It can be done. Android manufacturers can actually support a phone for a long period of time. fairphone announce The end of life for the Fairphone 2, which will be in March 2023. This phone was released in October 2015, which is almost seven and a half years of updates.
Fairphone is a very small Dutch company that doesn’t have as many resources as Google, Samsung, BBK and other Big-Tech juggernauts, but it has managed to hold on with its support program. The company’s entire goal is sustainability, with easily repairable phones, available parts, and long update promises. the vervone 4 It has a five-year hardware warranty and six years of updates, and the company’s reputation suggests it can provide that. Unfortunately, the phones only ship in the UK and Europe. The Fairphone 2 only promised “three to five years” of updates, and it blew that out of the water.
Updating the Fairphone 2 has been a huge undertaking for Fairphone, mostly because it has been doing just that Without Qualcomm’s help. The Android update process usually has a chain of custody, Google updates the Android source code, the chip vendor takes this code, adds drivers and other binary points to it, and then the phone manufacturer takes the chip vendor’s code and makes it run on a specific device. For Qualcomm, a short support cycle means it sells more chips, so it pulled out of the process pretty quickly, greatly complicating updates for Fairphone.
The Fairphone 2 features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC, a chip that Qualcomm ended support for with Android 6.0. In what may be an Android ecosystem first, that lack of chipset support hasn’t stopped Fairphone, which has teamed up with LineageOS and today ships Android 10 on the 7-year-old device. This is not the newest operating system in the world, but it has passed all Android compatibility tests from Google. I’m sure there are newer hobbyist releases in the Android ROM community, but Fairphone Android 10 lives up to the official release standard, as opposed to the “tell me what doesn’t work” standard of many hobbyist ROM releases.
Fairphone doesn’t say why support ended in March, but if it continues on Android 10 it will have to end support sometime this year. Google only supports security patches for the last four versions of Android, so even Google will shut down Android 10 support soon.
If you want to continue using the Fairphone 2, Fairphone says you do so at your own risk because it will soon be unsafe. Fairphone says it still has a “limited” stock of parts available in its online store, and if you send in your retired phone before the end of March, they’ll give you €50 credit towards a new one.
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