Wednesday, September 27, 2023
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Ballot: Would you purchase a modular telephone?


Poll: Would you buy a modular phone?

Some of you might remember Project Ara – Google’s attempt to change the way smartphones are made and used. The modular phone idea dates back to the early 2010s, and several smartphone companies have thought about the concept.

What’s the deal here? Long story short, a modular smartphone consists of a frame or a chassis and interchangeable modules for different key areas – camera, storage, chipset, battery, etc.

The idea behind the concept is pretty cool – instead of buying a new phone every 2-3 years, you buy modules and upgrade your existing phone, much like you upgrade a desktop PC with new hardware periodically.

Project Ara was shelved by Google, mainly because of technical challenges and the fact that you need a huge infrastructure and other companies embracing the idea and making third-party modules compatible with Google’s chassis.Motorola did something similar with the Moto Z series, offering modules that were easily connected via magnets and pin connectors to the main body of the phone. The idea wasn’t bad and we did test some of these modules (the pico-projector was sick!) but in the end, they were too expensive and people rarely bought them.

Today we’re dusting off the modular smartphone idea. Would you buy a modular phone and keep it for decades just swapping components? I know I would, in a flash! Given the current (stale) state of modern smartphones, this would be the perfect solution – letting people decide what features they want and need.

Don’t care for a multi-camera system? Then slap on a bigger battery! No 5G in your area? Change the 5G module for more storage! Your phone is getting old and slow? Upgrade the processor! And so on and so forth.

What do you think? Vote in our poll and share your thoughts, concerns, experiences, and hopes in the comments below.

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