We got some hands-on time with a concept device that hopes to become a reality through the power of crowdfunding.
Project S, from Taiwanese manufacturer Bungbungame, is a high-end unlocked smartphone priced at $299 (£186). That's much less than many unlocked smartphones on the market today, including the £299 Google Nexus 5, though it does not beat the new £135 Moto G. But to get it made, Bungbungame is turning to Indiegogo.
We've seen crowd-funded concept phones before. The Ubuntu Edge raised more than double the $5 million (£3.1 million) Bungbungame is seeking, but failed to reach its desired goal of $32 million (£19.9 million). Bungbungame says that Project S "fits all your needs," but is it biting off more than it can chew? It seems to be putting everything but the kitchen sink into the device.
The specs on the Android-based device are impressive: a 5.8in display with a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution (that's about 506 pixels per inch), a 16-megapixel rear camera, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, and a unibody design that's dustproof and waterproof. It will also have support for Miracast, DLNA, NFC, and Qi wireless charging if you despise all manner of wire. Not enough? It's also going to pack 32GB of internal storage (expandable via a microSD slot), 3GB of RAM, and an octa-core ARM processor.
Handling the concept phone was strange, namely because there wasn't a real phone available; Bungbungame showed off a mockup device that didn't turn on. It definitely felt solid, with its double-sided glass construction, but it had incredibly sharp edges that I feared would poke holes in any normal pants pocket. As far as size was concerned, it was closer to a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 than anything else.
There's obviously no hard release date for this unicorn of a smartphone, but according to its Indiegogo page, Bungbungame plans to have the initial batch to donors by November 2014. It's a fixed funding project, meaning the company will only get your cash if it reaches its goal of $5 million by January 11, 2014. It has only secured about $4,300 (£2,679) as of press time.