Quiet, is one way to describe HTC‘s track record with smartphones this year. They had an affordable smartphone earlier this year that yet again bastardised one of their more iconic device names, but seeing what happened with the Desire, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Today, the company unveils a brand new device, but I don’t think it’s the device you want it to be. It’s the HTC Exodus 1s, and its the company’s new affordable blockchain phone.
Blockchain, cryptocurrency–I’ll admit, I’m no expert. But I do know HTC launched the Exodus 1 previously, which was a phone you could only buy with Bitcoin…at least for a while. The Exodus 1s, on the other hand, is a different kind of handset. It’s much more affordable, coming in at just EUR219 (~RM1,023). The first Exodus phone sold for 0.15 Bitcoin, which meant you had to pay about the same kind of price as the iPhone/Galaxy flagship of the day, but for what was essentially a modified HTC U12+.
The thing that makes the Exodus 1s unique is obviously the whole cryptocurrency aspect of the handset. From what I understand, it can act as a full Bitcoin node, so it can verify and perform transactions on-device instead of relying on a separate service. Android Police says that to do that, however, you’d want a pretty big microSD card because the Bitcoin ledger is currently about 260GB in size–and that number will only keep growing.
And yeah, you’ll be able to send and receive several different cryptocurrencies too, with the on-device Zion Wallet. Again, I’m not an expert on Bitcoin, so I don’t really know what that all means–nor do I know the value of something like that. But, what I do know the value of is the rest of the Exodus 1s as a handset. And it’s bad. Like, comically bad.
The smartphone features a 5.7″ HD+ 720p display up front, for starters. Inside, the Exodus 1s is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor, which wasn’t good at the time of its release years ago, so it sure as heck isn’t very good today. That’s also mated to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.
Keeping the lights on is a 3,000 mAh battery that charges via microUSB, and thank goodness that the phone runs on Android 8.1 Oreo. I mean, it’s not like we’re on Android 10, or anything like that now.
But hey, at least HTC knows that it probably won’t sell too well because it’s only going on sale in a handful of markets–namely Taiwan, Europe, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.