Back when modular gadgets were considered by some the tech industry’s next big thing, a small social enterprise company called Fairphone incredibly beat giant Google to market, not to mention LG or Motorola.
But the world’s “first ethical, modular smartphone” could never break into the mainstream, selling and very slowly shipping 40,000 units by May 2016 before ending what felt like a literal 15 minutes of fame.
While this is probably too little, too late, Android 6.0 Marshmallow will “soon be available” for the Fairphone 2, aiming to deliver on the promise of keeping the handheld “useful for as long as possible.” Ideally, more than the “average smartphone lifespan of two years”, although the Fairphone 2 only saw daylight in late 2015 running Android 5.1 Lollipop, and a 7.0 Nougat update seems almost impossible to pull off by the end of 2017. Or ever, for that matter.
Still, at least the super-easy-to-repair device isn’t entirely left behind software-wise just because it wasn’t extremely successful commercially. Besides, we’re reminded today Marshmallow goodies aren’t that bad, especially compared to Lollipops, including important security, battery, multitasking and storage enhancements.
“Longtime” Fairphone owners should also notice after upgrading “in the coming weeks” that many proprietary Android tweaks aren’t needed anymore, with a closer to stock look and feel in tow now that Google improves “clunky or missing functionality” from previous OS versions.