The Finney blockchain smartphone will have flagship specs, but who is it for?

Sirin Labs

  • The Finney smartphone will serve up a Snapdragon 845 chipset, 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM.
  • Designer Sirin Labs will also slap a 12MP main camera and 8MP selfie shooter on the phone.
  • The phone is being marketed for its blockchain-related apps, but it runs Google-certified Android 8.1 as well.

The Finney blockchain smartphone will pack some flagship-level specs when it launches later this year, the team behind the device revealed.

The device will offer a Snapdragon 845 chipset, 128GB of expandable storage, 6GB of RAM, and a 3,000mAh battery. The official Twitter spec-sheet, on the other hand, touts a 3,280mAh battery. Weird.

Other noteworthy specs include a 12MP f/1.8 main camera and an 8MP selfie camera — no dual-camera setup here. The company also put the fingerprint scanner under the “display” section, possibly implying an in-display solution.

The company has also been talking up its Sirin OS platform, but the latest specs also show a phone running “Google-certified” Android 8.1. This suggests the Play Store and other Google services should run fine on the Finney. It also suggests that Sirin OS might not be a radical overhaul of Android, like Amazon’s Fire OS.

Will the Finney find success?

The major selling point for the Sirin OS platform is the preinstalled wallet for cryptocurrency transactions. Sirin Labs also says the phone has a token conversion service that will enable “seamless and automatic” token conversions. The service means you don’t have to acquire the different tokens through an exchange, the company explains.

The Finney will offer blockchain-enabled services for secure exchange access, encrypted communications and more, the company previously stated. Blockchain is essentially a transparent, decentralized list of records, used as the basis for many cryptocurrencies and a growing list of services.

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You have to wonder whether people will buy a phone for preinstalled applications. What’s stopping someone from installing a cryptocurrency wallet app or secure messaging clients on their own phone?

A phone marketed purely on its blockchain credentials is certainly a rare sight. But you have to question how successful it will be. Phones marketed towards a specific niche aren’t always successful. Look at the ill-fated BlackPhone range of security focused smartphones. It can even be argued that security is a bigger niche than blockchain, which could make for an even tougher task for Sirin Labs.

Read more: Sirin Labs unveils Solarin, a $14,000 Android smartphone

The company has shipped a smartphone before though, which shows it isn’t quite an unknown quantity. Nevertheless, you might want to wait for reviews before committing to a purchase. Speaking of a purchase, the company is selling the phone for $999. It’s unclear whether users can pay cash, as you’re required to pre-order the device with so-called SRN tokens.

We’ve contacted Sirin Labs to clarify payment details, Sirin OS features, fingerprint scanner support, and update commitments. The article will be updated when we receive answers.

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