El Reg got hands-on with the Solarin $14,000 ultra-high-end Android smartphone during a trip to Tel Aviv this week.
As previously reported, the Solarin handset is an Android-based smartphone pitched at privacy-conscious executives and the ultra-wealthy.
The smartphone comes with a 24 megapixel camera and integrated 3D audio as well as support for Wi-Fi and a high end metal chassis. The audio and visuals are undeniably impressive. The tech features an eight-core processor, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810.
Sirin Labs’ hardware features Koolspan’s TrustChip processor. The phone operates in two modes: a regular high-end Android phone where users can download apps and an encrypted mode isolated from the operating system and connected devices.
A switch on the back of the device enables “shielded mode” for encrypted texts and calls. This enclave comes with a walled garden. Sirin Labs is a Swiss firm but its R&D team is based in Israel and its marketing and sales team is based in London. The device is pitched at business users, tech lovers and high net worth individuals.
Chief executive officer Tal Cohen, whose background is in internet advertising startups rather than mobile or security, said his firm had identified a niche market comparable to the high-end watch market but for smartphones. Its potential customers wanted ease of use, a general purpose phone and security in one device. The device is pitched at investment bankers, lawyers, accountants and investment houses.