Fairphone is one of the only phone manufacturers out there with a mission for sustainability and ethics. Its Android phones are among the most repairable on the market, and the firm is doing its best to support the hardware as long as possible. As such, it has just released a new Android update to its five-year-old Fairphone 2 — Android 9 Pie.
Normally, we'd mock a company that updates a phone to a hopelessly outdated version of Android (*cough* Motorola *cough*), but with Fairphone, we need more context. The Fairphone 2 launched with Android 5 Lollipop and is pretty much the only Android phone from 2015 to still receive official software updates from its manufacturer. The company has to work with a chipset that's no longer supported or updated by Qualcomm due to its age, the Snapdragon 801. It's additionally worth noting that the phone is making a jump from Android 7.1 to Android 9. Those are crucial hurdles next to no other manufacturer bothers to overcome, but with Fairphone wanting to create a sustainable product (and promising five years of updates), it felt compelled to push the boundaries of what's possible in the Android world.
Fairphone says that the rollout is starting today and will continue until April 18. It's going for a staged release to ensure that it didn't miss any issues during the year-long beta phase the new release went through.
Meanwhile, Apple also supports phones from 2015, but the company builds and designs its own processors, so it has fewer hurdles to overcome. It's also substantially harder to repair its devices by yourself than a Fairphone.