Keeping your phone longer with a refresh on the inside and out

Originally published at: Keeping your phone longer with a refresh on the inside and out - Fairphone

There’s nothing better than the feeling of a new phone in your hand… except for the feeling of an old familiar phone that you’ve kept and cared for all these years. So, we’re excited to announce that nearly three years after the introduction of the Fairphone 2, we’re not releasing a new model just yet. Instead, we’re aiming to extend the life cycle of the phone as much as we can.

Device longevity relies both in hardware and software. We’re adding new see-through covers to our collection of protective cases. A transparent cover lets your phone do the talking, telling the Fairphone 2 story by highlighting and protecting its unique modular hardware. Device longevity relies on healthy software too: we’re also working hard to update the Fairphone 2’s operating system, so your phone can tell the story of fairness for even longer.

The new transparent case for the Fairphone 2

Translating software updates to hardware longevity


Right now, we’re hard at work to get Android 7.1 “Nougat” into the hands of existing and new Fairphone 2 users this summer. Crucially, it means we’ll be able to keep our users safer for longer: Nougat will enable us to keep providing monthly security updates and patches. Android 7 also brings Doze Mode 2.0, a feature that aims to extend battery life by putting inactive apps on standby. However, it’s smart about keeping fitness and tracker apps going when they really need GPS or WiFi.

At Fairphone, one of our primary goals is device longevity. So for us, it made sense to face the time and resource challenges that this update required head on, and try as much as we could to make it happen. We want to keep your phone working for as long as possible so you don’t need to replace it as often. Secure, up-to-date and useful software is essential to achieving this goal. Releasing software updates for higher versions of Android - further than Android 6 - with the Fairphone 2 chipset is more challenging and success for the work on the release of newer versions is not guaranteed. That’s why, despite the ongoing challenges, we’ve been working hard with a community of Open Source Android developers and external parties to try to offer software updates, and will happily be rolling out Android 7 this summer.

Now, you may be wondering, “why not Android 8, ‘Oreo’?”. Android 8 and 9 are entirely new levels of complexity from Android 7, far more different than 7 was to 6. Therefore, attempting the upgrade to 7 was the best option. This update will be the second major update to the Fairphone 2, but it will also mean that Fairphone is one of the few manufacturers on the market that released an update to Android 7 with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset. Our work on this update will be publicly available and could, in theory, be adapted to the same chipset on other phones.

Safety on the inside, transparency on the outside


So, along with upgrading your Fairphone 2, how about giving it a fresh new look? Back in 2015, when we launched the Fairphone 2, we were sure that allowing our community to take a peek at what is inside their phones was a good way to kickstart a conversation, and a great incentive to dive deeper into how our products are made. The design of our first transparent covers changed eventually to make them more resistant and durable when we first introduced the slim cases, but we didn’t include a transparent option. Now we’re excited to bring back two see-through cases: transparent and black translucent, to show off the Fairphone 2’s modular, made-to-be-opened design. The new protective cases have the same design as the current slim cases, meaning they’re durable and long-lasting.

We hope that these new cases spark an interest in learning more about how your products are made, as well as great conversations about how we can keep having a positive impact. The more people who hear the story of Fairphone, the more we can spread the word about fairer electronics and create real change.


Android 7, now that’s great news! :slight_smile:

On the new cases:

Some first observations exclusively based on the product pictures and descriptions on Fairphone’s website:

  • Both versions come with black buttons
  • Made of polycarbonate like the other slim cases, but apparently no recycled polycarbonate
  • FAIRPHONE lettering on the back apparently in plain white, not metallic
  • “Change is in your hands” slogan on the new battery, shining through the case in the battery area

My wild guess: Recycled polycarbonate would mess with the transparency.


I think this is a great decision that goes well with the spirit of Fairphone. Ultimately, the ideal would be to be able to have the same phone until it totally broke down, after having repaired it and exchanged some modules, and then end its life by recycle parts and components of it. It should be possible to keep it going several years to come.


That’s fantastic news and really so much what Fairphone - to me - stands for! :star_struck:

I share that ideal and I intend to live it as well, even if it - at some point - might mean to no longer receive security updates and/or updates for the apps I am running.
Fortunately with Android 7.1 that time is even further away. :smile:


Yaaay, Android 7 :smiley: I guess it’s not coming in May, is it?


So not before June. Probably later.


