Remember the Fairphone? It was one of the less eccentric attempts at a modular smartphone that focuses more on replacing integral components rather than some inessential addons. Unfortunately, the last Fairphone sold was the Fairphone 2 back in 2015 and we barely heard anything from in since its first modular camera launch last year. Now the company is making headlines once more by pushing an Android 7.0 Nougat update to the smartphone, making it the first and so far only phone running on a Snapdragon 801 to get the not so latest Android update.
Android 7 Nougat was launched way back in 2016 and, by all intents and purposes, the Fairphone 2 should have gotten the update already. It almost seemed like the smartphone would stop at Android 6 Marshmallow, which it actually only got last year. That would, however, foil the company’s promise of a long-lasting smartphone.
Making the update available is easier said than done, though. The Fairphone 2 itself is already unconventional as far as Android phones go because of its replaceable components. Add to the fact that it’s using a very old mobile chipset, you can guess how the difficult the testing process could be. There’s not even an assurance, either from Google or especially from Qualcomm, that the latest Android versions will work on that old a hardware.
So, to be fair, Fairphone 2’s accomplishment in this matter is no small matter. That it even got Google’s (presumably official) approval via Google Mobile Services is even more impressive. All new Fairphone 2 units sold will also be running Android 7 Nougat out of the box so users won’t have to upgrade them. The question now is whether Fairphone plans on making new ones or if this update has practically made a Fairphone 3 unnecessary or even irrelevant