ZTE jumped into the modular smartphone race this week, showing off its own customizable handset at CES 2014. The Chinese company also had a modular tablet on hand, though both devices were locked behind glass. The new prototypes, dubbed Eco-Mobius, are just a research project at the moment, and ZTE says it has no concrete plans to release either device in the near future.
The Eco-Mobius offers a sleek industrial design, with magnetized slots where you can easily snap in the device’s camera, battery, processing chip, graphics chip, memory and internal storage, all encased in a clear plastic shell. ZTE says it would use an open-source design, allowing startups could design their own modules for the modular smartphone and tablet, PC Magazine reports.
ZTE first announced its Eco-Mobius project last year, though this is the first time we’ve seen a prototype. Meanwhile, Motorola says it’s committed to the idea of a modular smartphone with its own Project Ara, and CEO Dennis Woodside claims the company has already developed a working prototype. For now it looks like the Google-owned company will be the first to market a modular phone, though it could still be years before we see an official launch.