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Solana Teases New Phone After Unexpected Success of Saga

The second version of the Solana mobile phone is expected to ship in early 2025

Image: Solana Mobile

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Riding on the airdrop-fuelled hype surrounding its Saga phone, Solana Mobile has opened pre-orders for its "Chapter 2" model.

Securing the phone requires a non-refundable deposit of $450 (the "Founder Window" pricing). Unlike the previous version that was only for sale in 33 countries, its available mostly across the world, including to buyers in Singapore (if the drop down list of countries on the "Order" page is accurate).

"Our goal is that the deposit covers the full price of the product (excluding taxes, shipping and fees)," Solana Mobile said, noting that it may not proceed and refund pre-orders if targets are not reached.

Specs and hardware details of the Saga 2 phone aren't yet available, but at this price point, it's safe to assume that its features will be basic at best. What differentiates the Saga from other phones is its Web3 features: an native crypto wallet with security features, custom Android software and a "dApp store" for crypto applications.

The first Saga phone was released in May 2023, priced at $999 (see here for our review. Spoiler: we weren't impressed). Right out of the gate, the device had dated specs, and with Solana Mobile saying its dApp store would be compatible with any Android device in the future, the phone wasn't so unique after all. Activated phones were granted a genesis NFT, but only a few thousand units were sold in the first few months since its launch. In August, its price was slashed to $599.

BONK Boost

Amid the Solana airdrop frenzy of December 2023, one winner was the BONK token (also Blockhead's Dog of the Year 2023), which climbed by 800% during the month to peak at $0.000035 on Dec 15 (the day the Saga phone sold out).

Oh yeah, did we mention that the phone came loaded with 30 million $BONK? That's $1,140 at its peak - almost double the phone's cost price. The phone sold for $5,000 on eBay, after selling out its 20,000 units on Solana's website.

BONK's remarkable growth was fuelled by its official listing on Coinbase and other major exchanges. The price of BONK has since fallen to $0.00001377, or -33% over the past month, as speculators move on to other memecoins. The phones are still hot property as airdrop hunters expect more potential airdrops in the future.

However, there might be some longevity here, beyond some laughs. Unlike traditional memecoins, which offer no core fundamentals, BONK developers are building a full-fledged community coin to be used across all the dApps built on Solana. Each user has the opportunity to be part of its ecosystem.

Also, earlier this week, Decrypt reported that Saga genesis NFT owners were airdropped Saga Monkes NFTs that are now selling for over $1,000. This also follows the Claynosaurz: Call of Saga NFT airdrop, which now starts at 16.87 SOL on marketplaces, or about $1,650.

SOL Resilient

Like the rest of the crypto market, SOL has taken a breather from its upward trajectory but its price has remained rather resilient around the $90-100 price range since the start of the year. At the time of publishing, SOL stands at $98.5, or up 2.75% in the past 24 hours.

The Relative Strength Index (RSI) for SOL has hovered around 50 in the past week, denoting a neutral level or balance between bullish and bearish positions. Speculators in the futures market are also moderately bullish, as shown by the 5.4% jump in Open Interest (OI) volume in the past 24 hours to $1.1 billion. A rise in Open Interest along with price and volume shows strong market conviction in the current trend direction.

So, would you rather spend $450 on SOL or the Saga Chapter 2 phone?

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