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Google's Project Ara set for MWC unveiling

Google is all set to unveil its modular smartphone at Mobile World Congress in just a couple of weeks’ time.

If you’re familiar with Project Ara, you’ll know what we’re talking about, but if not, it’s best thought of as a Lego phone – you use different building blocks which can be slotted together for a (sort of) DIY smartphone.

This means if you’re not that bothered about photos, for instance, you can bung a low-end camera in, and save yourself some bucks. And you can always upgrade it at a later date, should you change your mind – this sort of flexibility and new levels of customisation is the core philosophy of Ara (you’ll even be able to hot-swap modules, for the maximum in convenience; save for the CPU and display, naturally enough).

According to IBN, some 50 modular components are going to be shown off at MWC, with a working version of the modular phone available to play with. One of those modules will be a 5 megapixel camera unit from Toshiba.

Project Ara isn’t the only modular concept on the boil, with the Blocks watch being the smartwatch version of the idea that was shown off at CES last month – that particular gadget is expected to ship before 2015 is out.

Exactly when Google’s phone will be ready for consumers is another question, and hopefully we might get an idea at MWC.

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.