OSOM Privacy, the company behind the upcoming OV1 smartphone, has announced a big change to its phone which will now launch as the Solana Saga. OSOM is a company founded by former employees of the now-defunct Essential Inc. whose trademarks and logo are now owned by Nothing, a company started by former OnePlus co-founder, Carl Pei.
OSOM, like Nothing, was supposed to bring its first smartphone to the market later this year. It has revealed several details about the phone which is heavily inspired by the Essential PH-1, including images showing the design and a handful of specifications, but its recent announcement changes, in no small measure, the trajectory of the anticipated device.
After pushing back the release date of the OSOM OV1 from Q2 to Q4 of 2022, OSOM Privacy has announced a new direction for its phone. Rather than the privacy-focused OV1 that a lot of phone enthusiasts have been looking forward to, OSOM has confirmed the OV1 will now launch as the Solana Saga, a phone developed in partnership with Solana. The Saga will be the first web3 mobile phone and it will feature what is called Solana Mobile Stack (SMS), described as a “crypto layer built on Android” and a toolkit “to build beautiful, seamless web3 mobile experiences.”
Picking Up Where HTC Left Off
Solana Mobile Stack will have a hardware-encoded Seed Vault built in to take advantage of the security features of the phone’s Qualcomm processor. This Seed Vault will be for storing private keys, seed phrases, and secrets. There is also the mention of SolanaPay for Android which should be its own version of Google Pay or Apple Pay. In addition, there will also be a decentralized app (dApp) store. OSOM and Solana appear to be picking up where HTC left off with its Exodus 1 and Exodus 1s crypto-focused smartphones that launched in 2018 and 2019, respectively. HTC has since abandoned both devices and is now focused on a phone for the metaverse.
A lot of folks are likely to be be disappointed with the direction OSOM has now taken. However, the specs of the Solana Saga are quite interesting and place it in the flagship category. In addition to having a premium build, the phone will pack a 6.67-inch OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, and a centered punch-hole for the front-facing camera. Under the hood will be Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor which will likely have received a successor by the time Saga launches in the first quarter of 2023. It will be paired with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. On the back of the phone there will be a 50MP+12MP dual camera setup along with a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. The Saga will also sport a 16MP front-facing camera.
The rest of the specs are unknown but Solana and OSOM have revealed the price of the device to be $1,000. Back when it was still known as the OV1, OSOM suggested the price would be under $1000, but that doesn’t appear to be the case anymore. It is at least cheaper than the $1600 Sony Xperia 1 IV. Despite the rebranding, those still interested in the device can join a waitlist to pre-order one, although they will be required to pay a refundable $100 USDC deposit that’s subtracted from the final price. When OSOM and Solana’s Saga launches, it will be sold in the US, Canada, Europe, and the UK to start, unlike the Nothing Phone (1) which won’t be sold in the US.