The former team from Essential had been working on the OSOM OV1 for a while, but that was abruptly swapped out earlier this year for the “Solana Saga,” a phone built for Web3. Luckily, the Solana Saga won’t require any interaction with Web3 or crypto features if you don’t want to use them.
To recap the story thus far, Jason Keats, a former member of the team behind the Essential PH-1 brought back a portion of that team to develop OSOM. The company had set out to produce a privacy-focused Android flagship, which was a spiritual successor to Essential’s one and only phone. It had a design that brought back some of the best of the PH-1, as well as promising to deliver on the same update frequency and more from that device.
But over the summer, OSOM announced a partnership with Web3 company Solana, which in turn effectively killed off the OV1 we’d previously met, replaced with the “Solana Saga.”
Contrary to its name, though, the Solana Saga won’t require that you interact with its Web3 or crypto features, according to OSOM’s Jason Keats during a Discord AMA this afternoon. He explains:
And there is absolutely no requirement to use the Solana crypto features. One of the complimentary principles OSOM shares with Solana is choice. Nobody is forcing anyone to use crypto on the Saga. It remains a fantastic flagship smartphone, with the *option* to use additional crypto features, that I personally feel are beneficial.
The switch to a Web3-focused brand certainly emphasizes the Web3/crypto aspects of the device, but it does seem OSOM will continue to offer an experience similar to what was originally expected at the core. In other comments, Keats explains that the company still plans to release new software updates for the Saga in a similar cadence to the Essential PH-1. Responding to a question from our Dylan Roussel, he also mentioned an “absolute guarantee” that the Saga will never require the Web3/crypto “side” of the phone.
Keats also mentioned that OSOM currently has no plans to build a phone of its own that lacks these features, saying:
No, there’s no reason. If you don’t want to use the crypto wallets, don’t. Nothing about Saga forces you to do anything crypto related. I don’t use the accessibility features on my phone, but I don’t mind that they are embedded into my phone, for instance.
In a further chat with OSOM, we confirmed that a Solana account is also not needed to use the Saga. The company explains:
No, a Solana Account isn’t required for setup. The setup process will suggest how to configure the web3 capabilities Solana has integrated into the Saga phone, but they are optional. You control your Saga phone.
According to Keats, OSOM signed on to work with Solana because Web3 “represents future technology” and growth and because the “old way of building products and companies have stagnated.”
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Updated to add further statement from OSOM.
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