At the beginning of this year, Fairphone launched code.fairphone.com and began publishing sourcecode for their in-development operating system. Tech-savvy users were able to run this code on their Fairphone 2 devices, but more casual users were kind of left out of the loop. Now the company has put together a version of their Android-based operating system that anyone can download and install.
For those not in the know, Fairphone is a company that is attempting to create socially responsible smartphones. The idea is to create products built entirely by people earning a fair and livable wage. They are careful to avoid any involvement with child labor and never purchase materials from entities that would use the proceeds to fund illegal armies. One of the ways the company aims to stay competitive is by making their devices completely modular. That way, instead of upgrading to a new device every couple of years, Fairphone 2 owners can simply upgrade components once they become outmoded or broken.
The device has a fairly steep price tag of $583 for what are essentially mid-range specs. The 5-inch Full HD LCD display is pretty nice, and it runs Lollipop out of the box. 2GB of RAM power the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset, and for internal storage, you start with 32GB with the option to expand via microSD. It’s not a stunning piece of tech razzle-dazzle, but the point with this handset isn’t to woo with specs. For DIY enthusiasts concerned about the human suffering that goes into creating these wonders of technology, the Fairphone 2 is a match made in heaven. The company estimates that the modular nature of the device means it can last you as long as half a decade.
One of the company’s core values is transparency, so an open operating system is a pretty natural move. If you’re interested in diving into the Fairphone movement, head over to their website and start contributing. Let us know what you think of this open source OS in the comments below, and stay tuned to AA for all coolest news happening in the Android world.