Somewhere within Google’s intestines lies Project Ara, a development circle focused on bringing to bear the modular “switch-this-thing-for-a-better-one” smartphone. But we have no idea where that’s going. Meantime, Fairphone has taken the crowdfunding route to getting its own modular, if only singular phones to the masses. Now, it seems that the team behind PuzzlePhone have taken a liking to this proverb about having and eating cake.
The Finnish developers from Circular Devices have put up their efforts at a modular Android phone on crowdfunding site Indiegogo.
The device doesn’t look to be as flexible as a Project Ara (perhaps a pipe dream as time wears on). It consolidates the partitioning into a “brain” for high-value hardware, a “spine” that holds the display and a “heart” which houses the battery and other electronics. The modules need to be held in place by screws.
The focus comes to opening source materials for developers to create their own modules and recycling old modules to reduce waste. PuzzlePhone claims a 10-year life cycle, after all.
Within the first 21 hours, it has received about $34,000 of its $250,000 goal. A lot of the big early bird perks are still up for grabs — including prototype units and final edition products. But they start at $333 + shipping, with no small-claims perks like pens or shirts out (yet).
In addition to Indiegogo, PuzzlePhone is receiving funding from The Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation and a grant from the EU’s Horizon 2020 program.
If funding is fulfilled, PuzzlePhone hopes to get software builds going through the first half of next year before mass production and unit delivery starting in the fall.
We don’t have any word of who will be making new hearts, brains and spines just yet, but here’s what will be on the first set of devices:
|Display size||5 inches|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Pixel density||441 ppi|
|Processor type||64-bit Octa-core|
|Storage||16GB for prototype / 32GB for early bird / 64GB limited edition|
|Camera||12-megapixel rear / 5-megapixel front|
|Cellular||2G/3G/4G/LTE Cat4/6 (depending on markets)|
|USB||Type-C with 3.0/2.0 standard|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth LE 4.2|
|Sensors||Accelerometer / gyroscope / proximity / ambient light|
|Build||Black plastic for prototype / gunmetal logo plate on early bird / copper details on limited edition|
|Dimensions||137 x 69 x 8.9 mm / 170g|