Teracube 3e: Desired Features

Good technology can always be improved. So I suggest that we start collecting suggestions for improvement now. What do we want from a Teracube 3e? What is a must in four years? What would be a nice ad on, but not necessary? I already found a lot of nice ideas concerning this topic in our forum at:

https://community.myteracube.com/t/our-next-big-thing/980/62

https://community.myteracube.com/t/the-future-of-teracube/1836/8

I hope we can bundle here our expectations und questions.

I’ll just start with my personal dream catalog for the next Teracube smartphone.

  1. 5G network capability (high priority)
  2. Update warranty like Android One
  3. Basic choice between Stock Android and one Custom ROM, e.g. LineageOS or Replicant (OS without google)
  4. Exchangeable modules, e.g. upgrade to 48MP camera
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Orientation: We should think about our ideas about SUSTAINABILITY. Which aspects are most important and indispensable to us? Where do we want to compromise in favor of technical requirements?

Additional Aspekts for the Teracube 3e discussion:

  1. Which conceptual improvement possibilities are there?
  2. Which technical improvements?
  3. What can we learn from other sustainable smartphones, e.g. the Fairphone
  4. How expensive can the new phone be?

I’d like to have an integrated IR Blaster on the top edge of the phone. Having an external one plugged in usually means my case will no longer fit, that the phone starts catching on things, or that I’ve got to play musical plugs to charge it.

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I like the idea of a modular Teracube. In the interest of keeping a low cost model available to those who are looking for something more basic, the 2e or some variant should continue to be made available. For those who are power users and want a phone they can keep for a long time and be somewhat future proof, a higher-end model would be great. I would be happy to pay a few hundred extra dollars for the following features:
Better camera with night mode.
Much better speakers.
More RAM
Upgraded GPU/CPU
Higher resolution screen, can still be LCD.
A waterproof case made available.
KEEP
Removable battery
Dual SIM
SD card slot
Glue free build

Wireless charging is not a big priority for me, I use magnetic connectors. Don’t really use it on the phones with that feature that I already have.

Even though the 2E is a lower cost phone, I have migrated from my OnePlus 6T for the time being and have been discovering new features that make the 2e more useful & competitive by the day.

I have a iPhone SE 2020 with a great camera which will be my primary camera when I’m traveling. It would be really nice to have a Teracube with a decent all-around camera to where I wouldn’t really even need the iPhone. It’s such a hassle to deal with iOS to get the photos transferred. At this time there’s no comparison in the pictures. Totally understandable considering the cost differential between these two phones.
I would definitely buy a more high-end Teracube and be willing to pay several hundred $ more for it should it become available.

I like the idea of having a phone I can stay with that is not an expensive throw away when the battery goes bad or if you have the misfortune of dropping it and cracking the fragile glass as is the case with so many smartphones today. The cost of repairing those high-end phones are not worth the amount of money needed.
The concept of Teracube and Fairphone is sustainability and I like it. :blush:

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Dear Braindmged,
your IR BLASTER could possibly be an optional additional module.
With the concept of modularity, the developer would certainly have to define an interface and determine which additional or alternative hardware could be implemented with it.
You were the first to contribute to the discussion and that really encourages me. Thanks for that.

Dear William_Nale,
thank you very much for your detailed list.
But are you sure that it takes a few hundred dollars to create a much more powerful smartphone?
We’re talking about the future. In three or four years, I believe that more RAM (6GB), a faster CPU or a better display (AMOLED) will be standard anyway. Better speakers shouldn’t cost the earth either. Much better cameras could of course be expensive. But that could be a selectable module alternative.

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My List:

  1. RAM
  2. RAM
  3. P60, or a step up to an SD 730
  4. Same form factor as 2e using interchangeable parts where possible
  5. more focus on Right-to-Repair marketing

I personally would take a Teracube 3e thats essentially a 2e with a MediaTek P60 and 6gb on the circuit board for an extra 100 bucks… Id happily pay that with the expectation that whenever i need to repair the phone parts will be cheaply and readily available.

If you release a 5G version please release one without 5G im not interested in even having an active 5G radio in my phone. Also would dropping the sustainability focus help free up capitol to increase production flexibility? As in more spare parts available, and more RAM on the circuit boards and a closer performance/price ratio. maybe worry about sustainability after you and companies like yours have grabbed more marketshare?

Also im down for dropping the warranty in favor of guaranteeing more availability replacement parts. I dont think Id use the warranty even if i paid for it and my phone broke i just prefer to fix things myself for both me and my friends and family.

