The SIKURPhone: terrible name, terrific security and crypto wallet
- The SIKURPhone is the follow-up to 2015’s ultra-secure GranitePhone.
- The smartphone has some mediocre specs and a simple design, but runs modified software that makes it incredibly secure.
- With its built-in cryptocurrency app and focus on security, the SIKURPhone has a small niche audience, but still could do well.
Remember the GranitePhone? Back in 2015, ARCHOS and a company called SIKUR banded together to create the world’s most secure smartphone. The GranitePhone was the result, and it got a lot of press at Mobile World Congress 2015.
Now we have a successor to the GranitePhone called the SIKURPhone (ugh). While the name certainly got a lot worse, three things are much better about this follow-up to the GranitePhone: the specs, the software features, and the price.
For those of you who don’t remember the GranitePhone, it was a super-secure device with mid-range specs and a hefty price tag of $999. But you weren’t paying for the hardware, you were paying for the security; the GranitePhone encrypted every email, contact, and message on the device, giving you ultimate peace of mind.
The GranitePhone was never designed to be a blockbuster, as it appealed to a niche audience. As such, it certainly never became a popular device. That price-point was just too high for success, especially in 2015.
Now, the SIKURPhone (it honestly pains me to keep typing that) comes with better specs, a better design, more security features, and a lower price, so it may have a better chance at cross-over success than its predecessor:
The basics of the phone are nothing fancy: a 5.5-inch display with plenty of bezels, a 13 MP sensor in the rear camera and a 5 MP selfie cam on the front, a mediocre 2,800 mAh battery, 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage, and a MediaTek processor (which one is not yet known). There is a USB-C port (yay!) but no headphone jack (boo!).
The specs may not get you excited, but the software certainly will. SIKUR took Android 7.0 Nougat and pared it down to the very basics. Simply put, this phone is designed to make calls, send messages, snap some pics, and browse the internet, all encrypted. Any other apps will either a) be blocked from the device, or b) come in heavily-modified versions direct from SIKUR, not the Google Play Store.
That means no Facebook app, no Twitter app, no Instagram, no nothing. You can still access those services by using the built-in browser, which will keep your connection secure. But standalone apps are not allowed.
Just how secure is this phone? To test its ability, SIKUR sent devices to HackerOne and gave the hackers there two months to crack the device. It couldn’t be done. I’d say that’s pretty secure.
And now for the crown jewel of the device: the brand new cryptocurrency wallet built-in by SIKUR. When the GranitePhone dropped in 2015, cryptocurrency was in its infancy. Now with thousands of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin surging in popularity, SIKUR includes a secure way to access your crypto accounts through the phone. Using the app, you can track your current balance, store crypto on SIKUR’s private cloud, check pricing, or read related news.
This phone has two customers in mind: cryptocurrency users and privacy fanatics. Or a combination of the two. So once again, SIKUR is not going for a blockbuster here. That being said, the price tag for the device is planned to be $799. That’s not that much cheaper than the GranitePhone’s $999 price tag, but it has better specs and more features, so it’s a pretty decent trade-off.
We guess that people who bought a GranitePhone will upgrade to this SIKURPhone, and the new culture of cryptocurrency users will buy up the device as well, even if only to use it for crypto-related functions. With that customer pool alone, the SIKURPhone could do pretty well.
What do you think? Do you need an ultra-secure smartphone in your life?