Hey, friends! I created this concept for a modular phone. I wanted to get your guy’s input. I feel like this might be one of Framework’s future ventures and wanted to contribute my own ideas.
I could put an apple logo on it and it would be an apple phone. I don’t see much point to have this 3d overview of a phone outer shell.
Absolutely love it. I already wanted a framework phone, now even more.
We could use this post to speculate about how modular a phone can be and other general ideas for the phone.
The camera, both the back and selfie ones seem like a good candidate to be separate from the motherboard. Obviously the screen and battery too. Maybe the lower connection section could be modular? As in allow you to chose what kind of connections are there (3.5 audio yes/no). Being able to chose the bezels with different buttons (for some serious vs crazy gaming customization).
@Name2 I had two ideas on how to gain access to the motherboard.
Two latch switches on the left and right corners are akin to the silence switch on the iPhone to dismount for easy upgrading. It was counterintuitive because you would have to remove the whole motherboard to change out your battery. Instead, I used separate latches for the battery, motherboard access, and camera on the back panel.
A back latch mechanism felt more in line with what Framwork would do, although it does take lateral real estate.
Right next to the selfie camera, there is a little switch for unlatching the screen from the rest of the device. It could be used dually to remove the selfie camera rail mechanism.
Choosing the bezels with different buttons (for some serious vs. crazy gaming customization).:
Using a system similar to Motorola, for this case, would be cool and have some notches on the top and bottom with spring contact pins.
What are your thoughts on this?
Is this what you were thinking about?
@Charles_Thompson I am not a designer so the discussion about how exactly the phone opens up is a bit beyond me, but it sounds great.
Rip project ara.
And why bother when there are two phones that are modular and use Fairly traded gold etc. and a ‘working’ wage for the factory workers.
The fairphone isn’t modular, it’s just repairable. You don’t actually get any choice in modules. The latest version doesn’t even have a headphone jack, which was coincidentally done just as they released fairphone bluetooth buds.
I think Framework will need an mobile phone/cellular smaller compact laptop motherboard module. It would be really cool to turn that into a BASE module, and build a laptop around that. Even more interestingly would provide dual mode working way - one desktop and one energy efficient mobile way. The screen face can be the touchpad, and the laptop modules a full expansion.
The Fairphone is clearly modular, but you must mean something else. For example the FP3 had upgrade-able cameras.
There’s not a lot than can be done with such a small, size. The main board is an module but expensive to replace etc.
The phone works if the cameras the speakers and charging ports are removed etc.
You can easily replace the screen . .
Bit yes there isn’t a user choice with the RAM or the ports but what else does the Framework laptop offer, and we are talking about a phone.
@Martynas Sorry for the late reply. Here’s the internals.
Either that is one huge ass phone or that is some cursed mini m.2 drive XD
@Adrian_Joachim I’m glad you noticed LOL
Teeny Tiny M.2 Drive
Last I checked there weren’t upgadeable cameras, if it has that then yes it meets the standard of what I would call modular. Just having parts be removeable / replacable with the same part is great for repairability but not in and of itself modular.
Getting good image quality from a camera on mobile devices can take a lot of work fine-tuning. If you just drop in a different camera after doing basic work to just get it to work, it can be horrible compared to another manufacturer that spent time and effort fine-tuning.
Clearly you mean something extended by modular. The phones have many modules, but you mean upgradable components in modular form.
The FP3 could have upgradeable cameras but there are currently no alternative modules for the FP4
I love that you have a nice concept and maybe it’s useful to present concepts to community.
But I think that I really want to see FW16 laptop and solvent company more than a company that tries to fill all the possible gaps where the market is quite tight already.
IMO please don’t lose focus.
@Martynas This is an excellent point. Right now, the phone market is slowing down due to how long a phone lasts a person. It is good to expand, though, as it allows for innovations. The concepts used in a phone can be translated into future laptop/laptop peripheral designs. But I agree with you; I still dream about what a phone would look like, even if the idea isn’t economical.
Obviously the people involved in the design know better, but if they wanted to be more conservative, they could go the opposite way. They could do a 10" laptop first, something like this. It would give them a good variety of laptop forms, 16", 13" and 10". Plus it would allow them to expand into building a modular gamepad.
After that they could go into a SteamDeck/Asus Rog Ally device which is getting hot right now and share parts with laptops. That would give them experience in a small factor but without making any big jump, more gradual as they are reusing CPU’s and other components. Then they could leverage that experience to finally give a try into a modular phone and hopefully the lessons learnt in the way would help them make better choices for modularity in a small tight device.
As i said they know better what they can take on or what they think the market would respond to, but it seems like a sensible approach. Plus a 10" framework laptop (with Oculink or Thunderbolt/usb 5 to connectba egpu at home) would be the perfect laptop for me. One can dream…
This is an excellent perspective. Right now, There is a market in the military industry for handheld high-processing devices. The ability to design their proprietary serial devices would be a one-up from any competition. They could compete in this area as a more enthusiast/technical-focused brand. We can see the following classes of products in the handheld computer space(opinionated):
Steam Deck: Entry-Level
Framework could get a contract with the DoD, sighting these market trends and active usage of Steam Decks on the battlefield as a reason to get funding.
I could start Speculating on the design of such a device and focusing on ruggedness, weather resistance, and function.