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The Best Look Yet at Google's Project Ara Modular Smartphone

| 14 Jan 2015 18:40

3G is on board, 4G is on the way, and testing will take place in Puerto Rico.

During a Module Developers Conference at Google HQ in Mountain View today, the tech giant showed of its latest Project Ara modular smartphone designs, and talked plans for hardware testing later this year.

Called "Spiral Two," the latest hardware is our best look at modular phone hardware yet. The gallery below is all photos provided by Google, showing just how specific you can get with Google's phone of the future.

The Spiral Two hardware is the latest iteration; Spiral One was WiFi-only hardware, while Two has 3G modules in tow. The next iteration, whenever it becomes available, will likely bring Project Ara into the 4G LTE era.

Another key aspect of Spiral Two, and beyond is developer support. While specific apps and software could come for such devices, what Google really wants is approved third-party modules. Project Ara will undoubtedly have enough Google-made modules to choke an Android, bringing other hardware vendors -- big and small -- into the fold is seen as crucial for the project's long-term success.

And who gets to test the Phase Two hardware later this year? Puerto Rico. Google will be partnering with local carriers in the U.S. territory in Q3 or Q4, selling the base unit as well as modules. Hardware will also be sold out of a fleet of Project Ara trucks, bringing the new phones to the masses directly.

In the gallery above, you can see that everything -- and we mean everything -- in the Project Ara ecosystem can be swapped out. The display, camera sensor, CPU, and storage can all be upgraded (or downgraded). And if Google can pull off robust third-party vendor support? You could finally build that "no compromise" smartphone you've been looking for.

Source: Google

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