- Solana announced a Web 3.0 smartphone yesterday called the Solana Saga
- The phone will launch in 2023 and will allow NFT minting among other features
- The reaction from non-Solana fans was not positive
Solana surprised the crypto world yesterday when it revealed that it is trying to achieve what no other blockchain company has ever successfully managed – to build a quality, working blockchain phone. Solana founder and CEO Anatoly Yakovenko announced the Solana Saga phone at NYC NFT yesterday, which is currently in development, complete with a Solana dApp store. However, those with memories stretching back a few years will know that Solana isn’t the first company to have tried this, and the road to success is one that has deserted all who have tried.
Solana Saga Modelled on Osom OV1
Yakovenko took to the stage at NYC NFT to reveal plans for the Solana Saga, which is in fact a Solana-specific version of Essential’s Osom OV1 device, with standard hardware specs which don’t quite justify the $1,000 price tag. However, the hardware isn’t the headline here – instead it’s how Solana aims to make this the world’s first genuinely successful crypto phone.
The Solana Saga will feature the Solana Mobile Stack (SMS, cute), a wallet adapter port for hardware wallets, and a host of Web 3.0 software goodies for all your crypto and NFT needs. More details will be released as the intended Q1 2023 launch date gets closer, but already the feedback has been muted, to say the least.
Memories immediately went back to Sirin Labs’ ‘Finney’ phone from 2018 and 2020’s effort from HTC, the HTC Exodus, which attempted to bring crypto mining to the mobile world. These attempts, and more, were all remembered by cynics:
Failed crypto smart phones:
Sirin Labs Finney, PundiX Xphone, Electroneum M1, HTC Exodus, Samsung Galaxy S10
Solana: “Announcing the Solana phone!”
— James Spediacci (@JamesSpediacci) June 23, 2022
There was even a suggestion that some people got a bit confused with who was doing what:
Not sure how many of you remember the @SIRINLABS Finney…
I got one, unboxed it, turned it on, and realized it was just an android with a crypto wallet pre-installed
There weren’t many apps/defi/nft/web3 things happening so that was it 😂
Excited to see @solana do better. pic.twitter.com/P37u1cY93s
— Luke Martin (@VentureCoinist) June 23, 2022
History Not on Solana’s Side
Of course, it is unfair to write off the Solana Saga before it has even been born, and the reality is that if Solana can pull a stylish, working, dApp playing, NFT-minting phone out of the bag then there will be a market for it. However, history has not been kind to the blockchain phone, and this is a big gamble reputation-wise for the company.
And then, of course, there’s the fact that Solana’s network has proved to be…unreliable recently, shall we say, a point that was not missed by some:
How about focusing on keeping your blockchain working!?
— $onlyfuns AKA Ada (@nofudADA) June 23, 2022
I wonder if it will restart randomly a couple times per day?
— DRE₳MING (@hi_its_dreaming) June 23, 2022
The proof, of course, will be in the pudding, and we’ll have to wait at least another six months to see if we finally have a blockchain phone worthy of the name or whether ‘saga’ will turn out to be a very unfortunate yet appropriate name.