We first heard about PuzzlePhone back in December 2014, and nearly one year later, the first PuzzlePhone device has arrived on Indiegogo.
PuzzlePhone today launched an Indiegogo campaign that’s seeking $250,000 from backers. It’s a flexible funding campaign, meaning that PuzzlePhone will receive all of the funds that it raises, even if it doesn’t reach its goal. As of this writing, the project as raised $32,875. PuzzlePhone notes that the goal of its Indiegogo project is to raise money for manufacturing its devices, as it’s already got research and development money from investors and the EU.
The PuzzlePhone is a modular smartphone, which means that you can upgrade its parts without getting rid of the base device. PuzzlePhone is made up of three main parts: the Brain, which includes the main electronics like the processor, GPU, RAM, storage, and camera; the Spine, which is the structure of the phone and contains the LCD screen; and the Heart, which holds the battery and “a secondary set of electronics that can be developed according to user needs.”
The PuzzlePhone features a 5-inch 1920x1080 display, 12-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, 5-megapixel front camera, and 16/32/64GB of storage. It’s powered by a team of components that consists of an octa-core ARM processor, 3GB of RAM, and a 2800mAh battery, and it runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The device also includes a USB Type-C charging port, 4G LTE, and an array of radios and sensors like NFC, Bluetooth 4.2, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, and GPS.
Of course, because this is a crowdfunding campaign, there are a few different ways to get a PuzzlePhone. The cheapest device is $333/€299 and gets you a Very Early Bird 1st Edition unit, which includes black plastic molding and 16GB of storage. That model is limited to 250 units, with 206 available as of this writing. Then there’s the standard 32GB PuzzlePhone, with is available at an early bird price of $444/€399, with 486 units available as of this writing. The MSRP on the PuzzlePhone is $667/€599.
Finally, there’s the Limited Edition Indiegogo Special model. This PuzzlePhone comes equipped with 64GB of storage and copper details, including a special plate with an engraved phrase of your choice. This unit costs $777/€699 and has 237 units available as of this writing.
The first PuzzlePhone units are expected to ship in September 2016, with the standard and Limited Edition phones expected to go out in October 2016.
We’ve heard a lot about modular phones lately, and even Google is working on its own modular effort called Project Ara. With its three main components, PuzzlePhone may not be the most customizable modular phone we’ve seen, but it still lets you replace certain components if they fail rather than the entire device (though the 3 main parts mean you may be getting rid of a couple of perfectly good components). Unfortunately for folks considering PuzzlePhone, the first units are still nearly a year away from shipping, so it’ll be awhile before you’re living the modular lifestyle.
What do you think of PuzzlePhone?