Android 9 for Fairphone 2 - FAQ

Since March 2021, we offer a Fairphone OS version for the Fairphone 2 based on Android 9 Pie.

With this Android 9 upgrade, we can continue to support the software of the Fairphone 2 for the foreseeable future as Google no longer supports Android 7. With Android 9 we can continue to release updates and security fixes and so support the longevity of your device.


We recommend to upgrade your Fairphone 2 to Android 9 so you will have the latest security patches and a smoother experience.

For an overview about Android 9 for Fairphone 2, please also consult the Android 9 Introduction, watch our video on the journey to Android 9, or our blog post.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Q: When do I get the Update?

A: We are providing the Android 9 in batches - each with a limited amount of users, starting on March 25th, 2021. We expect that all devices still in use shall have received the notification for the update in May, 2021. This controlled roll-out enables us to quickly react to possible bugs and issues that arise in the field.

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Q: I did not get the update notification yet. How can I update now?
A: You will have to wait until it is your turn. When that time has come, you will receive a notification on your device and you can follow the instructions given there. A manual update to Android 9 is only available after we have invited all Fairphone 2 users to update.

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Q: How can I update?
A: Once you get a notification on your device, you can follow the instructions given there. You will need the Fairphone Updater app. If you have not downloaded it yet, make sure you are running Android 6 at least, and go to the Google Play store to install the Fairphone Updater app on your device. Via the Fairphone Updater app, you can update your device from Android 7 to Android 9 once you are invited.

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Q: My device runs on Android 5/Android 6. How can I get Android 9?
A: First, please update to the Android 6 Fairphone OS version 17.04.8 of 25 April, 2017 so you are able to download the Fairphone Updater app. Download the Fairphone Updater app from the Google Play store. Via the Fairphone Updater app, please update first to Android 7. From there, you can update to Android 9 once you have been invited.

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Q: Who is in which batch?
A: We do not know which devices are in which batch to receive the update. We have requested Google to randomise the controlled roll-out, so we will have the greatest chance to discover bugs and issues.

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Q: I have an issue that shows up after I have updated my Fairphone 2 to Android 9, what do I do?

A: Please use our Public Bug Tracker to report any issues you may encounter.  This way, you can find out if there is already a workaround for your issue, or to be able to provide the necessary information to our developers.

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Q: I can not use my phone after I have updated my Fairphone 2 to Android 9, what do I do?

A: Please contact our Customer Support team so they can help you out.

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Q: Will Android 9 slow the Fairphone 2 down?

A: Every new Android version demands a bit more from the hardware, and the apps you install demand more and more from both software and hardware as well. However, we believe that the impact on the end user experience will not be high. Do keep in mind that the first day after a big update, the device might be a bit slow as it adjusts all software to the new situation.

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Q: How is it possible that Fairphone is providing an Android 9 upgrade without the
support of QualComm/snapdragon (chipset vendor)?

A: Being the small company that we are, we are heavily dependent on the support
of the chipset vendor. We don't have the budget to make the chipset vendor
extend support beyond their regular chipset lifecycle. We also don't
have the capacity to start making our own chips (like Samsung). So, because we are
committed to extending the lifespan of the Fairphone 2, we had to depend on our
own/our partners engineering skills and the work done by the open source
community.

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Q: How often/for how long will security upgrades be released for FP2

A: We want to provide support as long as possible to support our goal of
longevity. Upgrading the Fairphone 2 to Android 9 gives us the opportunity to
keep offering support and security updates for a longer period of time.

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Q: Why are you providing this upgrade for a 5 year old phone?

A: Fairphone’s ambition is to make phones that last as long as possible. An
essential part of a device’s longevity is connected to the continued support of
both hardware and software (including security support). Fairphone’s goal is to
continue to support the phone as long as possible is part of its innovative
approach to consumer electronics.

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Q: How long will you keep supporting the FP2 in terms of software/hardware?

A: We want to keep providing support as long as possible to support our goal of
longevity. Upgrading the Fairphone 2 to Android 9 will give us the opportunity to keep
offering support and security updates for a longer period of time.

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Q: Why is Android 7 for the Fairphone 2 not sufficient?

A: By providing another Android upgrade we can continue to support the software of the Fairphone 2 by releasing updates and security fixes. Google will no longer support Android 7.

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Q: How come you skipped Android 8?

A: We wanted to update to Android 9 so that we can ensure that we can support our
goals of longevity by providing our users with long-term software and security
updates for the FP2.

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Q: Why Android 9, it's already old!

A: The last Android version officially supported by the chipset vendor of the chipset
in the Fairphone 2 was Android 6. Upgrading to later Android versions without
chipset vendor support is challenging, and it is not common practice in the
industry. With every unsupported new Android version it gets increasingly difficult
to comply with the requirements for Google certification. However, we have done it
before with Android 7. Android 9 is a good compromise as it is closer to that last
version we developed ourselves and it can help to extend the end of Fairphone 2's life. Also, Android 9
was already available for Fairphone 2 through the open source community (e.g.
LineageOS), so we had a good reference there.

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Q: When is Android 10 coming?

A: Android 9 will be the final Android version for the Fairphone 2. We do not plan to
upgrade the Fairphone 2 to Android 10 and beyond.

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Q: Will there be a Fairphone Open (open source code) version an open source code release of Android 9?

A: Yes, we are working on it.

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Q: Why do you not join the Android One program?

A: The Android One program was not available for the Fairphone 2 at launch, nor
is it possible to switch to it at a later stage.