Now we have phones in many shapes and sizes. If you want to have a phone that gives you a personal feeling, the MAKERphone may be something for you. This phone now runs a campaign on Kickstarter and offers you the opportunity to tinker your own phone.
With the MAKERphone, the young Croatian startup wants to give people an understanding of how a mobile phone works. In doing so, they are once again relying on the do-it-yourself approach: In the basic version, the kit wants to be soldered and assembled by the user. Of course, there is also an already assembled variant, which costs a bit more and offers a little less fun due to the lack of construction.
No matter if you decide on the self-made version or the already assembled device, in the end, you keep a working mobile phone in your hands. Of course, the device is not comparable to today’s smartphones. However, you have this chic part, hopefully, completely self-built. But the fun does not end, as with the MAKERphone, with the completion of the device then the programming part starts.
There are three different options available: Scratch, Python and C / C ++. Scratch is aimed primarily at young programmers, as the language relies on a completely graphical programming interface. All functions are represented as puzzle pieces, which can be connected. For programs created with Python, the MAKERphone relies on a custom version called MicroPython. CircuitMess recommends the Arduino IDE for programming with C / C ++, as it did with the MAKERbuino.
You can make phone calls, text messages, play music, connect to WiFi and play a few simple games. If you are very good, you can even program your own games and apps. The MAKERphone offers an ESP32 dual-core processor with 32-bit support and a clock speed of 160Mhz. Thus, enough computing power is available for more demanding games and programs. Also, WLAN and Bluetooth are already integrated into the chip. The 1.8 “color display resolves with 160 × 128 pixels and offers 16-bit color depth. It also has its digital-to-analog converter, which allows playback of sounds and MP3 files.
A real-time clock module, as the name implies, takes care of the clock and the alarm clock function. The GSM chip ensures communication via the mobile phone network. The MAKERphone makes itself noticeable via a vibration motor and eight individually controllable RGB LEDs – and that looks really cool! The supplied battery provides the self-made mobile phone with a charge for about three days.
The MAKERphone can be completely adapted to your own wishes. The interface can be modified via the settings or setup file on the microSD card. The multimedia functions of the MAKERphone include the playback of MP3, image and video files.
Also, CircuitMess relies on open source and provides schematics and other documents. The specially created games and apps can then be shared with other users via the CircuitMess world platform. In addition to the finished compiled files, the source code is also available for download. This allows users to learn from others’ creations and bring their own part.
Currently, the innovative DIY phone can be pre-ordered for 94$ through the CircuitMess kickstart campaign. A residual risk always remains with these campaigns. However, the estimated delivery date of the “MAKERphone Kit” is March 2019. Shipping is worldwide. If you do not feel like doing crafting, you can have the MAKERphone sent to you as well. The predetermined goal of the Croatian start-up company has already been achieved.