Mobile By Dec. 1, 2014 11:31 am
Google’s Project Ara has competition in the form of a PuzzlePhone | Mobile | Geek.com

The conversation surrounding modular computing in mobile devices is a complicated one. Most of the market is deeply invested in making the thinnest, most powerful machine they can sell for under $800, and that environment doesn’t lend itself well to being able to hot-swap your camera on the fly or being able to add a sensor when you have the need. Still, it’s hard to watch what is happening with Google’s Project Ara prototypes and be impressed. To make things more interesting, there’s now a new player in this arena with modular computing aspirations whose approach is a great deal less complicated.

Instead of a backplate filled with removable options like we’ve seen through Project Ara, the Finland-based PuzzlePhone makes it so there are only three pieces. Much like the Ara Endo, the largest piece is the display and a basic collection of sensors. On the back of the phone you have a battery pack that slides in, which includes your choice of extra sensors, and a secondary module that contains your choice of processor and camera. This configuration is extended into three different size containers, but the basic idea is the same across all three. The end result is far fewer parts for users to build their own phone with, but it also encourages a scenario where users pay for the exact experience they want in a smartphone.

There’s no mention of release window or how far beyond these very stylish mockups PuzzlePhone is, but the smaller overall footprint would likely make it much easier for these phones to hit the market. The design we’re seeing on the PuzzlePhone website is nice enough to appreciate, but it’d be interesting to see how thick or functional the end result is.

This is certainly less complicated than Google’s efforts in the space, but with no information about distribution or release plans all we can do for now is sit and watch to see how viable the handset it.

Now read: Google’s Project Ara will support hot-swappable modules and run Android L

Google’s Project Ara has competition in the form of a PuzzlePhone | Mobile | Geek.com

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