I seriously want to buy your next phone. The One is gone and the 2e isnt for me but im watching and waiting and thinking the next one will be right up my alley

RAM: 6-8 gb pleeaasssee

EDIT: I actually have this massive post in general section that has ideas touching on a lot of what GIndio mentions when asking for additional aspects of Teracube 3e disscussion. If you made 3 phones that the only difference is the proc and RAM on the circuit board where everything else is exactly the same all just low end stuff id be down dude im not obssessed with my phone i just want it to be fast… like instant fast like i keep my PC and laptop i dont like waiting for things to load and i dont want to ask anybody to repair my phone for me

You guys dont have to go Full-Service. I (and i think a ton of other people) would be happy with Barebones if it puts the most freedom in my hand as cheaply as financially sustainable

32 Gb RAM, 1Tb storage, 8G cell and 10Gb WiFi, 9kma battery and chocolate chip cookies on demand. Oh, as solid as an Abraham’s Tank but as light as a croissant.

You forgot some obvious wishes
#555 inch screen,
#compartment for these little pink lucky pills,
#vouchers for double espresso (cookies),
#crumb-free (croissant & cookies) antiseptic, protective cover (gap dimensions <0),
#translator and 24 hour help with the voice of John Cleese,
#helicopter support for warranty emergencies.
#world peace

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LOL I feel it! Not to mention free Frequent Flyer Miles. Need that

orrrr

Go body of a 2e circuit board of a One. Itd be siiick id buy two one for me and my girl and id buy a ton of back up lcd assemblies in advance lol.

Shoot ill even gorilla market the crap out of them both to my friends and to local repair shops that resell for companies like BLU. Ive worked for a number in my area (DMV)

Right to repair, reparability, warranty, better performance specifications, sustainability, modularity

The following link provides a more detailed background on the ideas of Merc410:

https://community.myteracube.com/t/teracube-one-roadmap-questions-ideas-from-a-frustrated-repair-specialist/2010/4

This is my first smartphone. I do miss the the small size and inherent self-protection of flip phones, but am otherwise pretty happy with it. Open source apps exists for much of what I do with it.

Repairability and the push toward open source were key factors for me buying the 2e.
Keep working toward modularity. You can totally catch up with Fairphone on that.

More than pretty much anything else, I would like to be able to swap in a color e-ink display. I don’t watch video, play games, engage in similar video-intensive activities. E-ink is easy to read in bright lights. I spend too much time staring at lcds for work and other life and e-ink is easier on the eyes. I have the battery life up to a week and e-ink should add to that.

I would like the SD card to be in an external slot so I can swap it without having to dismantle the phone.

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Modularity:

It is instructive to take a look at the approaches and concepts of modular smartphones that existed and are still there. Which did not get beyond the idea? Which ones got up to the production status and were or are still successful today? Which ones were the total failures and cost the buyers a lot of money?

Wikipedia Overview / Concepts and Status of Modular Smartphones

2013 Phonebloks

2013 Ara

2015 Nexpaq

2015 Moscase

2016 Puzzle Phone

2017 Librem 5

2016-2019 Moto Z Mods


2018 Shiftphone


2019/2020 Fairphone 3 / 3+

2020/2021 Teracube 2e

Recommended Context:

iFixit

I did not see having a waterproof case to go with all phones mentioned in this thread.

That is my only choice for a 3e. :slight_smile:

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  1. Support USB Power Delivery protocol (Even if it’s not quick charge. I just want to be able to use whatever usb-c cable I have in my drawer)
  2. Hardware switches a la pinephone or librem 5
  3. An official LineageOS build.
  4. $200

That’s pretty much everything I want. And don’t add any anti-features like removing the sd card slot or headphone jack.

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My ideas for a more premium phone - not sure if it’d be a “3e” as that sounds like an iteration/evolution more than a “next tier of phone” kind of idea…

So, if I were to get a $400 Teracube:

  • More RAM (6gb min, 8gb target, 12gb max)
  • The fastest processor that an independent, small-batch company can even acquire
  • Better sound, with software filtering like what other phones do (can you even touch audio consultants at this level/scale?) to provide wider/bigger sound from tiny speakers
  • A better camera, not “more cameras” - again with better software, closer collaboration with the manufacturers, tighter control around quality and software/driver issues/bugs (if I tap a spot on the screen, that means you should perform an autofocus routine on that area, not just brightness/contrast - and if I don’t tap, then don’t randomly start autofocusing on random things!).
  • A few more software features, like lock screen shortcuts and multiple types of power-button actions that don’t require extremely hacky hooks (like apps that detect screen-on events to determine power button pressing), and a definite update release schedule tied to Android version releases (X weeks after release, etc., to integrate the deadlines for supplier support, etc). Oh, and some nerd system settings would be nice, too. Some good perks to being “real Android” and not skinned/modded-to-hell Android.
  • Slightly bigger build for {big} hands.
  • Water-resistance of some kind - be it a case, or design to be waterproof
  • Responsive touchscreen with adjustable sensitivity

I’d pony up some more money for that. Many of these could be integrated into the next version of a $200 phone anyway!

