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Solana Launches First Web3 Android Smartphone, Saga

Solana Mobile, a subsidiary of Solana Labs, announced the launch of its Android smartphone, Saga on Thursday. The flagship phone, which debuted at a New York event, has unique functionalities based on the Solana blockchain. It allows users to carry out transactions in web3, including managing their tokens and NFTs. 

Saga sets a new standard for the web3 experience on mobile,” Anatoly Yakovenko, Solana’s co-founder, said at the event.

Yakovenko pointed out that Saga was created to meet the steady rise of the nearly 7 billion smartphone users and over 100 million digital asset owners in the world. 

Saga’s debut also featured the introduction of the Solana Mobile Stack (SMS) for developers. The toolkit will allow developers to create “rich mobile experiences” for Solana-based wallets and apps.  Moreover, Solana’s leadership believes Saga’s launch could help usher in web3 adoption. From creating and minting NFTs to quick access to Solana Pay, Saga could introduce crypto adoption in whole new ways. 

Saga: A New Chapter in the Crypto Story

According to Raj Gokal, Solana’s co-founder, the name “Saga” is deliberate.

We chose the Saga name because the story of crypto is still being written,” he explained. “This is the next chapter of this narrative and we believe opening up crypto to mobile will lead to greater adoption, better understanding, and more opportunities.”

Designed and manufactured by OSOM, a top Android development company in the US, Saga has a 6.67ꞌꞌ OLED display, 12 GB RAM, and a 512 GB storage. The latest Snapdragon®8+ Gen 1 Mobile Platform will provide the security features required for the Solana Mobile Stack’s Seed Vault.

In addition, Saga’s Secure Element will enable the Vault to keep private keys and seed phrases separate from the application layer. However, when required, private keys can still interact with apps running on the device or on a browser.

According to OSOM’s CEO Jason Keats, hardware innovation might just be as important to crypto traction as any other niche. Keats is confident Saga could help the world embrace a “web3 future”.

At writing, developers can start to pre-order the Solana Mobile Stack. Users can also start to pre-order Saga, however, delivery will commence in the early months of 2023. To pre-order the device, users will pay a $100 refundable deposit, before the projected final cost of $1000. Solana says it will prioritize developers’ orders on its waiting list so that they can test the SMS with Saga. 

Early birds will qualify to receive a Saga Pass, a limited edition NFT that will accompany the first batch of the smartphone.

The Solana Mobile Stack: Saga’s Core

Saga’s uniqueness lies in the Solana Mobile Stack. It provides enabling libraries for developers to create Solana-based apps that can run alongside Android. These apps will have functionalities such as NFT minting, playing Solana-based web3 games, and securing funds with the Seed Vault. 

Other features of the Solana Mobile Stack include Mobile Wallet Adapter and the Solana dApp Store.

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Previously, in March, Opera took on a similar initiative. The web browser integrated Solana amongst several other blockchains in its bid for a web3 future.

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