I came across an article about the worst gadgets of 2017, and I found an interesting product that caught my attention: Essential Phone, which was backed by the father of Android system. So I visited their website to learn more about their product, and I really like their philosophy behind the product:

Devices shouldn’t become outdated every year. They should evolve with you.

What a great idea! Imagine for a general user, what is the main reason to upgrade a phone every two years? I can name a few:

  • Contract got expired
  • Switching to a different carrier (e.g., From GSM to CDMA etc)
  • Battery
  • Slow (old CPU can’t keep in with the new app)

A phone is essentially a smaller computer, however we don’t have this problem with our computer. Why? That’s because we can upgrade the component of a computer instead of getting a new one. Most laptops allow users to replace the hard drive or memory. For most desktop computers, you can even replace the CPU to keep it running.

From what I see from the Essential Phone website, I can’t see how they will solve this problem. Their product will be outdated eventually.

There are multiple ways to solve this problem at the product level. The phone is broken into multiple modules, such as:

  • Module #1: CPU
  • Module #2: Ram
  • Module #3: Storage
  • Module #4: Screen
  • Module #5: Antenna
  • Module #6: Battery

Each module can be easily removed by end-user or technician without too much work, just like the computers. If Essential Phone can do something like that, then that’s a breakthrough. Otherwise, it is just another regular phone and I don’t see how it stand out from the crowd.

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