Modular (and modular-like) phones you should know about
In the ever-evolving world of smartphones, there’s a growing trend for customization and adaptability that’s taking center stage – modular phones. These innovative devices allow users to swap out and upgrade components such as cameras, batteries, and even processors, giving them the ability to tailor their phone to their specific needs. In this article, we’ll introduce you to some of the leading modular and modular-like phones on the market today.
1. Google Project Ara
Project Ara was Google’s ambitious attempt to create the perfect modular phone. While the project was ultimately shelved in 2016, it undoubtedly paved the way for other manufacturers to follow suit. Project Ara aimed to provide users with a truly customizable experience, letting them choose from a wide array of hardware modules to build the ideal smartphone.
2. Motorola Moto Mods
Motorola has taken a slightly different approach with Moto Mods for their Moto Z series smartphones. Instead of offering fully customizable options, they provide a range of modules that seamlessly attach to the back of your device, enhancing its functionality. Modules include a projector, extra battery life, speakers, and more – all snapping onto your Moto Z smartphone effortlessly.
3. Fairphone 3+
The Fairphone 3+ is an environmentally conscious and ethically sourced modular smartphone available in Europe. Designed with repairability in mind, it enables easy component replacement and upgrades when needed. Its transparent supply chain places emphasis on sustainable materials while ensuring fair labor practices for those involved in production.
4. Essential Phone PH-1
The Essential Phone by Andy Rubin, one of Android’s original creators, may not be entirely modular but comes equipped with a future-proof connector that supports multiple accessories over time. Initially released with a 360-degree camera mod attachment, Essential Phone set the stage for potential expansion into other add-on modules.
5. ShiftPhone 5me
German manufacturer Shift has developed the ShiftPhone 5me as an environmentally friendly and upgradeable smartphone. Though not as modular as others, it still allows users to swap components such as batteries and displays when needed. The company encourages device repairability and recycling, highlighting its commitment to preserving resources.
6. LG G5 (discontinued)
Though not in production anymore, the LG G5 deserves mention for its pioneering attempt at incorporating modularity into the mainstream market. Its bottom slide-out section allowed users to swap batteries or add other modules like a camera grip with extended battery life or a Hi-Fi DAC audio module.
While fully modular smartphones may not have made it big in the mainstream market yet, there’s undoubtedly a demand for customizable phones that cater to diverse needs. Each of these products represents unique approaches to modularity in smartphones, and their continued evolution indicates exciting possibilities in this space. Keep an eye on these innovative companies as they continue to push the boundaries of smartphone customization and usability.