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A working Project Ara phone only costs under Php4,400

Google shows off a prototype version of the module-based Project Ara along with a list of updates that you need to know if you’re interested about the upcoming build-it-yourself smartphone. The company is confident that building a working Project Ara would only cost under $100 or around Php4,400.

project ara prototype

We’ve reported about the prototype arriving and you know what Project Ara is. Now it’s time to go a bit into its details and what we, as consumers, could be seeing when it comes out.

The basic “grey” phone costs around $50 (approx. Php2,200, directly converted) when it comes out. The breakdown is as follows: $15 for Endoskeleton frame, $15 for the display, $10 for the main AP module, $5 for battery, and another $5 for a Wi-Fi unit. This is just the very basic set and Google said that getting started with a working Project Ara would only cost under $100 (approx Php4,400).

Here are a few more things to know about Project Ara:


  • The most important component of the device is the chassis or “Endoskeleton”.
  • As previously reported, sizes come in small (around 4.3 inches), medium (5 inches), and large (5.7 inches) with 2×5, 3×6, 4×7 blocks, respectively.
  • Modules come in 1×1, 2×1, and 2×2 blocks
  • The AP or Application Processor module (shown below) is the brain of the phone and it contains the CPU, memory, and SD card slot which are all in one module and couldn’t be separated.

project ara prototype 4

  • There are three main technologies that make Project Ara work: The UniPro which is responsible for the modules to communicate to each other, the capacitive M-PHY which is a physical interface that makes sure its 10 connection points don’t easily get worn out from swapping modules over time, and the electropermanent magnets that keep modules in place. It only uses current to toggle magnets on and off so it doesn’t drain your battery continuously unlike normal electromagnets do.
  • Google expects the Endoskeleton to last 5-6 years. This alone, for me, is reason enough to switch to Project Ara rather than changing your smartphones every two years or so.

project ara prototype 2

  • Swapping the main battery without turning off the device is possible since there’s a built-in battery apart from the main battery embedded in the Endo — a first we’ve seen in smartphones.
  • New 3D printers will be developed to produce customized casings for Project Ara users. The machine will be able to print cases in clear and CMYK colors at 600dpi. Keyword: Customize!

project ara prototype 3

  • We won’t be seeing stock Android on Project Ara. Instead, Google will be developing a specific software that could support the dynamic configurations of the device.
  • The basic “grey” phone could be seen as early as January 2015.

So what do you guys think of the Project Ara with its new updates? Is it something to be excited about? Share those thoughts below!


Kevin Bruce Francisco is the Senior Editor and Video Producer for YugaTech. He's a Digital Filmmaking graduate who's always either daydreaming of traveling or actually going places on his bike. Follow him on Twitter for more tech updates @kevincofrancis.

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29 Responses

  1. liwetan says:

    If you listen carefully, the naysayers are saying something else to nay about it other than it being impossible.

  2. 123 asawa ni marie says:

    lol googluck pag nalalaglag phone mo. CRashGEAR yan! haha

    • BK says:

      Not really. The modules are equipped with special magnets which could play a major role in the phone’s build. This magnets could “lock” and “unlock” those modules to prevent accidental “CRASHGEAR” as what you’ve said. Just stay tuned for this exciting Project Ara modular smartphone.

  3. john says:

    possibly Google will provide protective shell for each Ara, para hindi magwatak-watak in case na malaglag yan.

  4. David says:

    Siguro its a good thing for expand-abilities in terms of hardware, pero its to early to get one, maybe 2gen or third gen would be better. i love the concept, parang DYI na PC rig.

  5. John says:

    The only shitty about the ara is bulking camera…

    • Mon says:

      1. It’s a prototype
      2. It’s designed to be highly customizable, hopefully all of the big camera manufacturers jump in and create their own modules for Ara :D

      Unfortunately, this is still will not be a 100% success. If this proved to be a hit, a lot more manufacturers would get involved, if not, then it’ll stagnate and be forgotten.

      Motorola and its partners needs to make this work! We really need a new revolution in mobile tech like Ara!

    • marte says:

      the camera seems removabLe .. maybe it depends kung anong type mo na lens ang iLaLagay ..

  6. Clinkz says:

    u can customize it right? then choose a camera which isnt bulky

    • Ohayu says:

      Yes! His shitty brain was not able process that possibility. Too narrow-minded and lacks creativity.

  7. wew says:

    camera ba ung masyadong nakaprotrude?hahaha GG yan pag bumagsak lol

  8. wew says:

    5-6 yrs is enough for me,kung maingat din ung user baka mas matagal p jan =)

  9. Benchmark says:

    Hehehe ito ang isang tech na inaabangan ko…parang pc like na phone. Na youncan change the video card, processor, memory, etc. I hope pumatok ito. Sa akin lang, a very good camera, fast processor, good memory and a big screen. I hope company will develope this, nokia or sony camera module. Ang nakakaworry lang, baka sa isang module, high price naman. Yari na!

  10. Justin says:

    “We won’t be seeing stock Android on Project Ara. Instead, Google will be developing a specific software that could support the dynamic configurations of the device.”

    Ooolats… This means, with the Ara phone, yes, you have swappable components but you can’t install any apps in it. You’re basically stuck with a highly customizable… feature phone! :(

    • aldwinligaya says:

      “Stock” android naman ang sabi e. So maybe we won’t be seeing stock, but there are other variations. Malamang android pa din at mron pa ding Play store.

    • Gary says:

      The Nexus is pretty much the only phone with stock Android. Every other phone has a customized version of Android, and they all (most?) handle Google apps just fine. This really isn’t a big deal.

  11. Kyuu says:

    then modules are connected via elextromagnetism but it uses the urrnt so it doesnt consume energy.. so ung mga nag sasabi na mag kakalas kalas pag nahulog ee basa basa din pag may time..

    ung sa os naman ee gagawa lang sila ng ibang os pra macompensate ung flexibility ng pag papalit palit ng modules di naman nila ilalayo ung buong system at framework sa android mismo masmatrabaho un..
    so prng Honeycomb lang yan na os lamang pang tab nuon.

    so far same to sa project eve ng motorola? :) it’s really awesome.. eto ang solution sa mga taong di mapakali sa phone nila xD

  12. Tim says:

    Waiting for Project Ara Octacore…

    • Havoc says:

      That’s the whole point. You swap parts you need for the situation you’re in.

    • eyman says:

      But before you can use the octacore processor, kailangan mo din magpalit ng ram, more mah of battery… and the videocore… :D

  13. Aejohn says:

    Phoneblocks concept toh. search youtube for phonebloks ahaha.. mas okei pa ung concept pa toh ang pa maliit kesa dito.

  14. hay naku says:

    ang dami niyo ng sinabi

    pansinin ang ikalimang salita sa ulat na yan “prototype”

    sobrang excited naman eh

  15. Jc Querubin IIII says:

    I’m so excited about that phone Bloks project ara
    wish that would be available soon

    and would boot mutiple os like ubuntu firefox windows and andriod os

  16. kamote says:


  17. francis lauro cellon says:

    Waiting sana mura lang at sana d lang online ang pagbili ng module kasi pano ang mga katulad ko wala credit card hehe

  18. jho says:

    yun eh kung di sila masala ng DTI tsak magiging 10k
    sa dami ng impormasyon sa ara di nila kaya manloko ng basta basta
    sana lang sa lazada agad mapunta yan para makatwiran ang presyo

  19. gusto q neto mapagmamalaki qng “cellphone ko tlga yan” xD…sna may tablet din n ARA :) san kya pdng bumili neto gwin q s bakasyon :) hehe..

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