Nowadays, it seems tough to escape blockchain technology — especially with the rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. As part of what HTC claims is its “effort to expand the blockchain ecosystem,” the company introduced its latest blockchain phone known as the HTC Exodus.
The phone has released, but weirdly, details on the HTC Exodus 1 are still hard to come by. DT can fix that. Here’s everything you need to know about HTC’s blockchain-powered phone.
If you’re looking for more cryptocurrency-enabling blockchain phones for some reason, check out our review of the Sirin Lab Finney.
HTC expands security and privacy options
HTC may not be showing off an awful lot at MWC 2019, but it has revealed some over-the-air updates hitting the HTC Exodus. Key to these updates is a new partnership with Opera Mobile, which promises to strip away data-mining middlemen by increasing the level of privacy and security offered through mobile browsing. It uses a transparent peer-to-peer service to achieve this, something HTC refers to as the “decentralized web.”
This new Opera partnership also has some interactions with the HTC Exodus’s Zion wallet, and users will be able to use the wallet to make micropayments to certain content websites, putting more funding control in the hands of content readers.
While full details about the design of the HTC Exodus are a little vague right now, HTC has released some images that give us a basic idea of what the phone will look like. Despite the technology under the hood, the phone doesn’t look all that different from other smartphones on the market. It’s got a dual-sensor camera on the back with a fingerprint sensor about a third of the way down. No word yet on the design on the front — or if it’ll feature a notch or headphone jack.
The device features a 6-inch HD+ display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, along with a 16-megapixel and 12-megapixel dual rear-facing camera and two 8-megapixel front-facing cameras. Under the hood, the device boasts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, coupled with 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 3,500mAh battery. You’ll find Android 8.0 Oreo running the system, and the phone is fully IP68-rated for water-resistance.
There are a few advantages to the phone over others. For starters, HTC has developed a cryptocurrency wallet called Zion, which allows you to store cryptocurrency on the phone itself. That’s all stored in the secure enclave — a part of the system that’s kept separate from Android, and uses SoftBank’s Arm Holdings to keep everything safe. That’s also where you can store keys to your cryptocurrency and tokens like CryptoKitties.
As part of the HTC Exodus, HTC has also built a social key recovery system. Basically, you can keep recovery details about your phone with a trusted friend, after which they’ll have to download a key management app. Then, HTC will use a sharing algorithm to send information to your friends, which can then be pieced together if need be.
Initially, it will launch with support for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dfinity networks, and Lightning Network, but the company says it will eventually support the entire blockchain ecosystem. HTC plans on creating a native blockchain network with all Exodus phones, in an effort to double and triple the number of nodes of Ethereum and Bitcoin.
The device will also feature what’s supposed to be a trusted and user-friendly UI for DApps. By bringing DApps to mobile, HTC hopes to streamline the mobile user experience throughout the DApp community as a whole.
Release date and availability
Want to get the HTC Exodus for yourself? The device is now up for sale from the HTC Exodus website. The phone will sell for 0.15 BTC, or 4.78 ETH, which equates to around $960 at the time of this writing, and there are Binance purchasing options too. It was originally the case that you needed cryptocurrency to purchase the phone — but HTC has just removed that requirement. You’ll now be able to buy the HTC Exodus in “Fiat” or real currency too. It’ll set you back $699.
The phone is available in a hefty 34 countries, including the U.S., parts of Europe, New Zealand, the U.K., Taiwan, and more. Of note, the phone will not be available in China — largely because the country bans cryptocurrency trading.
Updated on February 26, 2019: The HTC Exodus is now available for purchase with real money.