Fairphone 2 from 2015 now receiving official update to Android 9 Pie
Fairphone has been producing Android phones since 2013, with a focus on repairability and lower environmental impact. The company dedicated itself to supporting its devices for a long as possible, and now the Fairphone 2 is receiving a major software update more than five years after it was first released.
“This year is a milestone for us, and you,” Fairphone said in a blog post, “as it marks 5 years of continuous support of the Fairphone 2. It is also one of the few Android smartphones sold in that year (2015), to still receive continued software support. It might not seem like a big deal, but trust us, it is. This is the only smartphone to receive an upgrade to Android 9 and we had to build the operating system without any support from chip-maker Qualcomm.”
The Fairphone 2 shipped with Android 5 Lollipop, but the company hit a snag a year later when Qualcomm refused to update its drivers for the Snapdragon 801 (the chipset used by the FP2, among many other phones) to work with Android 7.0 Nougat. Fairphone pushed on, and the FP2 eventually received a Nougat update in 2018 with no help from Qualcomm. A beta release for Android 9 Pie arrived in June of last year, and now the completed update is starting to roll out.
Fairphone says updating the FP2 to Pie was a challenge, especially given that the update had to pass “approximately 477,000 Google tests” to be certified for use with the Play Store — something that custom ROMs don’t have to worry about. The blog post mentions that Fairphone “effectively [uses] a DIY style to keep the FP2 going strong, enabling people to increase their phone’s longevity.”
Fairphone currently sells two phones, the FP3 and FP3+, both with a Snapdragon 632 chipset, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage (plus microSD support), and a 3,060mAh battery. The plus model offers higher-resolution cameras and is built with 40% post-consumer recycled plastics.