Fairphone beats the entire Android ecosystem with six years of support

By | November 29, 2021

Enlarge / The Fairphone 2 and its many modules. (credit: Fairphone)

Fairphone continues to push boundaries and lead the Android ecosystem when it comes to system updates. The company announced it is shipping Android 10 for the Fairphone 2, a six-year-old device that originally shipped with Android 5.

Six years of major updates is unheard of in the Android market. Most Android companies charge iPhone-level prices but don’t offer iPhone-level support, which is six years of major updates. The best you can get from more mainstream Android OEMs like Google and Samsung are three years of major OS updates. Fairphone is a dramatically smaller company than its competition, but it is wiping the floor with them when it comes to updates.

For Fairphone, shipping Android updates for this long has meant going outside the normal update support structure. The Fairphone 2 uses a Snapdragon 801 SoC, and Qualcomm only supported that chip up to Android 6. Without Qualcomm’s help, Fairphone had to enlist the help of the Lineage OS Android community to get the phone updated. The difference between Fairphone and an aftermarket ROM is that Fairphone is still passing all of Google’s CTS tests and officially licensing the Play Store, which is a huge undertaking.

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