And the battle of the modular phones has begun. Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE has unveiled the prototype of its very own modular phone, dubbed Eco-Mobius, at the just concluded CES 2014 in Las Vegas, a move that would pit it directly against Motorola's Project Ara/Phonebloks.

The Eco-Mobius allows its user to switch and upgrade - or downgrade - individual hardware components, called modules. The user can replace the phone camera with one that takes higher-resolution photos, or upgrade its CPU with the latest version. Storage and battery can also be swapped out easily. The modules come with a magnetic connector, making it easy to snap them into place. All these are housed in a solid frame.

The idea behind the Eco-Mobius is that it reduces waste by allowing its user to simply swap or upgrade modules instead of buying new versions of any complete phone.

Right now, the Eco-Mobius is only a concept, but ZTE has plans to continue the research and development for it in China, pending studies on the viability of the device.

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