Finally, some good news for Solana since the project had to face much criticism for several outages this year. Solana Mobile, a subsidiary of Solana Labs will launch its own smartphone in early 2023. After a first presentation that has been held during an event in New York, the community, as well as developers, are excited about the Web3 features of Saga.
What has Saga to offer and why are blockchain-based smartphones are still a niche?
Saga is powered by Solana
Needless to say, Saga will be powered by the Solana blockchain and will be an Android smartphone. Customers can pre-order Saga by paying 100 USDC upfront to get onto a waitlist. The specifications and the price are hinting that Saga will be a premium smartphone that costs 1000 US-Dollars.
Saga will be shipped in the first quarter of 2023 and along with the release of the smartphone the Solana Mobile Stack will be shipped. The toolkit is supposed to make it easier for developers to design new Web3 applications that run natively on Saga and the Solana Blockchain.
The smartphone comes with a 6,67” screen, 12 GB RAM, and 512 GB of data storage. Details like the camera setup among other things are yet not available to the public. Saga will also have a secure element for save storage of seeds and wallets. Reactions within the broader crypto community were divided when the announcement was made. Some believe that Solana should first and foremost focus on its blockchain which still has some serious hiccups. Others were more enthusiastic since they believe that this is another step to bring Web3 to the masses.
HTC Exodus failed
Solana Saga is not the first blockchain-based smartphone. A first attempt was made by HTC in 2018 with the Exodus series, which also featured a secure element to store wallet data and even allowed to sync a Bitcoin full node. The Exodus series failed to convince the market since most of its specs were outdated.
It remains to be seen if a smartphone that is dedicated to Web3 can be a real game changer. The idea is simple: All dApps are mostly based on web browsers and only a few are offered through app stores. By integrating these apps natively into a smartphone a whole new user experience is possible. Still, many people stick to their phones for a good reason. An iPhone comes with long-term support for the operating system that usually lasts longer than Android smartphones.
Also, many users are reluctant to switch to a different OS once they got familiar with what they already have. Saga is very ambitious by accepting all of those challenges and bringing a whole new concept to live.