Dec 01 AT 10:16 PM Alex Wagner 7 Comments

Puzzlephone is a modular Android smartphone that’s set to launch in 2015


Project Ara has been in the spotlight for well over a year now thanks to its modules that allow users to swap in new parts to adapt their phone for certain situations and greatly extend the life of the core of the device. Now another company has surfaced with its own take on the modular phone concept.

Finnish startup Circular Devices has introduced what its calls “Puzzlephone.” The handset has three different main parts that you’ll be able to swap. The Brain holds the main electronics of the device, including the camera; the Spine is home to the display, speakers and microphones; and the Heart holds the battery of the phone.

Puzzlephone will run a modified version of Android, though Circular Devices says that the device will eventually support other mobile OSes like Firefox OS, Sailfish and Windows Phone. It’s expected that Puzzlephone will launch in the second half of 2015 with a price similar to that of other mid-range smartphones.

While Project Ara and Puzzlephone both feature modules that let you to swap in new parts, allowing you to put off buying a totally new phone, they’re executed slightly differently. Project Ara is all about customizability, letting you pop in all kinds of individual parts, while Puzzlephone groups many pieces together in the Brain, Spine and Heart. That may make it slightly less customizable, but it could be less confusing for mainstream consumers as well.

Are you interested in owning a modular phone?

Via: Phonebloks

Source: Puzzlephone

Editorial Director of News and Content for PhoneDog Media. Arsenal, beer, video games. Can be followed on Twitter at @alw.

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  • Bart

    So far, the designs we’ve seen seem to indicate that as an inherent shortcoming of the design the phones will have to be thicker. That doesn’t seem to be a plausible solution for something that is “new & next generation.” Unless made to be no thicker than current phones, I think they will become the albatross of the phones when they are released.

    • thel0nerang3r

      By making phones modular, you have add additional connectors and housing for the pieces. I don’t think there is a way around it.

      • Brandon Harris

        There’s a way around it. They’ll find it, eventually.

    • Dirty Budha

      I see what you’re saying but I’m not sure it’s of huge concern to most. Eventually the body would slim down, as it has with the onslaught of smart phones. Of course, we won’t know until this concept is released into the wild and the public gets to experience it.

    • AvatarZ

      These phones will be thicker – but when we’re talking about modern phones which for many are almost too thin I don’t think its a concern. A few MM fatter isn’t going to be a death kneel.

  • Andy_jr

    For me, the Project Ara approach is more appealling.

    For some ordinary users, who want to focus the strengths of the phone to their needs, this might be enough. But I suspect there won’t be enough configurability to make it worthwhile, with only three subsystems (e.g. you can’t upgrade the camera without upgrading the CPU).

    Hopefully Project Ara (or something similar) becomes popular enough that it gets critical mass in the marketplace.

  • underseaglider

    Wow! It seems 2015 has a lots that’s in store for us. Electronic gadget will still reign in the coming years.