October 19, 2010 | by Chris Smith
Do you like how you can go to sites like Dell’s or Apple’s and customize your PCs and Macs to your heart’s desire? Wouldn’t it be cool if you could do the same with your Android device? Heck yeah it would and Germany’s start-up Synapse-Phones thinks it would too.
Synapse-Phones is to bring a customizable Android handset to market in the middle of Q1 2011 that will allow users to spec out their phone to include the hardware that they would like. Want capacitive buttons instead of hardware buttons? No problem. How about a mini-HDMI port as well as a front facing camera? Sure, just for a slightly higher price.
Ever since the buzz about the site hit the web this afternoon, Synapse’s servers took a hit and it appears that they have just redirected their URL to a Posterous blog for the time being. The starting specs of the device include Android 2.2, 1Ghz processor (no word on what type), 4-inch Super-AMOLED screen, and a microSD card slot (no word on included card). The addons include different radios (3G, 4G – LTE or WiMAX, Bluetooth, Cameras (up to 12MP), different colors, etc. There is no mention of WiFi (possibly a mistake). The base specs start out at a modest ~$410.
I have a feeling that Synapse-Phones, although an awesome idea, is going to have one hell of a battle to make it in the smartphone biz. I am all about open source, start-ups, and entrepreneurship, but I think that with customization of this nature, especially in a space such as mobile that is not mass “customization friendly” as of now, has to be by a company that has the capital to do it.