Details of Project Ara, Google’s cancelled modular phone project, have emerged online, giving us a glimpse at what might have been. Phandroid recently got hold of one of the units, likely a developer model, though the project was axed in September.
The metal device has a comparatively large frame, at 152 x 74 x 12.5 mm when modules are set in place, making it around 60 percent thicker than most modern flagships. It also houses a Snapdragon 810 processor and 3 GB of RAM, both of which aren’t removable – and weren’t planned to be – like its other components.
The device also arrived with a 3,450 mAh battery, 2.1 MP rear camera, and 32 GB of internal storage space, all of which would likely have been swappable in the final retail version. The 5 MP front-facing camera, on the other hand, appears to be fixed in place.
Project Ara aimed to provide a smartphone exoskeleton which would allow users to purchase and attach individual components, or “modules”. This could have provided several benefits compared to a regular smartphone, such as offering Project Ara owners a way to improve a single device aspect, like the camera, without buying an entirely new smartphone.
Google had discussed plans to launch a “modular marketplace” where components could be bought and sold, similar to the Play Store, before Ara ran into problems and was eventually shut down.
Look out for more pictures of the Project Ara unit over at Phandroid.com and give us your thoughts on Google’s abandoned smartphone in the comments.