You’ll be excused if you missed the original announcement of the PuzzlePhone concept in December 2014, as back then, everybody still hoped Google’s ambitious Project Ara would materialize by the end of this year.
That’s unfortunately no longer the plan, which is why contenders like the Fairphone 2 are starting to amass more and more customer interest. The same goes for the PuzzlePhone, morphed from abstract notion to palpable pre-release prototype, and ready at last to seek crowdfunding on Indiegogo.
The capital-collecting campaign will kick off next Tuesday, November 3, but alas, the Finland-based startup behind the modular Android device can’t pledge to earlier deliveries than Q3 2016, even for Indiegogo supporters.
Circular Devices Oy says the PuzzlePhone’s rollout could well slip to next year’s final fiscal quarter, and there’s an extra reason you should hurry and reserve your place near the front of the queue. The first 250 copies shall cost €299 ($330), a surprisingly palatable price that will then get hiked to €449 ($500), and eventually, €599 ($660) on full retail.
Before screaming vaporware, you should note the modular execution is cleaner and simpler here than the strategies adopted by Google or Fairphone, with just three easily swappable component blocks. You have your handheld’s “brain”, consisting of essential parts like the CPU, GPU, RAM, memory, and cameras, the “spine”, where you can replace the “high-res” display if it breaks, and lastly, the “heart”, aka battery.
Not the “truly” modular smartphone you were hoping for? It’ll have to do for now, and at least until the PuzzlePhone debuts on Indiegogo, you need to trust Circular Devices will put high-end stuff inside the three-parter. That’s right, the specifications are all up in the air.