Google’s Project Ara was set to push the world of modular smartphones into a very colorful future, one where no two smartphones would be required to have the same hardware setup, but sadly Google killed that dream!
In Ara’s absence modular devices are still very much a reality, and here are a few of the upcoming modular devices that I am personally looking forward to seeing on store shelves in the near future.
- Modular Smart cases
- Other Modular devices
PuzzlePhone – With Ara now a thing of the past thanks to the awesome folks over at Google, the Puzzlephone which was going to compete head to head with Ara now has the entire battlefield to itself, or at least it seems this way for now. All we need now is for Circular devices to set a record by being the very first company to release a completely modular smartphone (the Fairphone doesn’t count).
Unlike Ara, it has been quite a different story for the PuzzlePhone team, they haven’t gotten as much fans as Ara did, but the team is still bent on releasing their modular device despite being low on funding and having to push back the initial release of the device to a possible 2017 release date.
I personally think now is the perfect time for Circular devices to do the unthinkable and release a modular smartphone. In a competitive smartphone arena where companies are focused on the same boring yearly smartphone releases, the Puzzlephone has an opportunity to become the odd kid in school, and as a result could grab the attention of all the curious onlookers.
Modular Smart cases – In the advent of modular smartphones, a few modular smart cases started to pop up, MODR, Moscase and Nexpaq are among some of the modular smart cases that have gotten some attention, and hopefully we will see some of them hitting the shelves soon.
BLOCKS – The world’s very first modular smartwatch BLOCKS has by far been the most successful modular device to date. BLOCKS had a very successful Kickstarter and is very much gearing up to be released in the upcoming months.
I am personally a fan of the BLOCKS modular smartwatch and I can’t wait to get my hands on the device.
Other Modular Devices – Long before Dave Hakkens dropped the now popular Phonebloks video on YouTube, modularity was a thing, and long after Ara’s death modularity will still be a means by which additional functions/ features are added to a device by physically attaching modules.
I should also mention that there are a few partially modular smartphones that have been released, which all qualify as modular devices:
- Fairphone 2
- LG G5
- Moto Z
I personally disliked some of the above devices for half assing modularity to try and profit from its popularity, but they do deserve a mention in this article.
2016 didn’t become the big year for modular smartphones, instead it turned out to be the year in which Google killed a whole lot of hope that many had in possible getting their hands on one of the most revolutionary devices to date, and they deserve a slap in the face for doing so! But despite Google’s stupidity, modularity still lives on.
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