Fairphone 2 FAQ
Since March 2022, we offer a Fairphone OS version for the Fairphone 2 based on Android 10.
With this Android 10 upgrade, we can continue to support the software of the Fairphone 2 for the foreseeable future. Via Android 10 we can continue to release updates and security fixes. This is to support the longevity of your device.
We recommend upgrading your Fairphone 2 to Android 10. Then, you will have the latest security patches and a smoother experience.
We will release the last software update for the Fairphone 2 in March 2023. This means that the phone will no longer get security updates. Once the security update expires (some time in May 2023) some apps will stop working and we don't recommend connecting the phone to the Internet.
Some custom ROMs might still continue to provide updates with new security patches after our official support has ended. We recommend checking out /e/OS or LineageOS.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What are the technical specifications of Fairphone 2?
- Snapdragon 801, Qualcomm MSM8974AB-AB
- Quad-Core 2.26 GHz Qualcomm
- Qualcomm Adreno 330 GPU 578 MHz, 2 GB LPDDR3
- 2 GB LPDDR3
- 32 GB eMMC5
- SAR10g: 0.65 W/kg (Head); SAR10g: 1.1 W/kg (Body)
- Configuration: Dual-SIM, Dual-Standby (DSDS)
- Network Technology: 2G / 3G / 4G LTE-Advanced
- GSM/GPRS/EDGE: Quad-band: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
- WCDMA: Bands 1 (2100 MHz), 2 (1900 MHz), 8 (900 MHz)
- WLAN: IEEE 802.11 b/g/n/ac, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
- Bluetooth: 4.0 LE and earlier
- GPS / GNSS: GPS, A-GPS, Glonass
- FM Radio
- Display Size: 5 inches Full HD, 1080 × 1920, Pixel Density 446 PPI
- Cover Glass: Gorilla Glass 3 (0.7 mm thick)
- Display Type: LCD TFT/IPS
- 12MP CMOS Sensor with dual flash: Omnivision OV12870 - Back Side Illuminated
- Image sensor size: 1/2.8 inch, Pixel Size: 1.25μm x 1.25μm
- F-number: f/2.2
- Video speed: 30 fps
- 5MP CMOS Sensor: Omnivision OV5670
- Image sensor size: 1/5 inch, Pixel Size 1.12μm x 1.12μm
- F-number: f/2.4
- Speaker: Built-in, Rear-facing
- Headset Jack: 3.5 mm
Interface and Connectors
- USB Port: Micro-B 2.0 with OTG support
- MicroSD Support: SDHC, SDXC, UHS
- Expansion Port: Backside - connectivity to external case, USB 2.0 Device Interface + Power Input
- Ambient Light, Proximity, 3-axis Compass, 3D Accelerometer, 3D Gyroscope
Battery and Power
- Removable Battery Pack: 2420 mAh at 3.8V (9.2 Wh), Lithium-Ion
Dimensions and Weight Slim case phone
- Length: 144.5 mm
- Width: 74.5 mm
- Thickness: 10.6 mm (back of the case to the top of glass)
- Weight: 148 g (phone) + 16 g (external case)
The Fairphone 2 has two SIM ports that each can fit a micro SIM card (3FF)(ID-000 format), sized: 15mm x 12mm x 0.76mm.
Q: How do I upgrade to Android 10?
Read the support article about how to Update to the latest Fairphone OS.
Q: Why should I upgrade?
Software updates are important! The software that runs your phone is never completely finished, it requires continuous maintenance. For example, discovered security vulnerabilities need to be addressed. Android 10 will allow us to continue doing so for the Fairphone 2. Software updates also allow us to fix any issues you might be having with your device. Last but not least, you will be able to enjoy the new features that Android 10 has to offer, like new privacy controls and a system-wide dark theme.
Q: Is doing my upgrade difficult?
No, doing the upgrade is easy!
- Make sure that you make a back up of your personal data first.
- Charge your battery.
- For better results, connect to a stable Wi-Fi network.
- Keep your screen active during download and installation.
Last but not least, the Updater app needs to be on the latest version (1.50.5) before you can receive the upgrade.
Read the support article about how to Update to the latest Fairphone OS.
Q: Help, I haven’t received the push notification to update my Fairphone 2!
We only offer Android 10 to devices that run version 1.50.5 of the Fairphone Updater app. So make sure that your Updater app is up to date.
Q: What do I do when I cannot upgrade?
If you haven’t received the update to your Fairphone Updater app, or the Android 10 upgrade by May 2022, check the following:
- If you are still on Android 5, 6 or 7, do a manual upgrade to Android 10, or do the upgrading in steps (especially when you need to encrypt the phone):
- If you are still running Android 5, 6 or 7, we recommend to upgrade in steps. To find out which version you are running: find your build number (Settings > System > About phone > Build number) and check it in the release notes list.
- 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.
- Then update to the Fairphone OS 7.1.2 version.
- Via the Fairphone Updater app, you can then update your device from Android 7 to Android 9.
- Then, update the Updater app to the latest version (1.50.5) so you can upgrade to Android 10.