That is great news for the Owners of a Fairphone 2 but a bit less good for me… I am currently using a Smartphone from 2014 running Android 4.4 and I feel that I need soon a new phone, as some functions start acting up (spontaneous reboots, mobile internet not working until I reboot, …)
I was hoping that there would be new Hardware on the horizon as well, since I intend to keep my Hardware as long as possible… Since the hardware of the FP2 is outdated, it would be an argument against the purchase of a Fairphone at this time. And as you state in your post an update to Android 8 is an “entirely new levels of complexity from Android 7, far more different than 7 was to 6” I am afraid that such an update is rather unlikely. I feel like the time to buy a Fairphone 2 has passed… I hope that my current device lives long enough to make the switch to a Fairphone 3 or otherwise I will have to find an alternative which is as well designed for a long lifespan…

Keep up the great work…
I hope to see soon a timeline for a FP3

A potential buyer


You could get a second hand FP2 from the #market.


Understandable point of view, but not neccessarily the only one.
I have to admit, that I never took the time to really dig into Android and the differences between all the new versions. Therefore I really don’t know if it’s essential to have Oreo (Android 8).
What I know from my Windows laptops is, that I am still not on Windows 10, as 7 professional is running smooth and - from the experience on my office computer - 10 really failed to convince me.

I have no idea, what I might be missing, that Oreo could offer me. But then …, if I ain’t missing it, it can not be really worth thinking about. :wink:

That’s why I would state, that Android 7 Nougat will be surely doing fine (even 6 does) and as it will be supported longer than Android 6, it’s in fact a reason Fairphone 2 still can be deemed a worthy smartphone in the market.


Right now nothing… But what about in 3, 4 or 5 years…
I am now running Android 4.4 and there are some apps that i can not install or update anymore since they need a newer Android version… so that is an important point for me… Since the FP models can be easily repaired I am planning of using it 5 years and more… depending on the usability in 5 years! I don’t need the fastest processor or the newest mobile or WiFi standards, but I want a device where I can run all the apps that I need and that is partially limited by the final Android version…

I agree that Android 7 is already great for a device from 2015, but how will it look like in 2023?

I think the Fairphone Team is doing a great job in maintaining the FP2 but after 2 or maximum 3 years i belief that a newer model should come out in order to guarantee again a lifespan of at least 5 years from the time of purchase… that is what keeps me from joining the club of FP owners and aswell from advertising it to my family and friends…


Just got back from jogging in the heat … knowing some Fairphoners’ “patience”, I sense the urgent necessity to insert the world “calendar” in front of “summer” in Bas’ blog. :wink:


definitely FairPhone is not playing marketing-bullshit-teasing game :joy:
few announces, small but important improvement.


switch to Android7 is important in terms of compatibility with latest apps and security patches.
Performances improvements is mainly a Google-fakenews :roll_eyes:

my only concerns regarding FP2, it’s his price ! 530€ in mid2018 for such Hardware…:fearful: :dizzy_face: :confounded:
It’s hard to recommend anyone to buy a new one now…sorry :flushed:
FP3 is planned for end-2018…should be ok to wait for those who want to join the community…it worths it :smiley:

if only, FP could develop some solutions to improve FP2 battery life (new OLED screen, lower consumption components, better soft integration, etc…)


Where are you getting that from? :confused:


At least that’s what we can learn from thia article:


That would be great! I hope my current phone lasts that long :wink:

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(scheduled to come in late 2018 - announced a year ago) x (things change + Fairphone factor) = no idea when it really comes out


I think that’s not a valid formula for calculating the release date of FP3. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Awesome news :smiley:, really glad to hear FP are going to try and support Android 7, I thought maybe it wasn’t possible with this chipset.


Yes, I agree it is a lot of money, which can make it hard/impossible for many people to buy.
However, I think there is a valid reason for this. In this case it is us the consumers that pay the price, whereas in other phones it might be a lower price for the consumer, but a higher for workers and people in the production chain as well as the environment, and a rather hefty one sometimes.
Hopefully, this could be reduced if Fairphone gains traction, without increasing the price for people and environment.


More superficial observations … :face_with_monocle:

Judging from the photo of the new case(s) …

… and comparing it with the out of stock (old) battery …
… it seems that both the FAIRHONE lettering on the battery disappeared and the lift here symbol changed on the battery. I would also suspect that “Change is in your hands” is printed on the (new) battery and not into the inside of the new case.