Modular phones have a lot of anticipation swirling around them. From LG, to Motorola, and even Google, the idea of swapping out specific pieces to create a Frankenstein-style phone is pretty exciting. We switch out what we might not need in a moment for something else. Want physical camera controls? A modular design can help with that. How about a projector? Yep, that’s covered, too.
The idea is pretty great if you ask me. Watching Google show off something like Project Ara, and swapping in and out pieces, is a cool concept. I’d love to see it really take off, and see what companies like HTC, Samsung, and maybe even Apple (in five years, when they’re ready) could do with it.
LG wasn’t technically the first with the idea, but they were the first to market with a consumer-ready device. The LG G5 saw plenty of praise for its overall design and features, including the specifications. It’s certainly a flagship handset. No one can take that away from the Life’s Good crew, at least.
On the other hand, the modular design hasn’t been set upon with a ton of praise.
Whether it’s the overall design of the handset, the small button to dispatch the bottom of the phone from the rest of the handset, or the “Friends” accessories that plug into the handset, there seems to be a lot of work that needs to be done before folks are ready to adopt LG’s view on the modular phone design.
Which has me curious about the upcoming V20, a device that LG’s starting to pick up the marketing on, leading up to its announcement in September. This is a handset that’s obviously been in the works for quite some time, and, based on the leaks we’ve seen, follows along with the modular design of the G5. I’d like to think that LG thought the design would go over well with owners and reviewers, but here we are, less than a month before the V20 is announced, and I can’t help but wonder if doubling down on the modular design is a good move for LG.
The Life’s Good team isn’t shy from adopting unique designs into its handsets. I’m going to miss the rear volume rockers, flanking the rear power button, on some of its more recent handsets, for instance. So I can’t help but wonder if we’re in the same boat here with modular design: Keep pressing the idea until it’s an obvious failure, or until it’s refined enough, and accessories priced correctly, so it eventually gets adopted.
Either way, whatever scenario LG is going with, won’t really matter in the long run. We’ll either have modular phones from LG for the foreseeable future – or we won’t. Either way we’re still going to get some amazing smartphones with great features and specifications, so for the folks who love LG-branded flagships, that (probably) isn’t going anywhere.
I am wondering where you stand on this, though. Do you think LG should continue to push forward with modular phone design, and keep the design they have? Or should they change some things up? Or drop the idea altogether? Let me know!