<b>Gizmo Geek:</b> Solarin is here
What makes it super tough is a chassis made of a flexible metal matrix
It is no secret that whether we choose to engage with it or not, mobile technology in recent times has thrown up privacy and security issues of the sort that we haven’t had to deal with before.
It has never been a case of whether one lives a blameless life, but one of a right to privacy. But “not all privacy is created equal”. That is the principle upon which Sirin Labs’ military-grade super-smart Android smartphone Solarin, is built.
With a price tag inching upwards of the $15,000 mark, though, it had better be pretty damn smart.
Let’s get the specs out of the way, starting with look and feel. What makes Solarin super tough is a chassis made of a flexible metal matrix composite that is usually seen in the aerospace industry.
Titanium panels are added for extra strength, and the front features a curved Corning Gorilla Glass 4 screen that has been drop-tested for toughness.
Hand crafted deco panels and a back cover made of Italian leather, round off its good looks.
As for specs, the 5.5-inch 1440p IPS LCD display sports 16 LED backlights for a rich colour experience.
The main 24-megapixel camera comes with laser auto-focus and four-tone flash, and the front-facing wide-angle 8 MP camera features a flash to help with video calls in badly lit environments.
Inside, we find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 2 GHz octa-core 810 processor, 4 GB of RAM and a generous 128 GB of storage. Solarin comes with a monster 4,000-mAH battery, which might account for its bulkiness. At 250 g, it’s also not the lightest phone to carry around.
However, good looks and configuration are hardly enough to justify the price tag. In attempting to deliver its promise of a state-of-the-art privacy environment, Solarin comes with a mobile threat protection system called Zimperium that keeps cyber attacks, whether via software, hardware or over the network, at bay.
Military-grade chip-to-chip 256-bit AES encryption adds to its protection features. Finally, a security switch at the back of the handset puts the phone in an encrypted mode for calls and messages (though it is important to keep in mind that the usual risks that come with using services like Google, YouTube, Yahoo and other apps that collect user data remain unaffected).
The handset, which runs on a heavily skinned version of the latest Android release, ships with the latest security patches installed.
Solarin is available in four models—Fire Black Carbon Titanium, Fire Black Carbon DLC, Fire Black Carbon Yellow Gold and Crystal White Carbon DLC, variously featuring titanium, 18k gold and black diamond inlays in its design.
Prices range from $13,800 to $17,400, and taxes are extra. An international charger, two USB 3.0 data cables, one A/A and one A/C, a SIM-extraction tool and micro-fibre cloth round off the box contents.
Payal Dhar