Sirin Labs Unveils $17,000 Smartphone

Sirin Labs Unveils $17,000 Smartphone
By Apple (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sirin Labs has this week unveiled its latest device, a super secure android smartphone called Solarin, but the price tag is an eye watering $17,000.

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Sirin Labs focuses on security

What price security? High profile instances of hacking celebrity phones and the distribution of personal photos, has led many to value their privacy, and they are prepared to pay for the privilege. Androids have had a number of incidents recently with security breaches and this is one company’s response.

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Sirin Labs, recognizing this gap in the market has come up with the Solarin, a phone packed to the brim with security features to keep your private pictures and emails well away from the reaches of hackers. With a price of $17,000, this phone is not for the average user keen to keep their embarrassing selfies safe, this is more a piece of kit focused at the very top end.

The phone was launched in London this week, and came with the celebrity endorsements of Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy. DiCaprio is a known supported of Sirin Labs and friend of the founder, Moshe Hogeg, while British actor Hardy discussed his continuing battles with hackers looking to gain access to his phone.

In the United Kingdom there have been a number of high profile court cases, leading to the closure of the News of the World, a top selling Sunday paper, with regards to phone hacking. Gaining access to phones, especially voice messages, became a widespread practice in the British media, and already millions of pounds have been paid out in compensation.

Security Features

The security features include a Security Shield – a button that turns on maximum-security level. According to the released picture, you can also expect, ‘hardware based end to end encrypted VoIP calls and messages’ and ‘end-to-end encrypted email’.

There is threat protection against malware threats, as well as on-device and remote applications to handle a lost or stolen phone with full disk encryption, location services and wipe or full factory reset capabilities. There are also continual upgrade patches to keep the phone up to date against the latest cyber threats. Also featured is a fingerprint sensor on the back of the device for an added layer of biometric security.

And you can make calls too…

As for the phone itself, it’s not too shabby either. A 1440p IPS LCD display, 4GB of RAM, USB-C port and a 24-megapixel rear-facing camera featuring four-tone LED flash, (plus an 8-megapixel camera on the front that also has its own flash, for those selfies in the dark I guess?).

Even with all this, the battery life is reported at 31 hours talk time, for all those long chats with agents about finding the next big opportunity. There is a free work-out included as the phone weighs an incredible 250g and is 11mm thick.

The Solarin has been developed in partnership with Koolspan and Zimperium.  Although, it is at its core an Android 5.1 processor, this has obviously been heavily modified.

Doesn’t come cheap

The price obviously takes into account the potential market for this phone as well as the $72 million pumped into research and development. Although, with the unit price, that means Sirin Labs only needs to sell 4235 units to get their money back. Celebrities, business people and Middle Eastern sheiks have a new must have toy. The phone is available now, in four different finishes, from the Sirin Labs website.

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While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. <i>To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at</i>
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