Raspberry Pi Phone

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Value Proposition

The value proposition of a DIY smart phone must be low cost and infinite variability, with decent performance, and definite lifetime of service via replaceable parts. Different modules would be time lapse cameras, long battery life, solar operation, outdoor use, GoPro use, etc.

Perhaps regressing to "a small computer" with any desirable application, such as smart phone with camera, is a valuable positioning statement.

This could be made valuable when well-designed 3D printed parts bring the phone into a nice package.

Minimum Viable Product

  • Modular ( Think "Motomods" of the "Red Hydrogen One" but even more so)
  • Open Source
  • Durable/Ruggedized
  • Standard Cables + Connectors
  • Long Battery Life / Hot Swappable Batteries
  • User Maintainable and Upgradable
  • Easily Expandable Storage
  • Highly Secure (User Removable Cameras + Mics, Encryption, and multiple passwords (such as biometric and short password)
  • Customizable to many use cases
  • No Planned Obsolecence


In order from bottom to top:

Battery/ IO Module

- On the bottom

- Hot swappable battery slots plus USB-C port unit for wired charging / wired data transfer + audio jack

Data Modules

- ?x

- SD and/or Micro SD card readers, Hot swappable hopefully via raid

Processing Module

- 1x

- Raspberry Pi or some equivalent

Wifi Module

- ?x

- Antenna + connectors to the processor

Cellular Module

- Either 4G 4.5G, or 5G

Bluetooth Module

- ?x

- Mainly 4.0, 4.?, or 5.0

LIFI Module

- ?x

- Internet via pulsed light, not widespread, but may be worth a look

Satellite Module

- ?x

( Either phone only or internet as well )

Camera + Microphone module

- ?x

- Can be in different forms such as: a rear and front camera module, a stereoscopic 3d module, a 360 video module, a thermal camera module, a 3d scanning module, a spectrometer, or maybe even a medical/biometric scanner

Misc modules:

- Wireless Charging Module ( a QI Charging Pad and connectors to the battery module )

- Solar Panel Module ( a rear solar panel for emergency power)

- Crank Charger Module ( A rear crank handle power module for emergency power )

- Barcode Scanner ( A Barcode Scanner, good for factory/inventory use cases )

- Touchscreen Module ( Most likely a " Manga Screen " or equivalent multitouch HD screen)

- Advanced IO Module ( Maybe more ports such as additional USB-C, Thunderbolt 3, Display Port, or even Gigabit Ethernet)

- Advanced Screen Module ( 1440p or 4k Screen instead of 720p or 1080p )

- Advanced Storage Module ( Uses 2.5/3.5 inch drives (either ssd or maybe even magnetic disk drives) for massive amounts of storage. Would add some bulkiness though. )


See more examples at Raspberry Pi Touchscreen

  • Touchscreen, 640x480, $22 - [1]
  • 800x480, 7", $70 - [2]
  • 3.5" 320x480, $15 - [3]
  • 800x480, $34, 5" - [4]
  • 1280x720p 4.8" Multitouch Capable Touch Screen, $99 - [5]
  • 1920x1080p 5.9" Multitouch Capable Touch Screen, $99 - [6]


  • $23, 5 MP - [7]
  • 8 MP, $28 - [8]
  • $10, 5 MP - [9]


Existing Products



  • We need a decent mobile operating system for a phone running on raspberry pi. The above have low-end interfaces. We need a practical one with browser and phone as a basic and practical working tool. Best example of a practical and hackable system, but without phone, is RasPad
  • So let's google Raspberry Pi Phone 2018 - [18]
  • The time for a practical lifetime design phone is here with Raspberry Pi. As Raspberry Pi improves, using a Pi for phones will be trivial. Right now we are at the point of attaining top level performance of cell phones with the Pi. There are rumors of Pi 4 release for March 2019 - bumping speed from 1.2 Ghz to 1.8 Ghz quad core.
  • October 2018 - promising for small factor; needs software. Based on TyTelli - [19]
  • Not Raspberry Pi but Kitev2 - fully open source (outside of chips themselves) - [20]. Did not get funded on Kickstarter.

See Also