Google Project Ara modular smartphone to launch this year

Google has unveiled the latest prototype for its Project Ara modular smartphone, with plans to launch the innovative handset in Puerto Rico this year.

The phone consists of an endoskeleton, or ‘endo’, and a series of modules that can be added in a variety of configurations. This means you can swap out the screen, camera, battery and more yourself in order to customise the handset to your needs, quickly replace broken parts and keep it up-to-date and fully charged. The modules can also be fitted with different cover designs to complete the look.

Developed by Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group, the current Spiral 2 prototype can be seen in the promotional video below. Spiral 3 is expected to be completed in the second quarter of this year, as Google is working on adding 4G capability and even more modules, with a night vision camera hinted at in the video.

A pilot launch of the phone will then take place in Puerto Rico in the second half of this year in partnership with OpenMobile and Claro. Food-truck-style stores will give customers the chance to test out the phone before they buy it, and if the initial launch is a success it will eventually roll out into other areas.

Discover more of the latest innovations in mobile phone technology in Issue 68 of How It Works magazine with our fascinating teardown of Apple’s iPhone 6. Buy it from all good retailers, or order it online from the ImagineShop. If you have a tablet or smartphone, you can also download the digital version onto your iOS or Android device.

Plus, take a look at:

Google unveils Project Ara modular smartphone prototype 

CES 2015: Microsoft unveil budget smartphone 

World’s thinnest smartphone revealed