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The modular phone dream has evolved…

Project Ara Update:

Video Gear I use:

Intro Track: Ongoing Thing by 20syl, Oddisee

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75 Responses to Modular Smartphones: Explained!

  • GOD DAMN IT WHEN HE SAID OK GOOGLE MY PHONE RESPONDED LMAO

  • Modular is all BS. Even pc’s are not modular. You have to upgrade the ram
    with new motherboards and cpu. Its only truly modular for half a generation
    and then all new parts anyway. The only thing on my pc from 10 tens ago is
    the power supply, case and fans. I wouldn’t get my hopes up about modular
    smartphones if I were MKBHD. It’s a failure from the start.

    • +FlyingPenguin Yeah, it could grow like PCs so that in the end everyone can
      have their own kinda unique phone. It’s a really good idea, I’d love if I
      could add some RAM to my phone so it can support Win10

    • It isn’t, not every potential phone user is some fucking hipster that wants
      “pretti light and thind phonzes,” some are power users that want their
      phones as tools, not be toys that are less useful than even a PocketCHIP.

    • +RoundDuckMan tools for what exactly? The current potential for getting
      anything realistic done on an iPhone or Android is too small for a “power
      user” to be thing.
      Your description of a power user is simply someone who will pay more as
      long as there is ‘more’, not considering how much of those resources they
      actually end up using in their ‘power usage’

    • +Aron Mathew As in you can use them for important and cool stuff, like
      creating stuff on the go when a laptop isn’t an option.

    • Pc’s are modular. You can replace anything and keep anything. You don’t
      have to upgrade multiple things at once.

  • When modular phones are released. The phones will cost under $100 but the
    modules will be about $100 each.

    • +Dylan Robertson not just that, producing a proprietary processing unit
      isn’t cheap

    • Not true because then people would just but whole new phones because it
      would be cheaper than replacing modules

  • 2:00 MKBHD is jealous………………….

  • Shoot I lost my Ram

    • +Iron Squid Yeah, I thought it was hilarious 🙂

    • +Iron Squid Yeah, I thought it was hilarious 🙂

    • +Verzadus thanks those of you who enjoyed the joke. Those of you who didn’t
      get it, what are you doing on MKBHD? RAM is essentially a short term memory
      cache so you can make the analogy to sort term human memory, instead of
      life long memories. If you thought you just dropped something that would be
      registered in your short term memory, it wouldn’t form a hard wired
      neurological connection. So the joke works. Losers.

  • So it’s basically a high tech breadboard.

    • It’s basically a motherboard for a PC. Because it is one.

    • +NerdishAzn u wish u had a maingear?

    • +Rice Cake Honestly I’ve had this icon forever. Maybe 2 or 3 years now? Was
      looking at pre-built PC’s because I was afraid to build my own PC but I
      ended up building it in the long run. Easier than I thought. Just stressful
      with parts that could be DOA.

  • Can’t wait to run my phone with two 1080s in a sli config along side a
    Xeon.

  • 1 battery, we want longer battery life
    2 memory, we want storage with high capacity
    3 cpu/ram, if its running slow we want to just swap it
    4 screen, if its scratched or shattered, of course we want a replacement
    5 camera, everyone loves a great camera

  • Wait, what? I don’t remember them saying that the CPU, GPU, and RAM
    wouldn’t be hot swappable. I think it might’ve been said that it all comes
    packaged in one block, but otherwise, the way they showed it, they gave the
    impression that everything was still swappable. Can someone please
    enlighten me?

    • +RoundDuckMan we can only hope. and i mean i had the iphone 4s for until a
      month ago so im used to the overshadow haha. but for sure its my opinion,
      we all have different opinions

    • +Typhoon792 Well it’s not finished yet, duh. But they were one of the first
      efforts for modular phones.

      And I don’t care if the phone is a brick or is thin as paper, as long it’s
      capable and can fit my pocket it’s fine.

    • +RoundDuckMan id have to agree with u there. im ok with a bit of bulk as
      long as it fits in my pocket. people buy iphones then use otterboxes i mean
      bulk shouldnt be a problem

    • +Angel Trogler Makes me wonder why they buy light, thin, and pretty phones
      when they put some ugly case that look like it came out of a mud pit in
      some swamp where a nearby redneck lives at.

  • Modular phones are like the half-life 3 of the phone world.

    • I don’t think that will be a trend… Phones changes every year in design,
      usb port, etc… Basicaly you will have the same phone design and you will
      want to get rid of it

    • +Devon Johnson I never had an iphone

    • *you’re

    • It will, but at the same time it’s extremely niche on the community unless
      it picks up big waves… Which… you’re right!
      It’ll take a lot to persuade someone to completely commit to a project
      phone.

  • IMO Smart Phones are simply too small and have too many durability
    requirements with material and structural tech that is changing too fast to
    be modular.