- Make sure you have enough storage space (Settings > Storage).
- Contact our Customer Support.
Q: Will the Fairphone 2 get slower after updating to Android 10?
Android itself does not demand more processing power migrating between versions. The apps you use have changed significantly compared to their 2015 counterparts. This can cause some slowdown.
Q: What do I do when I have an issue after the upgrade?
If you encounter an issue with your phone after the upgrade to Android 10, flag it to our developers via the public issue tracker for Android 10 on Fairphone 2. If you can not use your phone at all after the upgrade, contact our Customer Support.
Q: I like the software upgrade, but how about a hardware upgrade?
If you are considering upgrading to a Fairphone 3+ or Fairphone 4, have a look in our online shop. In that case, you can send in your Fairphone 2 for Reuse or Recycling so you can still prolong the life of your device.
Q: What are the advantages of still upgrading to later versions of Android for a device from 2015?
Smartphone longevity is the main advantage for us. Fairphone focuses on creating long-lasting products to save valuable resources and emissions. This is better for people and the planet. By upgrading to later Android versions we can continue to provide software updates for the Fairphone 2. These are necessary to fix issues and provide security updates. This way you can continue to use your device for longer in a safe way.
Q: Why are you still maintaining a 7-year-old phone?
Maybe the question should be: Why isn't everyone else doing the same? But seriously, we just want to show the entire industry that tech can be ethical and sustainable. One relevant example is the fact that the longer you keep your phone, the smaller its environmental footprint. Software plays a huge role in this aspect. We are raising the bar by providing software support for our phones for at least five years. To pull this off, we pushed the boundaries of the Android ecosystem and tackled many technical challenges. With the help of the open source community (especially LineageOS), accompanied by perseverance and commitment, we managed to get the job done.
Q: Android 10 is almost 3 years old. Why not upgrade to Android 11 or 12?
We started working on Android 10 in late 2020. Back then it was the obvious choice. Android 11 had just been released and the open source community was still working on making it available for a range of devices. Frankly, taking matters into our own hands when upgrading a 7 year old device, the odds of passing the hundreds of thousands of tests for GMS approval are already stacked against you. The further you get, the more difficult this process becomes. With Fairphone 2, we're really hitting limitations with regards to video decoding tests, for example. We will not develop Android 11 for Fairphone 2. Android 10 is the last software upgrade we will do for the device.
Q: For how long will Fairphone support Android 10 by providing security updates?
We will continue to provide software updates for as long as Android 10 is still actively supported by Google. We aim to release 3 Android 10 version updates in 2022, after the upgrade.
Q: Why aren't you doing another upgrade after Android 10 for the Fairphone 2? You are doing Android 11 for the Fairphone 3, so why not for Fairphone 2?
It has become increasingly difficult to bring newer Android versions to the outdated Fairphone 2. This is because the hardware in the Fairphone 2 doesn’t meet Google’s requirements for later Android versions. We would have loved to support Fairphone 2 beyond Android 10. We will continue our longevity efforts for our other devices.
Q: How could you complete the Android 10 upgrade faster than the Android 9 upgrade?
This time, we collaborated with the Fairphone community to help build the operating system. We took into account the challenges it experienced when upgrading to Android 9. As a result, the upgrade to Android 10 has been a faster, more streamlined process. We worked with a software developer in India, Bharath Ravi Prakash, who worked as a volunteer open source developer for the project. With his help, we were able to complete the update in 10 months, compared to 18 months for Android 9. We learned a lot from the Android 9 upgrade. Although still complex, Android 10 was more predictable than Android 9.
Q: Why did you skip Android 8?
We went straight to Android 9 to support our goals of longevity, provide our users with long-term software and security updates for the Fairphone 2.
Q: What was the most difficult obstacle to overcome when updating the Fairphone 2 to Android 10?
While developing an Android upgrade for your device, actually passing the countless test suites required to obtain GMS approval is by far the biggest and most important challenge. We're talking about 690,000 plus tests here that all need to be cleared. This becomes even more difficult when your device is as old as the Fairphone 2 and is no longer supported by the chipset vendor. Here's a specific example for you: the 3.4 Linux kernel provided by the chipset vendor is definitely too old to support Android, so we had to backport many changes from higher kernel versions. Some hurdles need working around certifications: the media performance of the 2015 Fairphone 2 is not up to par with modern day devices. This meant we had to request a waiver for a particular case.
Q: Do projects like these help you for Fairphone 3 and Fairphone 4 software maintenance?
Yes, absolutely! Everything we have learned from Fairphone 2 software maintenance we already apply to Fairphone 3 and 4. This way, we can ensure 5 years of software updates for our phones.
Q: What is the difference between developing Android updates versus e.g. updates to my Windows computer?
The major difference is that phone manufacturers always need to adjust Android to run on their devices. The differences in requirements make Android releases always a tailor-made effort. Google has made some efforts to make parts of Android updatable through Google Play. In the end, manufacturers still play a major role in getting updates to your device.
If after reading the article you need more help, contact our Customer Support.