Google's increasingly compelling Project Ara modular smartphone has a contender. Startup Vsenn, co-founded by a former program manager of the Nokia's short-lived Android-based Nokia X initiative, aims to give it a run for its money—and focus on privacy.

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The start-up is new. Very new. So new that its website is just a single page. But what we do know is that Vsenn isn't taking quite the same tack as Google. Unlike Project Ara, Vsenn will only have three swappable components—its camera, battery and processor/RAM. It seems the aim here isn't tricked out customization, but a rather more humble upgradability. Which is... well, not a bad idea.

The startup promises that the devices will have three layers of encryption, free access to a VPN network and secure cloud service, too. The first model will apparently feature a 4.7-inch full HD screen and run stock Android. All of which sounds promising, if it works. Unfortunately, that's quite a big if. [Vsenn via Android Central via Engadget]