(Preface: All images featured in this article are taken from Google’s Project Ara. The device in question here has yet to be unveiled).
Modular mobiles are of a somewhat contentious nature. On the one hand, the ability to customize and replace specific parts of your phone is the perfect panacea to damage, boredom, and out-dated hardware. On the other hand, there has been some speculation about an increase in the amount of waste produced and its effects on resource management and the environment. Still, core computer components are usually of a modular nature and yet there doesn’t seem to be a lot of commotion with respect to them. Whatever the opinion may be, modular mobiles are at the very least, cool.
For some time now, Google has been busy testing out its Project Ara, a modular smartphone that lets the user customize the hardware. Though a mainstream release is still some time away, it has turned a lot of heads. Now it seems, things are about to heat up, and fast.
Co-founded by a former Nokia X program manager, Vsenn is eager to get into the shop and swap game, and its website, though in its infancy, has some pretty impressive claims:
- Modular Hardware: the CPU/RAM, camera, and battery will all be user-replaceable. Vsenn promises state-of-the-art hardware to boot.
- Guaranteed Updates: 4 full years of updates are promised for the device, which will be running vanilla Android.
- Maximum Security: Triple-layer encryption protects all data on the phone, and VPN and secure-cloud storage services are provided.
- Customizable Looks: The back cover will be replaceable and there will be a variety of options, possibly different materials and textures.
In terms of concrete specs and features, we know the phone’s screen size and resolution: 4.7-inch Full HD. Given that the company’s motto “evolves with you” and “a smartphone evolution is coming” is prominently displayed on the website, it is safe to say that something big is about to happen. It remains to be seen as to what the device will look like, if the Vsenn is actually one or a series of devices,what kind of money is involved, and if and when it will release.
All we have for now are some bold promises – the road to a real world product is long and extremely difficult. Just ask the folks at Google. With massive resources at their disposal and some of the brightest minds in the industry, Google’s ATAP team needed two years to show a modular device prototype that could boot Android. Will Vsenn be able to fare any better?