At its Project Ara Developers Conference in Mountain View, Google today announced two very significant advancements regarding Project Ara. The first is the Spiral 2, the first Project Ara phone that will be sold. The Spiral 2 is currently specced lower than most flagships. The base model features a 1280×720 display, light and proximity sensors, dual application processors including a Marvell PXA1928 processor and an NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor, 5-megapixel rear camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G modem with Band 2 antenna, Band 5 antenna, microUSB port, battery, and speaker.
While it may be limited in its current setup, the Spiral 2 is very much a beta device and still lacks the complete firmware to run the hardware. It also takes a hit on battery life, with 20-30 percent less than most smartphones. In its current stage, however, that’s to be expected. It’s also something that Google plans to improve in the future Spiral 3 device, which will support 4G LTE, improve battery life and use an inductive system for contactless data connections between modules.
The Spiral 2 sports 11 working modules at the moment, but Google expects there to be 20-30 by late 2015, including an improved camera and 4G LTE module. The Spiral 2 will be launching in Puerto Rico later this year as it’s a small test market that has also the benefit of being a U.S. territory, allowing Google to work with the FCC on Project Ara before a mass release. Ingram Mobile will work with Google on the logistics while carrier partners will include OpenMobile and Claro.
What do you think about the future of Project Ara?