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.
The company began beta testing Android 10 for the phone late last year, and the software is now rolling out to the Fairphone 2 via an over-the-air update.
In addition to bringing a more recent build of Google’s software to the phone, the update brings improved Bluetooth LE settings, a new wallpaper, and the February 2022 security patch.
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.
The launch of Android 10 for the phone comes about two years after the company released an Android 9 update for the same phone. And what’s particularly interesting about both that release and the more recent Android 10 update is that the Fairphone 2 is the only smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor to officially support 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.
While the Fairphone 2 has received support for longer than any other Android phone that I’m aware of, Android 10 does unfortunately mark the end of the road for major OS updates for the phone… at least officially. Who knows what custom ROM makers might do in the years to come?
In addition to releasing Android 10 for the Fairphone 2, the company has also been beta testing an Android 11 update for the Fairphone 3 and 3+, which were released in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
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.
This article was originally published November 23, 2021 and most recently updated March 10, 2022.
This is just too cool. Good job Fairphone, it’s too bad we can’t get these phones here in the US. If we were I would have gotten the Fairphone 4 instead of Pixel 5.
That is so awesome!
(Now I feel guilty for wanting a Pixel…)
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