Google's Project Ara, DIY smartphone starting $50

Google’s Project Ara, DIY smartphone starting $50

The build-yourself smartphone that’s being groomed by Google, Project Ara, is about to have its first developer conference in a few months. It was also reported that the basic device may be available next year with a $50 starting price.


For those wondering what Ara is, it’s Google’s modular smartphone project that lets users start from a basic device and eventually build the handset up with specific parts that users want — be it a kickass camera, more battery capacity, a bigger memory, etc. These parts will be available from a Google Play-like marketplace, but with hardwares instead of softwares. You can read more about Project Ara here.


The scheduled developer conference is the first of many — meaning this innovation is getting a green light so far and is inching its way to the market. The upcoming conference will focus specifically on the alpha release of the Ara Module Developer’s Kit (MDK) that’s been said to hit the web this April.

In addition, Time has reported that the company plans on making this smartphone available in the market next year for $50 (approx. Php2,200) as the starting price. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll need to shell out more dough as you buy more parts one by one (it’s just like customizing your Tamiya all over again). For $50, you get the basic handset that comes only with Wi-Fi.

If Project Ara pushes through and makes it next year, would you find yourself getting one?


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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18 Responses

  1. phonebuddy says:

    Great concept. 2 big modules for battery, 2 small for speakers, 1 medium for camera, 1 medium for processor and memory and still have spare…. maybe sorround speakers for the remaining! :-))

  2. Bob says:

    Yes I absolutely would get one so I could have a cellphone like I want which all of them are not these days. I want a keyboard, dual hot swappable batteries. I don’t care for or want a camera on my phone I just want a phone for calls and texts that is easy to use..

    After my Samsung Note started having problems I just got a Lenovo 7 inch tablet and a small bluetooth keyboard, I never take my phone with me if I go out because I don’t like phones but I think a complete unit instead of what I am using now would be better I think.

    • Abudakdak says:

      Hmmm, you do not take your phone because you don’t like phones? Actually people bring their phones because they need their phones. Then I just want a phone for calls and texts? Then you wanted a complete unit instead if the the one you are using now. Anong klaseng pagmamaganda yan? Paki-explain! Lab u!

    • sirches says:

      ansabe nya?

  3. – so google didn’t rip off the idea right?

    • Don't be concerned says:

      They didn’t because as far as I know Motorola was already working closely with the creator of phonebloks and of course Motorola being owned by Google thus all these information here in this article. Don’t be too concerned brother. :)

    • Mon says:

      I think Project Ara started months BEFORE the idea was pitched by Phonebloks.

      As the guy above me said, the guys at Project Ara then contacted Phonebloks so that they can work together for a better product. ;)

  4. benchmark says:

    Check out this link fron gsmarena, start with 5 minutes mark…nakaktuwa yung project ara….and hope i could afford this soon! Baka eto na yungnnext Nexus nila :)

  5. eugenrs says:

    Sana me projector rin he he

  6. RJ De Leon says:

    The thing to be wary of could be compromises in performance and build/construction in the name of achieving maximum interoperability (both hardware & firmware/OS) over a wide array of modules.

    You may be able to “build” an S3-spec’d phone, but actual performance won’t approximate the real thing where nearly every component has been designed & constructed to perform as seamlessly & as optimal as possible.

    The compromises could still be worthwhile if it does come out locally at the prices quoted, and if the build is half-decent & the phone won’t “volt-out” completely the moment it’s dropped from 2 feet or lower.

  7. jdGONEMAD says:

    parang pc lang din yan sa tingin ko. una upgradable parts. pag tagal eh not compatible na ung next big upgrade sa existing parts mo so you’d end up eventually buying all the next big upgrade parts instead of just a single part.

  8. Zed says:

    256TB……. pffffffffffffffffffffffffft

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