Skip to main content

The PuzzlePhone is the modular smartphone that will satisfy your inner geek craving

If I told you that you could buy a smartphone that you could easily upgrade or repair by simply swapping out a part that snaps into place, would that excite you? If so, you might want to check out the PuzzlePhone. It’s a modular smartphone that is very similar to Google’s Project Ara, and it’s being crowdfunded on Indiegogo.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The PuzzlePhone is 100 percent upgradeable, repairable, and future-proof thanks to three easy-to-change modules: the Heart, Spine, and Brain. In other words, you don’t have to worry about buying a new phone every two years since you can simply upgrade or repair specific parts.

How it works

The Brain includes the main electronics or those things that have a shorter life cycle. This includes the processor (CPU), graphics processor (GPU), RAM, storage capacity, and the camera. The Spine includes the display and the electronics associated with it. Finally, the Heart holds the battery and a secondary set of electronics.


The PuzzlePhone includes a 5-inch display with a resolution of 1,080p (1,920 x 1,080). It’s powered by a 64-bit octa-core ARM processor and it includes 3GB of RAM and 16, 32, or 64GB of internal storage.

The rear camera is 12 megapixels along with LED flash, while the front-facer comes in at 5 megapixels.

The rest of the specs include LTE, USB 3.0/2.0 Type-C, NFC, Bluetooth LE 4.2, Wi-FI 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, and a 2,800mAh battery.

The software will be Android Marshmallow, or any other candy above it if Google releases a major update before the official launch.

About the company

The PuzzlePhone is the brainchild of Circular Devices Ltd., a Finnish startup. Now before you go thinking that this is some sort of fly-by-night company, it’s not. Circular Devices has been working on the PuzzlePhone concept for over two years.

The Indiegogo campaign is looking to raise $250,000, but that only covers manufacturing setup costs. The R&D is a big chunk as well, and the European Union is covering the majority of that from an agreement reached in September.

Furthermore, Circular Devices says that even if the campaign fails to get fully funded, the project is still likely to move forward based on private funding.

Pricing and availability

There are three levels that backers can choose from.

The Very Early Bird First Edition is limited to 250 backers and costs $333 or 300€. The body will be made of moulded black plastic and will come with 16GB of internal storage. The First Edition is expected to ship September 2016.

The Early Bird is limited to 500 backers and costs $444 or 400€. This one includes a gun-metal logo plate along with a red accent color. The internal storage gets a bump to 32 GB. The Early Bird will ship October 2016.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Limited Edition is head and shoulders above the others in terms of design and technical performance, according to the company. It’s limited to 250 backers and costs $777 or 700€. It includes copper details and a special edition plate engraved with whatever text you choose. It gets a bump to 64GB of internal storage. The Limited Edition will ship September 2016.

Check out the Indigogo campaign for more information and to get your order in.

Editors' Recommendations

Robert Nazarian
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Robert Nazarian became a technology enthusiast when his parents bought him a Radio Shack TRS-80 Color. Now his biggest…
This is how the Apple Watch needs to change in 2024
The Apple Watch Ultra 2 next to the original Apple Watch Ultra.

Apple Watch Ultra 2 (left) next to the Apple Watch Ultra Joe Maring / Digital Trends

2023 wasn’t a very exciting year for the Apple Watch. Sure, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 have a new S9 processor that allows for localized Siri and the Double Tap gesture, but otherwise, not much has changed. There were no new sensors or improvements to battery life, and the Ultra 2 is virtually identical to the first Apple Watch Ultra.

Read more
Your Google Pixel 8 Pro is about to get an incredible update
The Google Pixel 8 Pro laying face-down on a wood bench.

When Google introduced the Google Pixel 8 Pro earlier this year, the company made it clear that it was more of an AI phone than just a regular Android flagship. Now, Google is leaning more into that AI future with a pair of new features based on the in-house Gemini Nano model.

In order to bring Gemini Nano to the Pixel 8 Pro, Google built a new system called Android AI Core in Android 14. It’s the most compact and efficient AI model from Google, operating on Tensor mobile silicon natively. On-device operation means all processes happen locally, which ensures there’s little risk of sensitive information leaving your phone.

Read more
Reddit Recap 2023: how to find yours now
Reddit Recap 2023 on an iPhone.

Reddit Recap 2023 may not be as musically entertaining as Spotify Wrapped or as informative as Duolingo’s Year in Review, but it’s still worth checking out. This feature, available on the Reddit app every year, allows you to take a trip down memory lane and catch up on news and events that have been making headlines in your Reddit world since January.

Read more