Google’s Project Ara is a really interesting concept; a smartphone that never really becomes obsolete. Working on that concept, a new contender has emerged in the form of Circular Devices, a Finnish company readying their own modular smartphone, the PuzzlePhone. Visually, it’s a bit more approachable than Google’s Ara, and a bit simpler overall. Rather than make each component swappable, PuzzlePhone has two major elements you can replace: the brain, and the heart. It’s a neat concept, and may end up the next step in modular smartphones.
The heart and brain slip into the spine, which is where your screen is housed. The brain holds the “main electronics”, while the heart has “secondary electronics” and battery.
Circular Devices doesn’t say what’s considered “main” or “secondary”, though you can probably figure most of that out on your own. From the rendered images, the camera is kept in the “brain”.
Circular Devices says they are planning to ship in 2015 — an ambitious timeframe considering they’ve seemingly got no actual functional device and are woodworking their way through the project.
Still, the idea of cobbling a few components together could be a more approachable means of swappable components than the individual mix-and-match we currently see happening. Check out the two videos below for a better idea of what PuzzlePhone is all about.