Finnish startup wants to break the smartphone down into three upgradable components.
Many of us are tied to a given smartphone for two years (the typical length of a mobile service contract). But "New Every Two," is not PuzzlePhone's cup of tea, as its phones could stay relevant (in theory) for as long as a decade.
The PuzzlePhone breaks down into three core components: the Brain, the Heart and the Spine. The Brain contains the primary electronics (CPU, GPU) and the camera sensor. The Heart has the battery and additional chips and sensors. The Spine contains the display, microphone, and speakers. Each of these parts can be upgraded without needed to upgrade the other. If you're happy with your 3,200 mAh battery and 1080p display, but need some extra zip, just swap out your dual-core brain for a quad-core variant, and so on.
Such a design could really shine on the repair front, where one could change out a cracked display, post-drop, for a fresh screen without touching the rest of the device.
The one box that these components don't check is storage, but that feature could simply be relegated to a necessary Micro SD card that lives in the Spine, Heart or Brain.
Circular Devices, which has been working on the PuzzlePhone platform since 2013, uses a hardware design that's completely open (so anyone could make components), and the software is a forked version of Google's Android OS. Other operating systems would eventually be supported as well, so long as the software plays nice with Circular Design's hardware roadmap.
The PuzzlePhone would be a mid-range device if successfully launched, and its price would reflect that target.