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OSOM’s highly anticipated OV1 smartphone succumbs to crypto gimmick as Solana Saga

Many of our readers have been waiting for OSOM, the company reformed from the ashes of an Andy Rubin-less Essential, to deliver the OV1 smartphone it’s been teasing since 2020. In what will likely be a good/bad news arrangement, you can pre – now order the phone, but some key details have changed. The OV1 is now the Solana Saga, a blockchain-integrated Android flagship.

News of the change comes from a Tweet from OSOM, which landed with a simultaneous update to OSOM’s website and Solana. Details are still scarce and full specs of the phone have yet to be released, but you can pre-order the device with a $100 deposit exclusively through Solana, although this does require a Solana wallet.

ANDROIDPOLICE VIDEO OF THE DAY

An OSOM spokesperson provided Android Police with the following details:

OSOM is delighted to partner with Solana to produce the Solana Saga, a flagship Android mobile phone with unique features and functionality that is tightly integrated with the Solana blockchain, making web3 transactions and digital asset management easier and more secure. , such as tokens and NFTs. For more information on OSOM, please visit www.osomprivacy.com, and stay tuned for more information on the Saga as well as the OSOM/Solana partnership. “OSOM is extremely excited to partner with Solana to build the Saga. The world needs new hardware companies to support the future of Web3. Building a future-ready ecosystem without being burdened by legacy ecosystems from the past is extremely exciting,” says Jason Keats, Founder and CEO of OSOM Products Inc.

In follow-up correspondence, OSOM PR confirms to us that OV1 as we know it is essentially dead, replaced by the Solana-embedded Saga. According to the Solana site, the phone supports Solana Mobile Stack, an SDK developed to build apps on Android that can interact with the Solana network. Solana says this will allow developers “to publish mobile dAPPS and distribute them through a specialized storefront”, presumably available on the phone.

The specifications of the phone have also been released:

chipset Snapdragon 8 Gen 1+ (Qualcomm 8475)
Storage 512 GB UFS or eMMC
RAM 12 GB
Display “FD+ or better” 6.55″ 120Hz AMOLED
Software “Android Proprietary OSOM Version”
Rear cameras 50MP f/1.8 IMX766 wide-angle (70° FOV), 12MP f/2.2 IMX373 ultra-wide (120° FOV)
Front camera 16MP f/1.8 IMX481 (80° FOV, fixed focus)
Battery and Charging 4100mAh, QC 5.0 fast charging, Qi wireless charging
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0, up to Wi-Fi 6, NFC
Various Mono speaker, Corning Victus Glass,
Dimensions 166.2 x 75.9 x 7.9mm, <195g

Many Essential fans liked the original model for its surprisingly small size, but OSOM’s Saga will be a bigger phone – bigger than the Galaxy S22 and about the same size as the Galaxy S22+, according to the dimensions provided. Powered by the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1+, the phone’s chipset might not be the latest and greatest next year after Qualcomm usually announces its new hardware.

Some details seem not to be firm yet, as OSOM lists two different storage standards, both eMMC and UFS. There will also be at least two different SKUs with different tape support.

OSOM also claims that it will use a “proprietary version of Android”, and it’s unclear exactly what that will mean. Previously, the company teased its involvement to some degree with Graphene OS, a security-conscious custom ROM that has often been embroiled in drama for trying to pull its ostensibly open-source contributions from other projects.

The OSOM/Solana Saga will ship in “early 2023” with an expected cost of $1,000. In March, the company told us the phone would cost “well under $1,000” and that doesn’t seem to have happened by that estimate.

OSOM isn’t the first company to consider a blockchain-integrated phone. HTC, faced with declining market share and relevance, also turned to blockchain with the Exodus in 2018. If that doesn’t sound familiar, it’s probably because it didn’t. had any real impact, and the phone was just a rebadged HTC U12+. A follow-up phone, the HTC Exodus 1s, made little further progress. Many recent Samsung phones can also store cryptocurrency in encrypted storage. Last year, Samsung added support for transferring crypto from a hardware wallet to its phones.

While cryptocurrency and the “web3” movement are popular among some tech enthusiasts and speculative investors, many customers at this point view cryptocurrency and blockchain-related applications as little more than marketing, doing little to prove themselves with real-world applications or use cases.

As a fan of the technology that underpins blockchain systems and the opportunities it can provide in the development of new technologies and systems, I even have to admit that I am critical of the currently commercialized approach and hype surrounding nearly every blockchain-related service and product being marketed. In 99% of applications, it’s a gadget, and that includes every smartphone use case to date. To see a phone I’ve worked so hard on so far weighed down by a crypto gimmick is frankly quite disappointing. I’m hesitant to say the phone was ruined, we’ll have to see what the finished product actually looks like, but this was a quick and easy way to kill my excitement.


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