Google on Wednesday officially unveiled its latest Project Ara prototype, the Spiral 2, during its Project Ara Module Developer’s Conference in Mountain View, California.
Google said Spiral 2 officially includes a 3G radio with support for phone calls over 3G networks, but that 4G LTE connectivity isn’t expected until the second quarter of this year. It also has support for hotswapping modules and significant improvements in the robustness — or its ability to withstand things like drops. Other features include a 1280 x 720-pixel display, a 5-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, a USB charger and processors provided by Marvell and NVIDIA.
The firm also said that it has 11 reference designs for modules, including one that can detect pollution, that it will discuss with developers later on Wednesday, but a large part of this conference will be focusing on providing developers with the tools to create new modules. Speaking of modules, batteries can be hotswapped in low power mode, but Spiral 3 will support full swapping while the phone is powered on.
Finally, Google noted that the next iteration, Spiral 2, is set to launch during the second quarter of this year, followed by a market pilot and an official launch after that — though firm dates weren’t provided.