The story of modular smartphones goes beyond Project Ara. In fact, knowing how long Google X Projects take to become commercially available, we might get a modular device sooner, in the form of the Puzzlephone.
The problem with our smartphones (or rather with us) nowadays is they they get morally obsolete sooner than becoming unable to run the latest apps and games. With that in mind, it would really be a pity (not to mention a waste of money and a way of showing the middle finger to Mother Nature) to throw away a perfectly nice phone simply because you’re not happy anymore with how long the battery lasts or how fast the CPU is. Enter Puzzlephone, a modular smartphone that refers to its components as body parts, probably in order to establish a better rapport with its customers.
Coming from Finland (as a matter of fact, from Nokia’s hometown), Puzzlephone won’t sport as many modules as Project Ara, since the manufacturers have figured out that some components could be packed together. Besides, if a high quality display and a nice pair of speakers are provided from the very beginning, these could be part of the smartphone’s framework, which in this case is called the Spine.
The Heart includes the battery and some of the electronics (such as sensors), while the brain packs the camera and the smartphone’s CPU (and most probably the GPU and RAM, as well). New sensors are developed on a regular basis, and the life of batteries decreases in time, so there’s no denying that the Heart should be changed every three years or so. The Brain could use a refresh every now and then, as well, as apps get greedier with the device’s resources with each passing day. Both of these modules slide into place quite easily, so swapping them will definitely not be rocket science.
The following video, which was posted by Puzzlephone back in February, explains why a modular smartphone is so much better than a conventional one:
Puzzlephone promises to have a prototype ready be the end of the year, so peel your eyes open for this modular smartphone. Also, the company claims it does its best to launch the device sometime next year, and I bet the wait will be worth it!