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Actor Jussie Smollett on Tuesday dismissed any suggestion that he has been less than cooperative with police since the star of the Empire television drama reported he was attacked by two masked men in Chicago last month. Smollett’s representatives issued a statement a day after police said the heavily redacted…
Still longing for your Motorola Razr flip phone? Good news. A new version of the ultrathin phone, hugely popular upon its 2004 release, is expected to hit the market as soon as next month. Lenovo-owned Motorola is currently performing tests on the $ 1,500 model to be released in an…
After weeks of delays and hundreds of frustrated customer messages in its Telegram channel, HTC finally shipped its “blockchain phone” on Jan. 14. The HTC Exodus 1 promises an array of features for cryptocurrency users, but the manufacturer couldn’t keep its promise to ship the devices in December. With the phones finally rolled out, news.Bitcoin.com unboxed one of the semi-transparent devices and put it through its paces.
The Exodus 1 Is a Big Phone With Grand Aspirations
There’s no mistaking the Exodus 1 when it slips out of its protective wrapping and into the palm of your hand. Even if you’ve hands like baseball mitts, you’ll struggle to operate this phone with one paw. Thankfully it’s got a feature called Edge Sense 2 which enables one-handed convenience by shrinking the visible screen when you double tap on the side of the phone. At 157 x 74 x 9.7 mm, 188 grams, and $ 750, the Android O-powered Exodus 1 is a phone that’s as hard on the pocket as it is on the wallet. For that $ 750, however (or rather its BTC, LTC, or ETH equivalent), you’re getting a whole lot of smartphone.
While this review will focus on the cryptocurrency elements of the phone, we’ll start with the basics. Given that you’ll be using the Exodus 1 as a smartphone a lot more than you’ll be using it to send or receive crypto, it’s imperative that you can abide what it has to offer when compared to flagship Android phones such as the Goggle Pixel 3 ($ 799) or the Samsung Galaxy S9 ($ 720). The Exodus 1’s features include:
- 6.0” Quad HD+ display with 18:9 aspect ratio
- 3500mAh battery
- 12MP + 16MP main camera with high quality zoom
- 8MP+8MP dual front camera with natural bokeh
- 4k/60fps 3D audio recording quality
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
- 6GB – DDR4x RAM
- 128GB storage
The Exodus 1 has twice as much internal storage as the Galaxy S9, the same processor, and same resolution cameras. The Exodus 1’s battery is the same size as the larger S9+ and has the same 6GB of RAM, while both phones are of similar dimensions. Samsung’s S9 and S9+ are both 1.2mm slimmer than the HTC however. The Google Pixel 3 only has 4GB of RAM, a smaller battery and the same processor as the Exodus 1. The Pixel 3 does have some things in its favor though: its main camera, while lower resolution, is arguably better than the Exodus 1’s, it’s slimmer, at just 7.9mm, it has an eSIM, which some users may prefer, and runs a newer version of Android.
With the Exodus 1, you’re getting a phone that can match Samsung and Google’s leading models pound for pound in most areas. Aside from being a little bulkier, there’s not much between the handsets performance-wise. The question, then, is whether the HTC’s exclusive feature – a built-in cryptocurrency hardware wallet, with the key stored in a secure enclave – justifies choosing the Exodus 1.
Take a Trip to Zion
Zion is the name of the wallet app that comes pre-loaded on the Exodus 1 and, while limited in functionality, it works just fine. It is beyond the scope of this reviewer to determine whether the “secure enclave,” separated from the rest of the phone’s operations, makes Zion more secure than the average crypto wallet app. “Theoretically” is the likeliest answer, though that’s probably a matter for the Wallet Fail team to resolve. The Zion wallet supports BTC, LTC, ETH, some ERC721 tokens, and ERC20s such as BAT, the latter the native token of the Brave browser, which also comes installed.
Sending and receiving cryptocurrencies is easy, and the UX is reasonable. The collectibles section of the wallet is less scintillating though; import a Cryptokittie and all you’ll get is a small thumbnail of the cat, with no ability to view it full-screen or read its “cattributes.” It’s all very meh. From a privacy perspective, the Zion wallet isn’t great either. There’s no ability to create new addresses, for instance, so you’re stuck with the same three wallets for BTC, LTC, and ETH unless you chose to create an entirely new 12-word seed and install a fresh wallet.
The social recovery option, enabling you to select trusted friends to help restore the wallet in the event of phone loss, is a welcome touch. While this presents an additional attack vector, it’s a trade-off cryptocurrency users may be willing to make in return for having access to crypto on the go. There are clear drawbacks to owning a blockchain phone of course. The very fact that you have one suggests you have crypto stored on it, which instantly makes you a target. If you’re lazy and have enabled fingerprint access to your wallet, a physical attacker or law enforcement could gain entry without too much trouble.
A Solid Phone That’s Likely to Get Better
iPhone owners are unlikely to swoon over the Exodus 1, but if you’re an Android user who’s due an upgrade, the mere act of switching to a new handset running a current OS and that’s fully equipped with the latest spec makes the Exodus 1 a pleasure to use. Features such as squeeze force, which will open the camera or shrink the screen when you grip or tap the side of the phone, are very nifty. Edge Sense will also ensure the phone doesn’t time out when held in your hand, and the rear fingerprint sensor is responsive and well positioned.
The biggest drawback to the Exodus 1 – the lackluster cryptocurrency wallet – could and likely will be improved through software updates. Even if advanced features were to be added, and the number of supported cryptocurrencies was to increase, however, you’re unlikely to hold much funds in the Zion wallet. Secure enclave or otherwise, it’s debatable whether the Exodus 1’s wallet is any more robust than the leading crypto wallet apps it’s competing against.
