The age for hardware customization on smartphones has come in the latest "Google Project Ara" Modular smartphone. "Google X," who's in charge of the project, aims to change the role of mobile customization in software over to hardware. This brings a new level of flexibility for handheld phones.
The customization that Project Ara offers could be very timely in the current consumer trend of mobile technology. Every passing season, new models of smartphones from rivaling manufacturers are released. These products come up with little or huge additions, and improvements on technical functions, specs, design, and more. Some gadget enthusiasts may grow tired of the cycle.
Project Ara's concept takes the first step to change the current trend in smartphones and have options in customizable devices.
Though the project sounds all too good, there will always be two sides of the coin for everything. Digital Trends and other tech experts report on Project Ara's good and bad side.
Pros 1. Buying the very base of this smartphone will prove to be cheap compared to any modern complete-set phone. From there, the user can plan to upgrade the device with any desired components at any comfortable time budget-wise.
2. Then there's the liberty of only choosing to add useful hardware and other features. Like buying a desktop PC, users can get to choose internal parts that suit their needs for whatever purpose intended.The trend of buying a new phone just to have the latest on mobile technology won't an issue. Users can easily upgrade a particular component (camera, batteries, etc.) any time.
3. Repairs won't be a hassle as broken or defective phone parts can be individually fixed without handing over the whole phone.
Cons 1. The weight and aesthetics of the phone could be an issue. Individual modules and parts may come in different sizes so achieving a perfect desired look may not come easy. Adding too many modules equals a heavier phone as well. In the current design trend smartphones' direction is heading, Project Ara may have a hard time to catch pace with other rivals.
2. Contradictory with Ara's base frame being cheap, other modules and parts may cost otherwise. As one brand might sell less coslty a complete package with similar components and features, putting together an Ara equivalent will be more expensive.
3. Project Ara was reported to have connectors using strong magnets to keep components together in place. An issue may arise when the modular phone comes in contact with other devices that have the same elements. Such an event may cause instant damage to Ara and other nearby affected devices.
4. There will be the issue of devices' specs meant to only work for other certain types of hardware parts. Compatibility may become a complex problem. Combination of hardware components could be like solving a difficult puzzle for the less knowledgeable user.
5. Performance is still a big question for Project Ara. Like other prominent brands that have masterfully optimized their products to run almost flawlessly fast and smooth, Ara's initial performance might compare to the "stone age." This issue could be heightened when the customization of different components come together. Ara may not be originally built to smartly detect processors and setup.
So far from the experts' critical views, the downsides outweigh the positive things Project Ara has despite the hype it got since early announcement. It will now depend on the project's developers to study it closely, and hopefully release a wonderful modular smartphone in the future.