronts: fair wages, fair trade, open source hardware, open source software… I own them all (FP1…FP4), as I offer also assistance to quite some other FP owners, I do see that there’s still room for improvement (like hardware/software stability, supporting other Linux-based OS natively and/or true convergence). I did also own different phones by Blackberry, Samsung and Apple.. but they all disappointed me eventually up to the point that I wanted to pursue a completely different approach. Enter Fairphone. I struggled now and then, I was pissed at times but I never looked back.

    1. Agree. I’d like to see more manufacturers offer long support beyond just their super expensive flagship devices. Best chance of that happening is if manufacturers like Fairphone become successful and more widely known.