LAS VEGAS—On paper, the Saygus V2 looks like the phone of your dreams. There’s just no guarantee that you’ll ever hold it.
So far, it’s the only phone we’ve heard of with 60GHz WirelessHD beaming to TVs. With a 21-Megapixel camera on the rear and a 13MP front selfie camera, it’s at the top of its class there too. And then there’s the special power-saving chip and the fractal antenna technology that promises to increase the range of your cellular signal.
“We’re pretty confident we’ll smoke the competition,” said Chad Sayers, the company’s chief executive, in an interview here at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
But is it all real?
Saygus executives claim that it is. The industry went through this a few years ago, when Saygus pushed through its V1 phone via Verizon’s open development initiative process for third-party phones. But it did so successfully, and Verizon certified the phone for its network in 2011. (Today you’ll find no mention of the phone on the Verizon website, however.) And Sayers said he’s prepared to go through a similar process to bring the V2 to market sometime in the next quarter or two.
It’s just that, man, this phone seems to promise everything and compromise very little. Let’s run down some of what the Saygus V2 promises:
- 5-inch 1920x1080 (445 ppi) screen
- Quad-core Snapdragon CPU
- 3GB RAM
- 64GB onboard flash storage plus two microSD slots for up to 256GB external storage
- 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
- Kevlar backing
- 60GHz WirelessHD streaming
- Biometric fingerprint side scanner
- Wireless Qi charging
- A “power-saving chip” that will save an additional 50 percent battery life
- IPX7 waterproofing
And that’s just part of it.
No one technology is too far out there to strain credulity. Fractal antennas (what looked like a fractal-like line on the back of the phone) are used to improve HDTV reception. And the power-saving chip, according to chief technology officer Tim Riker, dynamically lowers the backlight while adjusting the image to help preserve image quality while saving power.
Yes, they have hardware
The thing is, Saygus had V2 phones in their booth—sort of. Sayers said that the Chinese partner that the company works with delivered phones late Monday night, and not all of the features were working. The V2 felt very similar to a Nexus, running Android 4.4.4 KitKat. It reported having 3GB of RAM. Behind me a bare daughterboard appeared to be pushing wireless video to a display; Sayers said that the card was the same as was found inside the phone itself, proving that the technology worked; it just wasn’t inside the phones yet. And yes, Sayers also promised us review units when they’re ready.
According to Sayers, the phones should ship during the first quarter, at a “competitive” price. Competitive to what? Sayers wouldn’t say.
Why this matters: I don’t know what to think at this point. And frankly, I don’t have to lose too much sleep over it. If Saygus and its V2 phone are the real deal, they’ll develop the phone, ship it, and hopefully we’ll have a chance to try it out. Then Saygus will need to find a carrier, or sell it unlocked. If the phone never sees the light of day, you’ll still have your money in your pocket. The V2 offers an attractive, highly aggressive set of features. We’ll see if they can live up to their promises.