Fairphone is updating its 2015 Fairphone 2 with Android 10, some six years after the device was launched, a level of support for an old device that the company is claiming as a first when it comes to Android smartphones.
Fairphone carved out a niche in smartphones with its eponymous, more sustainably made devices. Its first attempt was in 2013, followed by the midrange Fairphone 2 in 2015, with a modular design that made it easier to repair and upgrade components.
Bringing Android 10 to the device not only beats all Android handset vendors, which typically max out at three years of support, but brings it more in line with Apple, which supports the iPhone for about six years.
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“Our 6-yr-old Fairphone 2 is being upgraded to Android 10,” Fairphone said in an update on Twitter.
“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.”
The Fairphone 2 shipped with 32GB RAM, and a then-solid Snapdragon 801 processor with a decent display. It wasn’t perfect, but it had a replaceable battery and a screen that can be replaced without any tools.
As Ars Technica’s mobile reporter notes, this level of support is unheard of in the Android world, which is led by three years of support from Google and Samsung. Additionally, with the help of Lineage OS contributors, Fairphone still passes Google’s Android Compatibility Test Suite (CTS) and distributes apps through the official Play Store.
Fairphone says the Android 10 beta is available now and should be generally available in early 2022. Fairphone 2 owners who want to test the beta can sign up to Fairphone’s beta program here.
Fairphone is also making Android 11 available to Fairphone 3 and 3+ users for beta.
“We’ve proven that it’s possible to support devices for longer than the industry standard and we’re extremely happy to be setting an industry first with the Fairphone 2 – 7 years of software support,” Fairphone said.