Utah startup makes a beast of a smartphone: Hands on with the Saygus V2View gallery - 11 images
The mobile world moves at lightning speed. A few months after the specs on the Droid Turbo wowed us and just one day after the LG G Flex 2 showed off a new top-of-the-line chipset, we meet the Saygus V2, a smartphone from a little company out of Salt Lake City, Utah with ambitions to take on the biggest names in the business.
Chris Baker, a VP for Saygus, told Gizmag here at CES 2015 that the idea behind developing a new superphone wasn't to go head-to-head with the likes of Apple and Samsung, so much as it was to build a phone with all the features that consumers want in a single package.
And what a package it is, starting with what seems to be an industry-first wireless HD connection for beaming games and movies direct to a big screen, along with built-in Harmon Kardon 3D sound and 64 GB of storage expandable to a total of 320 GB via dual MicroSD slots. There's also a biometric fingerprint scanner on the side of the phone that you simply slide your finger over, a hardware camera shutter button and it's rated IPX7 waterproof.
But we're just getting started here.
The rear camera is a 21-MP shooter alongside a dual LED flash and there's a 13-MP selfie cam on front, both with optical image stabilization and auto focus. The 5-inch display is full HD (1920x1080), pushing 445 pixels per inch at your retinas through a borderless edge-to-edge Gorilla Glass 4 screen Saygus claims is viewable in direct sunlight.
Somehow this phone is relatively light, weighing in at 141 g (4.9 oz), probably with some help from the use of lightweight magnesium and fiberglass materials and a Kevlar frame that helps protect against tragic drops. On the back panel you'll find a funky metallic fractal design, which is actually an exclusively designed antenna that the company told me will boost GSM, CDMA or LTE reception by an extra bar.
The 3,100 mAh battery is removable, Qi wireless charging compliant and works with an exclusive "power saving chip" that Saygus says boosts battery life by 50 percent.
If that's still not enough, there's 3 GB of RAM and the phone is also developer friendly, supporting booting from a MicroSD card and making root access available.
You may notice that we've left out a few key specs so far, notably the 2.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU at the center of the phone, which is not quite as close to the pinnacle of mobile chipsets now that there is a Snapdragon 810 in the world, but it's still respectable. The Saygus V2 is also currently equipped with Android KitKat rather than Lollipop. This is a shortcoming that can easily be addressed later, but it points to one of the key obstacles that Saygus faces in challenging the big boys with what is clearly an awesome phone on paper (and in my hand for the few minutes I had with it).
Baker told Gizmag that the reason the phone is a version two (V2) is that they ran into some problems keeping up with the breakneck pace of mobile technology development, and that by the time they had their first version all put together, the specs were beginning to become outdated, making their superphone seem a little more like a mid-range phone.
No way is the Saygus V2 midrange, but this explains why it doesn't have the absolute bleeding edge chipset.
But what about the big question of price? Well, we can guarantee you it will cost less than the ridiculous, mid-range Tonino Lamborghini 88 Tauri, and in fact, Saygus says it hopes to price it below the retail cost of a new iPhone and perhaps even US$100 below the full price of other flagship Android phones.
Saygus plans to offer the V2 through carriers, online and via retail outlets like most other phones, with pre-orders starting this month.