    You need your phone to survive drops and falls. You need your phone to be
    small, so all of the extra consumer-accessible faceplates take up valuable
    volume. Your parts need to communicate quickly, so centralized connectors
    between modules take up too much volume compared to microscopic IC leads
    threaded through a monolithic mainboard. Small space requirements also mean
    that from gen 2 to gen 3 of a given phone model change everything about the
    materials the phones are made out of and how parts are packed together in
    order to free up precious cubic milimeters of volume and milligrams of mass
    and evolving thermal properties to allow greater capacity or more features:
    any modular skeleton you fashion loses it’s flexibility to do that from one
    year to the next.

    • The skeleton in Ara is supposed to be usable for years before it needs
      changing. And even then, it won’t cost more than 50~ dollars.

    • 1. “Supposed to be” for a phone which raised crowdfunding but never left
      design phase. Something something hatching counted chickens.

      2. Nothing you’ve said actually contradicts any of the things I’ve said. I
      can buy a working HP Jordana Pocket PC from 1998 for less than $50, but
      even if some engineering wizard offered to gut that and solder in
      contemporary components for a grand total cost of $300 without altering
      it’s chassis, the project could still never *possibly* result in a
      telephone more functionally or aesthetically valuable (beyond kitsch) than
      virtually any ordinary $300 smartphone.

      It would be slow because of the arbitrary size constraints against
      components never meant for this chassis shape, and because of being stuck
      with sub-sub-optimal wiring options, RF would be in the toilet since the
      case was never designed for that either, and I haven’t even *gotten* to the
      wasted power and volume coming from dozens of centrally located,
      shift-resistant internal connector ports that any *actual* modular phone
      design would suffer from! ;P

    • +Happ MacDonald I’m not that tech-savvy, but I know that it’s been said
      that the biggest connectors on Ara will send information at 20GB/sec which
      should be far more than what’s needed the coming years. It’s a fact that it
      will be bigger and heavier than a regular phone, but I’m not expecting this
      to be a too big issue. Just look that the iPhone 6S, or the SE. I don’t
      have a problem with a phone being nearly double the thickness if it can
      have a dedicated GPU from Nvidia :D.

      And Ara will probably survive drops like a normal phone, except you can fix
      a broken screen yourself. I must agree that it won’t be a phone for most
      regular users though.

  • i think that this will never happen, all phone companies want money and if
    u can just switch a part out if it breaks, the phone companies will never
    make profit.

    • true , but the potential of losing out to competitors on the next big idea
      will also drive companies to invest in modular phones. it goes without
      saying that after selling the phones, many will try to make the parts
      unique ,so that only they can sell them , like apple .

    • maybe they will make even more upgradable phones over the
      years/companies.like for example:
      sony makes a modular phone capable of that much upgrading,but for example
      LG make an even more upgradable one and so on.or maybe they will just keep
      on adding different modules which can be added,like
      thermometer,compass,anal pressure detector etc….

    • They’ll make tons of money because you will have to buy the parts from them

  • that corsair cx500m is semi-modular

  • The thing about electronics nowadays is that the circuit connecting
    everything together is very compact and everything is super densely packed.
    This is the reason Apple is getting rid of the audio jack, cos it takes up
    too much space. Having modular parts means every part needs some sort of
    mechanism to attach it to the circuit, which consumes space, which is hard
    to engineer into the same form factor.

    • The issue isn’t that the phones are too compact and modular phones would
      take up too much space.
      The issue is: how do you convince these huge smartphone companies to cater
      to a relatively small consumer group and potentially lose money at the same
      time.
      Rather than soldering cpus and gpus to a motherboard, you’d be creating a
      motherboard with attachments nodes in place of where those specifics parts
      may or should be. It may initially take up more space but it shouldn’t take
      up much more space that it’s not do-able.
      But how do you justify modular phones to these huge companies? They’d
      surely be losing a LOT of money if these became widespread, more commonly
      bought than traditional smartphones. The reason we want modular phones is
      that they’d be more economical for us the consumer.
      Also, the decision to get rid of the audio jack wasn’t just a size
      constraint. It was also a chance to create more profit. It creates more of
      a market for wireless headphones/earbuds which Apple could market to their
      consumers. It pushes previous iPhone users to upgrade to the latest iPhone
      because of the very obvious difference (“You have a headphone jack, you
      don’t have the newest iPhone”). It allows them to put more tech into the
      iPhone allowing them to raise the price without lowering the
      cost-performance. There are so many reasons why Apple could justify
      removing the jack. But how do you justify modular phones to these companies?

    • You’re absolutely wrong, TheKingsHill has it right.

    • Its not a simple matter of adding a socket. Pretty much the entire computer
      is in a single chip and the rest of the(supporting) circuitry is custom to
      it. You cannot simply lift it up and replace it with a newer one. The
      market is entirely different from the PC one where you get compatible
      motherbards/chipsets and cpus. There is no compatibility within the SoC
      that are used so you would need a lot of extra circuitry to make it work. I
      wont say its impossible but it sounds highly inpractical. The whole thing
      with these mobile devices is high integration, it doesnt really go well
      with modularity.

  • MARK MY WORDS I WILL MAKE A MODULAR PHONE

  • I can’t wait for them to be released

  • he said high at 4:20

  • My battery is on 3% and my charger is at the other side of the room and I
    can’t be arsed getting up, what do I do? 😣

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