Modular smartphones are a thing, and there have been several successful and unsuccessful projects droning in the market. Here are some of the modular smartphones that made it into the news.
Smartphone reviewers hailed LG G5 for its full metal casing and durability. The modular features of this phone received a mixed reception, mainly because modules cannot be hot-swapped. As of now, there are only two additional modules for LG G5- Cam Plus and Hi-Fi Plus. The former is a camera grip with a physical shutter button that emulates a real camera. Hi-Fi Plus, on the other hand, is a small speaker that amplifies music files on the phone.
As the name suggests this phone can be assembled and disassembled like a puzzle. The developing company emphasized on its long-lasting quality since a worn out or damaged module can be changed. The phone is made up of three parts- the Brain, Spine, and the Heart. The Brain contains the camera, CPU, and GPU. The Spine houses a high-resolution display and connects the battery-containing Heart to the Brain. In case any of the components become obsolete or damaged, they can easily be replaced. Puzzlephone is yet to be released in the smartphone market.
Moto Z happens to be the best modular smartphone in my opinion, especially because it runs Android. A wide range of modules is available that can be connected to the smartphone, like the Moto Insta-share Projector which can project videos and photos on a wall. You can also attach the Moto Stereo Speaker for clear and loud music. My favorite is the Polaroid Insta-Share Printer, where you can click and print a Polaroid picture anytime, anywhere.
There are a few more examples of modular phones that created a lot of buzz in the smartphone market. Google started working on Project Ara but had to shelve it in 2016 to concentrate on other projects. Fairphone 2 is a partly-modular smartphone which gives you the ease and the right to repair it yourself if any of the components stop working.
To me, modules instead of full-fledged phones sounds like a better idea and I hope smartphone companies start paying attention to the modular approach.