I´ve looked for the information but haven´t found it. Maybe someone can point me in the right direction, or maybe FP can answer.
What lifetime can I expect for the FP2? I mean, how long will software updates be available?
I currently own a FP1 that is obsolete because it has become quite slow and “crashy”. I want to replace it with something that will last as long as possible. But I´d like an explicit anouncement from the manufacturer of how long they plan to support the phone (1 year, 3 years, 5 years?). I need something more than an expression of intentions.
Is there an explicit promise of support for the FP2?
No there is not as Fairphone is dependent on companies like Google for support but with the FP2 designed by Fairphone itself -rather than an existing Chinese phone- it is much easier for Fairphone to continue support and like with the FP1 they will probably continue supporting it until that is no longer feasible for whatever reason. For the FP1 a major factor was availability of spare parts and that is much less of an issue for the FP2.
Google is not entirely clear about the length of support for older Android versions but Android 4.4 released four years ago still received security updates this year, and the possibility of upgrading the FP2 beyond Android 6 has not been definitely ruled out yet, so the phone will be supported for the foreseeable future at least.
Also please note this is a community forum. For an official reply you should contact support.
No and I don’t think any phone company, or any electronics company for that matter ever made any such promise - apart from the standard 2 year hardware warranty (excluding batteries).
Fairphone is the only phone company I know of that actively works in the direction of longer product cycles instead of planned obsolescence - but a promise would be impossible to give.
Also the hardware of the FP2 didn’t really change much since it came out, so when looking at when the hardware specs will be hopelessly outdated the life expectancy will be drastically reduced if you buy it now as opposed to when it came out.
Software wise it’s similar. Theres a good chance that official security updates by Fairphone will simply stop at a certain point in time, but some #software:alternative-oses will probably be supported much longer.
So in short: You can never know how long any phone will last, but generally Fairphone is probably your best bet for a long lasting smartphone.
If you think you can stretch out the life of your FP1 a bit longer, then maybe the FP3 will be an option for you.
I own my FP2 now for two years and want to use it as long as possible.
That means from the longest possible lifetime of this device two years are already over now.
One reason why FP1 support stopped is because the parts are not longer available. If this happens there is no choice.
I used a Sony Xperia active for 4 years, until the ROM and RAM became to small for the use of a modern operating system (512MB+512 MB).
No I spent a lot of money to get a device which I can use for a long time. For me that means 6 - 8 years or more. But remember, 2 years are already over!
Times are changing. If we wait another two years, nobody will pay cash in the supermarket and perhaps you won’t find a device usefull without NFC?
People like me who bought the device two years ago
believed in the possibilities of harware updates because of the modular design. Now the limits of the system are slowly becoming visible, even the original software ends with Android 6.1 (apart from Lineage, which in itself works well).
I’m still a big fan of the Fairphone project, but more about the aspect of fair production than longevity.
Actually, Google does this for the Pixel 2 phones: They come with the following update guarantee: 3 years Android updates (starting with first day there sold in the Google Store) and 3 years of security updates starting with availability in the store or 18 months starting with end of availability in the store, whichever is longer.
Of course, note that Google is the only actor that can make such promises: big company whose income doesn’t depend directly on that product, with influence over chips & parts manufacturers and, sure, they develop Android themselves. Quite a difference, IMHO.
How longer, a bit or slightly more?
Nobody knows. FP3 hasn’t been officially announced yet.
Thanks everyone for your replies.
In the electronics industry there are deifinately examples of specialized
products that have clear life expectancies, with MS for example anouncing
years in advance before stopping support for older OS.
And the big bad apple currently has the longest life expectancy for
smartphones, even taking into account that it uses planned obsolescense.
So I don’t think it’s an unreasonable expectation to have a clear
commitment from the phone manufacturer (at least for security patches)
especially if they don’t have a long track record.
If I get it right:
Like with MS and Apple, the updates for an android phone are primarily decided by the provider of the os, which for android is Google. And if they decide to no longer support a specific hardware, there is only so much a company like Fairphone can do; unfortunately.
And if I am not wrong, the SoC manufacturer can make it difficult as well.
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