While a little industrial in places, the Exodus 1 is a significantly slicker device than Sirin Labs’ “Finney” blockchain phone and can stake a claim for being the leading smartphone in what is still a very small vertical. Whatever the fate of the Exodus 1, it’s likely this won’t be the last time we see a hardware manufacturer targeting the crypto crowd. In fact, with Samsung’s trademark filings suggesting it’s thinking of following suit, blockchain phones could soon go from being niche to the norm.
What are your thoughts on the Exodus 1 phone? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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The post Review: HTC’s Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto Wallet appeared first on Bitcoin News.
It could be a big decision in the new and legally murky realm of privacy and biometrics: A federal judge in California has ruled that police cannot force people to unlock their phones using fingerprints, facial recognition, or iris scans. The ruling was first spotted by Thomas Brewster of Forbes…
The once-revolutionary smartphone is losing its power to amaze—and maybe its singular hold on our lives.
WSJ.com: US Business
Apple’s cheapest new iPhone, the XR, has fallen far short of Apple’s expectations, forcing the company to reduce production drastically and cutting into its revenue projections.
WSJ.com: What’s News Asia
One of the tantalizing—and unproven—allegations made in the infamous Steele dossier is that Michael Cohen secretly visited Prague in 2016 amid the election and met with key Russian figures. Cohen has always adamantly denied it, insisting that he has never been to Prague for any reason, period. Now,…
In Tuesday’s edition of The Daily, there’s a little of everything in the mix: a story about hardware, in the form of the delayed Exodus 1 smartphone, one about security, concerning the latest crypto exchange ratings, and finally a human interest story. This latter tale concerns a war of words between two passionate figures within the cryptocurrency space.
HTC’s Exodus 1 Phone Has Yet to Ship
Customers who made an advanced purchase of the Exodus 1 blockchain phone are still waiting to receive their devices. The crypto-friendly cell phones, priced at 0.15 BTC or 4.78 ETH, were rapidly snapped up by cryptocurrency proponents, who were promised that the devices would ship in December. While there’s still time for that to happen, manufacturer HTC is cutting it fine with Christmas less than a week away.
Figures such as Charlie Lee helped to promote the project, and by early December advance orders for the phone, which features a built-in BTC and ETH wallet, had stopped being taken. In the project’s Telegram channel, buyers have become impatient as they await delivery of their eagerly anticipated phones. “Biggest scam in the history of smartphones,” vented one irate buyer. His assertion, while very wide of the mark, captures the frustration that Exodus 1 customers have felt as they’ve awaited news. Today, Dec. 18, European customers received an email from HTC Exodus that explained, vaguely:
We are contacting you to let you know the shipment of your order has been delayed, as we are currently finalizing the last certification for European devices. We are working hard to get your order to you as soon as possible, and will keep you updated when we have a confirmed shipping date. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience.
Cryptocurrency Exchange Ratings Updated
There’s a ratings system for everything within the cryptocurrency space these days, from influencers to coins, and from exchanges to blockchains. In October, news.Bitcoin.com reported on ICOrating.com’s exchange security assessment that deemed 54 percent of trading venues to have security holes of some kind. ICOrating.com has now updated its report to reflect new information and additions that have served to alter its assessment of the top 10 exchanges. Coinbase Pro, which occupied the top spot, has slipped to ninth, while Kraken has leapt from second to first.
Binance has dropped out of the top 20 altogether. “Overall, only 16 percent of exchanges fall into the A category. None of the exchanges have received an A+ rating,” noted ICOrating.com. While all ratings systems are subjective to a certain degree, their existence can only be a good thing if it spurs their subjects into improvement. Increased transparency and commitment to adopting better security standards will benefit not only exchanges, but also their customers, who can trade with confidence.
Crypto Figures Get Into a Tiff
A war of words has broken out between Ran NeuNer, host of CNBC’s Cryptotrader, and Larry Cermak of The Block. Cermak, together with his colleague Mike Dudas, published an exposé of a fraudulent ICO called BCT and accused NeuNer of being embroiled in it. The CNBC host hit back with threats of legal action, ordering The Block pair to delete tweets and amend their story, after explaining that he’d done nothing to facilitate BCT’s misbehavior, and was in fact a victim himself. In a rambling blog post titled “An open letter to The Block”, NeuNer wrote:
According to Larry, the alleged fraud, scams on investors and employees and a man working in this industry under a fake identity, weren’t the interesting part, but rather my alleged “involvement”. [Larry] went on to make a series of accusations — most of which are incorrect, negligent, inaccurate, defamatory and damaging.
NeuNer then complained of The Block only giving him six hours to provide his side of the story before Cermak’s publication went to press, which he believes was a deliberate move on their part. He finished: “I was a fan of The Block and a regular reader of its stories, but if I go by my experience of your unethical business practice, false reporting and lack of verification, then The Block is unfortunately not that publication.” Mike Dudas, for his part, has responded to NeuNer’s open letter by stating that The Block stands by its story, and extended him an interview invitation. NeuNer has yet to respond.
What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits as featured in The Daily? Let us know in the comments section below.
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The post The Daily: HTC Blockchain Phone Delayed, Exchange Security Ratings Updated appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Kelsey Berreth wasn’t reported missing until Dec. 2, but she was last seen in public on Nov. 22—and police recently revealed that text messages were sent from the 29-year-old Colorado mom’s phone three days later. Berreth’s last known location was a Safeway in her city of Woodland Park where…
Lindsey Buckingham’s exit from Fleetwood Mac is official—legally speaking—and he sounds like a man who’s getting close to acceptance: “I’m happy enough with it,” the guitarist tells CBS News , saying the band has settled their lawsuit. “I’m not out there trying to twist the knife at all. I’m…