Germany-Based Synapse Offering Custom-Built Android 2.2 Handsets, Possibly [Update: It’s Working Off and On]



Ever wanted to build your own Android 2.2 handset from the ground up? Start with a 4.0-inch screen, choose your 3G or 4G LTE or WiMAX radio, pick a camera up to 12MP, and round it out with options from Bluetooth and WiFi to HDMI output and extra storage? Well, German company Synapse is apparently offering just that for prices starting around €434 ($600), that is if the website would proceed to load.

We have been unable to gain access to this supposed Android-tinkerer’s heaven, but Engadget is promising that it exists and has a screen capture to back it up. Still, if it ever comes back online we see this as being nothing short of what any diehard Android fan could want: the opportunity to build your own, custom-tailored handset.  Pretty awesome.

So, what would you throw into your dream phone?

[UPDATE]: We were able to get into the site, though luck seems to be varying in getting the page to load. A bit more info we gleaned: The phones are available now as a pre-order and start off with a base 1GHz processor and a few other options. Choosing from the list of add-ons reads a lot like buying a car. More options, more money. The company is aiming to ship these handsets out come early 2011, so if you are able to get a order in don’t expect it all that soon. Looks like they are aiming to manufacturer the handsets as a batch rather than one at time.

[via Engadget]

Kevin Krause
Pretty soon you'll know a lot about Kevin because his biography will actually be filled in!

Industrious Samsung Epic 4G Game Pad Mod

Previous article

HanDBase Launches on Android for the Organization Obsessed

Next article

You may also like


  1. Think about the Turtles!?!?!

  2. Root access, no hacking necessary.

  3. This is pretty awesome.

  4. This would be quite freaking awesome, in fact, and I’m suspecting largely irrelevant (for me anyway) because I just can’t see VZW allowing such a thing to attach to its precious network.

  5. @Dave I doubt(if this is even real) that they would offer a CDMA phone as Europe is GSM(ie sim card) so the carrier wouldn’t be aware of what kind of phone is on their network. Its so nice and free to be able to sim swap when ever you want.

  6. @David – I hear ya bro. I was thinking (perhaps stupidly) that, as VZW rolls out its 4G network, that it would be able to support all LTE devices.

  7. Dare I say that I would be hesitant to buy such a phone? I love the idea of a custom handset. However, buying from an unknown company often leads to problems with customer service and any issues with the device fall into the lap of the end user. Also, I am clumsy. If I paid that much for a custom phone I would need a good solid case for it. I doubt Sedio or Otterbox would take requests, especially since the latter still hasnt produced a Defender for the HTC Incredible (which has been out since April)

  8. Isn’t LTE a sim technology?
    This may be interesting to see.

    4″ capacative AMOLED screen
    Gorilla Glass
    3G CDMA/GSM (World Phone)
    4G LTE
    Wifi b/g/n with wireless tethering ability
    Bluetooth 3.0
    All axis accelerometer
    Proximity Sensor
    16GB on board
    Unlimited MicroSD size compatibility
    Front facing 1.3+ megapixel camera
    Rear facing 8.0 megapixel camera with flash
    Dual core processor over 1Ghz that runs at lowest power
    Dedicated GPU
    Micro USB with A/V out option
    USB sync and charge cradle
    Stereo speakers
    Metal case (no antenna built into the metal..Apple…)
    2000+ mAh minimum interchangeable battery

    And yes, I’d like fries with that.

    That’s all….

  9. Crap! Forgot:

    Metal for case is aluminum
    Highest res screen available
    Ambient light sensor
    Dual microphones (one for noise cancelling)
    Camera Button on the right side
    Volume buttons on the right side
    Mute switch on the left side
    Next and Back buttons on left side (next and previous track)
    Power button on top
    Micro USB on the bottom
    4 capacitive buttons at bottom of screen (Home, Menu, Back, Search)
    Latest Android build
    Latest Flash build
    Android Market

  10. It must print money…..also, it must point out all of Steve Jobs faults.

  11. Can testify that it’s possible to load the web page, take about 5 minutes though. You have to choose either CDMA or GSM radio, they state they will start sending the phones out in the middle of Q1 2011. But the stated price above is for the cheapest version (3G, Wifi b/g, capasitive buttons, 256 Mb/8 Gb memory and no included SD card, no front facing camera and no flash, but all with 1Ghz processor). If you want 4G, front facing camera, more memory it can end up close to 800-850$. And aluminium casing.

