First, Solana brought out a crypto-enabled smartphone which we profiled last year. https://planetcrypto.co/the-solana-saga-web-3-0-ready-phone-just-like-the-solana-blockchain-your-calls-will-never-cut-ou/
It has not been a resounding success but we are excited to report that the second largest blockchain is following suit with the coming launch of a smartphone running the Ethereum OS. Planet Crypto’s technology expert, Tex Upport, was sent a model to review.
“The first thing you notice about the Ethereum phone is that it’s been built in the image of the blockchain’s founder, Vitalek Buterin. It’s sleek, lightweight, and looks like it would shatter if you dropped it. I’ve wrapped mine in cotton wool – literally – which I imagine is how Vitalek has to dress when he catches the subway.
The first obvious drawback with the Ethereum phone is the unpredictability of network fees. Call a number one minute and it might set you back $0.05. Call the same number five minutes later and it might set you back $50. It’s a costly way to check where the hell your pizza is.
The Ethereum OS carries all the apps you would expect with the notable exception of Maps. Instead of Maps there is a roadmap to when Maps will be ready. (Currently 2025.)
Every message sent via the phone is permanently written onto the Ethereum blockchain which is a boon if you ever need to re-install your data but, as I discovered, a disaster if you make a mistake. The only way to Undo is to fork the entire blockchain each time you message the wrong person, or drunk text, or press send too early when you’re arguing with your ex-wife over how she’s spending the child support. (I’m not stupid, Sharon, ‘Bobs Liquor’ is not the name of our son’s piano teacher.) I also had to fork the entire blockchain 15 times whilst trying to correctly spell ‘accommodate’.
However, the main issue with the Ethereum OS, as ever, is scaling. The network can only cope with 15 callers worldwide at any one time so you also have to carry a second – or Layer 2 – phone as back up. I chose the Solana smartphone so also needed a third phone for when that inevitably went down.
My verdict? I won’t be rushing out any time soon to buy an Ethereum phone. For one thing, I’ve just sneezed near it and the screen shattered.