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Fairphone 2 starts shipping pre-orders; modular phone still exclusive to Europe

Fairphone 2 is ready for shipping starting today. The easily repairable phone and one of the first functional “modular” phonesFairphone 2 out there has started shipping to pre-orderers today. This is supposed to be one of the easiest phones to repair as you will be able to replace key parts of the phone without needing more than a screwdriver. All you will have to do is buy the replacements from Fairphone themselves, of course.

 

fairphone2-752x490

 

 

Fairphone 2 is made with some metals, but they come from conflict-free mines. The phone was announced earlier this year via Kickstarter and the official site and it has been available for preorder for a while now.

 

Fairphone 2 features:

  • 5-inch 1080p display
  • snapdragon 801 processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop.

 

The phone is sold exclusively in Europe for 529 and tests show it is easy to deconstruct and its replacement parts are pretty easy to set in. The manufacturers hope that, in the future, this model could help with electronic waste reduction because such a phone can be repaired and it would last for more than five years. This way, you would not HAVE to change your smartphone every year or so, or whenever your display cracks or your battery loses energy. You would also decrease your carbon footprint on the world.

 

Fairphone expects to ship the first 1,000 smartphones before the end of 2015 and the rest of the preorders should ship before the end of January. Did you preorder a Fairphone 2? What do you think of it, is it a good acquisition for you? Let us know in the comment section below!

 

Source: Fairphone

 

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[Update: the drop test was a joke] Project Ara trouble ahead: magnets that connect the modules fail the drop test

UPDATE: It appears that the drop test tweet from Ara’s social media manager was a joke, because yesterday’s tweet sorted everything out. It seems that Project Ara is working on a signature way of keeping the modules together in their smartphone, but they will not reveal just what this innovative not-magnet is.

 

Project Ara got back to us today after last week’s announcement, and things do not seem to go that well for Google’s futuristic pet project. Speculation runs wild as more and more negatives seem to loom over Ara. A few days ago the projected test run for Puerto Rico was canceled and now it seems that some technical aspects are keeping the project in check.

 

Project Ara

 

 

It appears that the electromagnets that were intended to keep the hardware modules in place did not pass the drop tests. The tweet prom Project Ara is pretty short and leaves room to much speculation. There are no details given in what concerns how the magnets fail, but we can assume that the drop tests are creating powerful impacts that destroy the modules after ejecting them from the device.

 

https://twitter.com/ProjectAra/status/634035306153443329

 

 

These electro-permanent magnets do not require power to remain magnetized because they can be switched on and off electrically. This could be a great solution, especially for a modular phone, but it seems that the connection does not last or is not strong enough to keep the module in one piece.

 

Google will have to find different “glue” for the Project Ara module pieces to come together. Some duct tape maybe? Or bobby pins? The safe bet is a click-on system to keep everything tucked in properly.

 

Source: Twitter

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Project Ara cancels Puerto Rico test market plans

Project Ara has been in the spotlight for a while now and, while progress has been made, it seems to be much farther from release than we thought. The smartphone that lets you swap important hardware components in order to upgrade your device one piece at a time was supposed to debut in Puerto Rico sometime this summer.

 

Project Ara

 

 

After three months of zero contact, it appears that plans are changing because the Project Ara team announced on Twitter that the market pilot is being rerouted to an undisclosed location. No other details were released except for the fact that more news will show up sometime next week. The team hinted that their device will eventually reach the Puerto Rico market.

 

This all follows the Google restructuring process where it becomes the largest subsidiary to Alphabet, the new holding company that presides over most of the previously held Google projects. It’s nice to know the project Ara is not over, at least not for the time being.

 

Source: TheVerge

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Puzzlephone – the Finnish concept response to Google’s project Ara modular phone

Project Ara is not the only concept meant to create modular phones anymore, as Puzzlephone could be an improved version of Google’s efforts in the near future. This project belongs to Finland’s Circular Devices and their device would break into three parts where the spine would become the LCD screen with speakers and the basic structure whereas the Brain will be the camera and processor modules and the Heart is the battery with the second structures.

 

Puzzlephone

 

 

The idea stems from the success Project Ara had this year and it basically represents a much more basic idea. Phones are important devices in peoples’ lives right now, and when one component from your beloved mobile world is ruined, you feel as if your entire world is ruined. With the modular phone system, things would be much simpler as, when something breaks, you can replace it with a new portion and still keep your beloved handset at the expense of a battery and a processor or some RAM.

 

Puzzlephone 1

 

 

The Finnish company based in Espoo resides in the same town as the one Nokia sprouted from, and it has been working on Puzzlephone since 2013, and it appears to be close to producing a working prototype. They are definitely not on the same page as Google’s Ara project, which is said to get to store shelves as soon as the summer of 2015, but it’s a start. The phone is supposed to launch in the second half of 2015, and it would have a mid-range price.

 

 

 

The Puzzlephone would run on a forked Android OS version but its developers will be looking for third party developers and options in order to stay true to their open source standards. As Ara showed earlier this year, Puzzlephone proves to be an interesting and ambitious project which could revolutionize the mobile industry in basing it more on sustainability and step-by-step evolution as opposed to more and more different devices we see every year.  Only the public can say if this project will become a success or fade in oblivion.

 

Source: TheVerge