Poll results: You are not sure if modular phones are a gimmick or not yet

Poll results: You are not sure if modular phones are a gimmick or not yet
A couple of days ago, we asked you to weigh in your opinion about the trendy of late modular phones, like the LG G5 and probably the upcoming Moto X4, and tell us if modular phones will end up being one of 2016's gimmicks. Does anyone remember the 3D phones from 2010-2011

While the concept of modular phones has been around for some time, it wasn't until early 2016 that it sort of became a household term. It all started with Google's Project Ara phone that has been in development for a couple of years now, and then we got the Fairphone 2, but if we were to point fingers at the rear culprit for improving the popularity of modular handsets, we would point them straight at the LG G5. Probably the upcoming Moto X4 will further boost the popularity of these, but will be enough to catch up and become a mainstream trend or not?

Well, it's safe to say you're not yet certain what to make of modular phones. Some 416 of you, or 39.66% of all users who voted are on the fence if modular phones are a gimmick or the bright future ahead of us. 

348 of our readers (33.17%) are convinced that modular handsets give us tomorrow's technology, today. Lastly, a whole lot of 285 of our readers, or 27.17% of those who cast a vote think that modular devices are as gimmicky as it gets. 

Some of you commented that modular phones certainly have a future only if the technology it's implemented well, in a user-friendly way and really improves the functionality of the device. This perfectly coincides with our opinion. 

Modular smartphones - 2016's gimmick or not?

A total gimmick.
Modular smartphones are the future!
I am not sure just yet, remains to be seen...



1. sebbellic01

Posts: 305; Member since: May 03, 2016

We will have to wait and see.

2. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

I will only be certain of a decision that it is indeed the future of smartphones if they can act like a PC where u can modify and buy your own parts because at the moment the OEMs are still busy throwing their own version of a kitchen sink.

16. DefinitelyNotATroll

Posts: 13; Member since: Aug 13, 2015

Unless you can change the SOC it's useless.

3. Sidewinder

Posts: 515; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

By modularity I was thinking more like a tablet dock for phones like a modular keyboard with additional battery and some connectivity ports. That, on a note 5 like form factor would expand the capabilities of the phone without all the gimmicks. And a camera oriented module should be having like a extra flash (preferably xenon) with some kind of lens attachments for using different modular lenses and filters. The music modules should come with stereo loudspeakers while the dac should come with the phone itself. A health kit module could be very useful like the heart rate sensors on Samsung flagships. It should have a heart rare sensor and all the fitness based sensors built into it. What these modules would allow one to do is, use different modules for work, entertainment, exercise, etc. It would make a lot more sense and the modules would find a lot more appeal and uses.

11. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

+10. That's exactly what I've being thinking of. The thing is I think moto will do it right because they must have learnt from lg's mistake, and again, the method and placement of their modules/amps gives the phone a sophisticated/ variety of interesting possible ways to attach the modules so that it doesn't affect the form factor and natural ergonomics of the phone (this will be the selling point). As against lg's method where anything attached would make the phone look too odd, too long, or too fat/bulky. I also like the interesting variety of amps that they have made available right out of the bat as this will also encourage manufacturers to create other dope modules as against lg's safe and boring approach.. To me the killer amp will be the battery amp, that is if it works the way I anticipate, by placing a large number of battery mah to the existing attach to give the phone a killer battery which manufacturers havnt really being able to lock down for so long now.

4. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Pretty sure fully customizable phones are the future but I was thinking more along the lines of how you can customize a laptop rather than modular like a PC. I just feel like a modular smartphone would never have the design I want and what about cases how would that work......every piece would have to have the same dimensions and that's not possible.

6. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I just want to pick and choose parts and have my phone assembled and shipped to me like I did with my PC. The only parts that need to be modular are the battery and back cover and of course case companies would have options for each battery size and backcover.

5. KONICHIWA-ANNYONG unregistered

It's all just LG hate. Let's be real - LG creates the first (if not, the most famous) modular phone. - DO you like LG? If yes, modular is no gimmick. If no, then of course, I hate LG - gimmick!

8. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

I choose "Modular smartphones are the future!", but not because G5, its because I like project ara (yeah, its still in unicorn form now :-/)

12. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

I like LG and what they have done. Theres hardly any unique selling point about or differentiating factors about phones these days that seeing phones like lg's is just downright refreshing. The problem here is that LG got it awfully wrong with their quality, quantity and placement of their modules.. The phone is already big as it is, so adding another module will make it either longer (i.e the DAC) too bulky (camera grip) or almost impossible to make a larger battery module cause of the limited amount of space to insert something bigger (placement). Another point is that didn't help LG is the fact they somehow made the phone unbelievably ugly and looking more fat/bulky the phone is even slimmer at 7.7 mm but somehow looks fatty and more chubby than phones that are actually thicker in dimensions. Another thing not helping LG is the fact that the materials they used (primer) makes the phone look too cheap and actually like a rubberized phone (which its not).

9. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

My very old Nokia 3200 have modular design too, ya know? I can change the case 5 times a day. From semi transparent cases to a case with Maria Ozawa face. I change the keypad and battery twice on one day. So modular design phone is nothing new to me.

10. dimas

Posts: 3420; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Just give me a g5 with 3600-5000mah replaceable battery and I will be your friend lg. I will forgive you with that whole metal body fiasco, just give your flagship long battery life to run that beautiful super lcd screen and great camera.

13. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

That would be almost impossible with the amount of limited space available for battery placement. Anyway, yes I agree, the g5 is the best phone camera in existence at the moment (including the s7 and closely followed by the HTC 10).. While the wide angle lens is the iceing on the cake.

14. Fellwalker

Posts: 542; Member since: Apr 04, 2014

The restarting whenever you switch modules is a killer. I could perhaps see add-ons. For example, before some of PA readers were born, my HP hx4700 PDA could have a keyboard addon that was like a sleeve to go over its track pad and buttons at the bottom. It just plugged in. But, except for power (until wireless charging grows up ) why physical connections? Surely cameras and sound can be bluetooth or similar? IoT is showing us how low power connections can be made and multiple. That way I could share the peripheral with my wife/ partner /friend.

15. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Everything is a gimmick until a majority of people adopt it. Then it was always obvious, weirdly enough. I'd bet the wheel itself was a gimmick at first. I can easily see some ancient taskmaster lamenting over why anyone would take the time to make some round thing just to move something when you can slide it on a sled or even just pick it up. Wheels... crazy waste of time and resources, amirite?! :-\

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