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Phonebloks: Build your own smartphone with Lego-like components

Sam Loveridge



Phonebloks has been designed as a sustainable smartphone that can be built with parts like Lego blocks.

Users will be able to use the Lego-type blocks to replace the various smartphone components over time rather than buy a whole new handset.

The concept has been created by Dutch designer Dave Hakkens after he discovered it would be cheaper to buy a whole new camera rather than simply replacing the broken part.

Hakkens has yet to build the Phonebloks device, but his concept has already generated a lot of interest.

“Right now, I’m thinking about what would be the best next step. Would it be to build it myself, open-source, online – or partner up with companies and collaborators?” said Hakkens. “Half of the world says it’s possible, the other half says it’s not possible. I don’t think anyone really knows because no-one’s really tried it.”

According to Hakkens the Phonebloks will have replaceable screens, batteries and chipsets among other components.

“Every day we throw away millions of electronics devices because they get old and worn out – but usually its only one of the components that causes the problems. It’s simply because electronics devices are not designed to last,” the video explains.

All the components are attached to a base via two small screws and can be swapped and changed to create a true customised device. The user can modify the device according to their needs too, like adding a monster battery or supercharged camera.

Phonebloks already has over 950,000 supporters on its website and the YouTube video below has amassed more than 16 million views.

Next, read our pick of the best mobile phones of 2013.


October 25, 2013, 5:47 pm

You could feasibly separate the screen and the battery, but the rest? By it's very nature, wouldn't it end up bigger than the current phones, where everything is very carefully put together? The modular idea works for PCs but not for laptops, for the same reason I suspect.


October 25, 2013, 8:31 pm

This is amazing, I really like this concept, and I will support it.

They will have to create an excellent industrial design, people like nice looking things.


October 25, 2013, 10:13 pm

Remember how well CBB (common building blocks) did for notebooks? That was backed by a small company called Intel.....


October 26, 2013, 7:06 am

What a great idea. Well past time they did this for laptops.

Owen Hamilton

October 26, 2013, 8:16 am

I guess the person who has had the idea doesn't realise that the manufacturers of any electrical device deliberately give their products a short lifespan so that people will have to pay to get a whole new product, that is how they make their money.

Andrew Trust

October 28, 2013, 8:27 pm

China will make it possible ... :)

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