Science and Tech
By Liyo Kikon
MODULAR phones are here! While everyone is waiting for Google’s project Ara which could be the next step in mobile technology, other companies have already started shipping their own versions of modular phones. I for one stand by the theory that there is no such thing as the perfect smartphone since everyone has a different taste and each smartphone is tailored for a particular individual but modular phones have a very high probability to turn a cell phone into the perfect all round device.
So, what is a modular phone?
A modular phone is a new smartphone design in which different pieces can be swapped out for different kinds of functionality. For example, if you like listening to music on your phone, you can easily add a high end audio hardware to your phone or if you are a mobile photographer, you can add a camera add on to your device for more functions. In theory, there are limitless possibilities to what modular phones can bring to the table and this theory is slowly becoming a reality.
With the launch of LG’s G5, it looked like they have finally entered the market but the G5 faced a lot of criticism since the whole battery had to be removed for add-ons and the whole process seemed to be clumsy. But now Motorola has taken it up a notch with their latest modular phone – the Moto Z and this time it looks much more promising. Unlike the G5, the Moto Z uses a ‘snap-on’ magnetic system to hold the add-ons so there is no need to mess with the battery. The original phone without any add-ons is quite slim, measuring at 5.2mm with a 5.5 inch display and with a Snapdragon 820, it can handle any high end applications or games you can throw at it.
The camera is a decent 13 Megapixel with f1.8 aperture which is good enough for a mobile device. But the Moto Z’s biggest strength is the modular feature. As of today, there are several add-ons such as a projector, a JBL speaker, a power pack and some style shells. Motorola says that these add-ons are future proof and they will support more devices later on.
All these sound great and now the question remains, could this be the future of mobile phones? Being able to personalize your device is a big thing when it came to mobile phones, and its quite obvious that this might be the way to go but there is one drawback and that is the price. The Moto Z, once released will cost around Rs. 42,000/- and the add-ons can cost anywhere from Rs. 1,300/- to 20,000/- this brings the whole idea down since it sounds more logical to just buy a high end phone with the same price instead of purchasing add-ons. Did I mention that the Moto Z does not have a 3.5mm headphone jack? That sounds like a bummer since you will have to carry a converter and connect it to the USB-C every time you want to listen to music, or get a bluetooth headset, maybe there will be an add on with a headphone jack to solve that problem and that’s the great thing, one can’t deny that the idea behind modular phones is pretty awesome as they can solve all the drawbacks of the device with a simple add on.