A few weeks ago Motorola announced Project Ara, a concept modular phone where parts or components can be swapped as replacement or an upgrade. The idea of modular phones first came from Phoneblocks, and to a certain degree, Project Ara got the idea from Phoneblocks. Motorola has tapped the help of Phoneblocks so it’s an acknowledgment that both have similar goals.
Now Chinese phone maker Xiaomi wants to make its own modular phone. Some photos of the Xioami concept modular have been released recently and it looks like Project Ara, only that there are fewer customization options. A modular phone actually fits Xiaomi’s image as it has thrived as a phone company by crowdsourcing ideas for design and features and by consistently implementing them on a regular basis.
Project Ara has several detachable components while Xiaomi’s design only has a few. The display and the main board appear combined so it seems that users may only replace main parts like the camera and probably the processor and RAM. For reference, here is what Motorola is working on with Project Ara: