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Redefining longevity: Android 9 now available for Fairphone 2

Originally published at: https://www.fairphone.com/en/2021/03/25/redefining-longevity-android-9-now-available-for-fairphone-2/

It all started with a spark of inspired optimism: We can change the electronics industry for the better, by becoming a part of it. Setting new standards and reshaping an entire industry was going to take serious, longterm commitment.

This year is a milestone for us, and you, as it marks 5 years of continuous support of the Fairphone 2. It is also one of the few Android smartphones sold in that year (2015), to still receive continued software support. It might not seem like a big deal, but trust us, it is. This is the only smartphone to receive an upgrade to Android 9 and we had to build the operating system without any support from chip-maker Qualcomm.

Out with the old, in with the new?

According to market research firm Kantar Worldpanel users in Europe kept their phones for an average of 2-3 years in 2018. Our ambition is to provide you phones that last a minimum of 5 years. The reason is simple: the longer you keep your phone, the lower its environmental footprint. This constant push for the latest device means that over one billion mobile phones are sold worldwide every year. That also means more discarded phones. While only 20% of these discarded phones are recycled, it’s no surprise that electronic waste (e-waste) has become the world’s fastest-growing waste stream.

We started Fairphone with a mission: to encourage smartphone longevity by disrupting the electronics industry from the inside. We know that fairness is possible, but it will take the broader industry jumping on the bandwagon, taking responsibility and driving as well as demanding change. At Fairphone, we strive to make the most of the materials used in our products. We’re moving closer to a circular economy by using materials from more responsible sources, emphasizing reuse and recycling, and designing our phones to last as long as possible. This birthday signifies our commitment to you and to our supply chain.

Why the Fairphone 2 just works

The FP2 was the first modular phone. It was a revolutionary concept for the electronics sector that hadn’t been done before. However, producing the first modular phone presented new challenges in the supply chain. While the modular design enables users to easily repair their phones with spare parts, thus extending its lifespan, the availability of those parts becomes crucial. In fact, recently we ran out of stock of the bottom modules due to this very issue. Understanding this aspect was key and we had to continuously tweak our process, jumping over hurdles to make sure we had enough spare parts available, even once production of the phone ended.

Aside from spare part challenges, we bumped up against the goliath: software updates. In the past, we had to keep working with chipsets that no longer support the latest software. But against all odds — with the help of so many dedicated community members — we persisted, overcame these challenges and were able to provide FP2 users with software updates. We effectively use a DIY style to keep the FP2 going strong, enabling people to increase their phone’s longevity.

Who’s counting?

To get to where we are today, we had to go through approximately 477,000 Google tests and pass them all in order to get the certification. That’s a huge achievement for us. Not that we were counting. Ok, we were. Wouldn’t you?

So in proper fashion, we are celebrating the 5th birthday of the Fairphone 2 by baking a cake, eating it, and then getting back to work ensuring fairness is present across the electronic, mining, and recycling industries. Not to mention the continued software support for our phones. It’s a big job but somebody has to do it, and we don’t mind being front-runners. As long as the rest of the electronic industry follows along.


The Android 9 roll-out starts today, March 25th, and will continue until April 18th. Since this is such a significant step for us, we want to ensure the update goes smoothly. This staged roll-out helps us monitor the release deployment and react more efficiently, in case of any hiccups.

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No one has to do it, but it’s cheering to think someone cares enough to do it. Don’t give yourself airs and graces that demean you. This is a choice that most people would not undertake.

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Sounds good, what difference will we see as users, ie how does A9 compare to A7 for those of us who don’t follow such things?

Are you saying you are using A7 and are not up to trying the A9 to find out :slight_smile:

The most important thing is, it still get’s security updates, the FP2 with A7 should not be used online since more than a year, because it has unpatched vulnerabilities.

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Great News!!! Fairphone Rulez!

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Will fairphone open OS be updated to Android 9 also ?

Thank you, I didn’t know that.

Yes! We’re just preparing the first beta for Fairphone Open.

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Great News! Congrats!

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Who’s first to get it :interrobang:

Is this going to have an influence on LineageOS 16 as well?

Not sure how divergent the development is, especially regarding the kernel.

I might have found a bug!
After I reboot I accidentally entered my decryption key wrong. Rather than telling me it’s wrong, my phone said something along the lines of “it’s correct, but we can’t decrypt your stuff. You must do a factory reset.” with said reset button. Turning the screen off and on brought me back to the input, but obviously don’t press the reset button! It seems to matter just how wrong I get the key though… with one combination it tells me it’s correct but can’t decrypt, with another mistake it just tells me its wrong.

… Does anyone know where the new bug tracker is? Looks like everything is moved away from Tigra.

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The Fairphone 2 is currently on LineageOS 17.1 (Android 10) for a year now almost to the day, with 18.1 (Android 11) knocking on the door already.

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I will update, I was just wanting to know what to look forward to! I suppose I should stop using it online until the update has occurred

“Owners can also take advantage of Android 9 features such as adaptive battery, predictive app actions and gesture navigation.”

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Great!
But /e/OS like LineageOS are already on Android q for the FP2… Anyway, good news!

So, what do I need to do? The Fairphone Updater says my phone is up-to-date and is using Fairphone OS 19.11.2

It’s the Android that’s been updated, the Fairphone OS is still in the pipeline so just wait a while :slight_smile:

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