Update (January 12, 11:13 am ET): The Fairphone 2 will continue to receive software support from /e/, a LineageOS fork, for at least another year. In a tweet, the service confirmed that /e/OS support for the seven-year-old phone may continue as long as users demand it.
What you need to know
- Fairphone has announced that the Fairphone 2 will receive its last update in March.
- The seven-year-old Android phone will continue to work beyond that time, but bugs and other issues won't be fixed in the future.
- Fairphone is offering a €50 store credit if you return your old unit through its recycle program.
The Fairphone 2 has had a good run over the past seven years, receiving software support and security patches from a Dutch company that prides itself on making sustainable and ethical phones. But all good stories must come to an end, and this phone's is no exception.
Fairphone announced today that the Fairphone 2 is set to receive its final software update in March. The phone, which still runs Android 10 and is powered by Qualcomm's dated Snapdragon 801 chipset, will continue to function as normal. Some spare parts, except the bottom module, will also continue to be available to purchase for as long as supplies last and active users demand it.
However, after March 2023, the Fairphone 2 will start to show signs of aging for a smartphone, such as the inability to fix bugs as they appear. Fairphone says it will be unable to patch vulnerabilities once the device has reached the end of its life cycle. You'd be wise then to "avoid using apps that access sensitive data after May 2023," the company advised in a blog post.
In addition, Fairphone cautions against installing security-critical apps, such as banking apps, to avoid security compromises. Anyway, this sort of app won't run on the Fairphone 2 a few years after the final update because it will "view the device as out of date," according to the company.
Nonetheless, Fairphone 2 owners will be able to continue using their phone, if they don't mind turning on airplane mode to keep it from catching malware once online. You're in luck if you're a fan of custom ROM like LineageOS, as Fairphone says alternative operating systems will remain supported. And if you're willing to recycle your device, the company is offering a €50 store voucher via its Reuse & Recylcing Program. You only need to return the phone by March 31.
It is worth noting that seven years' worth of software support far exceeded Fairphone's initial promise of rolling out updates for up to five years. Hopefully, the Fairphone 4, one of the best sustainable phones that launched in 2021, will get the same treatment.
The Fairphone 4 does not have the best specs or a distinctive design. However, it does provide a few unique benefits that no other phone manufacturer can match, such as a five-year warranty and long support life.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.