How to build your own smartphone

How to build your own smartphone
If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself! Same applies to smartphones, which is why in this step-by-step guide we will show you how to make your very own smartphone.

Now, don't go away just yet, for that is not as difficult of a task as it sounds. All you need is some spare time and stuff you most likely have lying around the house. Besides, it will be a lot cheaper than pulling out your credit card and buying a fancy brand-name device, and the satisfaction from having a totally unique smartphone is something money will have a hard time buying.

Now let's get to work!

Here is what you will need:

  • Phone
  • Camera
  • Sketch pad
  • Pen
  • 2 pieces of string
  • Scotch tape

For our design we decided to go with a classic rotary dial device for that authentic old-school look. With a body made out of solid polycarbonate, it surely going to withstand the tests of time, and the metallic elements that can be spotted here and there give it a premium look.

Step 1

The first step is to attach the sketchpad to the phone with a piece of string. Just pass the string through one of the sketch pad's holes and tie it with a knot. Then tie the other end of the string to the phone's wire. You should end up with something like what you see in the images below. Our sketch pad features a beautiful image of Winnie the Pooh, which is going to serve as a wallpaper for our lock screen. Notice that the sketch pad will also serve as a contacts list and storage.

Step 2

Now it is time to equip our smartphone with a pen that we will input data with. Of course, it can also be used as a stylus. You attach the pen to the sketch pad with a string. Once you are done, you should have something looking like this:

Step 3

The third step is to add a camera to the smartphone, and this is where the scotch tape comes in handy. Make sure you use enough so that the camera stays firmly attached. The camera that we chose is a classic analog point-and-shoot with a xenon flash, fixed focus, and f/2.8 aperture. The photos that it takes look more than decent, with a pronounced lomo effect - perfect for sharing with your buddies online!

Step 4

With a smartphone like this, you get to choose what kind of software will be installed. We decided to go with Android 6.0 Kit Kat, which we tricked out with a custom hand-drawn skin. Transitioning between home screens is silky smooth - all it takes is an upward or downward flip of a finger. 

But if Android is not your cup of tea, just "install" a different platform: iOS, Windows Phone, Symbian, MeeGo, even Windows Mobile in case you are feeling nostalgic. In any case, performance is guaranteed to be flawless, and any application that you throw at your smartphone will have no troubles doing its thing.

And that's it!

Now you are free to add whatever finishing touches you desire. Glittery stickers and dangling charms can be added for improved reception and improved 4G speeds. We personally installed a whole bunch of custom ringtones, including hits from Spice Girls, Hanson, Hatsune Miku, and one particular song from Rick Astley. Below you can check out some action shots.



39. orangestrawberry

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

Just Wanted to say I read this article when it first came out and always though Kit-Kat would be a great name for android and now we have Android 4.4 Kit-Kat :D

38. Sangeet

Posts: 232; Member since: Apr 21, 2012

Nokia s40 phones would be better than this..LOL just kidding, this is indeed the best smartphone ever made and samsung and apple even can't come close to it.. Again kidding

36. androidrockzz

Posts: 51; Member since: Feb 04, 2012

51MP cam!

35. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

Whoever trolled this thread should be banned and has no life...

34. ChiX017

Posts: 308; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

LMAO! good one

33. bossmt_2

Posts: 459; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

Didn't include a modem, DO NOT WANT

32. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

This phone sucks... no keyboard...

31. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

Would be great if we could actually choose what parts we want & have a smartphone built 2 our specs. I can already see myself writing PA to bitch about all the bugs on the Medicci phone !

30. Habib

Posts: 114; Member since: Feb 26, 2011

LOL this was the funniest thing i seen in Phonearena

29. Henrik

Posts: 141; Member since: Feb 18, 2012

Hahaha! I love it! ^^

28. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Are you spying on my family? My gf's daughter made me something like this a few years back for the holidays.

25. beelzebug07

Posts: 9; Member since: Feb 28, 2012

He also forgot bluetooth, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, nfc, proximity sensor... :-P

26. hepresearch unregistered

Haha... any good Boy Scout could add a compass, no problem. Awesome April Fools article! LOL!

24. Gusto

Posts: 28; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

you forgot the alarm clock...^^

23. Dragonshadowstorm

Posts: 8; Member since: Nov 29, 2011

Nobody mentioned webOS... Okay :(

22. dirtydirty00

Posts: 428; Member since: Jan 21, 2011

o thank god its april 1st. before i realized that i was about to jump on PA for writing teh most ridiculous dumb article ever seen.

21. ivanko34

Posts: 617; Member since: Sep 04, 2011

My old mother has the same

18. quesoesgrande

Posts: 217; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

I am so going to make one and get rid of my current phone! Lol i thought u were serious so i had to laugh!

17. 0o0blackstar0o0 unregistered

Fk i got excited ... i was thinking could choose all your parts like when you buy a laptop .

15. crankyd00d

Posts: 191; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Nice lol

14. lonestrider

Posts: 88; Member since: Mar 31, 2012

I've read something similar to this. lol. April fool. I really thought you'll gonna teach us to make our own smartphone.

13. Non_Sequitur

Posts: 1111; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

xD I forgot it was April Fools until I read this.

12. RaKithAPeiRiZ

Posts: 1488; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

Galaxy Note 2

11. darktranquillity

Posts: 285; Member since: Feb 28, 2012

Apple's soon gonna screw you with litigations for patent violation Nick, so stop thinking/laughing that you fooled us:-P

9. the_s2

Posts: 239; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Trolled!! :D PA, you got me trolled! :D

8. matrix_neo

Posts: 334; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

That's we call smartphone evolution. LOL (^_-) I will build mine too but with android and windows phones os installed hehehe Btw is that you Nick in photos?

6. bbblader

Posts: 590; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

this is a better love story than twilight and yes this is a smartphone

3. ledbetterp3

Posts: 467; Member since: Aug 31, 2011

Just made mine.. How do I root it?

5. Nick_T

Posts: 187; Member since: May 27, 2011

You forgot to put in the crystals.

27. ddxmms

Posts: 170; Member since: Feb 09, 2012

i think the camera will be better than the one on the htc one x.. we are waiting for the full review.

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