A new modular smartphone project – albeit one based on vanilla Android – has emerged with the advent of Finnish startup Vsenn, whose mission statement is “to give everyone the power to create their perfect smartphone by using modular and upgradable hardware.” How far this stands a chance against Google’s own homegrown Project Ara, or even how far it is differentiated from it, remains to be seen, though it does also claim to be “co-founded by a former Nokia Android X program manager.”
“We use only the best and fastest hardware in our modules,” states the Vsenn introductory material. “There are three modules that you can upgrade and replace: Camera, Battery and Processor/RAM.” And as for looks: “With back covers that can be changed easily and fast. You may choose from a variety of offers that look and feel just perfect.”
On the OS front, Vsenn states “we offer pure Vanilla Android with guaranteed updates for the next 4 years.” What doesn’t seem to be on offer from Vsenn so far is the selection of form factors from smallish smartphone that Project Ara purports to offer, as well as other components like wifi modules. Other reports indicate that Vsenn will retail for under EUR 590 in Europe, and under $590 in the U.S., but that hardly suggests a very flexible form factor or price point. However, Vsenn may still bear watching as more details emerge.