HTC Launches a Blockchain Smartphone – What Does it Offer?

HTC is back with a smartphone, people! No, this isn’t a joke, the Taiwan-based brand has announced its first-ever “blockchain” phone called Exodus 1 and revealed its actual specs.

The interesting bit about the phone is its price tag. It costs 0.15 bitcoins (that’s right, bitcoin not dollars or rupees). You can only buy it (preorder for now) via cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether among others.

At current value, the Exodus 1 is worth $960 (Rs 71,040 approx), which is close to what you’re paying for the iPhone XS in the US this year. HTC claims that the phone contains a wallet that is protected from interacting with the Android OS that’s running out of box on the device.

So, what exactly does a blockchain phone offer and is the Exodus 1 any different from a regular smartphone? That’s the bit everyone wants to know.

Technically, a phone designed around the blockchain ecosystem should cater to high-level security requisites of those trading in cryptocurrency. However, HTC seems to have changed its stance on what the Exodus 1 actually does, making it rather perplexing to understand.

The company has made a “social-key” recovery mechanism that comes in handy if your phone gets stolen or misplaced. This key is then passed on to key friends or contacts of the person, who will have to download HTC’s key management app to access whatever information is to be retrieved.

Also Read: Sirin labs, Foxconn to design blockchain-based smartphone

Then HTC does some algorithm trick at the back end to make sure your friend gets all your data, which can be pieced together, just like in the movies. This isn’t exactly a “blockchain phone”, to be honest, and experts think that HTC is trying to play the middle ground to stay relevant with the device, appealing to the third-party developers who’ll make apps and wallet for the phone.

In terms of standard features, Exodus 1 gets a 6-inch HD+ screen, powered by Snapdragon 845 processor with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. It’s running on Android Oreo right now, and packs a 3500 mAh battery with 16 megapixel dual rear cameras, just in case you’d want to know.

Being a blockchain phone, it’s certain that Exodus 1 will not be coming to India anytime soon and same goes for China as well. It’ll be available from December onwards in countries like the US, Hong Kong, UK, Austria and Norway among others.

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