There's something about companies that might be somewhat shady showing off devices that sound like bad ideas all around that really gets us interested. The Finney phone from Sirin Labs is just such a device, because it's tightly connected to blockchain and a cryptocoin created by Sirin Labs that's got a 70% chance of being a full on scam, but somehow it got Lionel Messi to endorse it.
Now, Sirin Labs is showing off the external design of the Finney for the first time and once again, it's just strange. At first glance, the device seems pretty normal, until you realize that the phone has full on top and bottom bezels but still adds in a notch to house the front facing camera. Then there's a slide up panel on the back that shows off a second screen, but what exactly that will do is still a bit unclear. The general line is that it will be part of secure crypto transactions, but of course any line like that from an unconfirmed source tends to be a lot of buzzwords and not so much real content.
Sirin Labs has the glamour video (above) for 13 seconds of the device, and its YouTube channel also has an 18 minute video (below) showing off the phone's design in various ways, but you may notice that neither video shows the device turned on. Surprisingly, despite Sirin crowdfunding $158 million from its cryptocurrency, the company couldn't even mock up the software in the render video. In the extended video, there is a short bit of a screen connected to a bare motherboard powering on to a plain lockscreen but that's about it.
The ultimate aim of the Finney is to run a custom fork of Android 8.1 complete with a "decentralized app store," which gives us the troubling feeling that it means either almost no apps or apps filled with malware. Otherwise, the device looks to be pretty solidly built with a Snapdragon 845, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, a 12-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front camera, a 6-inch display, and a 3,280mAh battery. All for just $1000... or actually however much SRN coin converts to $1000 at the time the payment is processed.
Sirin Labs is planning to start shipping in November, so we'll certainly be checking back to see how this all plays out. The smart money says it's going to be a trainwreck.