Ready for a cryptophone? Solana thinks so
The crypto "Saga," to be available in 2023, will include a crypto wallet and features designed to improve the Web3 mobile experience.
Solana (SOL) has unveiled plans for a Web3 smartphone, called "Saga". The phone is designed to simplify and secure Web3 transactions and to manage digital assets like tokens and NFTs.
The Saga is not just meant as a complementary device to your existing smartphone: it's a full-fledged Android-based smartphone with top-tier specs that can run all Google apps and services, just like any other Android device.
Keep in mind, 2.5 billion people worldwide use Android phones. If Solana's phone is successful in driving demand for crypto-friendly phones, it could open the world of crypto investing to a lot of new investors. And if Solana paves the way, that coin could see a lot of new interest.
Could Saga be a game changer?
Even though Saga is similar to most top-tier Android phones, it will be the first one designed specifically to handle Web3 and blockchain transactions in a fast and secure manner.
It will have an integrated crypto wallet and will have direct access to Solana's decentralised apps (dApp) store. Solana Pay is also integrated within the phone, making crypto transactions faster and cheaper.
The way this will work is via the Solana Mobile Stack (SMS) software development kit for Web3 programs. The SMS allows builders to create mobile experiences for the Solana network. Other Android devices can also adopt the full Solana Mobile Stack or even parts of it, which could open the way for massive crypto adoption in the next bull run.
Some Solana-based companies have already announced they will participate in powering and building this mobile ecosystem. Magic Eden, the top Solana NFT marketplace, Phantom, the biggest Solana wallet provider and Orca, a decentralised finance (DeFi) platform where users can swap cryptocurrencies or participate in yield farming have confirmed their commitment to the Saga.
The Solana Foundation pledged US$10 million to incentivize and expand the development of mobile apps on its SMS platform.
What is SMS?
— Solana (@solana) June 23, 2022
Saga hardware specs
Saga will be built by Osom, a smartphone manufacturer. This means the hardware is in the hands of an experienced company rather than something Solana will start to experiment with.
The Solana phone will cost around US$1,000 and will have:
- 6.67" OLED display
- 12 GB RAM
- 512 GB storage
- Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor
This latest Snapdragon processor has security features that will enable the Solana Mobile Stack's Seed Vault. The Seed Vault keeps private keys, seed phrases and secrets separated from the application layer, but it's still capable of interacting with apps on the Saga phone or a mobile browser. This will turn your Saga smartphone into a hardware wallet.
Learn more about cryptocurrency wallets in our guide.
When can I get one and how?
The Saga phone launches in 2023. You can pre-order now at solanamobile.com by connecting your Solana wallet and depositing US$100 USDC, which is refundable. USDC is a USD stablecoin.
Solana is a Layer 1 blockchain, dubbed the "Ethereum killer"
Solana is a Layer 1 blockchain, similar to Ethereum. But unlike the latter where transactions typically cost around US$15 and may take minutes, Solana transactions cost fractions of a cent and are executed within seconds.
This makes Solana an excellent platform for NFTs, blockchain gaming and even as a payment platform, which is why Bank of America has called it the "Visa of crypto".
Not truly the first cryptocurrency smartphone
This has been tried before. In 2018, Sirin Labs announced their Finney smartphone. This was designed to be the first real crypto phone that would bridge the gap between blockchain and smartphones. The company behind it successfully raised US$157.8 million in a token sale.
However, it failed to gain traction and the company stopped supporting the phone, making many of the apps and uses obsolete.
Whether the Saga becomes the first successful crypto phone remains to be seen.
Trying to get a handle on the markets? Cut through the noise with our overview of the best cryptos to buy right now, explore some strategies for how to trade crypto or see if there's a better platform for you with our guide to the best crypto exchanges.
Kliment Dukovski owns cryptocurrencies as of the publishing date.