HTC hasn’t had great success selling flagship phones to mainstream smartphone consumers lately, but the company now hopes crypto enthusiasts will keep it afloat a little longer. The previously announced Exodus smartphone is available for pre-order. Naturally, you can only buy this first-of-its-kind blockchain phone with cryptocurrency.
If you pick up an Exodus, HTC says you’ll be able to keep your cryptocurrency and other digital goods (like cryptokitties) safe from theft. The Exodus uses the ARM chip’s secure enclave to build a trust zone that is encrypted and separate from the main Android OS. The phone will come with wallets configured to store currencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum. This should be much more secure than storing a wallet on your regular phone using an Android app.
Losing your blockchain phone with all your crypto is still a concern, so HTC says it will implement a feature called “Social Key Recovery.” You can choose several trusted contacts who will get a piece of your recovery key. If you lose your phone, just ask them to send the pieces back, and you’ll be able to recover your wallet.
The pre-order page includes our first glimpse at the real phone, as well as a spec sheet. One thing is immediately apparent — this looks a lot like the HTC U12+ that launched over the summer. Inside, you have a Snapdragon 845, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. There’s a 6-inch 1440p LCD on the front, and the back is transparent glass. The U12+ had a semi-transparent option, but this one look less tinted.
The U12+ had bizarre fake buttons that used the company’s Edge Sense technology to detect presses on the false buttons. They were incredibly annoying to use. HTC doesn’t explicitly call out the non-buttons on the Exodus, but the images look identical to the U12+. Since the 845 in the U12+ already has the necessary hardware for a blockchain trust zone, this phone might simply be a re-branded U12+ with different software.
The Exodus is an unlocked GSM/LTE phone, and it’ll run Android Oreo at launch. HTC hasn’t said anything about OS or security updates, but hopefully, it can keep its secure blockchain phone up-to-date. To secure your phone, it’ll cost you 0.15 Bitcoins or 4.78 Etherium. Those both work out to around $ 950 at current exchange rates. That’s substantially more than the current $ 800 price tag on the U12+. HTC says the Exodus will ship in December of this year.
Noe read: HTC Talks Security for Its Upcoming ‘Exodus’ Blockchain Phone, IBM Creates World’s Smallest Computer for Blockchain Technology, and IBM’s AI-Enabled Smartphone Scanner Can Detect Counterfeit Goods