News & Reviews: project ara
Posted: Sep 02, 2016
Google’s parent company Alphabet has suspended Project Ara, the ambitious project to build a modular smartphone for the masses. Instead, they will look for manufacturing partners who can licence the product instead.
Posted: May 21, 2016
After a number of delays, Google confirmed that their Project Ara modular smartphone will be shipping to developers in Q4 of 2016. The recent demo during Google I/O not only saw a fully working Project Ara smartphone but also the fact that you can now say "Ok Google, eject the camera" and have the camera module pop out on its own. Modules for checking blood glucose levels and more are expected, making Project Ara completely customizable.
Posted: Feb 09, 2016
The Project Ara smartphone by Google aims to create a modular smartphone that you can switch out the components as or when you need to. While we've yet to hear any concrete news on Malaysia release dates for the Project Ara phone, it looks like a Project Ara Tablet has surfaced on GFXBench. Named the Google Project Ara (A8A01), the device offers the following tech specs:
- 1.9GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor
- 3GB RAM
- 16GB / 32GB storage
- 13.8-inch display (full HD 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution)
- 0.3MP rear camera + 4.8MP front camera
- supports GPS, NFC, WiFi, Single SIM
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Posted: Jan 30, 2016
Apparently we missed some things from CES 2016 and the ASU Cast 1 Projector wearable is one of them. Featuring a mini detachable laser projector with a touchscreen, the ASU Projector can be worn on your wrist where it projects the time, music playback details and notifications and even receives calls on the back of your hand. Or you can prop it on a tripod or mount to show voice command directions, full colour 720p movies or even browse the Internet.
Posted: Feb 17, 2015
Google's Project ARA is probably one of the most revolutionary projects undertaken in the smartphone industry to date. Last year, Google had shown off a prototype device and now, at MWC 2015, the company is expected to show a better working prototype along with some of the Project ARA modules at the event to be held in Barcelona. Toshiba has also announced three new modules for this innovative project, which may even be showcased at MWC this year. The company announced a 2MP front facing camera along with two other rear facing camera modules. Out of the two, one will feature a 5MP 1.4um sensor and the other will come with a 13MP 1.12um sensor. Toshiba plans to put these modules into mass production and finally release it to the public sometime later next year. This could be in line with the wide scale release of the modular smartphone project expected in 2016. This year, Google has decided to test out the project first in a limited area, specifically Puerto Rico. The company has not shown off the real life performance of these modules, but has released a video of the 5MP camera module in action which we have added below. No Malaysia release dates or pricing details but we should know more soon.
Posted: Jan 15, 2015
The modular smartphone project that started out with Phonebloks is finally and officially announced with the Project ARA Spiral 2 smartphone. Initial tech specs are entry-level to midrange with Marvel PXA1928 and NVIDIA Tegra K1 processors, a 5MP rear camera, 3G connectivity and a 720 x 1280 pixel resolution display. Unfortunately, the battery is supposedly 20% to 30% less capable than a normal smartphone. However, while there are only 11 modules at the moment, Google intend to get up to 30 by the end of 2015. A new Spiral 3 smartphone is expected soon but like always, there is no Malaysia release date or pricing details. For now, the Spiral 2 seems to be headed for Puerto Rico but you can see more in the videos in this article.
Posted: Dec 24, 2014
The modular smartphone known as Project Ara is coming along well apparently as they have confirmed quite a few things, including the board design and some tech specs. For the basic board design, a Project Ara smartphone will use a remodeled Spiral 2 circuit board while the processors will include those from Marvell and NVIDIA. This means we could see a Marvell PXA1928 or an NVIDIA Tegra K1 in upcoming Project Ara smartphones. Functioning prototypes have already been created and are expected to be announced or at least shown off at the Google Developer Conference come January 2015. The team expect that the Spiral 2 basic board will soon get upgraded to Spiral 3 courtesy of Toshiba as well. Still no news yet on other tech specs and features like cameras and displays, much less Malaysia release dates or pricing but more details could come later in 2015.
Posted: Dec 04, 2014
Google's Project ARA isn't the only modular smartphone under development. A Finnish startup by the name of Circular Devices has just announced a new project, called the Puzzlephone. As the name suggests, it is a modular smartphone with replaceable parts which can be put together like a puzzle. However, you can't replace everything on this phone like Project ARA. It is made up of three different components namely the brain, spine and heart. The brain consists of electronic components like the processor and the camera. The spine includes speakers, main buttons, microphone and display while the hear houses the phone's battery and other secondary components. You can swap each of these modules to upgrade your device.
Posted: Oct 01, 2014
The Project Ara modular smartphone project has revealed some interesting news. Since the frame has it's own reserve power when the smartphone does come out, you can swap out parts like the battery or memory or storage while the smartphone is on. The only two parts that require you to shut the smartphone off first are the processor and display module parts. Still no news on any Malaysia release dates or pricing but Google have said that the basic kit will start from $50 (RM164). We expect it to come in early 2015 but probably just for the US at first and it will likely run the latest Android L operating system. Check out the video in this article for more details on Project Ara.
Posted: Apr 10, 2014
Barely a week after Google's Project Ara progress report video and they have already announced the first Project Ara Module Developers Kit or MDK for developers of the Project Ara modules. As it is, the MDK outline three sizes, with Google currently being the only producer of the endoskeletons. The MDK doesn't reveal everything though, perhaps because Google are still working on it, as there is mention of an online marketplace for Project Ara phone modules but no details on where just yet. Check out the full document at the Project Ara site with more MDKs and Project Ara developer conferences expected soon. Still no definite news on pricing or Malaysia release dates but we hope that it comes within 2014.