The idea that Android smartphones can’t be updated long after their supposed “shelf life” is one that persists. However, not for sustainable smartphone brand Fairphone, as the firm is pushing the Android Pie update to the Fairphone 2.
Sure, Android Pie is over two years old at this stage, but given that the Fairphone 2 is now five years old itself, this is a fantastic show of support for their product. For those unaware, Fairphone makes smartphones that are easier to repair and teardown, as well as offering longer support — both hardware and software — than traditional brands.
The aim is to make tech more sustainable, in an era of non-removable parts or repair costs that almost dwarf the pricing of a new device, this approach is highly commendable. For five years, the firm has supported the Fairphone 2. It launched back in 2015 with Android 5 Lollipop pre-installed and fairly impressive internals for the time period.
Qualcomm actually refused to update drivers for the Snapdragon 801 chipset, meaning that many devices released with the chip were unable to get updated to Android 7.0 Nougat. Given that roadblock, it’s incredibly impressive that the Fairphone 2 is even able to run Android 9 Pie.
It shipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset, 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM, and 32GB of onboard storage. There is a 5-inch FHD+ TFT display, and even a 12-megapixel rear camera. The 2,420mAh battery was about right for the release period, but you can replace the Fairphone 2’s internal cell with ease.
The Android Pie update was confirmed as rolling out in a dedicated blog post, but it wasn’t without issue or holdup. Fairphone claims that getting the Fairphone 2 updated to Pie took “approximately 477,000 Google tests” so that it could be certified to access the Google Play Store with the Android Pie update. It’s worth noting that when running a custom ROM, you simply don’t need to think about this kind of thing.
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