Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC has set the price for Exodus 1, its first blockchain-powered handset in cryptocurrencies, making it the first big name in the industry to accept only digital currencies as payment.
Exodus 1 is priced at 0.15 bitcoin or 4.78 ether, which in current trading equates to about US$960, the company announced in a Berlin event on Tuesday.
HTC first announced the Exodus phone in May, which features a built-in digital wallet that will enable users to store and trade cryptocurrencies. It is pre-installed with decentralised apps built on top of blockchain, such as the ethereum-based pet rearing game CryptoKitties. Each Exodus phone can serve as a computing device, or "node", maintaining blockchain networks like bitcoin and ethereum, and users will receive new digital assets as a reward for such efforts.
HTC said Exodus 1 will be available in 34 countries or regions including Hong Kong, Singapore, the US, the UK and other European countries via the phone's website. The expected shipping date is in December.
Switzerland-based start-up Sirin Labs is also offering a blockchain -enabled phone, now available for pre-order at US$999. Chinese handset makers including Lenovo Group and Sichuan Changhong Electric have previously announced plans for blockchain phones.
Earlier this month Indonesia-based start-up Pundi X unveiled its blockchain-powered handset called Xphone, which, unlike HTC's and Sirin Labs's devices, can operate on its blockchain-based transmission protocol, independently of mobile carriers. There is no shipping date as yet.
HTC's Exodus phone is focused on serving as a cryptocurrency wallet. it features a locked area protected from the Android operating system that holds the keys to digital assets offline. Users can also pick up some trusted contacts to help them regain access to their funds via a key management app.
HTC made a social key recovery mechanism in case your phone is lost, stolen, or you misplace your key information. You're able to keep the recovery details with a few trustworthy friends, who must then download a key management app. HTC will then use a secret sharing algorithm to send the info to your friends, which you can then piece together if needed. The phone is also being opened up for third-party developers to make their own key apps and wallets.
In terms of hardware, the Exodus 1 has a 6-inch HD+ display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. There are 16-megapixel dual rear cameras and 8-megapixel dual selfie cameras with a bokeh effect, and it's capable of recording full 4K video at 60 FPS. The phone will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, has 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 3,500 mAh battery. It runs Android Oreo and is dust- and water-resistant with a rating of IP68.
- Display: 6.0" Quad HD+ display with 18:9 aspect ratio
- Battery: 3500mAh
- 12MP + 16MP main camera with high quality zoom
- 8MP+8MP dual front camera with natural Bokeh
- 4k/60fps 3D audio recording quality
- and Sonic Zoom with Audio Boost
- HTC BoomSound Hi-Fi edition
- HTC USonic with Active Noise Cancellation
- Edge Sense 2: Edge Sense 2 for one-handed convenience
- Android O
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- 6GB - DDR4x RAM
- 128GB - UFS2.1 Storage
- Fast charging support
- Zion Wallet
- Dual Nano SIM
- Cat. 18 Gigabit LTE, download up to 1.2 Gbps, upload up to 150 Mbps (up to 5CA Carrier Aggregation and 4x4 MIMO), 2G/2.2G/2.5G - GSM/GPRS/EDGE
- 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
- 3G UMTS
- AWS/850/900/1900/2100 (B4/B5/B8/B2/B1); HSDPA 42, HSUPA 5.76
- 4G LTE
- FDD: Bands B4/B12/B17/B28/B20/B5/B8/B3/B1/B7/B32/B2/B13/B66
- TDD: Bands B39/B40/B38/B41
- VoLTE, Wi-Fi Calling