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SOFTWARE LONGEVITY

A key ingredient to long-lasting smartphones

Software and Hardware:

Equal partners for longevity

  • THINK LONG-TERM
  • REGULAR UPDATES
  • OPEN-SOURCE COMMUNITY
  • EXTENDING THE JOURNEY

THINK LONG-TERM

When it comes to longer-lasting phones, our repairable design often gets all the glory. But software is just as important in keeping our phones working well for the long term. Behind the scenes, the Fairphone software team is constantly focused on ensuring great functionality—now and well into the future.

REGULAR UPDATES

Our software team works round the clock to ensure bug fixes, security patches and other incremental improvements to your software experience in tandem with the latest Android releases. All of this to ensure your Fairphone experience is stable, secure and up-to-date always.

OPEN-SOURCE COMMUNITY

We are major believers in the power of open-source over here at Fairphone. We strongly believe that by publishing as much source code as we legally can, we can build trust with the community, support the software long after the phone is launched, and put users in control. Because if you can’t open it, you don’t own it.

EXTENDING THE JOURNEY

Your hardware is only as good as your software. If manufacturers truly believed in device longevity, they would ensure longer software support windows for their devices. With the Fairphone 5, we became the first to offer guaranteed software support for at least eight years, with five major Android updates. And a five-year warranty to boot.

Meet our
longevity
champs

Our software team makes it possible to support Fairphone devices up to 5 years longer then all other manufacturers. It is their hard work behind the scenes, day in and day out, that helps us actively extend device longevity. They are always looking for ways to change the status quo for good. Remember, longer device lifespans equals reduced electronic waste in the long run. Here’s resident software engineer, Karsten Tausche, explaining how we kept the Fairphone 2 going so long, software-wise.

How do we ensure updates happen?

Source builds from AOSP

We rely on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) for the latest OS builds. This comes not only from Google, but also from other hardware suppliers, companies and communities, as it’s an open source project. So everyone can also get involved!

Adapt software for Fairphone

We mostly do this alone, in conjunction with our partners and customers, but we’re also very active in lobbying for how other hardware suppliers can support us more. This also happens on an annual basis with every upgrade we do.

Approvals and quality controls

Our tailored software undergoes extensive testing. We need to comply with several different quality checks for our software to pass.

Repeat software adaptation and approvals for each update

1. Google approval

Compliance tests ensure that the Android ecosystem is consistent, and apps work as they should.

2. Internal quality approval

We test internally, with our own development partners, with users and our community.

3. Partner and network approval

We ensure the phone works well for calling and network features.

Our best real-world example.

The Fairphone 2’s complete product cycle perfectly illustrates our approach.

7 years

In 2022, the Fairphone 2 received an update to Android 10. At the time, it was unheard of for an Android manufacturer to still be updating a handset six years after its original release.

5 years above average

It was a lofty goal. In 2022, the Fairphone 2 was the only phone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset that was still receiving active software support. Every other contemporary device with a similar chipset had reached their end-of-life five whole years ago.

480.000 tests

That’s the amount of tests our software team had to run to clear Android 10 on the Fairphone 2. Not only did they run all the tests, but they made sure the Fairphone 2 passed every one of them as well.

Keeping up to date

Fairphone 5

May 2024
Fairphone OS A.157

An issue that was causing issues with connecting to certain PEAP protected Wi-Fi networks has been solved. 

APR 2024
​Fairphone OS A.154

Issues with third-party access for microphone, the calendar app icon, and unresponsive settings for guests have been resolved.

MAR 2024
​Fairphone OS A.144

A security patch level updated.

View all Fairphone 5 updates

Fairphone 4

JUN 2024
Fairphone OS C.0119

Lock screen clock glitch has been resolved. Wallpaper settings are now searchable through the Settings search bar.

Apr 2024
Fairphone OS C.0112

Issues with screen brightness, display network name, battery capacity and unresponsive settings menu has been resolved.

FEB 2024
Fairphone OS C.101

Massive camera software update implemented with faster shot-taking, smoother stabilization and better low-light imaging.

View all Fairphone 4 updates

Fairphone 3

FEB 2024
Fairphone OS 025.0

Updated security patch level.

DEC 2023
Fairphone OS 023.1

Issues with video recording and panorama mode were resolved. Miracast support added again.

OCT 2023
Fairphone OS 022.1

Issues related to ringtone, SIM card unlock, sound recording, and network selection were resolved

View all Fairphone 3 updates

Want to know more?

Keeping the Fairphone 4 relevant

We completely transformed the Fairphone 4 camera software, two years after its debut.

Read more
What is device longevity?

Choosing device longevity is a stand against the environmental impact of our consumption habits

Read more
The Fairphone 2 Experiment

The Fairphone 2 has far surpassed our initial hopes to offer three to five years of software support.

Read more
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