NexPhone concept combines a smartphone, tablet and PC in one
By Dave LeClair
October 15, 2012
The number of gadgets many of us use every day has multiplied significantly over the past decade. Most people have a smartphone, a PC, and maybe even a tablet and a laptop. The NexPhone concept aims to bring all these devices together into one mobile device that can dock into a tablet, laptop or full-size monitor to fulfill all your daily computing needs. It's an interesting concept that would do away with cloud syncing and the need to copy files from device to device.
The proposed device uses Ubuntu for Android to offer a desktop experience when you want it. While you are carrying the phone around, it functions like most Android phones, but when plugged into one of the docks, it would expand and change to Ubuntu. If you plug it into the tablet dock, it stays with the mobile version of the OS, but would scale the interface for more usability.
In all, there are three docks that you would use depending on your needs. On it's own, the NexPhone would function as a smartphone. If you're after a bigger screen but want to retain mobility, the NexTablet dock would fit the bill. If you need a portable desktop experience with a trackpad and full keyboard, plug the smartphone into the NexLaptop. Finally, if you want a full-size monitor and keyboard, plug it into the NexMonitor.
This is not the first device to blur the lines between the smartphone and other devices. Motorola has its Lapdocks, ASUS has its Transformer Prime line and plenty of third-party accessories bring full keyboards to various tablets.
Obviously, the NexPhone is taking this idea to another level with an Ubuntu-based desktop experience. It's clear that there is interest in merging all of our hardware together, it's just a matter of someone taking the steps necessary to make it happen.
The creators have some estimated prices for the phones and its various docks. The device and the main dock would retail for around US$499, while the NexTablet is expected to cost $149 and the NexLaptop and NexMonitor both coming it at $199. To get all of them, it would set you back a little over $1,000, which is cheaper than buying similar devices separately. Plus there's the flexibility of buying only the bits you need.
The NexPhone is seeking funding on Indiegogo to turn the device from a concept to a functioning prototype, and the creators are certainly looking for a large sum. The goal for the NexPhone is $950,000. Will it hit the goal? That, of course, remains to be seen, but the concept is certainly intriguing.
This all begs the question: do you want one device that does everything, or do you prefer having a separate device for each function?
The video below demonstrates how the NexPhone concept would work.