YouTube tech reviewer MKBHD recently took a closer look at the Solana Saga, or as it’s also known, the “crypto phone.” If you’re a crypto enthusiats, you might be asking yourself: “Should I buy the Solana phone?” Here’s a detailed breakdown of what he had to say in this crypto phone review article.
What is a Crypto Phone?
MKBHD starts by addressing the obvious question: “What the hell is a crypto phone, and why would anyone want that?” The phone, priced initially at a steep $1,000, is a product from a relatively unknown brand. Despite MKBHD’s skepticism about crypto and blockchain technologies, he believes that even without the crypto features, this phone still has potential.
The Story Behind the Phone
This device’s history traces back to the Essential Phone from 2017, an innovative product from Andy Rubin’s startup. While promising in design and aesthetics, the Essential Phone faced several challenges, from a high price point and mediocre camera to limited exclusivity, leading to underwhelming sales.
However, the talent behind Essential didn’t disappear. Many of the engineers from the original team regrouped to form a new company called OSOM in 2020. They announced their first project, the OSOM OV1, a successor to the Essential Phone in spirit.
Solana Phone Launches
While the idea was promising, the OSOM OV1 faced a familiar challenge – lack of sufficient interest. Enter Solana, a Web3 company, which partnered with OSOM, providing the financial backing to transform the OV1 into the Solana Saga, the crypto phone we see today.
Solana Phone Specifications
Beyond its crypto features, MKBHD describes the phone as average. It has a Snapdragon 8+ (last year’s flagship chip), 12 GB RAM, 500 GB storage, a 6.67-inch 1080p 120Hz display, a 4,100 mAh battery, IP68 water and dust resistance, micro SD slot, and unfortunately, mediocre camera specs.
MKBHD commends two aspects of the phone:
- Build Quality: With matte stainless steel, titanium buttons, and a ceramic back, the phone feels robust, premium, and heavy, reminiscent of the build of the Essential Phone.
- Software: The phone runs on a very clean version of Android 13, which offers a smooth, stock Android experience.
How Much does Solana Phone Cost?
Given the specs, MKBHD questions the initial $1,000 price tag, which dropped to $600 within a year. At this price, is it worth it for an average Android phone with crypto features?
Crypto Phone Features
MKBHD outlines three primary features that make this a “crypto phone”:
- Solana Mobile Stack: An SDK that allows apps to connect exclusively to the Solana blockchain.
- Seed Vault: A secure storage for a 24-phrase seed, inaccessible to the Android OS.
- Dapp Store: A separate store on the device specifically for crypto-focused apps.
Of these features, the Dapp store will soon be available on other non-crypto phones.
Should you BUY the Solana Phone?
While having certain crypto features built into a phone is innovative and may appeal to those deeply embedded in the Solana ecosystem, MKBHD suggests this might be a niche market. He questions how many people will prioritize these features over more mainstream ones.
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