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Hands on: Saygus V2 phone

With a Kevlar back and room for up to 464GB, Saygus's V2 doesn't mess around

An Android superphone that ticks all the right boxes for hardcore fandroids.

The Saygus V2 is an Android KitKat smartphone with a huge list of features including a 21-megapixel camera, waterproofing, and a biometric fingerprint sensor. Excitement has been building in the Android community for the past few months, and we were keen to put it to the test at Mobile World Congress 2015.

The Saygus V2 (that’s “V squared” by the way) is one of those devices with a spec sheet that reads like a wish list for Android geeks.

The Saygus V2 (that’s “V squared” by the way) is one of those devices with a spec sheet that reads like a wish list for Android geeks.

There are two things that Android fans never fail to comment on when a new phone is released: expandable storage and a removable battery. The Saygus V2 knocks it out the park on both counts. It has 64GB of on board storage out of the box and two microSD card slots inside. With SanDisk’s newest 200GB cards, that could give you a grand total of 464GB.

The 3,100mAh battery can also be replaced, but Saygus says there’s a special chip inside that dynamically manages the screen, using light sensors front and back, to reduce battery drain. We’ll certainly put those claims to the test in our full Saygus V2 review.

At first glance it doesn’t look special. It’s fairly chunky, it has a 5-inch 1,920 x 1,080 pixel screen, and the back covers sport some interesting and unusual patterns. One squiggly metallic line is actually supposed to boosts signal quality.

The screen stretches all the way to a protective Kevlar edge, with minimal bezels top and bottom, which makes the phone feel quite small and easy to handle considering the 5-inch display. It also has a waterproof IPx7 rating, despite the removable back cover. The right spine has nice shiny aluminum and magnesium buttons for the power, volume rocker, and there’s a dedicated camera button. There’s also a strange black strip, which turns out to be the biometric fingerprint sensor. You can swipe your finger on it to unlock the device, though we didn’t see it in action.

It’s not easy to say whether the Saygus V2 will live up to its promise.

Saygus showed the ability to stream HD content at 60Hz to a TV using a special dongle, which it plans to sell as an optional accessory. It will be priced competitvely with a Chromecast, but we can tell you it performs a lot better. You can drag your finger back or forward on a full HD video and it plays instantly on the big screen, no pause to buffer. It also has an IR blaster so it can serve as a remote control.

Moving inside, the processor is a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 paired with an Adreno 330 GPU, which is perfectly respectable, but no longer cutting edge. The cameras are more impressive. There’s a 21-megapixel main camera and a 13-megapixel front-facing camera, but neither one was working in the display version we handled.

It also has dual Harmon Kardon speakers and noise-cancelling technology, which is great for watching movies and gaming on your phone. All the extra features you’d expect to find are there including NFC, Bluetooth LE, and GPS.

Conclusion

It’s not easy to say whether the Saygus V2 will live up to its promise. Some things were working well when we tried it out, but other features were missing in action. It’s set to land within eight weeks, so Saygus doesn’t have long to work out the kinks. And it’s going to cost $599, so it has to be a bit special. The company told us it has received pre-orders from 51 countries, though they wouldn’t share the exact numbers just yet. But representatives were confident it will ship on time.

We’ll bring you a more in-depth look at the Saygus V2 after we receive a review unit in a few weeks. We can’t wait to spend a bit more time with this phone and really put it through its paces.

Highs

  • Huge storage
  • Rugged
  • Great cameras
  • Fingerprint sensor

Lows

  • Older processor
  • Quite chunky