Fairphone 3 LifestyleSource: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

What you need to know

  • The five-year-old Fairphone 2 is receiving an update to Android 9.
  • It was launched with Android 5 out of the box and has received two major OS upgrades so far.
  • Fairphone has also confirmed that an update to Android 11 will be rolled out to the Fairphone 3 and 3+ in H2 2021.

The Fairphone 2, which was launched five years ago as the first-ever modular smartphone, is now getting updated to Android 9. The phone shipped with Android 5 out of the box and was later upgraded to Android 6 and Android 7.1.

Just like the Android 7.1 update for the phone, the latest Android 9 update has been developed with Qualcomm support, but comes with Google certification. The update will be rolled out in stages, so it might take several weeks for all Fairphone 2 devices to receive the Android 9 upgrade.

Eva Gouwens, Fairphone CEO, said in a statement:

To get Google certification for Android 9 for Fairphone 2 just as we hit five years of support for the smartphone is a huge achievement for Fairphone and unprecedented in the electronics industry. In order to get certification, we had to pass approximately 477,000 Google tests. The project truly makes us a unique force for change in the mobile phone industry because this kind of engineering challenge isn't undertaken by other players in the sector. We want to show the industry that this kind of thing is possible, that a smartphone doesn't have to be discarded after 2-3 years, we can prolong it's lifespan.

Needless to say, Fairphone's commitment to software support is extremely impressive. Most Android OEMs support their devices only for up to two years at the maximum. Samsung is the only smartphone maker that promises up to four years of updates for its best Android phones and tablets.

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Fairphone has also announced plans to roll out the Android 11 update for the Fairphone 3 and Fairphone 3+ without Qualcomm support sometime in the second half of the year. Qualcomm support for the two phones is set to end in July. The company will also soon publish its full software roadmap for its latest phones, and is promising software support until at least 2024. Aside from software support, it will also ensure that spare parts and accessories for the phones' continue to be sold at least until August 2024.