Circular Devices is on track to launch one of the first modular smartphones. The team has been showing off concepts for the upcoming phone for much of 2015, and now the Puzzlephone crowdfunding campaign is now live on Indiegogo.

PuzzlePhone

The PuzzlePhone allows the user to replace the “Spine” (the screen), the “Brain” (the storage), and the “Heart” (the battery), so they don’t have to replace their entire smartphone every time one component breaks or becomes outdated.

It will run Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It will have a 5-inch HD display with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution. It will include a 5 MP front-facing camera and a 12 MP rear camera with an LED flash. It sports a 64-bit ARM processor with eight cores and 3GB of RAM. The rechargeable battery is 2800 mAh.

The device also includes an accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor, and ambient light sensor. It supports USB 3.0 Type-C, NFC, Bluetooth LE 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11, GPS, and up to 4G LTE cellular.

Early backers of the crowdfunding campaign can join the early bird tier, and gets in line for the first run of 16GB PuzzlePhones for $333 with an estimated delivery date of September of 2016. But only 250 of those units will be available.

At $444, the regular early bird tier, which is limited to 500, saves you a spot for the run of the 32GB modular smartphone due in October of 2016.

A chance to get the 64GB Indiegogo Limited Edition model will run you $777. It features copper accents and a special numbered plate and custom engraving. There will only be 250 of these made.

Once the early bird tiers are sold out, Circular Devices is expected to offer the 16 GB model for $495 and the 32GB model for $550.

By the time these phone ship, modular devices might not be all that uncommon though: Google is expected to launch its Project Ara pilot program in 2016 and the Fairphone 2 with a modular design is expected to launch before the end of 2016.

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4 replies on “PuzzlePhone crowdfunding campaign begins”

  1. Sure, it’s nice that the battery and screen are replaceable if broken/worn out, and you can increase the storage at a later time (or they could’ve just added an SD slot…). But if the screen is good (color reproduction & brightness), the only things really worth upgrading are the CPU/RAM and camera. They’re what mostly entice people to upgrade their phones. Neither of which are interchangeable here.

  2. Interesting idea, but I actually rather buy a new phone every 2 years than to upgrade an existing phone. The point is that it’s not really the internals that get outdated, any flagship from 2010 still runs perfectly in 2015. The difference is that designs have evolved, and the feel of the phone really is a large factor in why people want to upgrade.

    1. I think, design is totally overrated, as long as it focusses strongly on look, and not or too little on usage/function. F.i. “as thin as possible” is actually total nonsense, because ergonomics of such devices is not that great.

      1. I agree, a good design must be well balanced, and not just biggest/thinnest/most metal/ etc.

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