While Google is still experimenting with the idea of building smartphones out of modular components, we're already seeing some challengers to the concept. Project Ara won't be out until some time next year and we've already reported on Vsenn, one challenger to the idea, and now we're seeing Puzzlephone. Where Puzzlephone hopes to distinguish itself on the market is by simplifying the idea of modular by grouping components into three main modules: the Brain, Heart, and Spine.
The Brain will host the main core components of the phone and camera. New sensor and new processor in the new year? Well, you can keep everything the same and upgrade the Brain to get better image capture and more horsepower for your Puzzlephone. The Heart contains secondary technologies and the battery so you can give your phone a boost if new battery technologies emerge after you bought Puzzlephone. Lastly, the Spine houses the LCD display, speakers, and the basic shape.
Project Ara offers individual modular components, so Google's endeavors may be more complex and flexible, though both phones strive for similar goals: to have a smartphone that lasts for a while allowing you the flexibility to upgrade select components at will.
Puzzlephone is now prototyping and the goal is to ship the device towards the second half of 2014. The phone will run on a variant of Android.