Are modular phones so good? Let’s sort it out

Let’s say you’re really not satisfied with the image quality of your 8 megapixel camera. You go to the store, buy a new module with a 13 megapixel camera and look forward to showing your friends high-resolution vacation photos, joyfully go home. With one hand movement your last year’s smartphone becomes a flagship camera. And that’s where the fun begins! It turns out that the processor installed in your smartphone can not handle the processing of photos and videos in Full HD resolution. But there is a way out, you calm yourself down and run back to the store.

Car owners know that if you sell or buy a car in parts, its cost will double at least! And this market “law of spare parts” applies to any technique, including electronic. The company Motorola (read Google) is trying, however, only on theoretical calculations to prove the opposite. They say that now you will not have to spend every six months or a year a tidy sum on a new smartphone, just because you are no longer satisfied with the amount of RAM or number of megapixels in the camera. It will be enough to choose one or another “fragment” of the phone that interests you and change it, by simple manipulations with the endoskeleton (the base for installing the modules), to a newer and more productive. Sounds like a song, doesn’t it? Let’s deal with it!

So, the account is open for your additional financial injections. A new powerful quad-core processor is being purchased for a new photomodule. The retailer at the store strongly recommends that you upgrade the battery by taking a higher capacity battery. And he is right! The new processor and high resolution video processing will require additional power. Well, that’s all, when you estimate the cost, you realize that about 40 percent of the cost of the new phone you spent on the old one. And now the test shot! Having assembled your new smartphone from the purchased modules, you realize that your old screen is unable to display all this riot of colors and shadows shot by the new camera … And this is another minus $200-300 from your wallet to the new high-resolution screen and, accordingly, plus 30-40 percent of the cost of the new device.



Now do you understand the cycle the Motorola marketers are trying to drag us into? Is it really possible to believe that Google wants to help us save money? Well, of course not! Instead of one phone a year, you will pay for 2 or 3 units yourself, getting involved in an endless race for technical innovations.

Besides the financial side of the question, it is not clear to the end, how will compatibility between modules of different manufacturers be ensured and how the whole zoo will behave in one enclosure? It is out of the question of general system updates and it is out of the question. Most likely, you will have to update each module individually at your own risk, without any guarantee that the firmware of a single module will “like” the whole system.

In general, there is a rather pleasant picture for techno-maniacs, for ordinary users of “modular smartphone engineering” nothing but unplanned expenses and extra fuss will most likely not bring.

I would like to hear your opinion on this subject. Let’s try to sort out the comments together.

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