Pundi X’s New Phone Can Switch Between Blockchain and Android

Feb 28, 2019 at 16:05 UTC
Updated Feb 28, 2019 at 16:14 UTC

Blockchain device manufacturer startup Pundi X unveiled new specifications for its blockchain phone, which it plans to release to the public later this year.

Revealed at the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona this week, the XPhone will let users switch between a traditional mode that supports Android apps and a “blockchain mode,” which will grant users access to decentralized apps (dapps) loaded on the device.

Customers will be able to make the switch with the push of a button, a blog post by Pundi X explained, adding that this feature is made possible by loading both an Android 9.0 operating system (OS) as well as Pundi’s Android-based Function X OS.

“Blockchain-based calling and messaging can be toggled on and off on the phone operating system, which builds upon Android 9.0,” Pundi X said Monday.

First announced last year, the XPhone also claims to support carrier-free calling through its peer-to-peer network. The startup demonstrated that feature at the time.

Though a working prototype was demonstrated in October, Pundi X’s most recent blog post explained that the specifications have been upgraded, aiming to launch with a mid-range processor, 6 gigabytes of RAM and a number of other features. (A note on the specifications list states that its design is still subject to change).

At launch, the phone will retail for $599, meaning it is cheaper than other blockchain phones like the HTC EXODUS 1, the Samsung Galaxy S10 and the Sirin Labs Finney. However, according to the device’s website, only 5,000 XPhones will be built. The company is currently targeting “late 2019” for release, though a specific date has not been announced.

Pundi X’s demonstration is only the latest blockchain-related announcement at Mobile World Congress this week, following HTC, Samsung and Electroneum, which unveiled a crypto-mining smartphone this week – though that was a low-cost device targeting developing countries.

XPhone images via Pundi X YouTube; Pundi X blog

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