This is the Project Ara smartphone that could have been

This is the Project Ara smartphone that could have been
Back in early September, Google confirmed that it has canceled Project Ara, its attempt at creating a modular smartphone. Today a new leak reveals a prototype Project Ara unit, complete with the full spec rundown and high-definition photos.

Be warned that, for those who've frowned at Google's decision to cancel Project Ara, this info does not sweeten the blow.

According to Phandroid, the tech blog that published the info, the prototype's metal endoskeleton measures 152 x 74mm. The endoskeleton houses the 5.46-inch 1080p display, a few internal components that aren't supposed to be removable, as well as module connectors on the back. With the modules attached, the Project Ara developer unit measures 12.5mm across its waist. By modern standards, that's very thick.

The endoskeleton also houses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset, 3GB of RAM, and a front-facing 5MP camera. These components are fixed into place and were not designed to be upgradeable.

The modules set in place on the prototype unit are a 3,450mAh battery, a 2.1MP rear camera, and 32GB of integrated storage. The modules are set into place with the help of small electromagnets. The unit also comes with a special app that allows for the modules to be unlocked.


Project Ara was Google's take on Phoneblocks, a modular phone concept that aimed to reduce electronic waste by allowing smartphone users to upgrade certain components while retaining everything else. For instance, one could easily upgrade the primary camera while keeping the endoskeleton instead of buying a new phone altogether. Interesting as the project may be, however, it looks like Google has failed to achieve its plan of establishing a platform that component makers would build hardware for.

For more photos of the Project Ara developer units, head on over to the source link below.

What do you guys think of this leaked prototype? Was anyone hoping for Project Ara to become a reality?

source: Phandroid

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10 Comments

1. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

It's not the end..such projects will continue, maybe not by Google but some other company. It's the future.

2. ebilcake

Posts: 1221; Member since: Jul 16, 2016

Modular phones are a dead end, nobody else should waste any money on this.

4. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2311; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Eh, there are already rumors that Microsoft will be releasing a modular console with Project Scorpio where consumers can upgrade it as they wish (pretty much like a PC but in the living room). I think that we will start to see some modular phones, just not right now. Manufacturers are making too much money on producing a new phone every year and having consumers pay $600 or more for them. It would have to make financial sense for a modular phone, and I imagine it won't be cheap.

6. MINDoSOUL

Posts: 322; Member since: Feb 28, 2014

That's why it will only make sense if the mods are just accessories or an add up to the phone the way Lenovo executed it with moto mods i think that's the way forward. But the original idea of project ara is not financially profitable as you explained above, why would companies lose money for the sake of being Eco-friendly, they would love to be Eco-friendly if they earn as much money they can first.....

9. Commentator

Posts: 3722; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Manufacturers (except Apple and Samsung (until the Note 7 at least)) are barely making ANY money producing a new phone every year and having consumers pay $600 for them. It would be ludicrous for them to switch to a model with not only doesn't guarantee that their phones will sell, but doesn't even guarantee that the parts that make up their phones will sell. So many companies already struggle with supply management, and this would be a supply nightmare.

3. Ray.S

Posts: 452; Member since: Jul 19, 2011

It is a terrible, doomed project.

5. Babadook

Posts: 230; Member since: May 24, 2016

It would have tanked....

7. DoggyDangerous

Posts: 1028; Member since: Aug 28, 2015

But it is a nice looking phone.

8. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

it looks cool 2-3 years ago... but now that design looks so old.. so thick.. with huge bezels... :-/

10. UglyFrank

Posts: 2191; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

A modular phone with the S810 is abit of waste.

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