LG G5, Project Ara and others: The modular smartphone revolution may arrive earlier than expected

When Google decided to sell Motorola to Lenovo, it kept behind one of the best divisions – Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) – that includes the Project Ara modular phone concept. Last year, at IO 2015, Google demoed several interesting projects, which raised our hopes on all those weird phone concepts that we wished could be a reality in the future.

This time around, LG managed to beat Google with its big MWC 2016 modular smartphone surprise. The company didn’t just manage to (arguably) introduce the first mainstream modular phone, but also grabbed the most eyeballs at the show. The G5 comes with a slide-out battery, taking the first step towards the modular world of phones.

Yes, the first step towards a world of modular phones. In the past couple of years, there’s been significant development in smartphone hardware evolution. A few years ago it was said we’re nearly hitting the fag end of hardware, and that it was time to focus on software. Modular design seems to have the potential to answer the ‘what next’ question that has been lingering on everyone’s minds.