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Rather than a totally new phone, I’d prefer to see upgrades to the existing phone, a la Fairphone, e.g. a higher spec camera that you could buy on here.

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Modularity (supplement):
2019 PinePhone

I love my 2e, but: (i.e. “next time I’d like:”)
A.k.a. responding and building on what others have said:

1: Wireless charging capability.
It’s close to a deal breaker; I have just rearranged my living space and remembered the 2e doesn’t, an it’s a big problem.
Even if it’s via an alternative waterproof case that connects to external contact points, it’s very important to have Qualcomm Quick Charge and qi charge capability.
Not only is there the ability to spend more time on the go and not on charge, but if you’re going to look at sustainability then you must consider the cables; copper, rubber, manufacturing, the finite lifespan of every cable… They simply cannot compete with the option of never having to plug anything in at all.
Remembering that the USB standards include a minimum requirement for breakability because repeated connect/disconnect cycles wear plugs out, this simply cannot be ignored.

2: IR blaster. (@Braindmged)
I like the idea, but it’s not a deal breaker. It could be included as part of that waterproof case. I have two Broadcom Wi-fi to Bluetooth units that I have simply never set up because of the hassle; I’d prefer to just use my phone. Not to mention my mum always losing her TV remote and having digital arthritis; it’d be much better to have a touchscreen phone as a remote instead of the old rubber button setup.
But NEVER make it require use of the USB or headphone socket

3: Warranty/replacability (Merc410)
Perhaps a guarantee that if no replacability parts are offered, a replacement (with proper, environmentally sound resource reclamation of the old device,) will be available. Personally I’m happy.
On the other hand, if sustainability is a value, don’t drop it for/until success. This is a choice between integrity and commercial gain and will alienate a lot of your base. And when you switch back, you’ll alienate the rest.

4: Screen options (gnoodlemeier)
The TC2e is not my primary phone. (For various reasons I also need a flagship level phone.) It is my preferred one, though.
So I don’t need a top-of-the-line, cook and drain battery to make it readable, instant response AMOLED or Retina display.
In fact, I do quite like the idea of the e-ink alternative. Swap out the response time and all that for an e-ink display that barely uses battery, is viewable in full sun and rests the eyes. Plus, durability increase much?
Look into:
-EPLaR (uses existing AM-LCD manufacturing plants) but you’ll have to make friends with Philips (but they may jump at the collab opportunity; it wouldn’t hurt to ask?)
-Electrowetting allows 50% saturation for colour (even RGB can only give 33% max per colour) and could run a CMYK screen quite fast. No polarisation means no light loss, too.
-Plasmonics would be awesome but is still needing a lot of development.
You could have it as an option at Point-of-sale or a repair ability part.

5: Pipedreams (@mlrsmp)
Is an optional 1TB that unthinkable? I mean, it would HAVE to be optional so that people made the choice to sacrifice power usage, but a 1TB chip isn’t that far off …
But the idea of the Abraham’s tank… Is that how he and Isaac got up the mountain, or how he rescued Lot? Or are you simply implying that the General Abrams it was named after also had a "meeting the angel of God"moment as subsequent name change?
Sorry, couldn’t resist googling some Bible trivia.
And with the right ingredients before toasting, a gooddcroissant can be really heavy.
Perhaps it should come with a vaccine… For, you know… But one made out of rose hip oil, mint and hommus…

6: Waterproof, waterproof, WATERPROOF. (Carl.Bond)
By case, by design or by magical enchantment, at least make it gasket-based water resistant to a high degree .
Heck, I’ll take it coming with a snap lock bag and a bottle of reusable sealant if that’s what it takes (and doesn’t hamper the rest of the phone’s functionality.)
I’m too much of an idiot (and impatient in water-ready situations) to not have a phone that can handle the dihydrogen monoxide death we all fear.
Until dihydrogen monoxide has been banned as a toxic substance, we need this protection for our phones.

7: Right to repair (Merc410)
Can you make it sustainable AND right to repair?

8: Whalephone (Merc410)
I’d do it. I work hard to convince my “oh, I’ll just get an HP” friends to invest in a Metabox laptop. And I succeed.
I’d buy the whalephone; give me the option for bells and whistles at a 10% mark-up from cost variance and I’ll happily subsidise the rest of your development to that 10% rate.
Plus, if sustainability and modularity for the whole industry is part of your goal, what better way than to force the major players to take notice of a customisable phone? Go full PC master race on their mobile console asses.
What phone store wouldn’t back the product that guarantees return customers? There’s a reason why Pandora is so successful; every bracelet they buy guarantees a tween that will return on a weekly basis for a new charm to add to her ever-increasing collection. Us technophiles are just a much cooler version of those angsty girls.

Just sayin’

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