Yezz Project Ara phone unveiled at MWC (Wired UK)


The Yezz Project Ara handset will go on sale first in Puerto Rico

James Temperton


After months of waiting Project Ara is finally taking shape, but
the first handset won’t be coming from Google. Little-known
smartphone manufacturer Yezz showed off a prototype of the
innovative modular smartphone at Mobile World
Congress
and said it could launch its Project Ara device in the
next six months.

The Miami-based firm said it was approached by Google
at CES in Las Vegas earlier this year with
a view to developing the first Project Ara handset. A Yezz
spokesperson said the project was “risky” but had huge
potential.


Up to 11 modules, including the screen, can fit into the phone’s shell

James Temperton


An initial test launch in Puerto Rico could be
expanded to more countries by the end of the year, the company
confirmed. The phone is likely to go on sale for around $200
(£130). Yezz said Google wanted to work with a smaller firm for the
launch, rather than a large smartphone manufacturer such as Samsung or HTC.

Google has been developing Project Ara since 2013.
The modular smartphone uses a shell known as an endoskeleton that
is filled with a number of modular parts. A controller, which makes
the phone work, can be combined with a screen module, camera
module, processor, storage and just about any other smartphone
feature.


Yezz said more than 80 modules were in development for its Project Ara phone

James Temperton


In total 11 modules can be placed into the shell,
including the display. Modules come in two sizes — two by two
squares and one by one squares — and can be swapped out and
removed with magnetic clasps keeping them attached. The concept has
been described as the first “future-proof” smartphone, with the
modular design allowing people to remove and replace old and
unwanted parts.

More than 80 modules are already in development by
Yezz, with discussions ongoing with other companies. Yezz said it
was working with Suncore on a folio case with a built in solar
panel to boost the phone’s battery life. Toshiba is also in
discussions about developing a camera module for the handset.

Only two Yezz Project Ara prototype handsets have
been developed so far and the company is now working on developing
more modules for the system and preparing it for launch.

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3 March 2015 | 4:33 pm – Source: wired.co.uk

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