  12. Just google: http://synapse-phones.com/node/9

    and clicked cached. Really awesome options. 299 Euros incl vat standard.

    I’m in love…

  13. Just to head off half the comments that we all know are coming:

    OMG! Think of teh fragmentation!!1!

    (this is awesome)

  14. I want one just like the jitterbug phones but mine custom Droid would have a blowjob button on it…

  15. FYI: base price including VAT is 299,00€, all the features pushes it to 684,00€ including VAT. according to google that is $411-940 USD before shipping im sure

  16. Oh. My. God. I’ve just found my next phone.

  17. omg omg omg this is how phones should be sold . this is amazing and i now know where im getting my next phone.

  18. If this has a hardware keyboard I’ll take it.

  19. how about a keyboard option and various GPU choiceS?

    still this is a great start, and I like the direction they are taking things!

  20. What a killer concept!

  21. This is a great idea, but the problem is, do we know for sure the company is legit? What if they run away with your money? Even if they are legit, what is their quality control like? After-sales service? However if, say, a respectable company that puts together Linux laptops and desktops were to offer to put together an Android phone the same way, I really might consider it.

  22. According to the golem.de forum his is a startup recently founded by a 23-year old who’s never done business before and has some shady contract with a Chinese company.
    I’d be surprised if he could pull that one off.
    In the forum a guy who claims to know him also states that the boy has never even worked ever in his life.
    (see comments by Gulp)

  23. I second that. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. I would strongly advise against pre-ordering one of those thingies.

  24. Just for the fun of it, I poked around.

    Three people in the company:
    Christopher Brüning, Philipp Ziebart, Eugen Bernhardt

  25. The first is the trickiest: could be this guy, http://www.xing.com/profile/Christoph_Bruening5 but don’t have enough info.

  26. The last two both live in Braunschweig, where the company is ‘located’.

    Berhardt is a computer science student http://www.yasni.de/ext.php?url=http://www.xing.com/profile/eugen_bernhardt&cat=bprofile and is ‘partner’ in synaps-phones since july 2010, a company stated to have 1-10 employees.

  27. Ziebart studied media design http://www.xing.com/profile/Philipp_Ziebart

    Both ‘seem’ very young and both take pictures for subway.de, a local magazine in braunschweig.

  28. So, early conclusion: probably not scammers. The last two are pretty well identified (addresses and stuff…). First guess would be a ‘portfolio website’. Phillip designed the website and Eugen built it. End of story.

  29. In any case, if they -are- legit. I’m definitely not going to buy a 500$ phone from a ‘2 kids and an adult’ company that will probably be shipping from china if and when they ship at all.

    Scares me to see that all the android news sites jump right on the bandwagon without doing their jobs just to catch some readers quickly.

  30. holygrail,

    even IPhones are shipped from China

  31. This is turning into the CyberpowerPC of phones. I like the idea. Have a dozen or so different shells to chose from, slap a couple of constants in the hardware like GPS, and then allow the customer to select everything else. Chose your CPU, camera, RAM quantity, ROM quantity, internal memory or external memory or both, screen size and type (depending on the chosen shell), etc. I can dig it.

  32. @ 25 holygrail
    He’s definitely someone else. That guy is from Frankfurt, “our” guy is from Brunswick, Lower Saxony.

    Even if Christopher and his friends are serious about their plans, I strongly doubt their ability to fulfill. If that isn’t a hoax, they’re naive at least.

    You need more than an informal team of three smartphone lovers to construct a such a gadget, to get a manufacturer to produce it, to set up the logistics, distribution and after-sales support that are preconditions to entering the market at all.

    Most of all, you need money to found a start-up. Any VC would laugh his ass off if there was just a GbR (Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts) which isn’t a corporation at all. They can’t sell a single share to an investor unless they establish a GmbH (Ltd.) or something like that.

    My guess is: These boys are just launching a grassroots attempt to tell the industry what the users really want. If they were serious, they’d need to design a gadget that can’t be copied by one of the big shots of the telecoms industry. They’d need a patent-protected USP.

    That’s what’s gonna happen: If enough potential customers say, uh, this is the phone I’d buy, the HTCs or Samsungs will deliver. No chance for three unknowns with no track-record to compete.

  33. Did this ever happen? or was is a hoax / idea?

  34. I always check their site once in a while but never seem to be able to make it anywhere like a checkout after choosing all the configurations…hoax anyone?

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Handsets